Ying Luo, PhD
Chairman and President
Dr. Luo received his doctorate in molecular biology/biomedical sciences from the University of Connecticut Health Center in 1991. He later studied HIV gene regulation in UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow. Prior to founding Shanghai Genomics in 2001, Dr. Luo held various positions at the San Francisco Bay Area biotech firms, including Aviron, Clonetech, and Rigel. Later Shanghai Genomics was acquired by GNI Group and became listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Board in 2007. He is currently President and CEO of GNI Group. The pre-clinical, clinical, and regulatory teams recruited and supervised by him has successfully gained 6 IND approvals and conduct Phase I/II trials in China or US. Under his leadership, GNI Group had its first Class 1 drug Etuary® approved by China FDA in treating IPF in 2011 through expedited review process. Later he built a nationwide orphan drug sales network in China. Recently, he also engineered several acquistions for GNI, including Beijing Continent and Berkeley Advanced Biomaterials, and investments into other joint ventures. In his career of 30 years, Dr. Luo has co-authored more than 35 research publications and been inventors of more than 16 patents.
Chief Financial Officer
Thomas Eastling has over 30 years' experience in global finance, M&A and business development, with a substantial part of his career in Asia. He started on Wall Street at Nikko Securities Co. International, Inc., rising to the position of Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Investment Banking and Syndicate Divisions. In the late 1990's, he moved to Japan as Company Representative for Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. and subsequently worked as Managing Director for Softbank Corp. in strategic planning and investor relations. In 2009 he relocated to Hong Kong with American Appraisal where he served as Director of the firm's Transaction Advisory Services in Asia. In September of 2013, Mr. Eastling returned to Japan in his current role as Executive Officer of GNI Group Ltd. Mr. Eastling has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and a Masters from the American Graduate School of International Management. He speaks Japanese and is pursuing Mandarin. He currently serves as Non-Executive Director for a Hong Kong private equity fund.
Michael Plewe, PhD
Vice President of Chemistry
Dr. Plewe has over 20 years of drug discovery experience in biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Before joining Cullgen, he was the Head of Chemistry at Arisan Therapeutics, a start-up focused on developing novel treatments for neglected viral diseases. Prior to Arisan, he was an Associate Research Fellow and project leader at Pfizer Inc. working in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, ophthalmology, antiviral, and diabetes. He was a medicinal chemist at Agouron and Vical. Dr. Plewe completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California in Irvine, and earned his Ph. D. and Diploma in organic chemistry from the University of Konstanz, Germany.
Vice President of Business Development
Kazu Kawauchi has over 30 years’ experience in global pharmaceutical business, primarily with Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd. He started his career as medical representative and while at Kyowa, worked in various specialized fields, such as sales and marketing, oversea representative (in Germany and UK, total 6 years), intellectual property and legal, business development, supporting subsidiary companies, M&A projects, formulating corporate mid-term strategy and planning. Additionally, he also has experience in business development of pharmaceutical intermediates, diagnostics, drug delivery system and cosmetic businesses. In December 2017, he joined GNI Group as Director, Business Planning Department and as of March 1st will assume the business development activities for Cullgen Inc. in the U.S. and Japan. He graduated from Hokkaido University with a Bachelor’s Degree of Pharmacy.