Our team of founders met over two years ago and have been actively collaborating to identify the most impactful indication for our technology. During this time, we’ve found that our diverse backgrounds and skills are complementary and will ultimately result in improving outcomes afflicted with cancer. From the CEO: The rich experience of the co-founders sparked my motivation to join IllumaRas as a pivotal part of helping advance this unique technology. What excites me are the values all cofounders share. One key resonating passion is to place patients front and center in everything we do – this shapes our character. Our technology offers surgeons, for the first time, the ability to visualize cancers (driven by the oncogene RAS) during surgery or screening. What a huge win for cancer patients suffering from poor outcome malignancies as is the case with aggressive pancreatic cancer, our leading indication.
One of our cofounders is an actively practicing oncology surgeon who embraces the promise of this technology and wants to use it immediately with all his patients. Our platform of personalized medicine will significantly impact not just surgical standard of care (SOC) for cancer patients, but also complement as well as elevate and empower other SOC modalities like chemotherapy and radiotherapy with regards to positive patient outcomes, longer survival rates, and better quality of life.
Enrique Gomez (MS) CEO, Founder
1. Executive in the biopharma industry with 25 years of experience. He served patients while collaborating with Bristol Myers Squibb, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
2. His experience expanded from operational manufacturing and supply chain roles to strategic corporate responsibilities for M&A, due diligence, integration, and business continuity.
Craig Ramirez (PhD) Scientific Founder
1. Co-inventor of underlying technology while receiving PhD in Dr. Dafna Bar-Sagi’s lab @ NYU.
2. Received 2 NIH STTR awards and Johnson & Johnson QuickFire Challenge Award for therapeutic use of KRAS-specific technology.
Andy Hauser (PhD) Scientific Founder
1. Obtained a PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin, in which my research utilized molecular and cellular biology to study the role of small GTPases in multiple cancer types.
2. Co-inventor of underlying technology while post-doc in the lab of Dr. Dafna Bar-Sagi at NYU.
Vance Sohn (MD) CMO, Founder
1. MD Anderson Cancer Center-trained surgical oncologist.
2. Practicing surgeon practicing the entire spectrum of General Surgery at different practice environments from critical access hospitals to quaternary level cancer centers.
3. Director of Medical Affairs for LumaBridge LLC, a Clinical Research Organization with a focus on oncology trials.
Elaine Lea-Chou (PhD) CSO, Founder
1. Biotech start-up consultant specializing in funding that bridges from proof-of-concept to SEED round fundraising. Responsible for raising $50M in non-dilutive funding in just 3 years for 6 discrete biotech start-ups.
2. Helped raise $30M total in non-dilutive CPRIT funds for OncoNano Medicine, a surgical imaging start-up based out of Dallas (UTSW) in 2019 and 2020.
Porfirio Ramirez (JD) CLO, Founder
1. JD from Harvard Law School.
2. Focus areas: private finance transactions, acquisitions, commercial transactions.
3. Previous firms: Arnold & Porter, Alston & Bird, Smith, Gambrell, & Russell