Stephen S. Halasz, Vice President and General Counsel
Mr. Halasz has over twenty years’ experience in complex business transactions and is concurrently VP and General Counsel of Synergenics, LLC, where he is also responsible for legal matters pertaining to its portfolio companies. Previously, he practiced law with a large Denver law firm from 1984 until 1999, where he handled numerous joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, securities offerings, licensing transactions, and international commercial transactions. He has experience in many industries, including the life sciences, telecommunications, computer software and hardware, and cable television. In 2000, Mr. Halasz joined a private investment group as general counsel and partner to pursue opportunities in telecommunications and media. Mr. Halasz also co-founded a manufacturer of consumer opto/electronic devices, and served as CEO of that entity while it was successfully reorganized in 2003 - 2005. Mr. Halasz received his J.D. degree from Yale Law School.
William J. Rutter, Managing Partner
Dr. Rutter is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Synergenics LLC, which provides strategic science and business advice to concept-stage biotechnology startup companies. Dr. Rutter also serves as Chairman Emeritus of Chiron, the company he co-founded in 1981. As Chairman of the Board and the executive committee from Chiron's inception until 1999, Dr. Rutter was involved directly in management of virtually all activities of the company, especially in operations. He had direct responsibilities of Research and Development, Vaccines, Diagnostics, Strategic Planning, Business Development and Legal; he negotiated all major deals. Dr. Rutter also serves on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has published more than 380 scientific articles and holds more than 20 patents and patent applications. Dr. Rutter served as director of the Hormone Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) from 1983 to 1989 and chairman of the university's department of biochemistry and biophysics from 1979 to 1982. During his tenure at UCSF, Dr. Rutter and his lab made key contributions to the emerging discipline of biotechnology, including work on the development of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering.
Matthias Wabl, Managing Partner
Dr. Wabl was a co-founder of Sagres Discovery, Inc. (acquired by Chiron in 2004), served as its President from 1999-2001, and as Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, from 1999-2003. He wrote the business plan for the company, secured the first round of financing and introduced Novartis to the second round of financing. He led the drug development efforts for the company as the de facto CSO. Dr. Wabl initiated and negotiated Sagres’ major corporate collaboration, with Boehringer Ingelheim. Dr. Wabl was an advisor to the generation of the Xenomouse of Abgenix and has been on the scientific advisory boards of a number of biotechnology companies, including Rigel, Morphotek, and Anaptys. He is an advisor to the FDA and has been a member of the NIH, Small Business Innovative Research Study Section. Dr. Wabl is also a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).
Bruce Wang, Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Wang designed and implemented Picobella’s core technology, and is responsible for the daily operations. Over the past 13 years, Mr. Wang has gained significant experience at both start-up and mature biotechnology companies, including Khepri Pharmaceuticals, Incyte Genomics, and Signature BioScience, in numerous scientific and senior management roles. At Incyte Genomics, he worked on the development of gene expression technologies in high-throughput production operations. He also led a cross-functional research team that developed a next-generation microarray platform and manufactured the world’s first whole genome Drosophila microarray. Most recently at Signature BioScience, he was responsible for developing the gene expression operation of the functional genomics group. Mr. Wang received a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.S. degree from the University of California, San Francisco.
Susan Vandegrift, Vice President, Finance
Ms. Vandegrift has over 20 years of finance and administrative experience. Ms. Vandegrift is concurrently the VP Finance of Synergenics, LLC, an organization founded by Dr. Bill Rutter which invests in and provides strategic, business, and administrative services to a consortium of start-up biotech and life science companies. During her 3 years with Synergenics, she has set up and directed the financial and administrative operations of over 10 affiliated start-up companies, many with international operations. Prior to Synergenics, Ms. Vandegrift handled the financial affairs of Brightmail, Inc, a technology start-up, including operational finance, planning, risk management, tax and treasury. Ms. Vandegrift spent over 8 years at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a member of the audit group. Ms. Vandegrift holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Fairfield University.
Jimmy Z. Zhang, Vice President, Business Development
Dr. Zhang is responsible for the business development of Synergenics, LLC and its portfolio companies. Dr. Zhang also serves as the acting CEO of two portfolio companies, ReLIA Diagnostic Systems, LLC (USA), and Silgen Biotechnologies (Shenzhen), LLC. Before joining Synergenics, Dr. Zhang was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where his work encompassed strategic planning, global and country strategies, market entry and expansion strategies, M&A/business development, operations and marketing. He was a registered patent agent at Morrison & Foerster, and has also served as an independent consultant in the biotech industry. Dr. Zhang received his B.S. in biochemistry from Nanjing University, a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and an MBA degree from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Gábor Bartha, Director, Information Sciences
Dr. Bartha developed and maintains the bioinformatics tools and data flows
that Picobella uses to process its growing database of retroviral information.
Since 2004, he has also been the Director of Information Sciences at Synergenics,
LLC with responsibility for the information systems and providing bioinformatics
consulting services to the affiliated start-up companies. At Synergenics,
he successfully implemented major computing and telecommunications infrastructure
improvement projects. Prior to Picobella, Dr. Bartha worked for 7 years at
Incyte Genomics in a wide range of scientific and management roles. His projects
included gene expression data analysis, microarray database production, and
the development of a state-of-the-art basecaller and gene information software
product. Dr. Bartha received his Ph.D. in computational biology from the University
of Southern California and an A.B. in physics from Harvard University.