Meet Our Leadership Team
The leadership team at CrownBio has a deep understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, and significant experience in building and operating businesses and major departments within the top US Pharmaceutical’s R&D and preclinical programs. Our objective is to deliver fast, cost-effective preclinical research services for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies.
Guo-Liang Yu, Ph.D.
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Dr. Yu co-founded Epitomics Inc., an antibody based Biotechnology Company recently acquired by Abcam for $170M. He served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Epitomics Inc. for 10 years. Dr. Yu's success is driven by his scientific curiosity and a passion for translating scientific discovery to real products. His challenge is to balance his time between science and business, fun and work, family and community.
He moved from China to the US to pursue advanced training after graduating from Fudan University in 1984. He obtained his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley where he contributed to the discovery of telomerase and its mechanism of action in Dr. Blackburn's lab. Drs. Blackburn and Greider received the Nobel Prize in 2009 for their discovery. After graduating, Dr. Yu joined Dr. Ausubel's lab at Harvard to pursue the question of how plants defend themselves against pathogens without an immune system. He identified the first plant disease resistance gene.
In 1993, Dr. Yu became one of the first Senior Scientists to join Human Genome Sciences Inc., when genomics was still in its infancy, to identify human genes for drug discovery. Among several important drug targets he studied, he successfully identified BLyS as the first genomic target for the development of a lupus antibody (Benlysta®, which was approved by the FDA in 2010).
In 1998, Dr. Yu was attracted by the idea of identifying plant genes with an economic value in agriculture and in bio-energy. He became SVP of R&D at Mendel Biotechnology, Inc. where his team analyzed the function of a complete set of plant transcription factors. Several valuable traits such as enhanced crop yield, disease resistance, and drought tolerance were identified. It is expected that some of these technologies will be commercialized.
Guo-Liang has co-authored 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles which have been referenced by the scientific community more than 6000 times. Guo-Liang is also a co-inventor of more than 200 patents. Guo-Liang is the founding president of the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association and serves on the boards of several professional organizations including BayHelix, CABS, the National Foundation of Cancer Research, the Ray Wu Memorial Foundation, and the University of the Pacific in the US and China. Dr. Yu is generous in coaching young entrepreneurs and also serves on the board of directors for six start-up companies.
Jean-Pierre Wery, Ph.D.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Prior to joining CrownBio, Dr. Wery was Chief Scientific Officer at Monarch Life Sciences, a company dedicated to the discovery and development of protein biomarkers. Prior to Monarch, Dr. Wery spent three years at Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was VP of Computational Drug Discovery. Before joining Vitae he worked for 12 years at Eli Lilly and Company in various scientific and management positions.
Dr. Wery received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Liege, Belgium. Following his Ph.D., he completed postdoctoral studies at Purdue University with Prof. Jack Johnson. Dr. Wery has authored more than 50 abstracts and publications.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Eva Ho is responsible for leading the company’s global finance organization and serves as a member of the company’s Executive Committee. Eva joined CrownBio in June 2016 as Chief Financial Officer.
Eva has extensive finance leadership experience at multinational corporations across several industries. Before joining CrownBio, she served as CFO for TWi Pharmaceuticals, CFO and Spokesperson for Acer Computer, and EVP and CFO for The Test Rite Group. Prior to that, she held senior finance positions with Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Oracle.
Eva holds an M.B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from National Taiwan University. Eva is a certified public accountant in the state of Colorado, USA.
CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER
Laurie Heilmann brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience and an exceptional track record in business development and marketing optimization to her role at CrownBio. Versed in the creation and development of new business channels and global marketing strategies within the life sciences industry, Heilmann has led initiatives in biotech, drug development, medical devices, and health care technologies across diverse therapeutic backgrounds including oncology, CNS and CVMD.
At CrownBio, she uses her expertise to align sales and marketing with R&D to synergize strategic initiatives and guide company expansion, including leading the selection and integration of CrownBio’s recent acquisitions. Heilmann’s efforts have helped transform CrownBio into a prominent global player in the pre-clinical oncology and CVMD service markets and have consistently driven 35% growth throughout her tenure. She is an effective and capable leader who has expanded CrownBio’s sales and marketing teams by 200%. Guiding her growing team, she has successfully pivoted Crown in the marketplace as a leader in the pre-clinical oncology and CVMD service markets through global rebranding, digital marketing, a new company website, innovative scientific marketing strategies, implementation of corporate quality and client excellence programs and creation of a new mobile application.
Heilmann's synthesis of business, clinical research, and technological acumen is ideal for assessing needs and assembling strategically sound, high-value solutions for CrownBio's clients. Her multifaceted experience from concept to commercialization, and knowledge of FDA and sponsor requirements in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, is vital to CrownBio's strategic global growth, as well as its expansion in the preclinical services market. She is an active member of numerous industry organizations.
Dr. Yangzhou Wang (王泱洲)
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Global Operations
In his current role, Dr. Wang has the overall responsibilities to ensure top-flight operations at various Crown sites across the globe. He formerly served as a Vice President of International Sales and Business Development for WuXi AppTec, where he has the P&L responsibilities for WuXi’s international testing business, and where he built and led a team of sales, marketing, and technical sales professionals. Prior to that, he was an M&A/integration and corporate business development leader at Life Technologies/Applied Biosystems, responsible for integrating a cancer genomics informatics company and for developing/managing a global network of academic centers and pharma companies to advance cancer diagnostics using genomic technology. And before Life Tech, he was a manager at the Hewlett Packard Laboratories and an assistant professor at the Hauptman Woodward Medical Institute/SUNY Buffalo. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Cellular Molecular Biology from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and an M.Eng. in computer sciences from University of Colorado at Boulder.
Yixin (Jim) Wang, M.D.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT CARDIOVASCULAR AND METABOLIC DISEASES (CVMD) RESEARCH; PRESIDENT OF Crown Bioscience Indianapolis (CBIN) and Louisiana (CBLA), Inc.
Dr. Wang started his academic career as a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University in 1987. In 1992 he became an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he worked until 1996. He has worked in several major Pharma (GSK, Roche, Schering/Bayer AG) as a Scientist, Senior Scientist, and Principle Scientist from 1990 to 2008 and in a start-up biotech (Arete Therapeutics, Inc.) as a Director of Pharmacology from 2008 to 2009.
In 2010, he joined CrownBio as the Head of CVMD Research. SENIOR VP CARDIOVASCULAR AND METABOLIC DISEASES (CVMD) RESEARCH; PRESIDENT OF Crown Bioscience Indianapolis (CBIN) and Louisiana (CBLA), Inc. He has authored nearly 100 publications between research articles, invited reviewers, and book chapters, and has submitted patent applications in the areas of diabetes and metabolic diseases, heart and renal failure, hypertension, thrombosis, hemophilia, atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia, hemodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, safety pharmacology, etc. He has been involved in all stages of pharmaceutical R&D, from early stage target discovery and validation, to compound (large and small molecules) discovery, selection and profiling, IND filing, and clinical trials in Phase I & II.
Qian Shi, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT OF CANCER PHARMACOLOGY AND IN VITRO CANCER BIOLOGY, GENERAL MANAGER OF CROWN BIOSCIENCE (TAICANG) INC.Dr. Qian Shi currently leads cell line based in vitro and in vivo departments in Crown Bioscience. He is also the General Manager of Crown’s Taicang site. Dr. Shi obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Fudan University, majoring in Genetics. In 2001 he obtained his Ph.D. degree in Cancer Biology from the University of Texas at Houston, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. After graduation, he moved to Boston to pursue post-doctoral training in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. He brings with him years of cancer research experience from both industry and academia, with investigator position at Arqule Inc. and Professor/Principal Investigator at Fudan University. Qian has authored more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, edited 2 books in biopharmaceutical sciences, and been the senior author of publications in leading journals such as Molecular Cell.
Henry Li, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT, BIOMARKER & DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY
Henry QX Li, Ph.D. leads CrownBio's Biomarker and Diagnostic Technologies Division, developing novel proprietary translational technologies for precise cancer diagnosis, predictive biomarker discovery, immuno-oncology biomarker detection and quantification, as well as rare cell identification and characterization. Prior to this, Dr. Li has led CrownBio’s Patient-Derived Xenograft (PDX) based translational oncology platform (2011-2016) when he joined Crown. Before joining CrownBio, Dr. Li has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical, as well as academic R&D, experience in cancer and viral infection, including leadership roles as R&D Director/Senior Director in several US-based biotech companies. Dr. Li currently holds visiting Professor position at Peking University-State Key Laboratory.
Dr. Li earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry from the University of California (Irvine) and completed his postdoctoral training at UCLA School of Medicine. He has published more than 60 manuscripts and edited 3 books in the biopharmaceutical areas. He is also on the editorial board of Current Signal Transduction Therapy.
Leon Hall Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE
Dr. Hall previously served as Crown Bioscience’s Senior Scientific Director and led Crown Bioscience’s Global Scientific Excellence Initiative. Dr. Hall established the Global Quality Council as well as the Global Scientific Councils that govern Crown Bioscience’s research in oncology, immunology, inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. His efforts have ensured global standards of excellence, harmonization and fostered collaborations in scientific innovation and R&D.
Leon holds a Ph.D. from the University of Leicester, England, in Molecular Pathology and Toxicology. He has over 15 years of preclinical rodent research experience and is considered an industry leader in the application of humanized mouse models in immunology and immuno-oncology.