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The Crystal Bioscience Managment Team. Scientific image.

The Crystal Bioscience management team brings together a diverse complement of knowledge and technical expertise to create an unparalleled therapeutics discovery platform.

Portrait of Rob Etches

Rob Etches, PhD, DSc, ›› Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Etches is world renowned for his contributions to the field of avian biology.

Dr. Etches was formally trained in genetics, physiology and biochemistry at the University of British Columbia (BSc Agr, 1970), McGill University (MSc 1972) and the University of Reading (PhD, 1975; DSc, 1985). He joined the faculty of the University of Guelph in 1975 where he followed his passion for all things avian. He has published more than 150 publications and four books describing the development, genetics and physiology of birds. While Rob was intrigued by the unique aspects of avian biology, he was also passionate about applying this knowledge to solving real-life problems.

In 1982, he co-founded Pintade Enterprises to introduce gourmet poultry from elite French bloodlines to meet the growing demand for high quality products in North American restaurants. As his work progressed from basic to applied research he was awarded four patents in the fields of avian immunology and antibody engineering. In 1998, Rob emigrated to California to join Origen Therapeutics as the founding VP of Research where he assembled an international team of experts to modify the chicken genome using embryonic stem cells and primordial germ cells. Rob led this group to the first use of transgenic chickens for the production of a potentially therapeutic antibody. Looking ahead, Rob could see the potential to produce monoclonal antibodies against new epitopes from immunized chickens, but the unique aspects of the avian immune system were a barrier to commercialization.

In 2008, he co-founded Crystal Bioscience with Marie-Cecile van de Lavoir and Bill Harriman. With their team of dedicated scientists, they resolved the technical issues and created the leading next generation antibody discovery platform.

After 4 decades of working at the interface of scientific discovery and biotechnology, Rob's enthusiasm for creating businesses using combinations of avian immunology, molecular biology and innovative business models is as strong as ever.

Portrait of Marie-Cecile van de Lavoir.

Marie-Cecile van de Lavoir, DVM, PhD, ›› Chief Operating Officer

Dr. van de Lavoir, is world renowned in primary cell culture and the genetic manipulation of domestic animals.

Dr. van de Lavoir’s career started by delivering healthy offspring from domestic animals at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. In her subsequent research training and career she has become an expert in embryo manipulation and the development & genetic manipulation of pluripotent cell lines in a variety of species. Marie-Cecile uses her inter-disciplinary expertise to translate molecular and cellular scientific progress into healthy animals. Her background has given her an appreciation for the diversity present in the animal kingdom and she co-founded Crystal in the belief that using this diversity will lead to the development of better therapeutic antibodies. Marie-Cecile has published extensively and is a Fulbright & MRC Canada scholar.

Portrait of Bill Harriman.

Bill Harriman, PhD, MBA, ›› Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Harriman is focused on creating the ultimate platform for the creation of high value therapeutic antibodies.

Bill received his graduate training at the University of California, San Francisco, earning a PhD in Immunology in 1995. He did his postdoctoral work in antibody engineering and phage display at UCSF and at Abgenix Inc. Subsequently, Bill moved on to Roche Diagnostics, where he was a group leader for antibody discovery. In 2000, he received his MBA degree from the Haas School of Business and focused on bio-entrepreneurship, becoming involved with a number of early stage companies. Bill joined Trellis Bioscience in 2002 to recruit and manage the technical staff. Bill made key contributions to Trellis’ technology and therapeutics pipeline, most notably as an inventor of its CellSpot platform, which was instrumental in the discovery of novel antibodies that became the company’s core assets. In 2008 Bill co-founded Crystal Bioscience and became its CSO with the goal of creating the most diverse and effective antibody repertoire possible for the treatment of human disease.