Our Team

Geoffrey Sargent, PhD, CEO, Chair, has been working in the field of gene editing in mammalian cells since 1987 starting at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer UK) in Great Britain. He was one of the first researchers to use a site-specific DNA strand breaking system in 1994 to study gene editing by homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining in mammalian cells while working at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. In 1998 Geoff moved to the San Francisco Bay area to work in a biotech startup developing high efficiency gene editing technologies for therapeutics and engineering large animals for AgBio applications. He has continued to work in biotech and academia developing gene editing technologies in pluripotent stem cells for treatment of Sickle cell disease and Cystic Fibrosis. During this time, Geoff has held positions at UCSF, and as CSO and VP Research in Stem Cell and Gene Therapy companies.

William J. Garner, MD Director founded EGB Ventures, where he has focused on advancing technologies and companies to significant value inflection points, leading to monetization of assets via licensing, M&A or IPO transactions. He has extensive director-level and executive management experience, including his current appointments as Chairman of Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) & InMed Pharmaceuticals (TSX:IN). He also co-founded Del Mar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:DMPI) and has experience in medical affairs at Roche, Dr. Garner was a healthcare merchant banker in New York City. He has a Master of Public Health from Harvard and earned his M.D. at New York Medical College. He did residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Columbia-Presbyterian.

Al Hansen, MBA Director is an experienced small company investor and executive with over 30 years experience in small company investments, management and investment banking. He is currently CEO/founder of KESA Partners Inc., which invests in small drug and medical device companies. Formerly, as a partner with Signet Healthcare Partners, he was Chairman/Interim CEO of Questcor Pharmaceuticals (eventually sold to Mallinkrodt for $5 billion), Executive Chairman of Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals (later sold to Albany Molecular for over $40 million) and Chairman of Molecular Medicine Bioservices (sold to SAFC for over $20 million.) He was formerly a principal with Darby Overseas (now a part of Franklin Templeton.) He was also Director of Corporate Finance at the US Treasury. He was an investment banker with Dillon Read and E.F. Hutton. He also served as a Special Forces officer in the U.S. Army. He holds an M.B.A. (with distinction) from the Wharton School and an A.B. from Princeton University. 


CFO (acting)

David L. Tousley, MBA, CPA, is currently the Principal of Stratium Consulting Services assisting companies with strategic and financial planning and management, and brings an impressive list of professional achievements in all aspects of financial, pharmaceutical development and process management. Mr. Tousley has over 35 years of business experience including biotech, specialty pharmaceuticals and full phase pharmaceutical companies. He has held President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer roles in companies such as KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, Inc., DARA Biosciences, Pasteur, Merieux, Connaught, (known today as Sanofi-Pasteur), AVAX Technologies, Inc., airPharma, LLC, and PediaMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and and has led companies in all aspects of operations, including pharmaceutical development. He has managed in both the private and public company environment, taking a company public, raising over two hunred million dollars in debt and equity financings and has led business development activities, including joint ventures, partnerships, acquisitions and divestitures in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Mr. Tousley is a Ceritified Public Account, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, holds an undergraduate degree from Rutgers College and earned his MBA in accounting from Rutgers Graduate School of Business.

Legal Counsel

Jolie Kahn, JD, practices in the areas of corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, reverse mergers, and general corporate, family law, banking, and real estate matters. She represent both public and private companies, hedge funds, and other institutional investors in their role as investors in public companies.

Ms. Kahn prepares and files the full gamut of Securities Act and Securities Exchange Act filings. She also works with companies and hedge funds in complex transactions involving the structuring and negotiation of multi-million dollar debt and equity financings, mergers, and acquisitions. 

In addition to her corporate practice, Jolie has a family law practice in which she deals with a wide range of domestic relations matters. As a single mother who has personally dealt with difficult divorce, custody, and visitation issues, Jolie is a knowledgeable and caring advocate for her family law clients. She understands the importance of finding successful solutions to emotionally-charged family issues.

Scientist

Michael Yezzi, PhD has been working in the fields of Cell and Molecular Biology since receiving his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. He has worked at the University of California, San Francisco in various departments and laboratories studying DNA repair and rearrangements, mast cell proteases, and genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle Cell Anemia. He has acquired extensive expertise in the initiation, culture, and characterization of human primary, transformed and IP stem cell lines. Over the years his knowledge base has grown to include gene editing technologies and how to apply these to the study of genetic diseases. He is excited to be part of a brand new endeavor in the field of gene editing.