MANAGEMENT TEAM

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot

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Management Team

Our Tavotek leadership team are all from well-known multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, Glaxo and Eli Lilly.

  • MANN FUNG, MD, MBA, MHCM, FACP

    Chief Executive Officer

    MANN FUNG, MD, MBA, MHCM, FACP

    Chief Executive Officer

    Dr. Mann Fung is the Chief Executive Officer of Tavotek Biotherapeutics. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the Regulatory, Pharmaceutical and Finance Industries including FDA, Big Pharma, and Venture Capital. Prior to joining Tavotek in 2019, Dr. Fung was a Venture Partner at Fidelity Eight Roads Ventures as well as a clinical consultant for BioMotiv Capital. He is currently an Investment Committee member of the Apricot-Sanhe Entrepreneur Fund and a Scientific Advisory Board member of Virogin Biotech and YiSheng Biopharma.


    Dr. Fung began his career as a practicing physician before joining the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Medical Reviewer in the early 1990s. He joined Eli Lilly & Company and started his pharmaceutical career with increasing responsibilities including serving a 5-year international assignment for Eli Lilly as the Medical Director of Lilly Greater China TW Operations, and later as the Head of Oncology and Critical Care Products for Lilly Japan. Dr. Fung then joined Johnson & Johnson (J&J), first as an Executive Director of McNeil Specialty Pharma Division and later as a Compound Development Leader and Vice President in Janssen Oncology. During his tenure at J&J, he was most recognized for his leadership in the development of Imbruvica (Ibrutinib) and Cell Therapy. Before retiring from J&J, he was a Vice President at the J&J Asia-Pacific Innovation Center.


    Dr. Fung obtained his B.S. in Pharmacy and M.D. degrees from the University of Utah. He then underwent medical training in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University with additional training in Radiation Oncology at University of Pennsylvania. He later pursued additional education in business and management, earning a Master’s in Health Care Management at Harvard University and an Executive MBA from University of Indianapolis. He has obtained multiple leadership honors and awards during his career from the FDA, Lilly and J&J, and authored/co-authored 60+ publications in many international journals. He is a Fellow of American College of Physicians (FACP) as well as an Adjunct Professor of Peking University.


  • MARK CHIU,PhD

    President & Chief Scientific Officer

    MARK CHIU,PhD

    President & Chief Scientific Officer

    Dr. Mark Chiu is the President of R&D as well as Chief Scientific Officer at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. He has nearly 35 years of experience in new drug discovery for AbbVie/Abbott Laboratories and Janssen. Prior to joining Tavotek, Dr. Chiu was the Head of the Process Analytical Sciences at Biotherapeutics Development and Head of Antibody Engineering in the Biologics Research Department at Janssen, the pharmaceutical branch of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).


    Dr. Chiu began his career as a synthetic organic chemist at Microgenics developing rapid and robust diagnostic assays that are now utilized by Roche Diagnostics. In AbbVie/Abbott Laboratories, he led an Advanced Technology Team preparing full length mammalian membrane proteins (GPCRs, ligand gated and voltage gated ion channels, and transporters) for structure-function drug discovery studies. At Janssen, he led the Developability Team as part of lead optimization, and later transitioned to Antibody Engineering where he guided the development of therapeutic bispecific and multispecific antibodies and fusion proteins for Oncology, Immunology, Neuroscience, Metabolic Diseases, and Chronic Infectious Diseases. His leadership resulted in more than 15 New Molecular Entities with 6 projects transitioning from Phase 1 to Phase 3 trials. He fostered defense of numerous patents critical to both composition of matter and process patents. He also led a team that was responsible for analytical testing to support early and late phase development.


    Dr. Chiu received his B.S. in Biophysics from University of California at Berkeley. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and then completed postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich, Switzerland and the Department of Microbiology at the University of Basel Biocentre. Dr. Chiu had comprehensive training and extensive research experience in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and biotechnology. He authored/co-authored over 20 patents and 100 publications in many prestigious journals, including research articles in Science and Nature. He has been members of grant review committees and is an editor for Current Protocols and Antibodies.


  • CHAO HAN, PhD

    Vice President of Early Development

    CHAO HAN, PhD

    Vice President of Early Development

    Dr. Chao Han is the Vice President of Early Development and the Site Head of Tavotek Lab at Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. He has more than 20 years of experience in preclinical discovery and clinical development of small molecule and biologic therapeutics. Prior to joining Tavotek, Dr. Han was the Scientific Director of Biologics Development Sciences at Janssen. He has worked at GSK as the DMPK Head and the Section Head of Pharmacokinetics and In Vivo Technology.


    Dr. Han started his pharma industry career at GlaxoWellcome. He led the development of an automated animal PK system and was awarded GreatScience@R&D@GSK. Leading the DMPK activities, he contributed directly and through his leadership to the discovery of Tafinlar® and Mekinist®. He started his biologics journey by joining Centocor (later became Janssen) where he contributed to the development of Simponi®, Stelara®, and Darzalex®, as well as preclinical development of Talquetamab and Teclistamab. Contributing to the scientific community, he was a member of the IQ MABEL Working Group and a key author of a guidance white paper on selecting starting dose for the FIH trial. He also served Vice-Chair and Chair of the Early Development and Safety Steering Committee in ASCPT.  


    Dr. Han obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine, and MS and BS degrees in Chemistry from Nankai University. He received postgraduate training in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Francisco. He has published over 40 research papers and written six book chapters. He was the leading editor of a book titled Evaluation of Drug Candidates for Preclinical Development- Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, Pharmaceutics, and Toxicology.


  • MARK TORNETTA, MS

    VP of TavoSelect

    MARK TORNETTA, MS

    VP of TavoSelect

    Mr. Mark Tornetta is Vice President of Biologics Discovery at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. He has over 29 years of discovery biopharmaceutical experience, 23 years in antibody engineering and 6 years in target discovery working on orphan GPCRs. His biopharma activities involved targets in cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, immune, oncological, and infectious diseases.


    His antibody engineering career started at SmithKline Beecham/GSK. After implementing the pCombIII system from Scripps Research Institute, he made his first contribution to phage display by developing a new selection technique called “epitope blocked panning”. This was essential for the discovery of a neutralizing anti-RSV antibody. He moved on to the exploration of de-orphanizing GPCRs where he played a key role in discovering the ligand and future MOAs for the C3aR. During this time, he gained experience as a scientist and project management skills by driving small molecule candidate evaluation from high throughput in vitro cellular assays through to ex vivo modeling assays. He then returned to antibody engineering at Centocor/Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). He was a key contributor in implementing two phage display platforms. The first was the Morphosys HuCAL system where he performed therapeutic based experiments and developed new selection strategies that routinely generated candidates with sub-nM binding affinities. He also managed Morphosys AG to generate candidates for Centocor research teams and delivered on every target. The second technology was the Fab-pIX display system. He proved that a Fab protein can be displayed on phage by pIX fusion. This enabled the construction of a large Fab library. Over 6 years, he and a team of 5 scientists produced 8000 antibodies to more than 200 targets. His creativity in panning techniques led to the discovery of an antibody currently in Phase II development at GSK. He has expertise in cell surface panning which produced many antibodies to such targets like GPCRs. He also developed complimentary methods such as high throughput panning, micro-scale bacterial expression-purification, and high throughput ranking kinetics.


    Mr. Tornetta received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Widener University and a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology at Drexel University. He is an inventor on 19 patents, an author on 16 manuscripts and chaired as well as presented at multiple scientific conferences. He has received numerous awards and most notably 5 Leadership Innovation awards while at J&J.


  • MARIA MACWILLIAMS, PhD

    VP of Molecular Biology

    MARIA MACWILLIAMS, PhD

    VP of Molecular Biology

    Maria P. MacWilliams Ph.D. is Vice President of Molecular Biology at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. Dr. MacWilliams has over 30 years experience with synthetic protein design and development of novel cell based assays. Her scientific career spans many diverse areas of science including protein engineering, structure-function studies of DNA recombinases and nucleases, analyses of small molecule drug complexes, soil metagenomics, and environmental microbiology. Dr. MacWilliams has strong expertise in developing assays to elucidate complex molecular interactions.

    Dr. MacWilliams obtained her B.S. in Biology with Honors from Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and her Masters and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After a short post-doctoral stint during which she established a new research direction for her Ph.D. mentor and a collaborator, she did post-doctoral research at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel (Basel, Switzerland). Dr. MacWilliams held faculty appointments at Seton Hall University and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. In addition to her major contributions to science education at the college level, she is committed to community outreach programs in support of scientific understanding for all. Dr. MacWilliams is most proud of the 38 masters, undergraduate and high school students she has mentored during her time in academia.


    After nearly two decades in academia, she transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry, working in antibody engineering and high-throughput screening at Janssen and then developing gene editing techniques to create novel cell-based therapeutics at IO Biosciences. Her publication record includes 14 research articles in high-impact journals as well as several methods articles and numerous scientific meeting presentations.


  • DI ZHANG, PhD

    VP of DISCOVERY

    DI ZHANG, PhD

    VP of DISCOVERY

    Dr. Di Zhang is the Vice President of Discovery at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. He has nearly 20 years of experience in new drug discovery for several renowned pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie/Abbott Laboratories and Janssen. Prior to joining Tavotek, Dr. Zhang was a Senior Investigator in the Biologics Research Department at Janssen, the pharmaceutical branch of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).


    Dr. Zhang began his career as a Senior Scientist and Project Leader in the Neuroscience department of AbbVie/Abbott Laboratories with responsibilities for research and discovery of novel small molecule analgesic drugs. During his tenure, he initiated and led multiple early pain drug discovery projects to the lead optimization stage and bought several late stage projects to the Phase I clinical development. He joined Janssen as a Senior Investigator to lead the research and development of novel biologics drugs for Oncology, Immunology and Chronic Infectious Disease indications. In particular, he led multiple Immuno-Oncology projects and bought immunostimulatory antibody molecules to the IND filing stage. In addition, his innovation in Fc engineering of immunostimulatory antibodies resulted in several high-profile publications and three patents.


    Dr. Zhang obtained his B.S. in Molecular Biology from Nankai University of China. He got his Ph.D. degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and then completed postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University. Dr. Zhang had solid training and extensive research experience in molecular and cell biology. He authored/co-authored over 20 publications in many prestigious journals, including a research article in Science.


    Dr. Zhang has a major role in setting up the research facility for Tavotek Lab in the US, and research labs in China. He supervises daily lab operations for discovery research and is the major contributor for the establishment of Tavotek’s technology platforms. He is also the primary inventor of several proprietary technologies and leading assets for Tavotek.


  • WEI ZHANG

    Chief Operation Officer

    WEI ZHANG

    Chief Operation Officer

    Mr. Wei Zhang is the Chief Operations Officer at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. Before joining Tavotek, he was the Head of Digital Health and Information Technology at the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Asia Pacific Innovation Center. While at J&J, he worked extensively with the global therapeutic team to identify and explore novel ideas and concepts from external partners to facilitate new business opportunities. The scope of his work included Big Data, Artificial Intelligence for drug development, business intelligence, robotic technology, etc. Before his career at J&J, Mr. Zhang was a successful serial entrepreneur and co-founded Chance Share Consultant Company which provided pharmaceutical consulting services to major Big Pharma players such as Bayer, Sanofi, and MSD. He oversaw and managed operational processes to ensure excellent customer experience. In addition, his role at Chance Share included optimizing the company's operating capabilities, business strategies, along with financial policies and procedures. Under his tenure at Chance Share, business grew rapidly and successfully.


    Prior to his entrepreneurial period, Mr. Zhang was an Information Technology Business Partner of the global conglomerate Unilever for more than 13 years. His role at Unilever included serving as the strategic interface with assigned business units and various functional areas in business technology strategy development, solution discovery, and operation management. He provided important strategic consulting support and advice through various critical Information Technology initiatives for the company. His work at Unilever also included sharingknowledge of technology opportunities to build competitive advantage to improve efficiency and effectiveness of business units.


    Mr. Zhang has extensive training in Information Technology and received his master’s degree in computer science from Fudan University. His extensive experience in partnering with many business and key stakeholders are invaluable to the success of business operations in Tavotek.


  • SUSAN TAM, MS

    VP of DISCOVERY

    SUSAN TAM, MS

    VP of DISCOVERY

    Ms. Susan Tam is Vice President of Discovery Research at Tavotek Biotherapeutics. She has extensive pharmaceutical industrial experience (over 30 years) mainly focused on in vitro diagnostics, and antibody- protein therapeutics. Her diverse research and therapeutic background include oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


    Ms. Tam has strong expertise in developing research strategies to test novel protein molecules for receptor binding, modulating immune functionality and pharmacokinetics, and demonstrating efficacy in various animal models. Achievements include the development of some of the first cancer diagnostics (CA19-9, CA15-3, CA125) at the former Centocor, Inc, and several marketed monoclonal antibody therapies (ReoPro, Remicade, Simponi, Sylvant) at Johnson & Johnson (J&J). She has published research in over 35 peer-reviewed papers, 3 issued patents, and in several patent applications, including proprietary Tavotek platform technologies.


    Ms. Tam obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at University of California, Berkeley; a Master of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at University of California, Riverside; and additional post-graduate training in molecular biology at UCLA and UC Berkeley. She worked as a Research Scientist at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Genetics Department; a Senior Scientist at Centocor in the In Vitro Diagnostics & Assay Group; and then as a Principal Scientist at J&J in the Discovery Research Department. While at J&J, she was a dedicated hands-on scientist who developed and implemented many of the in vitro and ex vivo assays for several lead biologics drugs, and actively participated in all aspects of development up to IND filing. In addition, she was a major product support technical expert for marketed products such as ReoPro and Remicade. She gained increasing recognition in cross-company teams in preclinical research and product support and has received multiple J&J Standard of Leadership Awards for innovation. In addition, she has received numerous J&J Credo Awards for community service. She is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, and American Association of the Advancement of Science.


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© 2022 Tavotek Biotherapeutics All rights reserved.   (267) 405-9426

© 2022 Tavotek Biotherapeutics All rights reserved.(267) 405-9426