Please enable JS

Our team

Mr. Zhong Guo: Chairman of the Board of Director

Mr. Zhong Guo has over ten years experience as a General Manager of China Agricultural Bank, Shenyang city, China and has an extensive amount of expertise in investing in the air-conditioning, tourism, and mining industries. In 2000, he acquired a molybdenum mine and started the exploration, development, and processing of that mine which in turn caused the mine to become a profitable operation. In 2013, Mr. Zhong Guo expanded his business in Canada and invested in three junior mining companies focusing on gold, diamond, and uranium explorations. From 2014, Mr. Zhong Guo started investing in medical health industry including pharmaceutical drug development.

Hongwei Cheng, M.D., PhD: Co-founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Cheng is a co-founder, a board member and the President & Chief Executive Officer of Pharmaplanter Technologies. Dr. Cheng assembled the scientific and management teams to implement the company’s vision. As a trained clinical physician, Dr. Cheng has over 10 years of medical practice experience in orthopaedic and plastic surgeries in China. He got his Ph.D from Beijing Union University and received his PDF training at University of Chicago. As a scientist, he spent 7 years in the translational research area, by working with Dr. Yuzhou Wang at BC Cancer Agency Research Center. He has published over 40 scientific papers in cancer biology, preclinical drug development and disease modelling, in journals such as Blood, Nature and Cancer Cell et. al. In 2017, Dr. Cheng started Pharmaplanter Technologies with his colleague Dr. Jianghong An. Under their leadership, Pharmaplanter Technologies has launched the company’s first product pipeline, Amana Nutraceuticals, in the global market. His broad interest and experience in translational science make Dr. Cheng a strong leader in the modern pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Nahum Sonenberg, PhD: Scientific Advisory Board Chair

Dr. Sonenberg's primary research has been on the translational control of protein synthesis. Notably, he discovered the mRNA 5' cap-binding protein, eIF4E, the rate-limiting component of the eukaryotic translation apparatus, and also discovered the regulation of eIF4E by the eIF4EBPs. In addition, he has helped to decipher the roles of various other proteins involved in translation including the roles of other subunits of eIF4F (of which eIF4E is a member) including the helicase activity which scans mRNA to find the initiation codon. Sonenberg also discovered the Internal ribosome entry site (IRES) mode of translation, the cap-independent initiation of translation, which is critical for some mRNA involved in stress, cell cycling and apoptosis. His work in basic science has had an impact in the study of cancer, including the realization that eIF4E over expression is prominent in many cancers, and has suggested its utility as a tumor marker. Currently, he has expanded his research into topics such as the roles of translation in neurobiology and synaptic plasticity. Presently, his lab works on translational control in cancer, oncolytic viruses as anti-cancer drugs, microRNA control of translation, and translational control of plasticity, learning and memory. He received the Gairdner Foundation International Award in 2008 for his contributions to medical science. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010.

Poul Sorensen, MD, PhD

Dr. Poul Sorensen is a molecular pathologist specializing in the genetics and biology of pediatric cancers. Dr. Sorensen holds the Johal Endowed Chair in Childhood Cancer Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and is Professor of Pathology at UBC. He is also an Honorary Professor at University College London. Dr. Sorensen is a founding member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Pediatric Cancer Working Group. Dr. Sorensen was principal investigator of the recent Canadian Pediatric Cancer Genome Consortium, funded by Genome Canada, the CIHR, and other agencies in Canada, focusing on the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to identify disease drivers in high-risk childhood cancers. He is also a principal investigator on the recently awarded Stand Up 2 Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team grant focused on immunotherapeutic approaches to targeting high-risk childhood cancers, and his group runs several major components of this prestigious award, including the Pathology Core. Dr. Sorensen’s laboratory, located at the BC Cancer Research Centre, where he is a distinguished scientist, focuses on using both genetic approaches (such as NGS) and biochemical methods (e.g. proteomics) to identify deregulated signaling cascades in childhood cancer cells. His group has discovered many novel translocation associated alterations in childhood cancer (e.g. Knezevich et al, Nat Genet, 1998, Tognon et al, Cancer Cell, 2002). Moreover, the group has extensive renown in utilizing genetic findings as a means to characterize relevant cancer biology (e.g. Evdokimova et al, Cancer Cell, 2009, Mendoza-Naranjo et al, EMBO Mol Med, 2013, Leprivier et al, Cell, 2013, Daugaard et al, Nat Comm, 2013, Somasekharan et al, J Cell Biol, 2015, El-Naggar et al, Cancer Cell, 2015, and Delaidelli et al, Cell Death and Differentiation, 2017), and stress signalling in neurodegenerative diseases (Rotblat et al, PNAS, 2014 and Jan et al, Acta Neuropathologica, 2017). Current work is focused on how cancer cells respond to acute stress. The overarching hypothesis is that adaptation to such stresses through altered mRNA translation and protein synthesis leads to tumour cell clonal selection and metastasis. The group therefore utilizes a variety of proteomic and other techniques to probe the “translatome” of stressed tumour cells to identify new targets for therapy in aggressive human solid tumours that might not otherwise be evident using genomic methodology.

Jianghong An, PhD: Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Jianghong An has more than ten years of experience in rational drug discovery and development. He has been leading several projects involving molecular docking and large scale in silico screening of chemical libraries, resulting in identification of small molecule inhibitors for prostate cancer, brain tumors, the influenza virus, and various other diseases. Dr An established the computational drug screening platform with the capacity of screening over one million compounds per day at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. His research interests include anti-cancer drug target identification, computational drug screening, machine learning in drug discovery, and personalized medicine. Dr. An worked at several prestigious institutes such as the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research(RIKEN, Japan) and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI, USA). He developed the Pocket-Finder, a protein-ligand binding site prediction program which he used to construct the world’s first “pocketome”, a comprehensive collection of protein-ligand binding sites based on all of the structures in the Protein Data Bank. He also developed an ab initio protein loop prediction program based on the optimal-bias Monte Carlo minimization algorithm which can accurately model the 3-D conformation of  “missing loops” of protein 3D structures. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

Dr. Jeff Pelletier, PhD: Scientific Advisory Board Member

Dr. Pelletier is a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Oncology and a member of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre. He is also a James McGill Professor. The overarching focus of his research program is to understand how translation, a process fundamental to all cells, becomes deregulated in disease - ranging from orphan diseases to cancer to neurological disorders. Dysregulation of mRNA translation is a frequent feature of neoplasia and Pelletier’s studies have identified nodal points that are druggable vulnerabilities as well as unique small molecule inhibitors that interdict this process. He has also developed mouse cancer models that mimic small molecule-mediated targeted inhibition at the organismal level and have used these to validate the concept of targeting translation initiation in vivo. Furthermore, he has developed powerful methods for applying genome engineering technology to suppress gene function in a stable manner. He has an internationally recognized research program that integrates powerful mouse cancer models, chemical biology, and genome engineering to explore the role of translation in tumor maintenance and cell death mechanisms and characterize their impact on treatment response.

Dr. Jinjun Shi: Scientific Advisory Board Member

Dr. Shi is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a faculty member in the Center for Nanomedicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He has developed various nanotechnologies for drug delivery and biomedical applications. The immunonanotherapeutic technologies developed by him and his colleagues are now in clinical trials for more than 45 papers and he holds over 40 patents/patent applications worldwide. Prior to joining the HMS faculty, Dr. Shi received his postdoctoral training at BWH/HMS with Dr. Omid Farokhzad and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Dr. Robert Langer. He is the recipient of the K99/R00 Career Transition Award from National Institutes of Health and the Young Investigator Award and Movember Challenge Award from Prostate Cancer Foundation. He earned his B.S. from Tsinghua University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Gongbo Li, PhD: Board member, independent non-executive director

Dr. Gongbo Li previously was an associate professor at the China University of Geosciences, Beijing, and has published numerous papers in renowned journals and has many patents to his name. After immigrating to Canada, he worked as the chief researcher of a multiple missile impacts project which was sponsored by the US air force in the US and worked as a mining expert for more than 15 years in searching for and identifying mineral investment success that potentially provide superior returns to shareholders. He is currently the CEO and president of Carlincore Resources Ltd. which is a carlin type gold project in Yukon, Canada.