Our Leadership

Dr. Jimmy Zhang

Co-Founder & CEO

Dr. Jimmy Zhang has 20+ years of experience and expertise in large pharmas and start-up companies, in strategy, management, business development, and operations, as well as in venture investments. Jimmy is founder, chairman and CEO of Vinta Bio Limited. He was a Venture Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), Vice President of Transactions at Johnson & Johnson, and Managing Director, MSD Early Investments – Greater China at Merck & Co., Board Director of BeiGene. Jimmy was previously SVP at Synergenics, a consultant at McKinsey, a registered patent agent in Morrison & Foerster, and a project manager at Chiron. Jimmy was a founding member and former Chairman of BayHelix Group. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, a PhD in biomedical sciences from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and a BS in biochemistry from Nanjing University. Jimmy published in Cell, Nature, Neuron, and JBC, and holds multiple patents.

Junwei Sun

Co-Founder & COO

Mr. Junwei Sun obtained a B.S. in Microbiology at University of Texas, Austin, an M.S. in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. He has over 17 years of experience in chaperoning Cell and Gene Therapy IND programs, starting with a foundational role at establishing the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics (CCMT) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During his tenure at CCMT, he was instrumental in moving forward a number of preclinical, clinical studies and vector production operations which led to the approval of the first gene therapy for a genetic disease, Luxturna. After being a co-founding team member at Spark Therapeutics, he was then recruited to the University of Pennsylvania to help build the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT). At CAROT, he established GMP Operations from the ground up, and supervised several ocular gene therapy programs at both clinical and non-clinical stages. Junwei Sun has vast experience in IND project management, regulatory management, translational research and GMP operations.

Dr. Shangzhen Zhou

Co-Founder & CTO

Dr. Shangzhen Zhou was the Director of the PENN CAROT Research Vector Core (RVC). Dr. Zhou’s teams produced all of the pre-clinical vectors for Zolgensma® and also helped with setting up the GMP facilities.

Angela Hughes

Head of Quality Assurance

Ms. Angela Hughes obtained a BS Biology from the University of Scranton. She has 25 years of pharmaceutical experience supporting a variety of quality roles, specifically in the area of auditing, quality operations and other compliance activities. For the past 5 years, she has served in a leadership role for several key Cell and Gene Therapy organizations, and actively participated in commercialization readiness activities for the first CAR T therapy approved, Kymriah.

William Righter

GMP Operations Manager

Mr. William Righter obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry at Temple University, He has over 11 years of experience in Cell and Gene Therapy experience, starting at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics (CCMT) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During his tenure at CCMT, he was involved Vector Production Operations for both pre-clinical and clinical programs, including early CAR-T studies. He then moved to the University of Pennsylvania at the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT). At CAROT, he was involved in the setup of non-clinical and GMP production facilities and supervised the production of AAV and Lentiviral vector programs.

Dr. Kendall Carey

Head of Quality Control

Dr. Kendall Carey obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry at The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology at Oregon Health and Sciences University. He did his post-doctoral studies at Genentech in the Molecular Oncology Department working on ErbB/HER Biology and Therapeutics, including Herceptin®, Omnitarg/Perjeta®, and Tarceva®. Following his post-doc, he worked at Amgen, MedImmune, and Genentech developing and implementing bioassay and immunoassay methods for release and characterization testing as well as setting up viral core facilities to support cell line engineering for research and analytical method development. He has held roles of increasing responsibility during his career in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industry from Genentech to Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Spark Therapeutics, Precision Biosciences and now Vinta Bio. He has over 30 years of experience developing, optimizing, validating, training/transferring, and managing analytical methods and QC testing that have supported candidate selection, structure-function studies, and GxP release and stability testing of biologics, including Cell and Gene therapies. He has authored regulatory CMC sections in support of over 30 successful INDs/IMPDs, 3 BLA/MAAs, and supported analytical product lifecycle management.

Dr. Yifeng Chen

Sr. Director, Analytical Method Development

Dr. Yifeng Chen obtained her Medical Degree and a Master’s Degree in Physiology from Medical College of Soochow University and has over 12 years of experience in Gene Therapy. Yifeng was one of the key members in Luxturna’s success, which is the first FDA approved Gene Therapy for treating RPE65 deficient blindness patients. Dr. Chen has worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and most recently Spark Therapeutics, where she participated in IND submissions for Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B clinical trials.

Aaron Solis

Head of Business Development

Mr. Aaron Solis obtained a degree in Chemistry from Baylor University and has worked in Cell and Gene Therapy since 2009. Mr. Solis began in Manufacturing Operations at Baylor College of Medicine and joined Lonza Houston in 2015 where he worked in Cell Therapy Operations, Proposals Management, and helped build the new clinical and commercial facility. Aaron joined MaSTherCell in 2019 as the Director of Manufacturing where he helped build the clinical facility and helped in the successful acquisition by Catalent Pharma Solutions. Aaron served as a Director of Business Development at both Catalent and later AGC Biologics prior to joining Vinta Bio in 2022.