Volker Schellenberger, Ph.D.
CEO and President
Dr. Volker Schellenberger is a co-founder of Amunix and currently serves as CEO and President. Dr. Schellenberger has extensive industry experience in protein engineering and drug discovery. Previously, he headed the Protein Engineering department at Genencor, where he invented combinatorial consensus mutagenesis, selection by micro-compartmentalization, as well as mutator technology. In addition, he initiated and led collaborations with Seattle Genetics that focused on antibody-enzyme fusion proteins. Prior to his work on biotherapeutics, Dr. Schellenberger directed projects optimizing enzymes for industrial applications as well as microbes for metabolic pathway engineering.
Dr. Schellenberger received his Ph.D. from Leipzig University, where he studied protease catalyzed peptide synthesis. After postdoctoral studies at the Institute for Protein Research in Pushchino (Russia), he moved to the University of Göttingen where he developed a novel method for the production of peptides from recombinant peptide-multimers. After a postdoctoral fellowship with Bill Rutter at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Schellenberger joined Genencor in 1994. Dr. Schellenberger is the author of over 40 scientific papers and an inventor on more than 70 issued and pending patent applications. He is also the recipient of the Karl Lohman award of the German Society of Biochemists.
Richard Hector, Ph.D., J.D.
SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Dr. Richard Hector is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Amunix. Previously, Dr. Hector served as Director of Intellectual Property at Amunix. Dr. Hector joined Amunix from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he was an Associate in the patent group. Dr. Hector served for 12 years as the Director of the Valley Fever Vaccine Project at the University of California, San Francisco. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hector held various positions in research and discovery at Bayer, Shaman Pharmaceuticals and Connetics.
Dr. Hector received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis, conducted postdoctoral research at the Tulane University School of Medicine, and graduated with highest honors from Golden Gate School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in California and before the USPTO, and is a member of the American Bar Association. Dr. Hector has been a Section Editor of Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents since 1991 and is an inventor on 15 U.S. patents.
Tillman Pearce, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Tillman Pearce brings more than 20 years of experience in the fields of drug development, medical oncology and translational medicine to Amunix. He served as Chief Medical Officer at Threshold Pharmaceuticals, from 2012 to 2017. Previously, he served as Chief Medical Officer at KaloBios from 2007 through 2011 and also from 2002 to 2007 as head of PDL Biopharma’s European office serving in the capacity of Senior Director of Clinical Research. From 1997 to 2002, he was Medical Director of Sanofi-Synthelabo’s Oncology Business Unit in Paris, France. In prior roles, he held the position of Director, Clinical Research in oncology at Novartis Pharma AG in Basle, Switzerland. Dr. Pearce received his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia and is Board certified in both internal medicine and hematology.
Ulrich Ernst, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Ulrich Ernst is the Chief Operating Officer at Amunix. Dr. Ernst has previously held senior level positions with several global biopharmaceutical companies and brings over 20 years of experience in successfully moving products from clinical stage development to market approval. As VP/Site Head of Alexion’s commercial Rhode Island manufacturing facility, Dr. Ernst led the startup efforts to gain FDA, EMA and rest-of-world site approvals for SOLIRIS®. As Vice-President of Commercial Manufacturing at ZymoGenetics, Dr. Ernst helped create the infrastructure for the commercial manufacturing/medical device enterprise which launched the RECOTHROM® hemostasis franchise. Additionally, Dr. Ernst has held senior operations positions with JNJ and Baxter, where he contributed to the product development and global launches of NATRECOR® and ADVATE®, respectively. Dr. Ernst began his career at Regeneron and Somatogen where he contributed to development efforts on novel protein therapeutics. Dr. Ernst received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Ernst is broadly published and is an inventor on several patents.
Bee-Cheng Sim, Ph.D.
VP Discovery Biology and Preclinical Development
Dr. Bee-Cheng Sim serves as Vice President, Discovery Biology and Preclinical Development at Amunix. Dr. Sim has over 20 years of experience in cell biology and preclinical drug development. Since joining Amunix in 2011 as Director of Biology, she has supported the continued expansion of Amunix’ broad range of therapeutic indications in endocrinology, oncology and immuno-oncology. Dr. Sim joined Amunix from Ambrx, where she was most recently Head of Biological Sciences and contributed to the advancement of two PEGylated therapeutics from discovery into clinical evaluation. Prior to Ambrx, Dr. Sim was a Senior Research Scientist at Vertex and on the faculty at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, with a research focus on the role of T-cell receptors in repertoire selection and disease susceptibility.
Dr. Sim holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology from the Institute of Molecular & Cell Biology, National University of Singapore; and completed her postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Immunology. Dr. Sim is broadly published in peer-reviewed journals and is co-inventor on more than 25 issued patents.