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.
Jean-Pierre Wery, Ph.D.
Dr. Wery previously served as Crown Bioscience CEO. Before 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.
Armin Spura, Ph.D.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Dr. Armin Spura joined CrownBio from CareDx, a leader in transplant diagnostics, where he led the Asia Pacific and Greater China expansion strategy. Before CareDx, he ran the global product commercialization efforts for Wuxi NextCODE's data analysis and AI solutions. Prior to Wuxi NextCODE Dr. Spura held multiple leadership positions at Life Technologies and Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he was General Manager for a China-based joint venture with Da'An Diagnostics, as well as GM for Professional Services for the Genomics Business. Earlier in his career, Dr. Spura helped to grow two start-up companies: Ingenuity Systems (acquired by Qiagen) and ForteBio (now part of Danaher). Dr. Spura studied Biochemistry in Germany and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Brown University.
Chief Operations Officer
John Gu joined CrownBio from WuXi Nextcode, a global leader in genomic data analysis, where he was General Manager for the China business, as well as Chief Digital Officer. Prior to Wuxi Nextcode, John was Managing Director for Silver Sand Technologies, a consultancy in digital transformation, and Chief Information Officer for Baidu, the leading internet search engine in China. He held successive senior technology and operations positions at Alcatel-Lucent in Europe and the US. John has played key roles in global business and operational transformation and the growth of various technology platforms. John holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, an MS in Computer Science from Loyola University of Chicago, and a double-major BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Henry Li, Ph.D.
CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER
Henry QX Li, PhD leads CrownBio's Global Scientific Research and Innovation Division, focused on accelerating the creation of new, innovative products and services for discovery and translational sciences. Prior to this, Dr. Li successfully led and expanded CrownBio’s patient-derived xenograft (PDX) based Translational Oncology platform (2011-2016), and led the 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 (2016-2018).
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 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 70 manuscripts and edited 3 books in the biopharmaceutical areas.
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.
Yixin (Jim) Wang, M.D.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT CARDIOVASCULAR AND METABOLIC DISEASES (CVMD) RESEARCH; PRESIDENT OF Crown Bioscience 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 Disease (CVMD) Research; President of Crown Bioscience Louisiana (CBLA), Inc. He has authored nearly 100 publications between research articles, invited reviews, 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.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, COMMERCIAL AND STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Michael Prosser leads CrownBio’s Commercial and Strategic Development Division leveraging extensive experience in contract research and international pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to this Michael oversaw the establishment of CrownBio’s initial presence and growth in Europe, before taking on the general management of CrownBio’s sites in both the UK and San Diego, USA, leading the integration of both acquired subsidiaries.
Prior to joining CrownBio, Michael held a number of roles building global business development and product management teams. This includes with Accelera (the preclinical CRO of Nerviano Medical Sciences), MDS Pharma Services, and SNBL USA, Ltd. Michael also managed the International Affairs group at SNBL USA’s parent company, Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL) in Kagoshima, Japan, and worked as a bench scientist at Eisai Pharmaceuticals in London.
Michael earned an M.Sc. in Applied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from University College London, and a B.Sc. degree in Pharmacology from the University of Dundee.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES
Shirley Huang leads CrownBio’s Global Human Resources Organization driving strategic programs in CrownBio and the JSR Life Sciences group of companies.
Shirley has deep HR leadership experience in multinational companies in multiple industries. Before joining CrownBio, Shirley was the Regional HR Director, Strategic Markets (APAC, EMEA, Brazil South America) for clinical diagnostics company DiaSorin S.p.A. Before that, Shirley was the Regional HR Director under Sonepar Group a global B2B distributor of Electrical/Automation products and solutions. Prior to this Shirley worked in a prominent US-based Human Capital Consulting Firm.
Shirley holds dual M.B.A's from BI Norwegian Business School and Fudan University. Shirley also holds advanced qualifications in Human Resource Management from the Manchester Metropolitan University and Executive Leadership from the Kellogg School of Management.
Nalini Murdter, Ph.D.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL MANAGER, US & EUROPE
Nalini Murdter has over 25 years experience in the biotech industry. Her career spans early stage as well as large established global businesses across life sciences and diagnostics markets. Most recently, Nalini held the position of President and C.E.O. of MBL International, a JSR Life Sciences company. Prior to that, she was the Chief Business Officer at NanoString Technologies, Inc.
Nalini has held senior global management positions at Agilent Technologies in Marketing, Acquisitions, Alliances and Venture Investments and Business Development. Prior to Agilent, Nalini was the Director of Product and Business Development at Adeza Biomedical Corp., a women’s healthcare company, which is now a part of Hologic, Inc. She has served on non-profit and advisory boards of start-up companies.
Nalini was a Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Biology at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, California.
Leon Hall, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMERCIAL AND STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT - CLIENT ENGAGEMENT
Dr Hall previously served as CrownBio's VP of Global Scientific Excellence, Senior Scientific Director and led Crown Bioscience’s Global Scientific Excellence Initiative. In these roles, Leon 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.
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.