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Team

100+ Years Combined Drug Discovery Expertise
Our Team
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Sebastian Brunemeier, MSc
Founder & CEO

About Sebastian

Sebastian A. Brunemeier is a biotech VC and company builder focused on longevity & regenerative medicine.

Over the last 5 years, he has co-founded 3 longevity biotech (“LongBio”) companies with a total equity value of >$600M. He was Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Cambrian Biopharma, Founder and COO of Samsara Therapeutics, and Principal at Apollo Health Ventures (the first and largest aging-focused venture capital fund in the world with $200M AUM). Altogether, these organizations have raised ±$400M in the last 4 years.

He was a Fulbright Fellow on the biology of aging, a Skaggs-Oxford Scholar at the Scripps Research Institute, and a SENS Foundation Scholar at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. His education includes dropping out of the DPhil (PhD) program in biochemistry of aging at the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar (to launch a biotech startup called Cambrian), a Master’s in Life Science Business Management and Molecular Neuroscience from the University of Amsterdam as an Amsterdam Excellence Scholar. He served as trustee of the British Society for Research on Aging, a mentor at The New York Academy of Sciences, and as an advisor or board member to: VitaDAO/Molecule.to, Equator Therapeutics, Revivo Therapeutics, and McKinsey & Company.

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Stephan Emmrich, PhD
Director of Immunology

About Stephan

Dr. Stephan Emmrich is a senior scientist with 12 years of extensive experience focused on Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) aging and leukemias. Dr. Emmrich’s contributions include pioneering Naked Mole Rat immunology during his Postdoc tenure in the Gorbunova lab.

Additionally, his PhD and Postdoc work in the Klusmann lab involved cutting-edge research on RNA in leukemia, including the successful performance of over 1000 stem cell transplantations. He has an h-index of 16 and has garnered over 1100 citations for his work.

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Luis Rios, PhD
Director of Drug Discovery

About Luis

Dr. Luis Rios is an expert in mitochondrial drug discovery.

He previously held the position of Senior Scientific Partner at Vine Ventures and completed his PhD in Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford, under the mentorship of the Mochly-Rosen Lab, where he conducted pioneering drug discovery research on mitochondrial targets.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Rios worked at the Salk Institute in the Panda Lab and was a research fellow at Longitude Capital. His academic journey began with a B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology at UC Berkeley.

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Ryan Spangler
Director of Operations

About Ryan

Ryan Spangler brings over 9 years of experience as a scientist and operator to our team.

Previously, he held the position of Director of Operations at Cogentis Therapeutics and worked as a consultant to Neurodex. Mr. Spangler also contributed to research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and served as a researcher in the Mark Mattson Lab at the NIH. He holds a B.S. in Biology and is an On Deck Longevity Biotech Fellow.

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Nicola Vannini, PhD
SAB Member

About Nicola

Dr. Vannini is a Group Leader in Immune Metabolism at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a world leading expert in stem cell and cancer metabolism and is funded by Ludwig Cancer Institute.

Dr. Vannini was previously a senior scientist at EPFL working on HSC rejuvenation drug discovery and before this, a postdoc at EPFL studying stem cell homeostasis. Additionally, Dr. Vannini was a postdoc at Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics on oncology and immunology metabolism and a research assistant at the Sanford Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California. He completed his PhD in Immunopathology at the School of Medicine of Insubria University in collaboration with the National Institute for Cancer Research with a focus on drug discovery. His work has led to >23 peer review publications and 5 patents.

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Prof Adam Wilkinson, PhD
SAB Member

About Adam

Dr. Wilkinson is an Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology at the University of Oxford, Radcliffe Department of Medicine where he researches how to improve translational applications of hematopoietic stem cells. He is an expert on ex-vivo culturing of HSC and methods of HSC expansion.

He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge under Prof Bertie Gottgens and completed a postdoc with Prof Hiropmitsu Nakauchi at the University of Tokyo and Stanford University. He was previously an instructor at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine with funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Edward P. Evans Foundation. Dr. Wilkinson has deep expertise in bone marrow transplants and HSC biology with >43 publications.

Scientific Advisory Board
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Prof Graham Pawelec, PhD
SAB Member

About Graham

Professor Graham Pawelec, PhD, is an Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Aging at the University of Tubingen. He is a renowned global expert in the field of immune system aging and has served as the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy. He holds a MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Transplantation Immunology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

He has authored or co-authored >300 peer-reviewed original articles from a total of over 500 PubMed-listed publications, has edited 3 books and co-edited several others (>32,500 citations, H-index 97). He has coordinated three European Union collaborative programs on Immunosenescence (EUCAMBIS, ImAginE and T-CIA) and two on cancer vaccine research (EUCAPS, ESTDAB). He was a member of several Advisory Boards on Immunosenescence and Vaccination. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and is or was a member of several Scientific Advisory Boards (the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research 2008, the Pfizer European Healthcare Landscape in the Context of Adult Vaccines 2016, Seqirus 2019, Repair Biotechnologies 2019), and several others relevant to immunity and aging. In 2021, he was nominated as the leading worldwide Expert on Immunosenescence, and is also recognized as an Expertscape World Expert in Aging.

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Prof Claes Wahlestedt, MD/PhD
SAB Member

About Claes

Professor Claes Wahlestedt, MD/PhD, is Leonard M. Miller Professor and Director of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation at the University of Miami where he also serves as Associate Dean for Therapeutic Innovation. With over a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including positions at Astrazeneca and Pfizer, he pioneered the application of RNAi in the Central Nervous System (CNS).

Dr. Wahlestedt obtained his MD and PhD degrees from Lund University. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Dr. Wahlestedt was a founding Professor and a Director at The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus. Between 1997 and 2005, he ran the Genome Center (one of the largest in Europe at the time) at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) where he was also an endowed Professor and Department Chair. He has also been a faculty member at Cornell University Medical College and at McGill University. At different stages in his career, he has directed large R&D organizations in the pharmaceutical industry for Astra-Zeneca and for Pharmacia/Pfizer. In addition, he has co-founded several biotechnology companies and serves on various boards. Dr. Wahlestedt has published over 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications (H-index 102) and a number of patents.

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Prof Michael J Parnham, PhD
SAB Member

About Michael

Michael Parnham is Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany and until December 2019, he was also Head of Translational Drug Validation in the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology & Applied Ecology IME, Branch for Translational Medicine and Biology TMP. After studies in pharmacology at London and Bristol Universities and postdoc research at Erasmus University Rotterdam, he spent over 30 years in senior research management in drug R&D with Nattermann, Rhône-Poulenc, PLIVA and GSK and as an independent consultant, gaining extensive experience in immunopharmacology, toxicology, drug discovery and development.

Dr. Parnham has researched and published extensively on inflammatory mediators and mechanisms, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and immunomodulatory drugs, toxicology and the pharmacology of selenium. He was Editor of the journal Inflammation Research for 30 years, is Chief Editor of Compendium of Inflammatory Diseases and co-editor of a textbook on Principles of Inmmunopharmacology.

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Dr. Josef Christensen, PhD
SAB Member

About Josef

Dr. Christensen is a stem cell expert who is currently the Chief Business Officer of Stem Medical, one of the first companies to have approved mesenchymal stem cells therapies in the EU and is also the cofounder and Chief Business Officer of Meat Tomorrow.

Dr. Christensen has a diverse background in pharma, consulting, and venture capital having served as the Global Commercial Associate Director for Stem Cell Therapies at Novo Nordisk as well as 5 years experience from McKinsey and Company where he worked extensively with pharmaceutical clients. Additionally, he was a partner at Apollo Health Ventures, one of the largest aging focused venture funds. He earned his PhD from the Stem Cell Institute of Harvard University and Copenhagen University.

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Thomas Ebeling
SAB Member

About Thomas

Thomas Ebeling, the former CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland, is a prominent figure on our board. Mr. Ebeling is an entrepreneur and businessperson who has been the head of 10 different companies. He serves on the boards of several pharmaceutical companies and investment funds including Bayer AG, Lonza AG, Qiagen, MPM Capital, private equity funds KKR and EQT, as well as the investment bank PJT Partners.

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Nicola Vannini, PhD
SAB Member

About Nicola

Dr. Vannini is a Group Leader in Immune Metabolism at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a world leading expert in stem cell and cancer metabolism and is funded by Ludwig Cancer Institute.

Dr. Vannini was previously a senior scientist at EPFL working on HSC rejuvenation drug discovery and before this, a postdoc at EPFL studying stem cell homeostasis. Additionally, Dr. Vannini was a postdoc at Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics on oncology and immunology metabolism and a research assistant at the Sanford Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California. He completed his PhD in Immunopathology at the School of Medicine of Insubria University in collaboration with the National Institute for Cancer Research with a focus on drug discovery. His work has led to >23 peer review publications and 5 patents.

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Prof Adam Wilkinson, PhD
SAB Member

About Adam

Dr. Wilkinson is an Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology at the University of Oxford, Radcliffe Department of Medicine where he researches how to improve translational applications of hematopoietic stem cells. He is an expert on ex-vivo culturing of HSC and methods of HSC expansion.

He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge under Prof Bertie Gottgens and completed a postdoc with Prof Hiropmitsu Nakauchi at the University of Tokyo and Stanford University. He was previously an instructor at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine with funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Edward P. Evans Foundation. Dr. Wilkinson has deep expertise in bone marrow transplants and HSC biology with >43 publications.