Who We Are
Andy Weinberg - PhD
Andrew Weinberg earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Washington State University in 1987. Dr. Weinberg moved to Portland, Oregon in 1990 to work at the VA Medical Center on an autoimmune model for multiple sclerosis (EAE) with Arthur Vandenbark, Ph.D. and Halina Offner, Ph.D. During the course of the autoimmune work Dr. Weinberg discovered that the TNF-receptor, OX40, was expressed on autoAg-specific T cells at the site of autoimmune inflammation and was in part responsible for their pathogenic properties. Dr. Weinberg moved to the Providence Cancer Center in 1995 as an independent scientist to focus on tumor immunology. There he discovered that OX40 agonists were potent stimulators of tumor immunity in cancer-bearing hosts. In collaboration with Brendan Curti, M.D. and Walter Urba, M.D. at the Providence Cancer Center a human OX40 agonist was tested in a phase I clinical trial.
Nick Morris - PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Nick joined AgonOx at its inception in 2011 to lead the design of new therapeutics and to develop new in vitro functional assays. His previous work at the Earle A. Chiles Cancer Center at Providence Portland Medical Center began in 2001 where he used his background in protein biochemistry and structure to lead the development of OX40 agonist antibodies and recombinant proteins . His preclinical work helped to initiate the first anti-OX40 clinical trial in patients with cancer.
Lili Liu - PhD
Lili obtained her PhD in the field of Oncology-pharmacology from Laval University, Canada. Her previous work was at Case Western Reserve University. She was a key person in the Case Cancer Center Research Program “new drug discovery and development”. She has more than 20 years experience in preclinical new drug discovery research and extensive knowledge experience in conducting PK/PD studies of novel compounds/protein therapeutics. She and Dr. Stanton Gerson successfully identified and developed a new anticancer agent, TRC102, the first-in-class inhibitor of DNA base excision repair (BER) which potentiates therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents through synthetic lethality. The NCI CTEP (cancer therapy evaluation program) has recently accepted TRC102 into their queue for further development. Her leadership in development of TRC102 has included elucidation of molecular mechanisms, small and large animal PK/PD, IND application, licensing and commercialization and NIH grant funding. Lili Joined Agonox Inc in 2017. Her primary research is focused on discovery and development of new cancer immunotherapeutic targets.
Grant Risdon - PhD
Head of Corporate Development
Dr. Risdon has over twenty years of experience leading research and business development teams at CellPro, Pharmacia, Seattle Genetics and Trubion Pharmaceuticals. Grant also served as a Director of Technology Transfer at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Grant’s experience in the development of cell therapies, recombinant protein and antibody-based therapeutics and cancer vaccines will help shape Agonox’s future programs. Dr Risdon received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Walther Oncology Center at Indiana University.
Colin Thalhofer - PhD
Colin Thalhofer, PhD, is a Doctor of immunology. His immunology training began at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, 2000-2003. He went on to the immunology graduate program at the University of Iowa 2003-2011, where his research focused on the molecular and cellular interactions between the protozoan parasite Leishmania and mammalian immune system. Colin joined AgonOx Inc. as a researcher in 2013. His primary research is directed toward cancer immunotherapy drug target discovery and development by profiling the cellular and molecular components of the tumor microenvironment.
Jake Moses - BS
Jake earned his BS in Biology from Oregon State University in 2016. He joined AgonOx in March of 2017 as a Research Associate. He mainly works with various in-vivo models, data compilation and analysis, cell culturing, and bioinformatics. His primary research is on cancer immunotherapy drug development alongside Dr. Thalhofer.
Ryan Montler - BS, MBA
Ryan is a Gonzaga University graduate and a former Peace Corps volunteer. He was member of both the Weinberg and the Bahjat labs at the Earl A. Chiles Cancer Center. He went on to work for Dendreon where he managed cell sorting and developed flow cytometry panels for clinical trials. In 2011 Ryan joined AgonOx to lead the discovery effort for new immunotherapy targets. With a broad background in business, lab management, an expertise in flow cytometry and cell sorting, he has worked to implement the process of discovery envisioned by Dr. Weinberg. With the growth of the research team Ryan was promoted to General Manager in 2014 where he manages the day to day operations of the company.
Thomas Duhen - PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Thomas Duhen, PhD, joined AgonOx in November 2014. He was previously working as a Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle where his work focused on the identification and characterization of novel T cell subsets in healthy donors and patients with autoimmune diseases. Prior to that, Thomas worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona – Switzerland where he made seminal discoveries about Th22 cells.
Jasmine Birch - BS
Jasmine earned her BS in Neuroscience with minors in Biology and Chemistry at Washington State University in 2016. She joined AgonOx in March 2017 as a Research Associate. She is focusing on multi-color immunohistochemistry, in-vitro assay development, in-vivo studies, flow cytometry, cell sorting and database management.