Our Company



Drug development, immunology, and operational experience



With the collaboration of more than $11M in NIH government funding and numerous academic institutions we have generated a pipeline of 5 therapies across bacterial, viral, and cancer indications.

Our leadership team possesses diverse experience across academic, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and venture capital industries.

Stefan Ryser, Ph.D.
President & CEO

Stote Ellsworth
COO, CTO & Founder

Larry Kauvar, Ph.D.
CSO & Founder

Mikhail Gishizky, Ph.D.
VP R&D

Tony Leighton, MD, MBA
CMO

Edgar Tenorio, DVM, MPVM
Senior Director of Preclinical Development

© 2010-2017 TRELLIS BIOSCIENCE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Stefan Ryser, Ph.D.

President & CEO

Dr. Ryser has held senior management positions of increasing responsibility at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, ending as Chief of Staff for the President of Global Research and Development, Dr. Juergen Drews, operating out of both Nutley, NJ and Basel, Switzerland. While at Roche, he led initiatives to assess the impact of emerging technologies on pharmaceutical research and development, and assisted in establishment and management of strategic research and development alliances. He was a member of the joint steering committee with Millennium Pharmaceuticals and a liaison for new research projects with Genentech. In 1998, he founded International Biomedicine Partners with Juergen Drews, a biotech fund whose IPO successes led to him becoming managing partner in 2000 of Bear Stearns Health Innoventures, a $212 million private equity fund.

Dr. Ryser has served on numerous boards of directors in both public and private biotechnology companies, including Arena Pharmaceuticals, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Entelos, Raven Biotechnologies, Tolerx, and Telik, as well as in the R. Geigy Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel. Prior to joining Trellis Bioscience, Dr. Ryser was CEO at A-Cube (now part of Trellis), a biotech company focused on identifying B-cell epitopes. Prior to A-Cube he was SVP for corporate strategy at Telik, and VP of Business Development at Aridis Pharmaceuticals, a leading infectious disease company. Dr. Ryser earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology and biochemistry and his Ph.D. in immunology at the University of Basel’s Institute for Immunology.

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Stote Ellsworth

COO, CTO, & Founder

Mr. Ellsworth has spent his career bringing high technology systems solutions to the life science industry. He joined Trellis in 2003 where he led the reduction to practice of the company's CellSpot platform. He served as the Company’s CEO from 2008 to 2012.

Prior to Trellis, Mr. Ellsworth was the VP R&D and Chief Operating Officer at First Medical, a point-of-care cardiac diagnostic company acquired by Sigma in 2000. This was preceded by a role as Vice President of Engineering at Becton Dickinson where he was responsible for developing through commercial release numerous flow cytometry products, which now dominate that market. He holds a degree in bioscience technology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a BA from Dartmouth in engineering and mathematics, and an MS in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

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Lawrence M. Kauvar, Ph.D.

Founder, Senior Vice President and CSO

Dr. Kauvar is an entrepreneur and scientist who founded Trellis and was previously the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Telik, a small molecule drug company focused on oncology. He holds 60 US patents for methods, tools and drug compounds and is one of the inventors of CellSpot, Trellis's core technology.

Dr. Kauvar holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from Yale in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He conducted postdoctoral research at Caltech and University of California San Francisco before founding Telik. He is also a co-founder of Promedior, Inc. and of Shimojani, LLC.

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Mikhail Gishizky, Ph.D.

Founder, Senior Vice President and CSO

Dr. Gishizky is an entrepreneur and scientist who co-founded Sugen, where he served for 18 years in various positions including VP of Research and Target Discovery. He worked through the acquisitions of Sugen by Pharmacia and Pfizer.

He then served as CSO of Entelos, a leading in silico pathway analysis company. Dr. Gishizky received a BA from UC Berkeley, holds a PhD in endocrinology from the University of California, San Francisco, and did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Anton Leighton, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Leighton is an infectious disease doctor who has held clinical development and leadership roles at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis), Roche (US Head Infectious Diseases and Inflammation), and Chiron. He has since established his own consulting company and supported a number of early phase antibiotics and biologics, during which he was involved in the selection of lead candidates, development of regulatory strategy, interaction with regulatory authorities, and setup and conduct of ICU-based clinical studies regarding serious infections and sepsis.

He currently is a consultant to several biotech companies in the San Francisco Bay area. His clinical experience includes the following IV antibiotics: iclaprim, dalbavancin, doripenem and eravacycline. His experience with biologics includes a TNF receptor fusion protein and tifacogin. Dr. Leighton has a medical degree from the University of Mainz, certification in internal medicine from university-affiliated hospitals in Germany, a degree in pharmaceutical medicine from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and a Healthcare Executive MBA from the University of California, Irvine.

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Edgar Tenorio, DVM, MPVM

Senior Director of Preclinical Development

Dr. Tenorio has worked in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical sector for more than 17 years as a Research Scientist, Associate Director Preclinical Development, and most recently as a Nonclinical Pharmacology/Toxicology/Bioanalytical consultant. Dr. Tenorio has worked on developing biologics (peptides, proteins, and monoclonal antibodies) and small molecules in a variety of therapeutic areas (vaccines, inflammation, pain, autoimmune diseases, oncology, infectious diseases, Alzheimer’s, and Cystic Fibrosis).

For the last 8 years he has been responsible for taking lead therapeutic candidates from preclinical to first in man (Phase 1) and follow-up clinical trials (Phase 2 and 3). He has worked at Neurex, Elan, Pepgen and KaloBios. Dr. Tenorio holds a BS in biomedical science from Texas A&M University, a DVM from the National University of Mexico, and a Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Tenorio was an NIH post-doctoral fellow in comparative pathology and immunology at the University of California, Davis.

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Angeles Estellés, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Antibody Discovery

Dr. Estellés is currently leading the CellSpot team at Trellis. She holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Valencia, and a Ph.D in Medicine from the University of Alicante, both in Spain. She did post-graduate work in cell and molecular biology at Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and College de France in Paris.

She has 16 years of experience in various aspects of antibody development from antibody discovery to generating commercial cell lines for antibody production. She has worked in small start-up companies, such as Reconstructive Technologies, Anosys, Genitope and SeaLane Biotechnologies, as well as at Takeda Pharmaceuticals.