Our Scientific Advisory Board Consists of World-Class Scientists and Physicians Who Also Invented Our Technology

Andrés García, PhD

Andrés García, PhD

Scientific Advisor and Founder Executive Director, Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience Petit Director's Chair in Bioengineering and Bioscience Regents' Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology

Andrés J. García is the Parker H. Petit Chair and Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience. He is a Regents’ professor in Georgia Tech’s Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Honors from Cornell University in 1991. He received M.S.E. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in cell and molecular biology at the School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. García’s research program integrates innovative engineering, materials science, and cell biology concepts and technologies to create cell-instructive biomaterials for regenerative medicine and generate new knowledge in mechanobiology. This cross-disciplinary effort has resulted in new biomaterial platforms that elicit targeted cellular responses and tissue repair in various biomedical applications, innovative technologies to study and exploit cell adhesive interactions, and new mechanistic insights into the interplay of mechanics and cell biology. In addition, his research has generated intellectual property and licensing agreements with start-up and multi-national companies. He is a co-founder of 3 start-up companies (CellectCell, CorAmi Therapeutics, iTolerance). He has received several distinctions, including the NSF CAREER Award, Arthritis Investigator Award, Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award, the Clemson Award for Basic Science from the Society for Biomaterials, and the International Award from the European Society for Biomaterials. He has been recognized as a top Latino educator by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. He is an elected Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (by the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He served as President for the Society for Biomaterials in 2018-2019. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Engineering.

Haval Shirwan, PhD

Haval Shirwan, PhD

Scientific Advisor and Founder Professor, Department of Child Health and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; Director, Immunomodulation and Translational Research Program at U Missouri; Founder/CEO FasCure Therapeutics, LLC.

Dr. Shirwan obtained his PhD, supported by a NATO scholarship, at the University of California, Santa Barbara followed by post-doctoral training at the California Institute of Technology. He joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, to establish a Molecular Immunology Program with focus on transplantation tolerance, which has remained a long-term career pursuit. He took faculty positions at various institutions in the US and recently relocated to the University of Missouri, Columbia.  The primary focus of Dr. Shirwan’s translational research program is to develop safe and practical immunomodulatory approaches with applications to transplantation, autoimmunity, cancer, and infections. To achieve this goal, Dr. Shirwan co-pioneered with Dr. Esma S. Yolcu a proprietary platform technology, ProtEx™, that allows for the generation of novel recombinant immune ligands and their positional display as single agents or in combination on biological surfaces as a practical and safe alternative to gene therapy for localized immunomodulation.  This concept generated over a dozen of patents that have been licensed by FasCure Therapeutics and iTolerance.

Dr. Shirwan is also assessing various vehicles, including live bacterial vectors and nanoparticles, for targeted delivery of these biologics in vivo to modulate immune effector and regulatory cells for therapeutic outcomes. Ongoing studies demonstrated the efficacy of two lead therapeutic candidates, one being FasL presented by microgels as the iTolerance platform technology, in treating type 1 diabetes in rodents and are presently being assessed for tolerogenic efficacy in humanized mouse and nonhuman primate models as a prelude to clinical translation. In parallel, candidate immunostimulatory molecules are also being developed for cancer immunoprevention and immunotherapy. A lead candidate in this category was shown to train the immune system for long-term protection against various cancer types, the first report of its kind with significant translational potential as prophylactic for cancer and infections.

Additional career highlights include:

  • Michael and Joan Hamilton Endowed Chair in Autoimmune Disease, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, KY
  • Director, Molecular Immunomodulation Program, Institute for Cellular Therapeutics, University of Louisville, KY
  • University Scholar, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, KY
  • Director, Molecular Biology Program, Institute for Cellular Therapeutics, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
  • Associate Director, Transplantation Biology Research Laboratory, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • MediStar 2011 the Crowe Horwath Innovation Award
  • Innovation in Biotechnology award, Research! Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Research in Basic and Applied Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, KY
  • Business First, Partners in Health Care Award.
  • Young Investigator Award, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • American Society of Transplant Physicians-Ortho award
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ph.D. Scholarship
Jim Markmann

Jim Markmann

Scientific Advisor and Founder Chief, Division of Transplantation Surgical Director, Liver, Pancreas and Islet Transplant Programs Clinical Director, MGH Transplant Center

James F. Markmann MD, PhD is the Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery and Director of Clinical Operations at the Transplant Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Claude Welch Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and co-Director for the Center for Transplantation Sciences at MGH. Clinically, he specializes in liver, kidney, pancreas and islet transplantation as well as hemodialysis access surgery. He is active in numerous societies, editorial boards and organizations and is currently President of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association and Treasurer the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. He has published more than 400 scientific papers over the last 30 years, most in the area of immune tolerance and pancreas and islet transplantation and has held continuous NIH R01 funding for >20 years. His current research focuses on development of beta cell replacement as a curative cellular therapeutic with broad applicability for patients with insulin deficient diabetes.