Team

Team

Epic Bio is building the world’s leading therapeutic platform based on the exciting new technology of epigenetic editing.

Team
We were founded by genetic medicine pioneer Stanley Qi, Ph.D., whose fundamental work in epigenetic editing includes the invention of CRISPRa (activation) and CRISPRi (interference). We are translating the powerful potential of epigenetic editing into transformative therapies that can expand the promise of genetic medicine and improve the lives of people with serious diseases.

Lei Stanley Qi, Ph.D.

Scientific Founder

Lei Stanley Qi, Ph.D., is one of the leading CRISPR pioneers. He is a named co-inventor on the Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR patent held by the University of California, where he served as a doctoral candidate in the lab of Jennifer Doudna.

Lei Stanley Qi, Ph.D., is one of the leading CRISPR pioneers. He is a named co-inventor on the Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR patent held by the University of California, where he served as a doctoral candidate in the lab of Jennifer Doudna. Since that time, his primary research focus has been the development of tools to modulate gene expression without changing the underlying DNA. He is an associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University, where his lab has invented numerous technologies combining genome engineering with synthetic biology to probe biological processes and discover new therapeutic approaches.

One of the most notable discoveries made by Dr. Qi was the first demonstration of the nuclease-deactivated Cas9 (dCas9) for sequence-targeted gene regulation in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. His lab has further developed a broad CRISPR toolbox of technologies for precise gene regulation, including epigenome editing (CRISPRa and CRISPRi), live cell DNA/RNA imaging (LiveFISH), 3D genome manipulation (CRISPR-GO), CRISPR antivirals for targeting RNA viruses (PAC-MAN), and the development of CasMINI, the smallest Cas protein created to work in human cells.

Dr. Qi holds a B.S. in math and physics from Tsinghua University, an M.A. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California Berkeley. He is an associate editor of The CRISPR Journal, a member of the scientific advisory board of the NIH Center for Genome Editing and Recording, and serves on the board of reviewing editors for Science.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/lei-stanley-qi-99484239/

Leadership

  • Amber Salzman, Ph.D.

    Chief Executive Officer

    Amber Salzman, Ph.D., is Epic Bio’s chief executive officer and director. Dr. Salzman is a leader with more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals industry. Before joining Epic Bio, Dr. Salzman served as the president and CEO of Ohana Biosciences, pioneering the industry’s first sperm biology platform. Before Ohana, she served as the president and CEO of Adverum Biotechnologies and was a co-founder of Annapurna, SAS, where she served as president and CEO before its merger with Avalanche Biotechnologies to become Adverum. In that role, she saw the company’s stock price double.

    Dr. Salzman began her career as a member of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) research and development executive team, where she was responsible for operations in drug development across multiple therapeutic areas, overseeing global clinical trials with over 30,000 enrolled patients, managing 1,600 employees and a $1.25B budget. Following her time at GSK, Dr. Salzman served as the CEO of Cardiokine, a pharmaceutical company that developed treatments for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and saw the successful sale of the company to Cornerstone Therapeutics. Dr. Salzman currently serves on the Osler Diagnostics (UK) and AviadoBio (UK) Boards.

    Dr. Salzman received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Bryn Mawr College.

    In addition to advocating for patients living with rare diseases, Dr. Salzman leads the Stop ALD Foundation, a non-profit medical research foundation focused on developing novel gene therapies for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).

    Fun fact: As a child, Amber had several pet lizards, and they were all named Pete.

  • Weston Miller, M.D.

    Chief Medical Officer

    Weston (Wes) Miller, M.D., is Epic Bio’s chief medical officer. His experience in the pharmaceutical industry has focused on the clinical development of in vivo and ex vivo genomic medicines for patients with rare, severe genetic disorders.

    Dr. Miller began his career as an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) at the University of Minnesota. While at Sangamo Therapeutics, he led programs investigating ex vivo disruptive gene editing of autologous hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells for patients with severe beta globinopathies, as well as in vivo gene editing for patients with mucopolysaccharidosis types I and II. While at Astellas Gene Therapies, he and his team led programs investigating in vivo gene transfer for patients with X-linked myotubular myopathy and Pompe disease. Most recently at Graphite Bio, he led the investigation of an ex vivo gene-corrected autologous hematopoietic stem cell product for patients with severe sickle cell disease.

    Dr. Miller received his B.S. in chemistry from Stanford University and his M.D. from Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

    Fun fact: True to his South Louisiana roots, Wes enjoys Cajun cooking. While making a roux, his favorite diversion is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, during which an ideal dark brown gumbo color is typically achieved mid-“Gold Dust Woman.”

  • Benson Cheng, Ph.D.

    Head of Strategy and Operations

    Benson Cheng, Ph.D., is Epic Bio’s head of strategy and operations. Dr. Cheng leads corporate strategy, business and technical operations at the company. Most recently, Dr. Cheng served as a consultant at Navigant Consulting (acquired by Guidehouse), a global management consulting firm where he provided product launch strategy for multiple innovative therapies and established pipeline roadmaps for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Cheng began his career in early-stage investment roles, including as a senior analyst at Excell Partners, a pre-seed- and seed-staged biotechnology and high-tech venture capital firm.

    Dr. Cheng received his B.S. at University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    Fun fact: Benson is an avid endurance athlete and has competed in several Ironman triathlons.

  • Alexandra Collin de l’Hortet, Ph.D.

    Head of Therapeutics

    Alexandra (Alex) Collin de l’Hortet is Epic Bio’s head of therapeutics. Dr. Collin de l’Hortet leads the efforts to transform the powerful technology platform of epigenomic engineering into a new class of gene therapy medicines.

    Dr. Collin de l’Hortet has over ten years of experience managing biomedical research. Prior to joining Epic Bio, she worked at Krystal Biotech, where she provided scientific and strategic leadership to the product development team, and managed several gene therapy programs from discovery through to Phase III. Prior to Krystal, Dr. Collin de l’Hortet served as a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Dr. Collin de l’Hortet earned her M.Sc. in genetics and her Ph.D. in molecular biology and therapeutics from the University of Paris.

    Fun fact: Alex’s cat only understands French, and her dog responds only to English. Amazingly, they understand each other very well!

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandracollin/
  • Daniel Hart, Ph.D.

    Head of Technology Development

    Daniel Hart, Ph.D., is head of technology development at Epic Bio. Dr. Hart completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Michael R. Green at the University of Massachusetts. Previously, he was an assistant professor in the Cardiovascular Research Institute at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Hart’s laboratory used genome engineering approaches, including CRISPR and CRISPRa/i, to study gene regulatory networks in vertebrate cardiovascular development.

    Dr. Hart received his B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Manchester, his M.Sc. in biotechnology from the University of Abertay Dundee, and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

    Fun fact: Dan has lived and studied in 8 different countries.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-hart-phd/
  • Kenneth Harvey, M.B.A.

    Head of Clinical Operations

    Professional Bio: Ken oversees all Clinical Operations activities in support of our clinical trials. He has a background working directly with patients in hospitals as well as research-focused clinics, but for the last 20 years he has led cross-functional teams, in Global multicenter trials, in all phases of drug development.  

    For the last decade he has been focused primarily on building infrastructure and capabilities for startup Biotechs to work with rare and ultra-rare diseases. In the past he has helped launched first-in-human therapeutics for companies like Genentech, Audentes, Cytokinetics and Kezar Life Sciences. Ken really believes in the potential of AAV therapies and the novel application of CRISPR-based technology. Ken received an International Executive MBA in Business and Finance from the International School of Management (ISM) in Paris, France. 

    Fun fact: Ken has way too many hobbies for someone that busy, but definitely enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, playing music and writing. 

  • Yanxia Liu, Ph.D.

    Head of Functional Genomics

    Yanxia Liu, Ph.D., is Epic Bio’s head of functional genomics. Dr. Liu has more than eight years of experience in CRISPR gene editing and expression regulation. She received her Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from Peking University in Beijing, and completed her postdoc research at Stanford University. Previously she was a researcher at Beijing Huayuanbochuang Technology Co., where she worked on differentiating iPS cells into functional hepatocytes.

    Fun fact: Yanxia enjoys cooking and trying new and exciting foods.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanxia-liu/
  • Dipali Patel, Ph.D.

    Head of CMC

    Dipali Patel oversees all aspects of CMC development at Epic Bio ranging from tech transfer to supply chain management. Prior to joining Epic, Dr. Patel held roles of increasing responsibility at SanBio, Inc. in quality control, process, and analytical development for the generation of validated release assays, including potency, and a new automated closed system manufacturing platform for allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell therapy. She played a crucial role in the successful J-BLA filing of SanBio’s lead product, SB623, in Japan. Previously Dr. Patel worked in analytical development at Aduro Biotech where she drove CMC development of their personalized attenuated L. mono vaccine. Dr. Patel received her B.Sc. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Davis.

Our full team

  • Abhinav Adhikari

    Scientist II

    Hobbies: Hiking, music, movies, outdoor sports

    Favorite movie: A Beautiful Mind

  • Sid Boregowda

    Principal Scientist

    Fun fact: My favorite sport to play is Kabaddi, a South Asian game which is like American football without the ball but only tackling.

    Why I’m at Epic: I believe Epic’s scissorless next-gen CRISPR technology will do to science-based drug discovery what biologics did in the last three decades.

  • Giovanni Carosso

    Senior Scientist

    Favorite vacation locale: The Italian Dolomites

    Favorite movie: Being There (1979)

  • Shawn M. Cox

    Manager, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

    Hobbies: I enjoy exploring hiking trails, baking treats for my friends and family, reading, and thought-provoking documentaries and cinema.

    Favorite quote: “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” – Thomas Paine

  • Blair Gainous

    Senior Scientist

    Hobbies: Hiking, running, camping, cooking, and guitar

    Fun fact: In a past life, I was a wannabe rockstar and spent many years playing and recording music with my friends.

  • Aayushma Gautam

    Research Associate I

    Favorite quote: “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

    Why I’m at Epic: Everyone at Epic is friendly and wants you to succeed.

  • Mohamed Ghazal

    Research Associate II

    Hobbies: Reading, cooking, and running

    Favorite Quote: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

  • Kavita Jadhav

    Scientist II, Liver Biology

    Favorite Quote: “No man is an island; every book is a world.” – Gabrielle Zevin

    Fun Fact: I recently discovered the joys of backcountry backpacking!

  • Zaki Jawaid

    Biological Data Scientist

    Hobbies: Soccer

    Favorite Movie: Jojo Rabbit

  • James Kim

    Senior Research Associate

    Why I Joined Epic: Cool use of CRISPR to target gene expression without actually editing the “hard coded” genome

    Fun Fact: I have perfect pitch

  • Terry Lai

    Senior Research Associate

    Hobbies: Watching movies, table tennis, badminton, swimming.

    Why I’m at Epic: I have always wanted to work in gene editing and gene therapy. Epic provides me with opportunities to learn and see practical use cases using pioneering epigenetic gene regulation. Nothing is better than working with a group of brilliant and goal-focused colleagues.

  • Jimmy Liang

    Senior Lab Manager

    Hobby: Working out and going to the gym

    Why I’m at Epic: The idea of working to solve these rare diseases without a cure sounded like a life-saving and -changing process I wanted to be involved in.

  • Brandon Liauw

    Scientist I

    Favorite Movie: The Fall

    Why I’m at Epic: The opportunity to work on cutting-edge science with a highly interdisciplinary group

  • Spencer Lopp

    Bioinformatics Engineer II

    Favorite movie: Princess Mononoke

    Why I’m at Epic: It’s incredibly exciting to work in such a fast-moving and interdisciplinary environment.

  • Andrew Norton

    Scientist I, Assay Development

    Hobbies: Home brewing and baking

    Why I joined Epic: Epic’s exciting technology, open culture, and the opportunity to move this promising gene therapy approach forward.

  • Kaitlin Pensabene

    Research Associate II

    Hobbie: Hiking

    Favorite Book: The Catcher in the Rye

  • Annie Pham

    Associate Scientist

    Hobby: Spending time with my dog and training her

    Fun fact: I enjoy singing. I love musicals, so I love singing along to musicals!

  • Melanie Silvis

    Senior Scientist

    Favorite Movie: Sleepless in Seattle

    Why I’m at Epic: The opportunity to work on the newest and most exciting technologies for treating genetic diseases!

  • Linsin Smith

    Scientist

    Favorite Book: The Little Prince

    Why I’m at Epic: The opportunity to work on a dynamic, highly collaborative, and interdisciplinary team in order to research and develop cutting-edge technologies to treat genetic diseases.

  • Ryan T. Swan

    Senior Research Associate

    Favorite quote: “The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem.” – Captain Jack Sparrow

    Fun fact: Whenever I finish a large meal, I sneeze 5 times afterwards. No more, no less

  • Nalinda Wasala

    Senior Scientist

    Why I Joined Epic: I joined Epic Bio because of the strength of the technology it has developed, and I enjoy the collaborative nature of cross-functional teams at Epic.

    Favorite Movie: A Beautiful Mind

  • Wenjun Wu

    Scientist II

    Hobbies: Cooking, baking, video games, and working out at the gym.

    Fun Fact: Food lover, especially sweets.

  • Guang Yang

    Scientist

    Hobbies: Cooking, gardening, basketball

    Fun fact: I’m a big gamer of soul-like action RPGs

  • Xiao Yang

    Principal Scientist

    Favorite part of Epic: I really enjoy outdoor 1-on-1 discussions walking along the beautiful waterfront right outside of the company building.

    Hobby: Scuba diving

  • Robin W. Yeo

    Biological Data Scientist II

    Hobby: Backpacking

    Favorite quote: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

  • Hao Zheng

    Research Associate II

    Fun Fact: I’m pretty good at claw machines

    Why I’m at Epic: My favorite part about working at Epic is the people! Everyone here is so smart and friendly.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Claire M. Fraser, Ph.D.

    Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine

  • David Schaffer, Ph.D.

    University of California, Berkeley

  • Yang Shi, Ph.D.

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Oxford