Executive Chairman, Crown Bio
Founder and CEO, Epitomics
Dr. Yu is executive chairman of CrownBio and co-founded Epitomics Inc., an antibody based biotechnology company recently acquired by Abcam for $170 M. He served as Chairman, President and CEO of Epitomics Inc. for 10 years.
Dr. Yu’s success is driven by his scientific curiosity and a passion to translate scientific discovery to real products. His challenge is to balance his time between science and business, fun and work, family and community. He came from China to pursue advanced training after graduating from Fudan University in 1984. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley where he and Dr. Carol W. Greider discovered telomerase and its mechanism in Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn’s lab. Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Greider received Nobel Prize in 2009 for their discovery. Dr. Yu subsequently joined Dr. Frederick Ausubel’s lab at Harvard to pursue the question how plants defend themselves against pathogens without an immune system. He identified the first plant disease resistance gene. In 1993, when genomics was still in its infancy, Dr. Yu became one of the first Senior Scientists at Human Genome Sciences Inc., identifying human genes for drug discovery. Among the important drug targets he studied, BLys was the first successfully genomic target for the development of a lupus antibody drug, Benlysta, approved by FDA in 2010. In 1998, Dr. Yu began to identify plant genes with economic value for agriculture and bioenergy. He served as Senior Vice President of R&D at Mendel Biotechnology Inc., where his team analyzed the function of a complete set of plant transcription factors. Several valuable traits such as enhanced crop yield, disease resistance, and drought tolerance were identified.
Guo-Liang has co-authored 40 peer-reviewed and is a co-inventor of more than 200 patents. Guo-Liang is the founding president of the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association and serves on the boards of several professional organizations including Bayhelix, CABS, National Foundation of Cancer Research, Ray Wu Memorial Foundation, the University of the Pacific in the US and China. Dr. Yu is generous in coaching young entrepreneurs and also serves on the board of directors for six start-up companies.