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Our global cross-functional team is destined to develop game-changing health solutions.


Lead Researchers


Guillaume Leroy

EdJen Biotech, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors

Guillaume Leroy is the founder of Global Life Science Advisory, a company dedicated to supporting Executive teams and Boards in the Life Sciences Fields.

Dr. Leroy is an accomplished scientific leader with extensive experience in commercial operations, where he has demonstrated a strong ability to deliver financial growth and public health impact in diverse business settings around the globe. Dr. Leroy also brings a strong track record of transforming organizations, developing talents, managing breakthrough scientific innovations, and navigating highly complex public health and political environments in both developed and emerging countries.

Dr. Leroy served as President of Sanofi France from 2017 to 2020, where he developed and executed a Societal Impact Strategy Roadmap to guide the transformation of 25,000 employees with unions, authorities, and professional organizations. Prior to that, he led a cross-functional R&D and Marketing team to successfully develop and market the first vaccine against dengue fever.

Dr. Leroy started his career at Sanofi Pasteur in Brazil, where he successfully launched the company’s first flu vaccination program before taking on growing P&L accountability at both country and regional levels in Africa, French Overseas Territories, and Latin America. Under his leadership and public health focus, Sanofi Pasteur Latin America became the leading vaccine company in the region, recognized for having set successful strategic industrial partnerships with state-owned companies in both Brazil and Mexico, as well as providing H1N1 pandemic response by supplying vaccines for 20% of the whole population of Latin America.

Dr. Leroy received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Université de Rouen, at Rouen, France and his Marketing Masters from ESCP Business School in Paris.

Daniel Salva

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Daniel Salva holds advisory positions in over 15 startups in Europe, the USA, and Israel in sectors including aviation, healthcare, financial services, food and beverage, and real estate. He has more that $10 billion invested in different private equity ventures.

Mr. Salva brings 20+ years’ experience in international investment banking and finance, holding senior managerial roles in financial centers such as London, New York, Los Angeles, and Monaco. He also has extensive experience in private equity, investment banking, and wealth management experience at Edmond de Rothschild, JP Morgan, Barclays Capital, and UBS Investment Bank.

Mr. Salva holds a B.A. from the University of Malaga and a Masters degree in Finance from the University of London.

Lucia Gonzalez

Chief Financial Officer

Lucia Gonzalez is a finance and venture capital professional with more than 15 years of experience in financial planning, controllership, auditing, human resources, compliance and private equity/debt investments.

Ms. Gonzalez brings experience as a former CFO for a vaccine company, where she was responsible for the finance, operations and supply functions involving multiple vaccine distributors in Asia and Europe.

Ms. Gonzalez started her career in General Electric where she worked in the energy, aviation, water technology and capital sectors for more than 9 years. During her time at GE, she lived abroad in several US cities, Brazil, and Japan. Ms. Gonzalez also has experience managing cross-functional teams and has served as Ombudsperson for many ethical and/or integrity concerns at the Monterrey Center for over 1,000 employees.

Ms. Gonzalez has a passion and acumen for investments and has successfully raised capital investment to support company growth in her former capacity as CFO of a municipal solid waste company. She has been involved in analyzing more than 60 different companies for potential investment.

Ms. Gonzalez holds a bachelor ’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico.

Martin A. Bell

General Counsel and member of the Board of Directors

Martin A. Bell formerly served as Vice Chairman of Blair Investment Banking Corp., a boutique Wall Street firm specializing in public and private financings for new and early-stage companies primarily in the field of biotechnology, for over 28 years.

From 1983 through 1990, Mr. Bell was President and Chief Operating Officer of Service Resources Corp., an NYSE-listed company with operations in multiple industries including office services and financial communications, with offices throughout the U.S. and overseas. From 1977 through 1985, he was an attorney with Finley, Kumble, Wagner, et al., first as an associate and then as a partner, specializing in corporate and securities law.

Mr. Bell has also served as a director of News Communications, Inc., Venus Exploration, Inc. and various other public and private companies.

He is currently on the Board of Directors of JDRF, the leading global organization funding Type 1 Diabetes Research, and the Advisory Board of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University.

Mr. Bell is an Honors graduate of the University of Michigan, 1974, and received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, 1977, where he was an Editor of the Annual Survey of American Law.

Ana Mendez

Chief Administrative Officer

Ana Mendez-Arista has 15+ years of experience in retail and operations of consumer goods, financial services and vaccines.

Ms. Mendez-Arista brings experience in market strategy from the banking industry, where she worked with teams in different countries in Europe, Mexico and Central America to ensure the product market strategy and messaging in each country was aligned to the established product branding guidelines set by global headquarters.

Ms. Mendez-Arista built the market strategy at Banco Azteca for its currency exchange and fine metals businesses and oversaw its operations and budget planning and control, working side by side with the Treasury, Regulatory Committee, IT and Legal department, Accounting and AML office. As currency exchange manager, Ms. Mendez-Arista showed strong commitment to the improvement of services for customers by training tellers, branch, and regional managers of over 1,700 branches.

Prior to that, Ms. Mendez-Arista was a member and active volunteer of the Fundación Pensamiento Libre, a Foundation committed full time with its work focusing on supporting its community, giving empowerment to those she worked with and encouraging the progress of each person. With a hands-on mindset, she worked in a Juvenile Detention Center for girls helping them to work on their high school tests so they could continue their education.

Ms. Mendez-Arista holds a bachelor ’s degree in Financial Management from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico.

Jesse Crowne

Chief Strategy Officer

Jesse Crowne has over 26 years of experience as an investor in and operator of rapidly growing healthcare companies and currently teaches finance classes to graduate students at Westminster College, as well as doing charity work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)— Utah LLS chapter named him Man of the Year in 2017.

Before joining EdJen, Mr. Crowne served as Chief Executive Officer of Nepetx, a pre-clinical biotech company developing an orally administered enzymatic therapy for the treatment of Celiac Disease.

He previously served as Executive Co-Chairman at Medovex Corporation, a publicly-traded medical device company focused on commercializing a minimally invasive, single-use device for the treatment of lower back pain (facet joint syndrome) that provides long-term pain relief. Mr. Crowne has also served as President of Vavotar Life Sciences, a clinical-stage biotech company developing antibody-drug conjugates for oncology applications.

He expanded his operations and investing skillsets during his time as Managing Partner with Gorlin Companies, a healthcare-focused Single-Family Office based out of Aspen, CO. In this capacity, he had the opportunity to co-found several companies and serve on their management teams.

Mr. Crowne began his career as a compounding pharmacy technician before moving over to the world of finance and becoming an Associate with White Pine Medical, a private equity investment vehicle and subsidiary of Essex Woodlands Health Ventures focused on the medical device sector. Within White Pine, he was responsible for tracking and reporting portfolio company performance, completing market research, developing financial models, sourcing deal flow, leading due diligence of potential investments, and presenting financial plans and strategic initiatives to general and limited partners.

Mr. Crowne received an MBA and an MPH from Westminster College and BS degrees in Biology and Economics from the University of Utah.

Claudia Maria Hillmeier

Chief Marketing Officer and member of the Board of Directors

Claudia Hillmeier is a self-made entrepreneur, strategic investor, and advisor for multiple industries across Europe and the Americas. Ms. Hillmeier’s multi-faceted career covers consumer goods, alternative investments, motor sports team & event management as well as real estate development. She has been named as one of the 100 most influential women in Las Vegas Review Journal and was awarded “Newcomer of the year” by QVC Homeshopping Network in 2017 for her extraordinary products in the consumer goods world.

Ms. Hillmeier has 20+ years of expertise in value-driven leadership, brand development and is a recognized expert in building team culture. She is a passionate humanitarian and philanthropist with focus on healthcare and environmental concerns, supporting different organizations and startups who are dedicated to protect our planet and helping humanity with a One-World-Approach.

Ms. Hillmeier secret to success and happiness is having an open, positive, and cross-functional mindset that break boundaries of traditional industries. Being born and raised in Germany she has an extraordinary thrive for precision and never-ending improvement.

Ms. Hillmeier holds a German Bachelor degree in International Trading from Business School Starnberg and has expanded her in-depth marketing and leadership skills through ongoing expert training in these categories.

Gregory A. Poland, M.D., FIDSA, MACP, FRCP (London)

EdJen Biotech, Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board

EdJen Biotech, Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board
Gregory A. Poland, M.D., is a world-renowned physician-scientist* who currently serves as founding director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group (VRG) — a state-of-the-art research group and laboratory that seeks to understand genetic drivers of viral vaccine response and the application of systems biology approaches to the generation of immunity to develop novel vaccines against emerging pathogens critical to public health.

The Poland lab developed the field of viral vaccine immunogenetics, the immune response network theory, the field of vaccinomics and adversomics, as well as mass spectrometry-based identification and utilization of peptide-based vaccine candidates.

Dr. Poland has been awarded over $200 million in competitive extramural research funding.

*Current titles

  • Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Clinic;

  • Distinguished Investigator of Mayo Clinic;

  • Editor-in-Chief of the journal Vaccine;

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London)

Awards/Former positions

  • Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence;

  • Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the highest civilian award given by the Department of Defense

  • Chairman/member of every US federal committee involved in vaccine decision-making, where he advocated for and successfully persuaded the CDC to recommend annual influenza vaccine for all Americans from 6 months of age and older, and was the initial and primary advocate for requiring influenza immunization for all health care providers

  • (2012) Selected on of the Top 25 vaccine influencers in the world by Terrapin International survey

  • (2006) President of the Defense Health Board and appointed by President George W. Bush, serving two terms

  • President of the Department of Defense’s Defense Health Board and the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board

  • Member of Infectious Diseases Society of America Taskforce on Pandemic Influenza

  • Chairman of the American College of Physicians’ Adult Immunization Advisory Board

  • Dr. Poland has published over 650 professional papers and/or book chapters. He received his medical degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, and completed his residency and advanced post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota.

Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Ph.D.

EdJen Biotech, Laboratory Research Lead

Inna Ovsyannikova is the Director of Laboratory-based Studies for Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group and a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Ovsyannikova brings a comprehensive, systems-level understanding of how age, race, and sex affect innate and adaptive immunity, particularly regarding measles, mumps, rubella, and influenza vaccine response.

She is a leading researcher in the field of age-related changes and defects in the regulation and function of immune responses to the influenza vaccine virus in elderly persons. Dr. Ovsyannikova’s current research is focused on the immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the development of a COVID-19 peptide-based vaccine.

She has published over 220 scientific manuscripts and 15 books/book chapters and has participated in more than 180 scientific exhibits and presentations at national and international societies.

Dr. Ovsyannikova is the Associate Editor of Vaccine and also holds current membership in the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society for Microbiology. She has served on many National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections and international review panels.

Dr. Ovsyannikova received her Ph.D. degree from the Ilya Mechnikov Research Institute for Vaccines and Sera in Moscow, Russia, and completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Virginia and has two fellowships in Clinical Pharmacology and Vaccinology at Mayo Clinic.

Richard B. Kennedy, Ph.D.

EdJen Biotech, Immunology Research Lead

Richard B. Kennedy is a Professor of Medicine and the Co-Director of Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group.

Dr. Kennedy brings a deep understanding of the factors driving the tremendous diversity in human immune responses to vaccines against viral pathogens including influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, SARS-CoV-2, smallpox, varicella, and zika. His research focuses on the role of host genetic variation, age and immunosenescence, nutrition, and other factors on the development and maintenance of immunity following vaccination. His laboratory at Mayo Clinic applies systems biology and vaccinomics approaches to gain a better understanding of the complex interactions that occur during the development of vaccine response in order to predict and control vaccine-induced immune responses and adverse events.

Dr. Kennedy currently serves as Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Vaccine and is a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society for Microbiology. He has served on dozens of NIH study sections and international review panels.

Dr. Kennedy has received several R01 grants from NIH to fund his work on viral vaccine immunology, and he is the Principal Investigator (PI) of a CDC contract using single-cell technologies to evaluate the T cell response to influenza vaccination. He is also a site PI for one of three NIAID Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers.

Dr. Kennedy has over 120 peer-reviewed publications in journals including Lancet Infectious Diseases, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, and Frontiers in Immunology and has authored 8 book chapters, and participated in well over 100 scientific posters, abstracts, and presentations at national and international vaccine, virology, and immunology meetings.

Dr. Kennedy received his B.S. degree in Microbiology from Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. in Immunology from Mayo Clinic with postdoctoral training in immunogenetics and vaccinology.

John C. Burnett Jr., M.D.

E-Star Biotech, Scientific Co-Founder and Member of Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Burnett is the Marriott Family Professor of Cardiovascular Research and Professor of Medicine and Physiology, Director of the Cardiorenal Research Laboratory and Mayo Distinguished Investigator at the Mayo Clinic. He also served as the Director of Research for the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Burnett studies the endocrine role of the heart in cardiorenal homeostasis with a focus on the natriuretic peptides in heart failure, hypertension and cardiometabolic disease. The long-term goal is the engineering and clinical development of novel designer natriuretic peptides for the treatment of human cardiorenal disease, including the development of innovative natriuretic peptide-based diagnostics.

With continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Burnett and his team have developed multiple novel designer peptides three of which are currently in clinical trials targeting heart failure and resistant hypertension. From this work, 29 patents have been awarded and five new biotechnology companies founded.

He is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Mayo Cardiovascular Research Center. He also is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Heart Center of Singapore. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians. He has received many honors including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Heart Failure Society of America and the Distinguished Mayo Alumnus Award.

Horng H. Chen, M.D.

E-Star Biotech, Scientific Co-Founder

Dr. Chen is Professor of Medicine, Chair of the Division of Circulatory Failure, Co-Director for the Biological Agents and Drug Innovation Program, Associate Director NIH T32 Training Program and Co-Director Cardiorenal Research Laboratory all at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Chen has been a pioneer in translating natriuretic peptide therapeutics from the bench to the bedside. His work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health in heart failure. He provided scientific leadership to the First-in-Human study of MANP in human essential hypertension and is investigating MANP in human heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. He was the National Principal Investigator, leading a multicenter clinical trial performed within the NHLBI Heart Failure Clinical Research Network entitled: “The ROSE Study”. The Results of the study were presented as a late breaking clinical trial at the American Heart Association Scientific Session with simultaneous publication in JAMA.

Dr. Chen holds 7 patents for designer natriuretic peptides and serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of the American College of Cardiology Heart Failure and the Journal of the Heart Failure Society of America. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2012.

George L Bakris – MD, F.A.H.A., F.A.S.N

E-Star Biotech, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Bakris is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the American Heart Association Comprehensive
Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medicine. He has published over 800 peer-reviewed
articles and book chapters in diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, and nephropathy progression. He
is the Editor or Co-Editor of 22 books in the areas of Diabetic Kidney Disease Progression and the
new 3rd edition of Hypertension: A Companion to Braunwald’s The Heart.

Additionally, he served on the Cardiorenal Advisory Board of the FDA and consultant to CMS and chaired the first National Kidney Foundation Consensus report on blood pressure and the impact on kidney disease progression in 2000. He has additionally served on several national guideline committees, including The Joint National Committee JNC 7 executive committee, and writing group, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Clinical Practice Guideline Committee, and the National Kidney Foundation (K-DOQI), Blood Pressure and Diabetes Guideline committees.

Dr Bakris chaired the ADA Blood Pressure Consensus Report (2016) and served on the ACC/AHA Writing Committee on the Resistant Hypertension Consensus report from 2016-2017. Dr. Bakris is the Past President of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Society of Hypertension (ASH). He is the recipient of the Irvine Page-Alva Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award-Am Heart Association High Blood Pressure Council (2019) and National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Lifetime Service Award.

He serves on more than 15 editorial boards and is the current Editor-in-Chief of Am J Nephrology, Editor-in-Chief- UpToDate, Nephrology section, Hypertension Section Editor UpToDate and Associate Editor of Diabetes Care and Hypertension Research.

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