Meet Our Experts
Viola Wang, Ph.D.
Dr. Viola Wang provides technical support for WuXi AppTec’s global DMPK services in both US and China sites to our international clients primarily. Dr. Wang obtained her B.S. from China Pharmaceutical University majoring in Pharmaceutical Technologies. She then spent several years in Europe and obtained her Masters from King’s College London and subsequently her Ph.D. in Oral Drug Delivery from University College Dublin in Ireland. After moving to the US, she spent two years studying gastrointestinal barrier function at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research outside Philadelphia before starting her roots in preclinical CRO as a study director and associate director of biopharmaceutics. She has more than 15 years of hands-on experience in preclinical drug discovery and development in the field of DMPK.
In addition to her SME role, Dr. Wang can also be reached out to assist any DMPK study related questions for studies conducted in our Cranbury, NJ site.
Libo Xu, Ph.D.
Senior Director, DMPK
Dr. Libo Xu is leading the Biotransformation and In Vitro ADME functions at WuXi AppTec’s US-New Jersey facility. Dr. Xu leads both functions to support and deliver high-quality results of IND-enabling Drug-Drug Interaction (DDI) and metabolite identification studies during the development stage. Dr. Xu has more than 20 years of extensive experience and knowledge in both DMPK and medicinal chemistry. She had authored 20 publications and conference presentations, as well as 25 patents. Before joining WuXi AppTec in 2017, she had 15+ years of drug discovery research experience at large pharma, collaborating closely with biology, DMPK and pharmacology to advance discovery projects to Pre-Clinical Candidate approval through lead optimization.
Sharon Tong, Ph.D.
Executive Director and US-New Jersey Site Head
Dr. Sharon Tong has about 30 years’ experience in the fields of bioanalytical and drug metabolism at both pharmaceutical industry and contract research organization. She has a strong record of managing high efficiency operation teams and GLP facility, establishing state-of-art new technology platforms, and delivering drug candidates to support from early discovery through IND-enabling to late-stage clinical development cycle. Prior to joining WuXi AppTec, she held multiple scientific and management positions at Merck Research Laboratories. She has published or co-authored more than 70 scientific research articles for drug discovery and development. Dr. Tong received her Ph.D. at University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her post-Doctoral work at Cornell University.
Susan McPherson, MSc, ERT, CM
Executive Director of Toxicology
Sue McPherson, MSc, ERT, CM , has more than 30 years of global toxicology experience. Before joining WuXi AppTec, she worked at Charles River Laboratories (Montreal), where she was a study director in general toxicology and reproductive toxicology and moved into program management. She later moved to the Shanghai facility, where she worked as the toxicology manager, overseeing and supporting the study director group and working with the business development (BD) group to promote the site. She earned a master’s degree in biochemical pharmacology from the University of Hertfordshire while working at Huntingdon Life Sciences as a study director. As WuXi AppTec’s current executive director of toxicology, Sue oversees the study directors who perform the in-life toxicology studies and provides clients and business development colleagues technical support for toxicology programs.
Amy Wu, Ph.D.
Director, Project Management Bioanalysis
Dr. Amy Wu leads the BAS project management team at WuXi AppTec. She also provides technical support for clinical and nonclinical bioanalytical services and is a key contributor to many clinical study teams. Dr. Wu earned a bachelor’s degree from Beijing University, majoring in physical and colloid chemistry. Afterward, she earned a doctoral degree in physical organic chemistry from Rice University as a Harry B. Weiser Research Scholar. Dr. Wu has more than 20 years of experience in drug development, focusing on chemistry, manufacturing and controls (C.M.C.) and bioanalysis for big pharma and CROs. She also knows various agencies’ Good Practice (GxP) regulations and policies. Dr. Wu’s strong scientific and leadership skills have made her a recipient of many business awards. She has numerous publications in her field and is an invited speaker at international conferences.
Jianbo Diao, Ph.D.
Director of Bioanalytical Services
Dr. Jianbo Diao is the director of the BAS immunochemistry team at WuXi AppTec. He is responsible for managing A.D.A., Nab, FACS, and qPCR groups and developing new technology and capacity to support comprehensive bioanalysis requests of customers’ clinical studies. Dr. Diao focuses on P.K., P.D., and immunogenicity analysis of biological therapeutic products such as antibodies, recombinant proteins, and other protein/peptide-based drugs. Beyond that, he also has extensive experience with gene and cell therapy bioanalysis. Dr. Diao also leads the team responsible for bioanalysis of new drug modalities, using immunochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology techniques. Dr. Diao earned a bachelor’s degree in the biotechnology department at Zhejiang University and a doctoral degree in life sciences at Peking University. In 2004, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the biology department at Purdue University. He then worked at Fudan University as an associate professor.
Jinping Lai, Ph.D.
Director, Large Molecule Bioanalysis
Dr. Jinping Lai joined WuXi AppTec’s Laboratory Testing Division in 2022 as the technical director for global large molecule bioanalysis. Dr. Lai earned a doctoral degree in analytical chemistry from Xiamen University. His academic research was focused on nanomedicine and biomaterials and led to more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and two U.S. patents. Dr. Lai has also earned extensive experience in GLP/GCP/GCLP regulated preclinical/clinical bioanalysis of large molecule pharmacokinetics (P.K.), immunogenicity and P.D. biomarkers for various drug modalities, from method development and validation to study sample analysis.
Vice President, Global Head of Bioanalytical Services
Lan Li is the vice president and global head of bioanalytical services (BAS) and central lab services (CL) at WuXi AppTec. She is also responsible for developing an open-access platform that brings WuXi AppTec customers comprehensive BAS testing programs and CL services. Ms. Li uses global multi-site layouts to build global CL services and bioanalysis solutions that suit various program needs, from small molecule and biologics to new modality drugs and beyond, according to GLP and applicable quality systems for nonclinical and clinical studies. She is also dedicated to providing first-class customer services, overseeing key customer portfolios, and supporting BAS operations in the U.S.A. (New Jersey) and China (Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu and Qidong). Ms. Li earned a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and has nearly 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has published more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Wenzhong Liang, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Bioanalytical
Dr. Wenzhong Liang is an executive director at WuXi AppTec. He provides technical support for WuXi AppTec’s global bioanalytical services (BAS) in the U.S.A and China. Dr. Liang earned a doctoral degree from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in medicinal chemistry. He has more than 20 years of experience in regulated bioanalysis and GLP laboratory management. Notably, he has hosted more than 200 inspections from global regulatory agencies, including China NMPA, U.S. FDA, OECD, and others, and has a deep understanding of regulation in this field. Dr. Liang is a subject matter expert in small molecule bioanalysis and has been a member of the first Professional Committee of Pharmaceutical Bioanalysis of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association since 2020. In addition to his role and responsibilities in Shanghai, he is also the site head of the bioanalytical services facility in Qidong, China.
Yasuhiro (Jim) Yamashita, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Small Molecule Bioanalytical Services
Dr. Yasuhiro (Jim) Yamashita joined WuXi AppTec’s Laboratory Testing Division as a senior director of small molecule bioanalytical services (BAS) in July 2021. He is the head of the bioanalysis group in support of regulated bioanalytical analysis using LC-MS/MS. Dr. Yamashita has more than 21 years of experience in regulated bioanalysis, primarily using LC-MS/MS to quantify various types of drugs (e.g., small molecule, oligonucleotide, peptide, antibody) under GxP. Before joining WuXi AppTec, Dr. Yamashita worked for regulated bioanalytical departments at multiple CROs in the U.S. and Japan and has extensive knowledge of regulations from both countries. He earned a doctoral degree in biotechnology and applied microbiology from Kansai University.
Kevin Denny, M.B.A., DABT
Executive Technical Director
Mr. Denny is a board-certified toxicologist with extensive regulatory and nonclinical toxicology experience managing multiple IND-enabling programs from clinical development to N.D.A. submission. A talented Study Director and Nonclinical Project Team Lead, he has a successful track record of planning, designing, and implementing drug development strategies through all regulatory submissions including IND, CTA, NDA, MAA, BLA and responses to CRLs. Mr. Denny has managed and developed new GLP laboratories in the United States and France. With proven capabilities to collaborate and manage nonclinical development across departments, outside investigators CROs, he has moved projects into and through clinical development with successful approvals.
Mr. Denny holds master’s degrees in regulatory affairs, quality assurance and toxicology, and an MBA. He has authored or co-authored multiple approved NDAs, BLA approval, and IND submissions. Mr. Denny is currently focusing on CNS, neurodegenerative disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Tina Rogers, Ph.D., DABT, M.B.A.
Senior Technical Director
Dr. Rogers is an expert in preclinical drug development services. Her leadership positions include vice president of preclinical sciences at Altasciences (formerly SNBL USA), executive vice president and director of research at M.P.I. Research (now Charles River), and vice president of drug development at Southern Research Institute. She has served as an advisor and driven growth and profitability in all of her leadership roles.
Dr. Rogers holds a doctoral degree in molecular and cellular biology and pathobiology from the Medical University of South Carolina and an M.B.A. from Auburn University. She has a broad technical background, including cell biology, immunology, toxicology, cell and gene therapy, sepsis, inflammation, BL-3 and select agents, flow cytometry and predictive/in vitro toxicology. Dr. Rogers also serves as a board member for several biotech, academic and not-for-profit institutions and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).
Janet Kelly, MSc
Senior Technical Director
Ms. Kelly is a highly experienced toxicologist with a strong scientific background in operational and business development. After a career as a bench scientist, Ms. Kelly spent more than 30 years in scientific and operational roles in toxicology at multinational CROs, including a year in China overseeing the construction, commissioning and opening of a new nonclinical facility. More recently, she is an independent toxicology consultant, providing input and oversight of various projects for clients in Europe, China, the U.S. and Japan. Her projects have included study placement and monitoring, design and implementation of packages to support IND filing, and data review and report writing.
Ms. Kelly’s active interest in animal welfare inspired previous membership in the ABPI Animal Welfare Expert Network, the BioSciences Federation Animal Sciences Group, LANTRA and the European Partnership on Animal Alternatives representing the Contract Research Industry.
Leah Lake, M.S.
Associate Director, Preclinical
Leah Lake has more than 16 years of hands-on experience in preclinical drug development in the field of DMPK. Ms. Lake began her career at a preclinical Contract Research Organization (CRO), legacy XenoBiotic Laboratories (XBL), as a bench scientist in the Biotransformation group before quickly transitioning into the start-up Autoradiography group as lead scientist and study director. She has held both scientific and managerial roles, including overseeing the planning, design, construction, development, and opening of two Autoradiography laboratories.
Ms. Lake obtained her B.S. in Chemistry and subsequently her Master’s in biotechnology from Kean University. Currently, she is pursuing her MBA.
Xiaoxia Li, Ph. D., DABT
Executive Technical Director, Toxicology
Joining WuXi AppTec with more than 15 years of preclinical drug development experience, Dr. Xiaoxia Li provides scientific support to our clients and will enhance the quick response rate for technical questions. She began her career at a preclinical Contract Research Organization (CRO), BOZO (Biology and Zoology) in Tokyo, and then spent over 13 years working as a Study Director at ITR Laboratories in Montreal, Canada. Afterwards, she worked as a Scientific Leader in nonclinical development for a pharmaceutical company in Toronto, Canada, before starting her own consulting firm, Sunrise IDD Inc. Dr. Xiaoxia Li is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT). She completed her PhD in Pharmacology in Japan and received her MD and MSc in China.
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