Board Of Directors

  • Professor Kai-Xian Chen, Ph.D.

    Professor Kai-Xian Chen, Ph.D.

    Kai-Xian Chen, Ph.D., joined our company as Director in August 2018. From 2007 to 2017, he served as a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. From 2005 to 2014, Professor Chen served as President of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. From 2011 to 2018, Professor Chen served as President of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology. Prior to that, from 1993 to 2004, Professor Chen served as Deputy Director and later, Director of Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, or SIMM, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Chen has as also served as Principal Scientist for two National Basic Research Programs by the Ministry of Science and Technology, or MOST. Since 2001, professor Chen has served successively as the member of the Chief Specialists Board and the deputy chief technical officer of the major science and technology projects "innovative drugs and modernization of traditional Chinese medicine" and "Innovative Drug Research & Development", where he participated in the organization and promotion of new drug research and development for the PRC's 10th-13th Five Year Plans. In 1999, Professor Chen was elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Prior to that, from 1985 to 1988, he conducted postdoctoral research at Institutde Biologie Physico-Chimique in Paris. Professor Chen started his academic career at SIMM as an Associate Professor, where he later reached the level of Full Professor.

    Professor Chen received his Master and Ph.D. Degree at the Chinese Academy of Science, and his Bachelor of Science from Fudan University.

  • John D. Diekman, Ph.D.

    John D. Diekman, Ph.D.

    John D. Diekman, Ph.D., has been our Independent Director since 2017. Dr. Diekman is founding partner of 5AM Ventures, where he has served since 2002. He is chairman of the board of directors of IDEAYA Biosciences, Inc. an oncology target discovery company; director of Cleave Therapeutics, Inc., a cancer therapeutic company; and director of Wildcat Discovery Technologies, Inc., a technology company that discovers materials for energy storage applications; charter trustee of Princeton University; chairman of the board of directors of The Scripps Research Institute; and a member of the advisory board of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. During the last five years, Dr. Diekman also served as director of Calibrium LLC, a biopharmaceutical research company focused on diabetes and other metabolic diseases; Cellular Research, Inc., a single-cell genomics startup; and PhaseRx Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing mRNA treatments for life-threatening inherited liver diseases in children.

    Dr. Diekman holds an A.B. in Organic Chemistry from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University.

  • Samantha Du, Ph.D.

    Samantha Du, Ph.D.

    Samantha Du, Ph.D. founded Zai Lab in 2014 and has been its Director, CEO, and Chairperson of the Board since its inception. Prior to founding Zai Lab, Dr. Du spent two years at Sequoia Capital China where she led four healthcare investments and served on the boards. From 2001 to 2011, Dr. Du co-founded Hutchison MediPharma and Hutchison China MediTech and served as their Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, respectively, since their inception. Dr. Du began her research career with Pfizer in the United States from 1994 till 2001 after receiving her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Nisa Leung

    Nisa Leung

    Nisa Leung has been our director since 2014. Ms. Leung is a Managing Partner at Qiming Venture Partners, where she leads its health care investments. In addition to serving on our board of directors, Ms. Leung is also a member of the board of directors of CanSino Biotechnology, a vaccine developer; dMed, a Shanghai-based CRO consulting startup; Gan & Lee Pharmaceuticals, a developer of insulin analog; Nurotron Biotechnology, a developer of neurostimulation systems; and Venus Medtech, a developer of interventional artificial cardiac valve systems.

    Ms. Leung received a master of business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  • William Lis

    William Lis

    William Lis has been our Independent Director since October 2018. He has 28 years of biopharmaceutical experience. He is the Executive Chairman, and interim CEO of Jasper Therapeutics, Inc. where he led the company's 2019 Series A financing. Previously, Mr. Lis served as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2009 until 2018 after serving as Chief Operating Officer. Under his leadership, Portola successfully grew from a discovery-stage company to a fully integrated R&D and commercial organization, and independently discovered and developed Andexxa? and Bevyxxa? through commercial launch, and advanced cerdulatinib into clinical development. He led corporate partnerships and private and public financings including an initial public offering in 2013. The company grew into a multi-billion valuation company during his tenure.

    Mr. Lis held executive positions at Scios, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company) where he last served as Sr. Vice President of Business Development and New Product Development, having led efforts for the in-licensing, development and pre-commercial launch for Xarelto?; He also held positions of increasing responsibility at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (previously COR Therapeutics, Inc.) and Rhone Poulenc Rorer in sales, marketing, medical affairs and business development. He was involved in the U.S. commercial launch of several products, including Integrilin?, Lovenox? and Rilutek?. Mr. Lis served as a member of the Bio Board of Directors for Emerging Companies and is currently an independent Director of Eidos Therapeutics, Inc. and Zai Laboratories, Inc.

    Mr. Lis holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland.

  • Lonnie Moulder

    Lonnie Moulder

    Lonnie Moulder has been our director since 2019. Mr. Moulder is the Founding General Partner of Tellus Bio Ventures, LLC, an early-stage life sciences investment fund. He most recently served as CEO and Director of TESARO, Inc. since cofounding the company in 2010. Acquired by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in January 2019, TESARO was a fully-integrated Boston based oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company with operations in North America and Europe.

    He previously served as President and CEO of Abraxis BioScience, Inc., prior to the company's eventual acquisition by Celgene Corporation in 2010. In 2008 Lonnie served as Vice Chairman of Eisai Corporation of North America following Eisai's acquisition of MGI PHARMA, where he served as President and CEO beginning in 2003 and previously Executive Vice President since 1999. This followed him serving as a member of the founding management team of a venture-stage biotech company in 1997.

    Mr. Moulder began his career as a clinical pharmacist followed by a seventeen year career at predecessor companies of Sanofi, beginning with Marion Laboratories in 1981.

    Mr. Moulder is a Temple University Trustee, Chair of the Trustee Committee for Research and Chair of the Temple University Japan (TESS) Board. He is a Council Member for both the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Lonnie is Chair of the Board of Directors of Trevena, Inc. and previously served on the Boards of Cubist Pharmaceuticals and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

    Mr. Moulder received a Pharmacy degree from Temple University in 1980 and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1997.
  • Peter Wirth

    Peter Wirth

    Peter Wirth has been our director since 2017 and has been our senior advisor since 2015. He is chairman of FORMA Therapeutics Holdings LLC, a small molecule drug discovery company; chair of the board of directors at Syros Pharmaceuticals, a Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company; and director of Aura Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Wirth served as president and director of Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on small molecule research. From 1996 to 2011, Mr. Wirth served as a senior executive at Genzyme, which is now part of Sanofi, and most recently as its executive vice president of legal and corporate development, chief risk officer and corporate secretary. During the last five years, Mr. Wirth also served as a director of Synageva BioPharma Corp., a biopharmaceutical company which is now owned by Nasdaq-listed Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

    Mr. Wirth received a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD

    Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD

    Alex A. Adjei is a Consultant in Oncology, Professor of Oncology and Professor of Pharmacology at Mayo Clinic and Mayo College of Medicine, in Rochester, MN. Dr Adjei oversees oncology drug development as well as lung cancer research and treatment across all 3 Mayo Clinic sites, and is co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics program at Mayo Cancer Center.

    Dr Adjei has served on a number of US National Cancer Institute committees. From 2007 to 2013, he was Chair of the NIH Study Section NCRR Clinical Research Review Committee, reviewing CTSAs. From 2010 – 2014, he was a Member of the Clinical Oncology Study Section (CONC), and from 2013-2017, he was a member of NCI IRG Subcommittee A, reviewing Cancer Centers. He is currently co-chair of the Thoracic Malignancies Steering Committee of NCI. He has also served on various committees of professional societies (AACR, ASCO, ESMO, IASLC).  Dr Adjei is currently serving on the Committee on Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, tasked with providing a report on this topic to the US government (Social Security Administration). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, and the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of JTO Clinical and Research Reports.

    Dr Adjei's research is focused on experimental therapeutics and clinical drug development. He has been the principal investigator for over 70 early phase clinical trials. He has served on scientific advisory boards for a large number of pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Novartis, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Merck AG, Daiichi-Sankyo, Amgen, Millenium, Onyx and Roche among others, and have served as Scientific advisor to a number of small and start-up companies such as Exelixis, Array Biopharma, Chiron, Nektar, Merrimack, Cagent, Cleveland BioLabs, Zeno Pharmaceuticals and Swiss Rockets. He received the first American Society of Clinical Oncology Drug Development Research Professorship 2012-2017, in recognition of his mentorship and his work in cancer drug development. He has authored 280 publications dealing primarily with preclinical pharmacology and phase I trials as well as novel therapies for lung cancer.

  • Lieping Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

    Lieping Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

    Lieping Chen, M.D., Ph.D. has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since 2018. Dr. Chen is the United Technologies Corporation Professor in Cancer Research, Co-Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Yale Cancer Center and a Professor of immunobiology, dermatology and medicine (Medical Oncology) at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Chen studies cell membrane proteins which control lymphocyte functions and translates his laboratory findings for the treatment of human diseases including cancer.  Dr. Chen did the first proof-of-concept study in 1992 showing that the B7-CD28 family molecules could be the targets for cancer immunotherapy by introducing B7-1 into tumor cells to enhance therapeutic immunity. This study inspires subsequent studies targeting the B7-CD28/CTLA-4 family molecules for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Chen discovered B7-H1 (also called PD-L1) molecule in 1999 and demonstrated the role of PD-L1 in the evasion of immunity in tumor microenvironment. He singularly established the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway as the target for cancer immunotherapy in 1999-2002.  He also initiated and help organized the first-in-man clinical trial of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody for treating human cancer in 2006 and developed PD-L1 staining as a biomarker to predict treatment outcome.  His discoveries directly led to the development of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibody therapy against broad spectrum of human cancers (first approved in 2014 and five anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies approved by US FDA since then). Dr. Chen’s discoveries have revolutionized current oncology practice and cancer treatment.

    Dr. Chen's laboratory also discovered various molecular pathways with immune modulatory functions and their applications in human disease treatment. These pathways include 4-1BB (CD137), ICOS/B7-H2, B7-H3, B7-H4, B7-H5/CD28H, PD-1H (VISTA), LIGHT/HVEM, RELT, TROY, B7-H2/CD28/CTLA-4 (human), SALM5/HVEM, FGL1/LAG-3, Siglec-15 etc. These discoveries led to the development of therapeutic agents in various stages of clinical trials for the treatment of human diseases including cancer and autoimmune diseases.

    Dr. Chen has published more than 350 research articles, review and book chapters. He has received several awards and professional recognitions including William B. Coley Award (2014), Warren Alpert Foundation Prize (2017) and Giants of Cancer Care (2018).

  • Richard A. Flavell, PhD

    Richard A. Flavell, PhD

    Richard A. Flavell, PhD, FRS, has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since 2017. Since 2002, Dr. Flavell has been the Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the Yale faculty in 1988, Dr. Flavell was the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Biogen Research Corporation.

    Dr. Flavell received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Hull, England, and performed postdoctoral work in Amsterdam and Zurich. He is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member ofthe Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He has published over 800 papers and has received many awards, including the Invitrogen Meritorious Career Award from the American Association of Immunologists.

  • Neal Rosen, MD, PhD

    Neal Rosen, MD, PhD

    Neal Rosen, MD, PhD, has served on our scientific advisory board since 2016. Dr. Rosen is a Member of the Department of Medicine and a Member of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he serves as Head of Developmental Therapeutics. He is also a Professor of Pharmacology, Cell Biology and Medicine at Cornell University Medical School. He has played an important role in the development of tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling inhibitors and has pioneered the concept that cancer cells are dependent on cellular machinery for protein folding.

    Dr. Rosen received a medical degree and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and post-doctoral training and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute, where he served on the senior staff prior to joining the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He was the recipient of the NIH/NCI Outstanding Investigator Award in 2016.

  • Timothy Yap, M.D., Ph.D.

    Timothy Yap, M.D., Ph.D.

    Timothy Yap, M.D., Ph.D., has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since 2019. Dr. Yap is an Associate Professor in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics and Medical Director of The Institute for Applied Cancer Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Previously, he was a Consultant Medical Oncologist and NIHR BRC Clinician Scientist jointly in the Phase I Drug Development Unit, Lung Cancer Unit and Cancer Biomarkers Laboratory at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

    Dr. Yap earned his medical degree from Imperial College London and completed his general medical training in Oxford. Dr. Yap undertook a Clinical Fellowship in the Phase I Drug Development Unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital and completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics in the ICR.