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 Financing Officer

Per Niklas Hedde, Ph.D.

Director of Engineering

Board of Advisors

Philip Tagari

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

Ming Li, Ph.D.

Weian Zhao, Ph.D., Cofounder

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George Wu, Ph.D.

Cofounder & CEO

Wu, Amberstone’s Founding CEO, is a life sciences technology innovator with a passion for developing innovative cross-field technologies that address unmet market needs. He has published more than 20-plus articles in cancer cell biology, immunology, high-throughput drug discovery, microfluidic single cell technologies, medicinal chemistry, and molecular diagnostics. With nearly 20 patents or patent applications relevant to anti-tumor molecules or single cell technologies, Wu is a highly recognized inventor who has made significant industry contributions. Before founding Amberstone, he was President/COO of GeneTex International, where he was closely involved in product commercialization, business scaling, and cross-border merger and acquisition. Wu received his PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine, his primary focus was anti-tumor drug discovery. 

Yonglei Shang, MD, MS

Senior Vice President in Biologics Discovery and Early Development

Shang, a dedicated and rigorous scientist, has 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 double-digit therapeutic antibody programs in oncology, neurodegenerative diseases, and inflammatory and infectious diseases. His academic achievements include earning two Master of Science degrees, his first in Medical Sciences from the Capital Medical University in Beijing and his second in Molecular Medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Aude Segaliny, Ph.D.

Founding Scientist and Director of Assay Biology & Scientific Liaison

Segaliny, a highly skilled in assay biology and in vivo researcher, 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 Financing 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.

Niklas Per Hedde, Ph.D.

Director of Engineering

Per Hedde has been a valuable member of our team, driving several of Amberstone’s key projects. An engineer with a multidisciplinary background in the cross-field of biomedical engineering and medicine, his passions include system design, development, and applications in the biomedical and life science space. Per Hedde’s significant contributions include designing and constructing ten-plus custom microscope platforms, super-resolution microscopes, light sheet imaging systems, and particle-sorting instruments. He applied these innovations to address critical biological questions related to cancer, the immune system, and heart disease. Before joining Amberstone, Per Hedde received his PhD from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and was an NIH-funded project scientist at the University of California, Irvine.

Philip Tagari

Vice President of Research at Amgen, Tagari has more than 30 years of research experience in hematology/oncology; neurobiology; immunology and inflammation; pharmacology; laboratory automation, and information technologies. His research has led to significant experimental and marketed therapies, plus more than 65 peer-reviewed publications. His broad biotechnology experience includes pipeline review, product and technology licensing, merger/acquisition, and joint venture. His substantial past and current board experience include serving as Board Chair at Amgen Biopharmaceutical Research and Development (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., as well as membership of the board or SAB at GPB Scientific (cell therapy), MATWIN (Maturation & Accelerating Translation With Industry) in France,  CQDM (Consortium Quebecois sur la Decouverte du Medicament, Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery), BenchSci (scientific AI), Gandeeva (advanced cryoEM), and IASOC.

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

Zheng is Professor of Oncology and Surgery 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 more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, he is frequently invited to speak 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 the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA), and the Society for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (SITC). He is Immediate Past President of the Chinese American Hematologist and Oncologist Network (CAHON). He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2021.

Ming Li, Ph.D.

Li is a Professor of Immunology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 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 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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.