About Us

Our brilliant team of scientists and engineers strives to develop transformative immunotherapeutics through innovative technologies and creative partnerships to benefit patients with unmet needs.

Amberstone’s Core Team

George Wu, Ph.D.

Cofounder & CEO

Yonglei Shang, MD, MS

Senior Vice President in Biologics Discovery and Early Development

Aude Segaliny, Ph.D.

Founding Scientist and Director of Assay Biology & Scientific Liaison

Marc Kelly, M.B.A.

Chief Financial Officer (Fractional)

Scientific Advisory Board

Philip Tagari, Insitro, CSO

Robert Kiss, Ph.D., P.E.

Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D.

Weian Zhao, Ph.D., Cofounder

Ming Li, Ph.D.

Become an Amberstone T-mate

George Wu, Ph.D.

Cofounder & CEO

Wu, Amberstone’s Cofounder & CEO, is a life sciences technology innovator with a passion for developing innovative cross-field technologies that address unmet market needs. He has published over 40 manuscripts and abstracts in cancer biology, immunology, high-throughput drug discovery, single cell technologies, medicinal chemistry, and molecular diagnostics. With 20 plus patents relevant to anti-tumor molecules or single cell technologies, Wu is a well-recognized inventor who has made significant industry contributions. Before founding Amberstone, he was President/COO of GeneTex International, where he was closely involved in antibody and research product development, business scaling, and cross-border merger and acquisition. Wu received a Biology BS from the University of Science &Technology of China, and a PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. As a Susan Komen Research Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, his primary focus was anti-tumor drug discovery and translational research. 

Yonglei Shang, MD, MS

Senior Vice President in Biologics Discovery and Early Development

Shang, the architect of Amberstone’s T-MATE therapeutic platform, is a dedicated scientist who has nearly 20-years of extensive knowledge and experience in large molecule drug development, including target biology, lead discovery and optimization, preclinical pharmacology, and early development. Initially trained as a clinical physician, his interests led him to the field of biomedical research, with a primary interest in molecular cell biology. Before joining Amberstone, Shang was a senior researcher at Genentech, with more than 15 years of direct experience in therapeutic antibody programs in oncology, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory and infectious diseases. His academic achievements include earning Master degrees in Medical Sciences from the Capital Medical University in Beijing and in Molecular Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Aude Segaliny, Ph.D.

Director & Head of Research

Segaliny, a highly skilled researcher in assay biology and in vivo pharmacology, has more than ten years of interdisciplinary research experience in cell biology, immunology, and drug discovery. A well-respected supervisor of 30-plus junior staff and trainees, she has proven her versatility as a project leader with external collaborators and partners. She received her PhD, with a strong focus on cytokine and receptor biology, from the University of Nantes, France, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine, with a primary interest in developing cell-based cancer therapies.

Marc Kelly, M.B.A.

Chief Financial Officer

Kelly has over 30 years of experience in finance management, early-stage biotechnology company management, business strategy planning, developing financial models, managing audits, conducting due diligence, cost and risk management, raising funds, and leadership. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Philip Tagari

Philip Tagari is currently CSO of insitro, a pioneer in cutting-edge AI/ML at scale to decode complex biology and transform new medicines. Before that, he was vice president of research at Amgen and a veteran R&D leader at Merck with over 30 years of experiences in hematology, oncology; neurobiology, metabolic diseases, technology innovations, and beyond. His research has led to significant experimental and marketed therapies, plus 65+ peer-reviewed publications. His broad professional experience includes pipeline review, product and technology licensing, merger/acquisition, and joint venture. His substantial past and current board experiences include serving as Board Chair at Amgen Biopharmaceutical Research and Development Co. (Shanghai), a member of board of directors or SAB at GPB Scientific (cell therapy), MATWIN (Maturation & Accelerating Translation With Industry),  CQDM (Consortium Quebecois sur la Decouverte du Medicament, Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery), BenchSci (scientific AI), Gandeeva (advanced cryoEM), and IASOC. Tagari received his BS in Biology from Cambridge University.

Robert Kiss, Ph.D., P.E.

Robert Kiss is the executive VP of technical operations at Upside Foods with more than 30 years of industrial biotechnology experiences in CMC and bioprocesses.  Prior to that, Bob spent 4 years at Sutro Biopharma as Sr. VP of Process Sciences responsible for industrializing the Sutro cell-free protein synthesis platform for bioconjugates, and 24 years at Genentech, where his final role was as Sr. Director & Distinguished Engineer leading late-stage cell-culture development and scale-up.  During his career, he has had direct involvement in the development, licensure, and commercialization of multiple recombinant antibodies and proteins.  His areas of focus within biotechnology have included control of protein glycosylation, barriers to virus contamination of mammalian cell cultures, and large-scale cell culture strategies and technologies, among others. Kiss received a BS in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis, and MS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. 

Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D.

Lei Zheng is chief medical advisor acting as Interim CMO at Amberstone. He is a clinical professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the Cancer Center and the Department of Oncology’s assistant director for Translational Research and co-associate director for Precision Medicine.  He co-leads the precision oncology research and practice. He is also Director for the Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Cancer Laboratories Program and Director of the Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins. As a physician-scientist, his clinical work focuses on pancreatic cancer, bile duct cancer, liver metastases, gastric cancer, and other gastrointestinal cancers. Zheng’s lab research focuses primarily on preclinical and clinical development of novel vaccine-, antibody-, and TCR-based rational combination immunotherapies for gastrointestinal cancers. With 200+ peer-reviewed papers, he is a frequent speaker at domestic and international scientific conferences and symposia. Zheng is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Pancreatic Cancer and has served in the committees for multiple national and international organizations including American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Gastroenterology Association (AGA), and the Society for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (SITC). He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2021. Zheng received his MD degree from Peking Union Medical College, his PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and completed a fellowship at Rockefeller University.

Weian Zhao, Ph.D., Cofounder

Zhao is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. A passionate entrepreneur, he co-founded several start-up biotechnology companies whose aim is to develop technologies for rapid diagnosis, stem cell therapy, and drug discovery. Zhao’s keen interest in engineering cell therapeutics has led to his influential research in treating cancer and autoimmune diseases, and in developing novel miniaturized devices for early diagnosis and monitoring for conditions including sepsis, antibiotic resistance, and cancer. He has published nearly 90 journal articles and book chapters, many in top journals. Zhao’s scientific excellence has earned him high recognition, including the MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and UCI Innovator of the Year. He received his PhD in chemistry from McMaster University in Canada and was a postdoctoral fellow at an MIT/Harvard joint fellowship program studying biosensors and cell-based drug delivery technologies.

Ming Li, Ph.D.

Ming Li is a professor of immunology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) with a joint appointment at Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University. He is passionate about the study of how cell signaling and cell metabolism modules are rewired in the immune system using diverse immunological, genetic, biochemical, and genomic approaches. His focus includes how to exploit these regulatory pathways for disease therapy, particularly cancer immunotherapy, in the context of the tumor microenvironment. Li has published over 100 scientific articles. These include seminal contributions in elucidating the important roles of TGF-beta, Foxo, Notch, nutrient sensing, and nutrient metabolism pathways in the control of T lymphocyte development, homeostasis, tolerance, immunity, and memory, as well as innate and adaptive immune responses to cancer. Li received his PhD in Immunology from Columbia University and conducted his postdoctoral research at Yale before joining the faculty of MSKCC.