Our Team

Our vision is centered on creating technology that simplifies, accelerates, and reduces costs in the development of superior drugs. We firmly recognize that autophagy-driven degradation is a prime example of such groundbreaking technology, presenting an array of possibilities and opportunities across various applications.

Meet Our Team

Thong Q. Le — Chief Executive Officer

Thong Q. Le currently serves as Senior Managing Director and CEO of Accelerator. Mr. Le has over 20 years of experience identifying, investing in, managing, and successfully exiting numerous seed and early-stage investments in the biotechnology sector. He has served as the founding CEO and director of numerous Accelerator Life Science Partners portfolio companies, including Petra Pharma (substantial acquisition by a global pharmaceutical company in May 2020), Rodeo Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen Inc. for up to $721 million in March 2021), and Lodo Therapeutics (acquired by Zymergen in May 2021). He currently oversees the firm’s investments in ALSP ORCHID Acquisition Corporation I (NASDAQ: ALORU | ALOR), KayoThera, Lydian Neurosciences, and Proniras Corporation, where he also serves as CEO and Director of each company.

Prior to joining Accelerator, Mr. Le served as a Managing Director at WRF Capital, the venture capital investment arm of Washington Research Foundation where he played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing, and development of numerous life science companies, including Alder Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALDR | acquired by H. Lundbeck A/S), Corus Pharma (acquired by Gilead Sciences), Halosource (LSE: HALO), Hyperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HPTX | acquired by Horizon Pharma plc), Lumera (NASDAQ: LMRA), Pathway Medical Technologies (acquired by MEDRAD), and VLST (asset acquisition by major international pharmaceutical company). Prior to joining WRF Capital, Mr. Le was the founder, president and CEO of MiniMeals, Inc. and a consultant for Capital Management Consulting, Inc. Earlier, he was at Raymond James & Associates, Singer & Xenos Investment Management Company and Capital Management Group LLC, a private investment firm specializing in biomedical ventures.

Mr. Le completed post-graduate studies at the Templeton College of Oxford University and received his A.B. cum laude in Government from Harvard University. He serves on the advisory board for the Alexandria Seed Capital Platform and on the boards of Acylin Therapeutics, Oerth Bio, and Ravenna Pharmaceuticals.  He was previously named one of the region’s “40 Under 40” by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Loong Wang — Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder

Zian-Loong Wang was trained in research and development in computer science at the Australian National University where he specialised in mathematics and distributed supercomputing. In 2017, he left to co-found 2 startups in both deep-tech and fin-tech, raising more than U$50M over 4 years. In 2021, after reaching a total market capitalisation of U$1.8B, Mr Wang exited both companies and moved in the biotechnology industry. Alongside Taiyang Zhang, he founded Talo Labs to fund, research, and develop new biotechnologies with a focus on those that can be accelerated by new in silico methods. In 2022, from Talo Labs, Mr Wang created QDX, a drug design company built on top of advanced quantum supercomputing, as well as Automera, an autophagy-powered small molecule degrader platform. Mr Wang is also involved in several philanthropic endeavours to encourage entrepreneurship in university students and provide scholarships to computer scientists moving into the biotechnology field. He continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of QDX and the Chief Technology Officer of Automera.

Mahmood Ahmed, PhD — Chief Scientific Officer

Mahmood is a Drug Discovery and Development expert, with over 20 years of experience spanning Pharma, Biotech and Academia. He has conceived and led numerous drug discovery projects globally, contributing to the delivery of multiple assets for clinical development. He has held a range of advisory and senior leadership roles: previously the founding Chief Scientific Officer of Travecta Therapeutics, a Professor (Practice) at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Head of Chemistry at GSK (Singapore) and Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

Mahmood obtained his First Degree (Chemistry) and PhD (Synthetic Organic Chemistry) from Imperial College London.

Shawn Hoon, PhD — Vice President, Biology

Shawn holds a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, followed by a Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University, where he specialized in chemical genetics. His doctoral studies were supported by the National Science Scholarship from the Agency for Science Technology and Research. In 2009, with the late Dr. Sydney Brenner, Shawn established the Molecular Engineering Laboratory. Leading the lab for over a decade, he fostered an interdisciplinary, team-driven environment that empowered junior scientists to spearhead their own projects. Notably, many alumni have since become integral parts of Singapore’s biotechnology landscape, spanning startups, multinational corporations, investment firms, public agencies, and academic institutions.

At the heart of Shawn’s interest lies the synergy between computational and experimental methodologies. His expertise span areas such as bioinformatics, chemogenomics, biomimetics, protein engineering, diagnostics, and synthetic biology. He was a co-founder of Proteona, a single-cell genomics company which  was acquired in 2022 by Singleron Biotechnologies.

Pearly Ng, PhD — Head of Chemistry

Pearly is an experienced medicinal chemist and drug discovery scientist with a strong background in developing small molecule therapeutics for infectious diseases and oncology. Prior to joining Automera, Pearly held the position of Head (Medicinal Chemistry) at the Experimental Drug Development Centre. In this role, she successfully led and conceptualized multiple drug discovery projects and made significant contributions to the development of assets for out-licensing. Earlier in her career, Pearly gained valuable research experience as a chemist in various biotech companies, specializing in diversity-oriented synthesis and parallel synthesis technologies.

Pearly holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from the National University of Singapore, and she obtained her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Nanyang Technological University.

Scientific Advisors

Nicholas Ktistakis, PhD — The Babraham Institute

Nicholas Ktistakis obtained his PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas and worked for several years as a post-doctoral researcher and Instructor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Subsequently, he joined the Babraham Institute in Cambridge UK, where he is currently senior group leader, working on pathways of lipid signalling and on the mechanisms of autophagy initiation in mammalian cells. His lab has provided an understanding of the dynamics of the autophagic response in non-selective and selective autophagy with over 80 publications in the last few years. He is also Section Editor for the Journal Autophagy overseeing the area of Membrane Biogenesis and Trafficking. Funding for his work is from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in addition to grants from pharmaceutical companies. He is also currently involved in a collaboration between academic and industrial partners through the Milner Institute in Cambridge looking at autophagy targets in neurodegeneration.

Associate Professor Michael Lazarou — Co-Founder – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Associate Professor Michael Lazarou serves on the scientific advisory board and is a co-founder of Automera. He is a lab head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research with a co-appointment at Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. Michael received his B.S and PhD in Medical Sciences from La Trobe University working on mitochondrial disease, and conducted his post-doctoral studies focusing on mitophagy at the National Institutes of Health (USA).

 

With over 15 years of experience, Michael’s research has been fundamental in understanding how cargoes tagged for autophagic degradation are connected to autophagy machineries. His lab uses advanced imaging technologies, and combines gene editing of human cell lines with cell biology and biochemical approaches to understand the mechanisms of mitophagy, a selective form of autophagy that degrades mitochondria. His autophagy discoveries have been recognised as major breakthroughs by Science Signaling, Journal of Cell Biology, and Autophagy, and he has received multiple awards including the 2022 ASBMB Shimadzu Research Medal. He has held an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2017–2020), and now serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Cell Biology.

Kendall Mohler, PhD — Accelerator Life Science Partners

Dr. Ken Mohler serves as Managing Director and Chief Development Officer of Accelerator, where he oversees the Science & Development Team that is responsible for assessing new investment opportunities for the firm. Dr. Mohler works closely with all ALSP portfolio companies, including KayoThera, Inc where he provides oversight over key scientific research and product development activities. Dr. Mohler also serves as Chief Development Officer of ALSP Orchid Acquisition Corporation I (NASDAQ: ALORU | ALOR). Previously, Dr. Mohler served as Senior Vice President of Research at Juno Therapeutics Inc. Before that, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of Juno Therapeutics and ZetaRx Biosciences, a predecessor company acquired by Juno Therapeutics. Before Juno Therapeutics, Dr. Mohler co-founded Trubion Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel protein therapeutics to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and cancer. At Trubion Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Mohler served as the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President. Prior to Trubion Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Mohler served as Vice President of Biological Sciences of Immunex, where he led research and development activities in the areas of transplantation, autoimmunity, and inflammation, and where he served as the scientific leader for the development of Enbrel (etanercept).

Dr. Mohler has published more than 35 manuscripts and has 4 issued patents and 6 pending patent applications. He received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Texas Health Science Center and a B.S. from the University of Kansas.

Gene Yeo, PhD — University of California San Diego

Eugene (Gene) Yeo has served in academic and entrepreneurial roles for over 20 years with a focus on neurodegeneration, RNA processing, computational biology and stem cell technologies.   Dr. Yeo is currently a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California San Diego. He is a co-founder of multiple biotech companies, which include Locanabio, Eclipse Bioinnovations, Enzerna, and Proteona and serves as a scientific advisor to Allen Institute of Immunology, Locanabio, Eclipse Bioinnovations, Proteona, LGC, Jumpcode and Ribometrix.  Dr. Yeo is an Xconomy Awardee for ‘Big Idea’ in 2019, Highly Cited Researcher (2019) and Allen Distinguished Investigator (2020), an author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, regularly publishing in top-tiered journals like Science, Nature and Cell and is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Cell Reports and Cell Research.

Dr. Yeo received his BA degree in Economics and BS degree in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and subsequently earned a PhD degree in Computational Neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He continued on to receive a Master’s in Business Administration from University of California, San Diego.

Board of Directors

Alice Chen — Accelerator Life Science Partners

Alice Chen, Ph.D., serves as Executive Vice President. She joined Accelerator in 2013 as a Principal to support portfolio company operations and provide executive oversight of preclinical development activities across the portfolio. Alice is actively involved in sourcing and evaluating emerging biotechnology investment opportunities and has played an instrumental role in the formation and oversight of several Accelerator portfolio companies, including Acylin Therapeutics, Petra Pharma (acquired by a global pharmaceutical company), Nemean Pharma, Rodeo Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen Inc.) and Magnolia Neurosciences.

Alice has more than 15 years of research and drug development experience, principally in small molecule therapeutics. Before joining Accelerator, she served as a scientific consultant and drug development project leader for several venture-backed biotechnology companies. Before that, she served as Director of Technologies at Qwell Pharmaceuticals, a venture-backed biotechnology company developing novel, small-molecule drugs focused on cancer and inflammation. She also contributed to partnership and M&A initiatives.

Dr. Chen completed her doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Chaitan Khosla at Stanford University, where she focused on protein engineering and protein characterization. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. She served as an Engineering Fellow at Merck & Company and is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program (Class 19). Dr. Chen currently serves on the board of Life Science Washington, the state’s life science trade association, and various technology review committees in the U.S. and abroad.

Wen Qi Ho, Phd — ClavystBio

Wen Qi Ho is Therapeutic Lead at ClavystBio, where she focuses on investing in and building global healthcare companies from Singapore.

Prior to joining ClavystBio, Wen Qi was CEO at Lightstone Ventures and played a major role in establishing the firm’s presence in Singapore. She was actively involved in venture-building its portfolio companies in Singapore such as Medisix Therapeutics and Allay Therapeutics.

Wen Qi is an advocate for early career researcher participation in biotech entrepreneurship, and serves on advisory and grant review panels with leading institutions in Singapore. She also serves on boards of ClavystBio’s portfolio companies.

Wen Qi attained her PhD in Immunology at Stanford University, and BSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Johns Hopkins University.

Thong Q. Le — Accelerator Life Science Partners

Thong Q. Le currently serves as Senior Managing Director and CEO of Accelerator.  Mr. Le has over 20 years of experience identifying, investing in, managing, and successfully exiting numerous seed and early-stage investments in the biotechnology sector. He has served as the founding CEO and director of numerous Accelerator Life Science Partners portfolio companies, including Petra Pharma (substantial acquisition by a global pharmaceutical company in May 2020), Rodeo Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen Inc. for up to $721 million in March 2021), and Lodo Therapeutics (acquired by Zymergen in May 2021). He currently oversees the firm’s investments in ALSP ORCHID Acquisition Corporation I (NASDAQ: ALORU | ALOR), KayoThera, Lydian Neurosciences, and Proniras Corporation, where he also serves as CEO and Director of each company.

Prior to joining Accelerator, Mr. Le served as a Managing Director at WRF Capital, the venture capital investment arm of Washington Research Foundation where he played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing, and development of numerous life science companies, including Alder Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALDR | acquired by H. Lundbeck A/S), Corus Pharma (acquired by Gilead Sciences), Halosource (LSE: HALO), Hyperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HPTX | acquired by Horizon Pharma plc), Lumera (NASDAQ: LMRA), Pathway Medical Technologies (acquired by MEDRAD), and VLST (asset acquisition by major international pharmaceutical company). Prior to joining WRF Capital, Mr. Le was the founder, president and CEO of MiniMeals, Inc. and a consultant for Capital Management Consulting, Inc. Earlier, he was at Raymond James & Associates, Singer & Xenos Investment Management Company and Capital Management Group LLC, a private investment firm specializing in biomedical ventures.

Mr. Le completed post-graduate studies at the Templeton College of Oxford University and received his A.B. cum laude in Government from Harvard University. He serves on the advisory board for the Alexandria Seed Capital Platform and on the boards of Acylin Therapeutics, Oerth Bio, and Ravenna Pharmaceuticals.  He was previously named one of the region’s “40 Under 40” by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Loong Wang

Zian-Loong Wang was trained in research and development in computer science at the Australian National University where he specialised in mathematics and distributed supercomputing. In 2017, he left to co-found 2 startups in both deep-tech and fin-tech, raising more than U$50M over 4 years. In 2021, after reaching a total market capitalisation of U$1.8B, Mr Wang exited both companies and moved in the biotechnology industry. Alongside Taiyang Zhang, he founded Talo Labs to fund, research, and develop new biotechnologies with a focus on those that can be accelerated by new in silico methods. In 2022, from Talo Labs, Mr Wang created QDX, a drug design company built on top of advanced quantum supercomputing, as well as Automera, an autophagy-powered small molecule degrader platform. Mr Wang is also involved in several philanthropic endeavours to encourage entrepreneurship in university students and provide scholarships to computer scientists moving into the biotechnology field. He continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of QDX and the Chief Technology Officer of Automera.