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 and CEO as well as a co-founder of Cell Design Labs, a new 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, where he serves as a Managing Director.  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, a publicly traded biotechnology company. Mr. Atwood also currently serves as a Board member at the private company Atreca as well as the public companies PhaseRx (PZRX), Clovis Oncology, Inc. (CLVS), OpGen, Inc. (OPGN), and Veracyte, Inc. (VCYT).  Mr. Atwood received a BS 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.


Board

Fred Cohen     Chairman

Fred Cohen is Chairman of Cell Design Labs.  He is also a Partner at TPG and co-founder of TPG Biotechnology, a life science focused investment effort.  For the last 15 years, Dr. Cohen has been at TPG where he has been responsible for co-leading the Biotechnology investment effort. The Biotechnology team has invested in over 50 companies covering areas of Drug Discovery and Development, Personalized Medicine, Allied Pharmaceutical Services, Industrial Biotechnology and Medical Technology.  For the last 30 years, Dr. Cohen has been at UCSF where he has had clinical responsibilities as an Internist for hospitalized patients, a consulting Endocrinologist, and as the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Prior to joining TPG, he was a Professor of Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, and Biochemistry and Biophysics.  His research interests include structure based drug design, prion diseases, computational biology and heteropolymer chemistry.  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.  Dr. Cohen received his BS degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, his D.Phil. in Molecular Biophysics from Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, his MD from Stanford and 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.  Dr. Cohen currently serves on the Board of Directors of several biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations including Biocryst, CareDx, Five Prime Therapeutics, Genomic Health, Progyny, Rapid Micro Biosystems, Roka, Tandem Diabetes, and Veracyte.

Andrew Allen 

A co-founder of Gritstone Oncology, Dr. Allen serves as its President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Allen was a co-founder of Clovis Oncology and served as Executive Vice President of Clinical and Pre-Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer from the time of the company’s inception until July 2015. Prior to that, Dr. Allen was Chief Medical Officer at Pharmion Corporation, which was sold to Celgene Corporation following the development of Vidaza™ and Thalomid™. Dr. Allen also served previously in clinical development leadership roles at Chiron Corporation and Abbott Laboratories, and worked at McKinsey & Company. Dr. Allen trained in Medicine at Oxford University and obtained a Ph.D. in Immunology at Imperial College, London. He currently serves on the board of directors of Epizyme and advises Epic Sciences.

Brian Atwood     Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

Brian Atwood is President and CEO as well as a co-founder of Cell Design Labs, a new 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, where he serves as a Managing Director.  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, a publicly traded biotechnology company. Mr. Atwood also currently serves as a Board member at the private company Atreca as well as the public companies PhaseRx (PZRX), Clovis Oncology, Inc. (CLVS), OpGen, Inc. (OPGN), and Veracyte, Inc. (VCYT).  Mr. Atwood received a BS 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 serves on the board of directors of CareDX, Enjoy, Newsela, Oculeve, Pacific Biosciences, Inc., 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 is on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University. He also 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. Seindenberg, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, focuses on life science investing in digital health and biotech and works with entrepreneurs to develop companies with breakthrough technology for treating patients and improving the delivery of healthcare. Since joining Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2005, Dr. Seindenberg has incubated five companies and was the founding CEO of two. She serves on the board of directors of 3-V Biosciences, ARMO Biosciences, Breathe Technologies, FLX, Hixme, Kinsa, Mango Health, Practice Fusion, Progyny, RedBrick Health and True North; as well as three publicly traded companies: Atara Bio, Epizyme and Tesaro. Dr. Seindenberg 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