Management Structure and Experience

C-Bio-Tech is now part of the Prince William Science Accelerator (PWSA) located in the heart of Prince William County’s Science and Technology hub at Innovation Park. PWSA is a premier life sciences incubation facility, which features 9 fully built out, commercially available wet labs – the only commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia with a 35,600 square feet Class A building offered for small and medium-sized life sciences companies.

Key personnel:

  • Jean-Paul Gonzalez, M.D., PhD: Technology Director, leads all aspects of the project. Dr. Gonzalez led for more than thirty years several laboratory teams for research and diagnostic from various International Institutes and University based structures (e.g. International Network of the Pasteur Institute; Center for Vaccine Development, Mahidol University, Bangkok; Yale Arbovirus Research, Yale University, New Haven; Emerging Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers, Research Institute for Development, Paris). Doctor Gonzalez had the opportunity to work as an expert for National Health Authorities in several countries from Western and Eastern Europe, from West and Central Africa and, South East Asia as well as for international Agencies including, WHO, FAO, UNESCO among others.
  • Leslie Lobel (PhD, MD). Director and Lead for Regulatory Affairs and Commercialization. Dr. Lobel is a virologist and physician at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, and at the Uganda Virus Research, where he leads a research group that studies the evolution of the immune response to serious viral diseases to develop passive therapeutics for infectious diseases, primarily Ebola, Zika and CCHF. He has partnered with both the U.S. military and with colleagues at the Uganda Virus Research Institute with a focus on isolating human monoclonal antibodies from convalesced Ebola and Marburg virus infected patients for therapy in addition, he and his team are working to create a “passive” vaccine with these human monoclonal antibodies,  which would offer immediate protection after exposure.
  • Estelle Lucarz-Brunel, Project Leader and Head of Production. She was hired in 2007 by C-Bio-Technologies shortly after graduating from the Montpellier University, with a Biotechnology Engineer Master’s degree. In parallel to her professional activities, she successfully passes the Technology Research Diploma in 2009 by presenting her work on «Developing ApoH supports for bacteria capture». She is currently in charge of the production department and supervises all bacteriology projects at C-Bio-Technologies.
  • Venkat Rao, Executive Director. Dr. V. Rao is Affiliate Faculty, School of Systems Biology at George Mason University, member of the American Board of Toxicology, Washington D.C. Metro Area. Dr. Venkat Rao is a nationally known expert in the fields of biomedical toxicology, pharmacology, and toxics-informatics with proven experience in the understanding and integration of complex biomedical technologies with information systems-based tools for applications in chemical-biological risk analysis, clinical intelligence, public health, and homeland security. He also develops and implements collaborative research, development and commercialization projects in biological defense technologies and systems with GMU, Parsons, and other private sector technology developers and partnering agencies.
  • Illias Stefas (PhD), President. Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. Dr. Stefas holds a PhD in Biochemistry. Immediately after his graduation in 1984 from the Montpellier University, he was recruited in the Montpellier Blood Transfusion Center to produce anti-erythrocyte monoclonal antibodies. He soon headed the Plasmatic Drug Department. He invented and patented a purification method for human plasmatic albumin and also discovered the role of the ApoH protein as an infectious agent ligand. In 1993, he decides to pursue his work on the ApoH protein with Dr Francisco Veas head of the Viral Immune-Pathology Lab at the French Research Institute for Development (IRD), a Governmental French Research Agency. During this period, they filed another three patents covering ApoH’s properties in the diagnostic and therapeutic fields. Later they create C-Bio-Technologies, where he naturally directs the R&D department in addition to his responsibilities as CEO.
  • Sylvia Tigrett (PhD), Project Leader. Dr. Tigrett was hired in 2003 by Biocytex in Marseilles, France, to work on flow cytometry detection of platelet activation. She is also was in charge of creating and implementing the Molecular Biology platform for this company. She then developed the plasmid controls of their first IVD kit. She was transferred in 2004 to Agro-bio (Orleans, France), another company from the Stago Group, one of the leaders in the hemostasis and thrombosis fields. There, she carried out mass spectrometry-based proteomics services and developed a range of magnetic-bead-based products. Sylvia joined C-Bio-Technologies’ team in 2009. She currently supervises all projects involving viruses and is responsible for the company quality assurance. She earned her Biology Health PhD in 2016 on Virology and Proteomics under the supervision of Francisco Veas at the Doctorate School of the Montpellier University.
  • Francisco Veas, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder, holds oversight on all prospective developments and experimental studies. Francisco Veas received a Comparative Pathology Doctorate in 1986 from the Montpellier University. After several experiences in pathology and/or genetic in parasitology, he focuses his research on emerging viral diseases, including HIV, Dengue Hantavirus, Hepatitis, among others as well as the potential role of HERV in neurological diseases. He created multiple technologic platforms for nucleic acid sequencing, proteomics, biosafety level laboratories for containment of dangerous agents (BSL2 and BSL3), etc. Dr. Veas brings his expertise on viral Immune-Physiopathology to C-Bio-Technologies, which he co-founded with Dr. I. Stefas. He is currently Research Director at the Montpellier IRD Health Department. He heads the Comparative Molecular Immune-Physiopathology Lab in Montpellier and he is also Deputy Director of the research unit UMR-Ministry of Defense. He has been promoting, and or coordinating as principal investigator more than 25 projects funded by national and international agencies (e.g.: ANRS, the French AIDS research agency), Sidaction, CNRS, Fondation pour la Recherche Scientifique, WHO, Region Languedoc Roussillon) including, among others: Ultra-sensitive detection of pathogens discovery (Amazon state, Brazil – IDDEAA project, 2013-15); Early Ebola virus detection for immediate passive immunotherapy treatment (IF-EBOLA – EC action 2014-17). Dr. Veas has been continuously exerted as an expert evaluator of Excellence Research Programs in Infectious Diseases by the NIH (USA), WHO, the French National Research Agency (ANR), the IRD Commission of Biology; the French Business-Supporting Agency OSEO, European Commission, etc. His scientific activities and publications and patents are dedicated to pathogen-host interactions, including innate immunity, viral physiopathology, vaccines and diagnostics.