the best of professionals

Dwain Morris-Irvin, PhD, MPH.
Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Morris-Irvin leads all basic science and clinical research projects. He received his PhD from UCLA School of Medicine, MPH, from UCLA School of Public Health, and trained at The Wallenberg Neuroscience Center at Lund University in Lund, Sweden. He was also a Professor, Faculty member at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Morris-Irvin received his PhD in Pharmacology and Developmental Neuroscience with an emphasis on neural stem cell fate and differentiation. His research focused on neural development and Notch Signaling in mammalian neural stem cells. He also worked as an NIH/NINDS Post-Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Anders Bjorklund laboratory in Lund, Sweden. There, his focus was on research projects that investigated the potential role of cell replacement therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. They developed several protocols for the efficient generation of dopaminergic neurons from forebrain and ventral midbrain stem and progenitor cells. Dr. Morris-Irvin also worked as a Research Scientist, Assistant Professor, and Faculty member at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Neurosurgery. He led research investigations in the role of adaptive immunity in Parkinson’s disease. He also developed two patents in the area of immunotherapy for brain tumor patients, specifically Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). He research team focused on molecular mechanisms that impart therapeutic resistance in cancer cells, including cancer stem cells. They utilized these data to develop novel immunotherapies for brain tumor patients.

Andrew Norris, PhD
CTO

Dr. Andrew Norris has a varied background in both business and the technology sector. He is Co-founder of The Midvale Group LLC in 2002, consulting in both the technology and biotechnology sector. Dr. Norris has also Co-founded BCN Biosciences in Pasadena CA (2005), which is a privately held biotechnology company whose principal focus is in the area of oncology drug development. Dr. Norris has been directly responsible for, or co-raised over $20M in funding for the technology and Biotechnology sector. He currently serves as an officer/director at BCN Biosciences and also holds a research faculty position at the University of California Los Angeles Department of Radiation Oncology.

Dr. Norris received his PhD from UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology. His research focused on synthesizing molecular inhibitors against cancer cells. He also trained in the Surgical Oncology Department at UCLA focusing his research on novel drug discovery for breast cancer patients.

Peter Weinstein, JD, Phd
Legal Council

Dr. Weinstein counsels in all aspects of Intellectual property, transaction and corporate law. He received his Juris Doctorate degree at Boston College Law School. Dr. Weinstein is a registered patent attorney and is licensed to practice law in California and is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California.

Previously, Dr. Weinstein worked for many years as Senior Patent Counsel at Baxter Healthcare Corporation where he was responsible for managing legal and intellectual property matters for Baxter’s major hemophilia products like Advate® and major research and development programs in hemophilia. This work entailed working with multidisciplinary teams in the United States, Europe and Asia. Prior to Baxter, Dr. Weinstein worked in the San Diego Offices of the law firms of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Fish & Richardson where his practice focused on the management and prosecution of patent portfolios for biotech and high tech companies and patent and general civil litigation. During law school, he worked full-time as a patent agent in the Boston Office of Goodwin Procter. Dr. Weinstein also worked as an Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office followed by a stint as a Senior Scientist at a biotech company where he was responsible for the Animal Health Group developing vaccines and other therapeutics for the treatment of infectious disease in large animals.

Dr. Weinstein received his Ph.D. in Biology with an emphasis in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. Following receipt of his Ph.D., Dr. Weinstein worked as a Research Fellow, first at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and then at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease in Frederick, Maryland where he investigated the molecular development of antibody diversity and developed vaccines.

Dean Stathakis, PhD, JD
Legal Council

Dr. Stathakis counsels in IP procurement, IP portfolio development, licensing and other transactional agreements, and life cycle management. He received his Juris Doctorate degree with magna cum laude honors along with a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law from Whittier Law School. Dr. Stathakis is a registered patent attorney, is licensed to practice law in California and is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He is also a member of the Licensing Executive Society (LES), American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and the Orange County Patent Law Association (OCPLA) for which he is currently a board member.

Previously, Dr. Stathakis worked at the global law firm K&L Gates, LLP where he managed all aspects of patent procurement including patent drafting, prosecution, appeals, and term extensions; prepared validity, due diligence, and freedom-to-operate assessments; and evaluated IP license and other contractual agreements. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Dean practiced at Allergan, Inc., a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, where he managed the legal and intellectual property matters related to BOTOX®, recombinant biologics and small molecule pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Stathakis received his Ph.D. in Biology with an emphasis in molecular and developmental biology from the University of Virginia for his research on discovering a novel negative regulator of catecholaminergic neurotransmitter biosynthesis. Following receipt of his Ph.D., Dr. Stathakis worked as a Research Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, first investigating the role of tumor suppressors in human oncology using molecular biology and epidemiology studies, and second on investigating how multiple cell signaling pathways are correctly interpreted and integrated by cells in a spatial and temporal-dependent manner. His research has been the subject of numerous publications in peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Steven Temple, L.R.A., L.I.A., L.S.A., E.A., M.S.
C.F.O.

Steve Temple provides financial management services. He has more than 25 years of business management, accounting and tax experience. His firm manages it clients’ overall accounting, financial reporting, financial services and tax planning while simultaneously minimizing financial pitfalls.

Steven Temple has a BS in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Taxation with emphasis in Entertainment and International taxes. He holds licenses in real estate, insurance, securities (6&63) and his designation of Enroll Agent grants. He is currently a Los Angeles County Small Business Commissioner where he is involved in influencing policy changes for the betterment of local small businesses.