Mr. Khoo co-founded Tessa with Dr. Malcolm Brenner and Mr. Francis Chua. Before building Tessa, Mr. Khoo was an active investor in high growth industries, including healthcare, where he was involved in developing other cancer-focused technologies. Mr. Khoo was also a banker at JP Morgan, and a proprietary trader at Citigroup. Mr. Khoo began his career at the Singapore Economic Development Board. Mr. Khoo holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Stanford University.
Mr. Ng has over 15 years of experience in global operations, sales and marketing across Asia-Pacific and in the USA. He was formerly Marketing Director, Asia, and Head of Sales and Business Development in China, for NYSE-listed and leading consumer products company, Spectrum Brands. Mr. Ng was responsible for setting-up the company’s operations team in China and was Director for Purchasing, Supply Chain, and New Product Development. He began his career working for healthcare company Perkin Elmer Inc., where he was based in the company’s California office. Mr. Ng holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Singapore.
Mr. Schuster has over 10 years of international investment banking and private equity experience. Prior to joining Tessa, Mr. Schuster worked on major projects, including establishing a leading investment bank in the Middle East, financing one of the world’s largest leisure and hospitality developments, and executing various transactions for UBS Investment Bank in real estate private equity and debt capital markets. While working at the global asset management firm Hudson Advisors, he was responsible for managing the world’s largest distressed debt portfolio on behalf of Lone Star Funds. Mr. Schuster studied Physics in Austria and Switzerland and holds a M.S. from Stanford University. He is also an Alumnus of Harvard Business School.
John E. Connolly, Ph.D.
Dr. Connolly has 20 years of research experience in immunotherapy and is a recognized world leader in the field of deep immune monitoring. In addition to his role as the Chief Scientific Officer of Tessa, Dr. Connolly is also a Senior Principal Investigator and Director for Translational Immunology at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology at Baylor University and the National University of Singapore. Previously, Dr. Connolly was the Director of Research Initiatives at the Baylor Research Institute and a member of the faculty at the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, a fully translational center dedicated to rationally designed vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. He was involved in the development of immunotherapeutic preclinical models and clinical trials for Glioblastoma multiforme, melanoma and breast cancer. Dr. Connolly received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School and is also on the editorial and review panels for numerous scientific journals. He has published more than 75 papers and chapters in peer-reviewed journals.
Han Chong Toh, M.D.
Dr. Toh is a pioneer in cell therapy and conducted the first cancer vaccine and T cell therapy clinical trials in Singapore. He is a recipient of the Senior National Clinician Scientist Award, 2017. In addition to his role as the Chief Medical Officer of Tessa, Dr. Toh is also the Deputy Director & Senior Consultant of the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), and Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School. He is an Adjunct Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore). Dr. Toh is also the Chairman of the Board of Singhealth Investigational Medicine Unit and on the Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert council. He received his medical oncology fellowship at the Singapore General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and his research fellowship in cancer immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Toh graduated from the University of London, UK, with an intercalated B.Sc. in ‘Infection and Immunity’ from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. He qualified in Medicine from the University of Cambridge. Dr Toh is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed journal papers.
Ms. Butler brings to Tessa nearly 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience across several therapeutic areas and functions, including global marketing, sales, and corporate strategy. She worked at Merrill Lynch in Equity Capital Markets and the Biotechnology Group at Thomson Financial Services. Prior to joining the company, she spent 11 years in roles of increasing responsibility at AstraZeneca and MedImmune, the Biologics Division of AstraZeneca. Ms. Butler most recently served as the head of global launch preparation and commercial strategy for AstraZeneca’s late-stage immuno-oncology programs, Imfinzi™ / durvalumab (PD-L1) and tremelimumab (CTLA-4). Ms. Butler holds a B.A. in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
Guy Heathers, Ph.D.
Dr. Heathers has over 30 years of international experience in growing and developing technologies for healthcare companies, specializing in the Life Sciences industry. In addition to his role as Vice President of Business Development at Tessa, Dr. Heathers is also the Director of Technology Development at the National Cancer Centre of Singapore. Previously, Dr. Heathers was the Director of Singapore Health Services Intellectual Property Office. He also held senior leadership positions at the Amaranth Medical, Gateway Capital, Biotech Research Ventures, and Cancer Research Campaign Technology. Dr. Heathers obtained his Ph.D. in cardiovascular research from the University of Bath, UK, completed his post-doctoral research at Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, USA and his M.B.A. at Fairleigh Dickenson University, New Jersey, USA.
Shian-Jiun Shih, Ph.D.
Dr. Shih has over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with strong expertise in biological drug development, including cell and gene therapy products and therapeutic proteins, with a focus on immunotherapy. Prior to joining Tessa, she was Director of Molecular Biomarkers and Site Lead of the Translational Medicine and Research Centre, Merck Sharp & Dohme. In that role, her group established non-human primate disease models and developed clinical biomarker assays to support early phase clinical trials, including those for Keytruda. Before that she was Director, Assay Development, Cell Genesys, Inc. She has also held various roles in Bayer, Aventis, and Applied Immune Sciences. Dr. Shih is Founding President of the Chinese Bioscience Association. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin at Madison and completed her post-doctoral training at the School of Medicine, Stanford University.
Scientific Advisory Board
Malcolm K. Brenner, M.B., Ph.D.
Dr. Brenner is the Founding Director of the Centre for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, and an Elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. He is a world leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy, and specializes in stem cell transplantation, using genetic manipulation of cultured cells to obtain therapeutic effects. Dr. Brenner pioneered the use of gene-modified EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes for treatment, and led the first team to successfully label autologous bone marrow cells genetically. Dr. Brenner was the Former Editor-in-chief of Molecular Therapy (official journal of American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy), the former President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, as well as the former President of the American Society of Gene Therapy. He holds a Ph.D., M.B. Ch.B. and B.A. from Cambridge University.
Stephen J. Russell, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Russell is a Professor of Molecular Medicine, Consultant Hematologist at Mayo Clinic Rochester. He is a world leader in the field of oncolytic virotherapy, and orchestrated the first-in-human testing of oncolytic measles and vesicular stomatitis viruses. In 1998, he moved to Mayo Clinic where he chaired the Department of Molecular Medicine, built a comprehensive translational gene and virus therapy program and developed innovative technologies for targeting viruses to cancer cells. Dr. Russell was formerly the Dean for Discovery and Experimental Research at Mayo Clinic. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and his Ph.D. from the University of London, England.
Wang Shu, Ph.D.
Dr. Wang is a Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. He is the Principal Research Scientist and Group Leader at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore. Dr. Wang specializes in cancer immunotherapy and cancer stem cell research, and has published widely in the areas of gene therapy, cancer biology, immunology, stem cell biology, cell and molecular biology, virology, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and neuroscience. He has authored over 135 research papers in peer-reviewed international journals and nine book chapters in the field of cancer research.
Board of Directors
Teo Ming Kian
Mr. Teo is the Chairman of Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Vertex Venture Holdings, and former Chairman of MediaCorp. He is a member of Board of Directors of Temasek Holdings. Mr. Teo served as the Permanent Secretary of various government ministries in Singapore, including the Ministries of Defense, Communications, and Finance. He is formerly Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board and the National Science and Technology Board. Mr. Teo was conferred the Commander First Class – Royal Order of the Polar Star (Sweden) in 1994 and the Singapore Meritorious Service Medal in 2008.
Mr. Chua helps build public-listed and private companies in various business sectors including biotechnology, real estate, e-commerce, healthcare, robotics/artificial intelligence and aquaculture technologies. He is the founder of BAF Spectrum, an angel fund jointly established with Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board Singapore (SPRING) to seed start-up technology companies, and the co-founder of Business Angels Network in Southeast Asia. Mr. Chua spent more than 20 years in the Singapore civil service, most notably in senior positions in the Ministry of Defence, and the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Mr. Lim is the CEO of Harita Group, an Indonesian conglomerate in the natural resources industry. He has over 30 years of business experience in industries including Timber, Mining and Agriculture. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Bumitama Agri Ltd., an agricultural company listed on the Singapore Exchange. Mr. Lim graduated with a B.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Mr. Susanto is a Partner of Ascend Capital Group, an investment group that invests primarily in private equity and venture capital. He has more than 25 years of investment experience in the financial industry, most recently as the CEO of PT RHB OSK Securities Indonesia. Before that, he was a Managing Director of Bank International Indonesia and has held treasury positions in Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, Rabobank, and American Express Bank. Mr. Susanto graduated from the University of Houston with B.A. in Finance and Accounting.
Mr. Ng has over 15 years of experience in global operations, sales and marketing across Asia-Pacific and in the US. He was formerly Marketing Director, Asia, and Head of Sales and Business Development in China, for NYSE-listed and leading consumer products company, Spectrum Brands. Mr. Ng was responsible for setting-up the company’s operations team in China and was Director for Purchasing, Supply Chain, and New Product Development. He began his career working for healthcare company Perkin Elmer Inc., where he was based in the company’s California office. Mr. Ng holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Singapore.
Mr. Khoo co-founded Tessa with Dr. Malcolm Brenner and Mr. Francis Chua. Before building Tessa, Mr. Khoo was an active investor in high growth industries, including healthcare, where he was involved in developing other cancer-focused technologies. Mr. Khoo has also been a banker at JP Morgan, and a proprietary trader at Citigroup. Mr. Khoo began his career at the Singapore Economic Development Board. Mr. Khoo holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University.