Team

We have assembled a team of scientists, innovators and advisors recognized for their pioneering work in discovering, developing and delivering new treatments to patients. We approach each day looking for powerful ways to unravel the mysteries of the human body in order to create precision therapies for the most challenging diseases. 

Scientific Founder    Management    Board

 
 

Scientific Founder

Wendell Lim     

Wendell Lim is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He received his A.B. in Chemistry, summa cum laude from Harvard College, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University.  His research focuses on the design principles of molecular circuits that govern cell decision-making and responses.  His lab has made contributions in understanding the molecular machinery of cell signaling and how molecular modules have been used in evolution to build novel new behaviors.  Most recently he has been a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, exploring how these design principles can be harnessed to engineer cells with customized therapeutic response programs.


Management

 
 

Brian Atwood     Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

Brian Atwood is President, CEO, and co-founder of Cell Design Labs, a company focused on developing the human cell engineering technology from the UC San Francisco lab of Wendell Lim. Mr. Atwood is also a co-founder and Managing Director at Versant Ventures, a leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm. In addition, he has more than 15 years of operating experience in the biotechnology industry. Prior to launching his career in venture capital, Mr. Atwood was founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Glycomed, Inc. Mr. Atwood began his biotechnology career at Cetus Corporation where he had multiple responsibilities, including product development with initial commercial development of its PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology through the Perkin Elmer/Cetus Instruments joint venture, of which he was a director. Mr. Atwood currently serves as a board member of the private company Atreca as well as the public companies PhaseRx (PZRX) and Clovis Oncology, Inc. (CLVS). Mr. Atwood earned his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine; an MS in Ecology from the University of California, Davis; and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Peter Emtage     Chief Scientific Officer

Peter Emtage, Ph.D. is the SVP of Research at Cell Design Labs (CDL). Prior to joining CDL, Peter held senior positions at Intrexon, Medimmune and Femta Pharmaceuticals. Peter is an immunologist by training and over the past 20 years has focused on developing drugs to modulate the immune response in humans. His work in oncology, autoimmunity and infectious disease has included the utilization of viral and non-viral delivery systems, chimeric antigen receptor and TCR adoptive T cell modalities, and monoclonal antibody development. His career started with a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health followed by his role as Research Scientist at Aventis Pasteur and then Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Gregory J. Giotta     Senior Vice President Intellectual Property

Gregory J. Giotta, Ph.D., J.D. is Senior Vice President Intellectual Property.  Prior to joining Cell Design Labs, Dr. Giotta worked for a number of biotechnology companies, and served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Onyx Corporation, Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Attorney at Glycomed Corporation, and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel at Cetus Corporation.  He was an associate in the intellectual property law firm, Brown and Martin in San Diego.  Dr. Giotta earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, conducted postdoctoral studies at Harvard University and the Salk Institute, and earned a J.D. from the University of San Diego.

Roger Sidhu      Chief Medical Officer

Roger Sidhu, M.D. joined Cell Design Labs in July 2017 as Chief Medical Officer. Board-certified as a medical oncologist, he most recently held the position of Global Product General Manager at Amgen, where he was responsible for strategy, development and commercialization of early-stage immuno-oncology molecules including CAR-T cell therapies, antibodies, vaccines and bispecific T-cell engagers (BiTEs). Prior to serving as Global Product General Manager, he held escalating positions within Amgen’s global development hematology/oncology department where he provided therapeutic area leadership for the late stage portfolio of hematology/oncology therapeutics.  He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta, his M.D. from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada and completed a medical oncology fellowship at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada.


Board

Fred Cohen     Chairman

Fred Cohen serves as Chairman of the Board of Cell Design Labs and as a senior advisor to TPG Capital. Previously he was a partner at TPG Capital for 15 years and a co-founder of TPG Biotechnology, a life science focused investment initiative. Under his leadership, the biotechnology team invested in over 65 companies. For the last 30 years, Dr. Cohen has been affiliated with University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) where he has had clinical responsibilities as an internist, a consulting endocrinologist, and as the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism. Additionally, he was a Professor of Medicine, Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, and Biochemistry & Biophysics. Dr. Cohen has published over 200 peer reviewed articles, participated as a co-inventor on over 10 patents and has served as an editor, or editorial board member, of several international scientific journals. He earned an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, a D.Phil. in Molecular Biophysics from Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, an MD from Stanford University and did his postdoctoral training and postgraduate medical training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at UCSF. Dr. Cohen is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of several biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations including: Biocryst, CareDx, Five Prime Therapeutics, Genomic Health, Progyny, Roka, Tandem Diabetes, Veracyte and UroGen Pharma.

Andrew Allen 

A co-founder of Gritstone Oncology, Dr. Allen serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. He was a co-founder of Clovis Oncology where he served as Executive Vice President of Clinical and Preclinical Development and Chief Medical Officer. Clovis Oncology is commercializing Rubraca™ for the treatment of certain women with ovarian cancer. Prior to that, he was Chief Medical Officer at Pharmion Corporation, which was sold to Celgene Corporation following the development of Vidaza™ for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and Thalomid™ for the front-line treatment of multiple myeloma. Previously, Dr. Allen served in clinical development leadership roles at Chiron Corporation and Abbott Laboratories, and worked at McKinsey & Company, where he advised life science companies on strategic issues. He currently serves on the board of directors of Epizyme and Cell Design Labs. Dr. Allen received a medical degree from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in immunology from Imperial College London.

Brian Atwood     Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

Brian Atwood is President, CEO, and co-founder of Cell Design Labs, a company focused on developing the human cell engineering technology from the UC San Francisco lab of Wendell Lim. Mr. Atwood is also a co-founder and Managing Director at Versant Ventures, a leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm. In addition, he has more than 15 years of operating experience in the biotechnology industry. Prior to launching his career in venture capital, Mr. Atwood was founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Glycomed, Inc. Mr. Atwood began his biotechnology career at Cetus Corporation where he had multiple responsibilities, including product development with initial commercial development of its PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology through the Perkin Elmer/Cetus Instruments joint venture, of which he was a director. Mr. Atwood currently serves as a board member of the private company Atreca as well as the public companies PhaseRx (PZRX) and Clovis Oncology, Inc. (CLVS). Mr. Atwood earned his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine; an MS in Ecology from the University of California, Davis; and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Arie Belldegrun

Dr. Belldegrun is the Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Kite Pharma, Inc. Previously he founded Agensys, Inc., until it was acquired by Astellas Pharma Inc. Dr. Belldegrun was also the founding Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc., until it was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Belldegrun is Professor of Urology and Director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Prior to UCLA, he was a research fellow in surgical oncology and immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Belldegrun earned his M.D. at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School. He did postgraduate studies in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science and his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.

Brook Byers

A founding member of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mr. Byers has been closely involved with more than 60 new technology-based ventures, many of which have become public companies. He currently serves on the board of directors of Enjoy, Grail, Newsela, Octave Bioscience and Zephyr Health. Formerly, Mr. Byers served as a director of Idec Pharmaceuticals, Athena Neurosciences, Signal Pharmaceuticals, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Hybritech, Genprobe and others. These companies pioneered the medical use of molecular biology, monoclonal antibodies, personalized medicine, molecular diagnostics, genomics and sequencing. Mr. Byers serves on the Board of Overseers of the University of California San Francisco medical campus and hospitals, the Stanford Medicine Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of the New Schools Foundation. Mr. Byers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and received an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Beth Seidenberg 

Dr. Beth Seidenberg is a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins focused on life science and digital health investing.  She works with entrepreneurs to develop companies with breakthrough technology for treating patients and improving health.  Since joining KPBC in 2005, Beth has incubated eight companies and serves on the board of directors for 3-VBiosciences, ARMO Biosciences, Atara, Breathe Technologies, Cell Design Labs, Epizyme, TESARO, and Progyny.  Before joining KPCB, Beth was Senior Vice President of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Amgen, Inc.  Earlier in her career, she was a Senior Executive in Research and Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Merck & Co., Inc.  Beth received her B.S. degree from Barnard College and her M.D. from the University of Miami.  She completed her post-graduate training at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University and the National Institutes of Health.

David D. Chang, M.D., Ph.D.     Observer

Dr. Chang is Executive Vice President, R&D and Chief Medical Officer of Kite Pharma.  Previously, he held senior leadership roles at Amgen, including Vice President of Global Development and Head of Hematology-Oncology.  Prior to joining Amgen, Dr. Chang held dual appointments as Associate Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University.  Dr. Chang completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow.

Wendell Lim     Observer

Wendell Lim is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  He received his A.B. in Chemistry, summa cum laude from Harvard College, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University.  His research focuses on the design principles of molecular circuits that govern cell decision-making and responses.  His lab has made contributions in understanding the molecular machinery of cell signaling and how molecular modules have been used in evolution to build novel new behaviors.  Most recently he has been a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, exploring how these design principles can be harnessed to engineer cells with customized therapeutic response programs.

 

Scientific Founder    Management    Board