Meet The Team
THOMAS C.K. YUEN
Founder + Chairman of the Board
Thomas Yuen began his “America Dream” success story as a serial entrepreneur; founding several publicly traded companies such as AST Research Inc. and SRS Labs, Inc. Fueled by his own battle with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and with a successful five decades in the computer and electronics industry under his belt, Tom shifted his attention toward his passion for medical regenerative therapies.
Tom began researching stem cells in the 1980’s. Eventually, this research led Tom to embark on a journey toward the scientific expansion of stem cell research into therapeutic applications. In 2002, Tom purchased PrimeGen Biotech, a pioneer in the stem cell space and has since assembled a team of professional scientists to further PrimeGen’s understanding of stem cells and their various therapeutic properties. Through his work, Tom aims to advance the domain of stem cell research and improve the quality of life for people and animals suffering from chronic or debilitating diseases.
AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1974 | UC Irvine – B.S. Electrical Engineering w/ Honors
1986 | UC Irvine – Distinguished Alumnus Award
1987 | UC Irvine – Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award
1990 | UC Irvine – UC Irvine Medal
1991 | Beijing, China – Honorary Minzu University professor
2012 | TechAmerica – Lifetime Achievement Award
2014 | UC Irvine – Extraordinarius Award
UC Irvine Foundation Board of Trustees
Providence Speech & Hearing Center Board
UC Irvine Institute for Innovation Founding Board
DR. RAYMOND TONG M.D., PH.D, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Tong is a physician turned seasoned executive and entrepreneur with 30 years of operational and investment experience in healthcare across Asia and North America. Dr. Tong begun his career as a physician, founding a chain of clinics in Toronto, Canada in 1984. As the chain’s Medical Director and Chief Physician, Dr. Tong grew the operations to 12 clinics within two years with annual revenues of US$10 million in 1988.
Dr. Tong returned to Hong Kong in 1989, where he spent the next 11 years in corporate appointments with a number of multinationals in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Tong entered the investment arena in 2000 when he began his nine-year career with CITIC Pacific Limited as head of its healthcare investment division. In 2009, Dr. Tong founded Eton Corporation, a private company that oversees investment and consultancy businesses in the healthcare and manufacturing industries in the Greater China region. Dr. Tong is currently an Independent Director and the Chairman of Business Development Committee of CP Guojian, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Greater China.
MR. WAI SZETO
Chief Operating Officer
Wai Szeto is an accomplished business development strategist with hands-on experience managing domestic, foreign and joint ventures. Szeto has been instrumental in developing global supply chains and manufacturing facilities for some of the largest companies in the world. Mr. Szeto is seasoned at developing and managing strategic international business deals that have brought billions of dollars in revenue for the companies he has worked for.
Prior to his role as COO at PrimeGen Biotech, Mr. Szeto was the general manager and vice chairman of Kingston China, and vice president, strategic business development at Kingston Technology. At Kingston, Mr. Szeto formed business alliances with major semiconductor companies, set up worldwide supply chain and manufacturing facilities, oversaw corporate mergers and grew major accounts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Prior to Kingston, Mr. Szeto served as vice president of global operations at AST Research, a Fortune 500 and, one of the world’s leading personal computer manufacturers at the time, where he managed engineering groups that created leading-edge personal computers, developed global manufacturing and supply chain networks, managed strategic supplier relationships and oversaw Asia Pacific marketing and sales. Mr. Szeto received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona in 1971 and a master’s in computer science from USC in 1974.
MR. STEVE GERSHICK
Chief Financial Officer
Steve Gershick has substantial hands-on financial, accounting and operational experiences in early stage and hyper-growth private and public companies. Mr. Gershick has served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for many private and public companies in technology, biotechnology and life sciences, including a boutique merchant banking firm and $100 million Special Purpose Acquisition Company funded by Citigroup. Mr. Gershick was the COO/CFO of PrimeGen Biotechnology from 2004-2008. In addition, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Spatializer Audio Laboratories, a publicly traded technology licensing company.
Mr. Gershick also has extensive experience in both private and public company business planning, corporate finance including reverse acquisitions, debt and equity based seed, venture, institutional, and PIPE financing, with interface with the investment community at all levels. He has a strong background in new product launch and roll out, strategic alliance formation and management, mergers & acquisitions, and global technology licensing. Steve is both a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He graduated Summa-Cum-Laude in Accounting/Business Administration from California State University, Northridge in 1977.
DR. FARI IZADYAR DVM, PH.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Fari Izadyar is a veterinarian and well-established scientist in the field of reproductive biology and stem cell research. With over 25 years of experience as a large animal practitioner and scientist, Dr. Izadyar’s has worked with and presented his research studies to private vet clinics and research laboratories, in both the academic and biotech industry. In addition, Dr. Izadyar’s has published numerous papers featured in peer-reviewed journals, directed research programs, both nationally and internationally, and contributed to the development of innovative technique for regenerative stem cell medical application.
Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine
Ph.D. Reproductive & Stem Cell Biology
DR. CHAD MAKI DVM
Chief Medical Officer - Veterinary Solutions
Dr. Chad Maki is a published primary care practitioner with extensive, international training in veterinary medicine. After receiving a medal for outstanding research at the University of Edinburgh and a grant for externship at the Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Maki continued to the Roslin Institute in Scotland to further develop his research in stem cell therapy. Dr. Maki has volunteered with non-profit organizations for veterinary care in the US, UK, and Portugal and continues to present his research to veterinarians and universities globally. Dr. Maki is further developing and delivering stem cell therapies for companion animals and aims to implement stem cell therapies for degenerative, inflammatory, and immune-modulated and organ specific diseases worldwide.
B.S. Biochemistry, UC Berkeley
Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
DR. LEONARD MAKOWKA, M.D., PH.D., FRCS(C), FACS
Chief Medical Officer - Human Solutions
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Makowka has transitioned himself as a distinguished clinical and transplantation surgeon and medical researcher to a successful entrepreneur, advisor and board member in a wide range of industries. Since receiving his M.D. degree from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1977 and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Department of Pathology in 1982, he has published over 400 articles and chapters in both clinical and basic scientific research.
Between 1989 and 1995, Dr. Makowka served as the chairman of the Department of Surgery and director of transplantation services at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. During this time, he also served as professor of surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Makowka would later become executive director of the Comprehensive Liver Disease Center at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, where he created a multiple disciplinary approach to the treatment of liver disease. He is currently the active chairman of the corporate advisory board of the UCLA School of Nursing, and a member of the board of managers at PrimeGen Biotech. Dr. Makowka has since retired from the active practice of medicine and has experienced a successful career in developing investment and business strategies for companies in the healthcare, life sciences, finance, and other industries.
Dr. Makowka has founded and served on the board of directors for various private and publicly traded companies in the healthcare and life science industries.
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