Category Archives: team

Timothy Lu

Tim developed key elements of Engine Bio’s technology platforms and has deep expertise in synthetic and systems biology, genetic interactions mapping, and computer science/engineering. He is an Associate Professor at MIT, the leader of MIT’s RLE Synthetic Biology Group, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Tim is a pioneer in applying synthetic biology to tackle important medical and industrial problems. Among the numerous awards he’s received are the NIH New Innovator Award, the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the NSF CAREER award, and the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award.

In addition to being an accomplished physician-scientist researcher, Tim is a successful entrepreneur, having founded several companies based on his research. Among these include Sample6 Inc. and Synlogic Inc., US-based venture-backed companies using synthetic biology to develop next-generation diagnostics and therapeutics for use in food safety and the human microbiome, respectively. His companies have raised over US$160M of funding in multiple rounds from leading VCs and investors, including Orbimed, Atlas Ventures, NEA, Gates Foundation, 8VC, Seventure, Deerfield, Canaan Partners, and Flybridge; and Sample6 is now supply disruptive synthetic biology-based commercial products to many leading food processors and the US FDA.

Tim received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, his Ph.D. from the Harvard-MIT Sciences and Technology Program, and his S.B. and S.M. from MIT.

Jeffrey Lu

Jeff has extensive and successful experience as a businessperson and entrepreneur over the past decade. He has held C-suite and corporate-level management roles at both successful technology-driven start-ups and billion-dollar companies, building and leading high-performing business, strategy, and analytics teams. This includes:

– Head of Strategy and the CEO’s #2 at AAE Travel (online travel), which he helped establish and where he developed and drove the successful plan for rapid growth to 10 countries and profitability, resulting in an acquisition transaction at a US$345M valuation
– Group Head in the Commercial division and Head of Strategy in Tony Fernandes’s CEO’s Office at AirAsia (KLSE: 5099, an innovative and entrepreneur-led travel conglomerate with >90% of sales through online channels), with responsibilities across strategy, analytics, digital marketing, special projects, and driving 9-figure commercial product lines
– Establishing Think BIG Sdn Bhd and serving as a board director (invested in by AIMIA [TSX:AIM] valuing the company at US$109M)
– Consultant at Bain & Company, where he consulted on projects in healthcare, private equity, tech, travel, and finance
– Managing Director and Co-Founder of Goodman Capital, an investment company which has seeded, invested in, and incubated several companies across Asia and the U.S. in biotech, tech, and real estate

Since his first job at Bain, where he was trained to develop deep data-driven insights and strategies for companies, Jeff has been a major believer in the power of data to build transformative businesses. At AAE and AirAsia, Jeff built and managed data analytics teams. He worked to instil data-driven decision making across the organizations, and his teams harnessed big data to drive many millions of dollars of revenue/profit upside. Key applications of data intelligence included product test-and-learn cycles, marketing and pricing optimization, product development, strategy development, and behavioral analyses for customer-led growth.

He received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jim Collins

​James J. Collins is one of the pioneers of the fields of synthetic and network biology. He is Termeer Professor of Bioengineering at MIT and is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Wyss Institute. His research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology. He has developed several cutting-edge computational tools for network biology with therapeutic applications and has been working on machine learning tools for biology since nearly two decades ago. Some of his notable software is being applied in Engine Bio’s Network Biomedicine platforms.

Professor Collins’ patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launched a number of companies, including Sample6, Synlogic and EnBiotix. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur “Genius” Award, an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, a Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, as well as several teaching awards. Professor Collins is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He received his doctorate from Oxford University.

Hu Li

Hu Li is an Assistant Professor at the Mayo Clinic. His group is focused on systems pharmacology and individualized systems medicine. Li’s team is active in developing novel network tools and harnessing machine learning methods to study context-dependent activities of regulatory networks at genome-wide scale. The major theme in the research team is to develop novel computational methods that can detect meaningful biological information embedded in the sea of Big Data and uncover novel regulatory mechanisms that explain the properties of biological phenotypes to benefit individualized disease diagnosis, drug discovery, and precision medicine. The developed computational platforms can greatly illuminate the understanding of disease mechanisms underlying drugs’ modes of action, addressing key challenges in Big Data-oriented biomedical complex systems and will ultimately lead to precision medicine for each patient suffering from a devastating disease.

Dr. Li is working closely with Engine Bio to apply his previously developed as well as new/adapted software to our Network Biomedicine Platforms.

Hu completed his post-doctoral fellowship in systems biology at the Wyss Insitute at Harvard Medical School and received his Ph.D. in computational biology and bioinformatics from the National University of Singapore.


Prashant has been an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Bioengineering since 2014. The Mali laboratory is working in the fields of synthetic biology and regenerative medicine, with a long-term focus on developing tools for enabling gene and cell based human therapeutics. Towards this the research team is taking a multidisciplinary approach integrating its core expertise in genome engineering and stem cell biology with instrumentation and materials engineering. The Mali lab has been working on combinatorial CRISPR screens for genetic interactions mapping, including a paper published in Nature Methods in 2017.

He received a bachelor’s and master’s in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, with a research focus on biomedical sensors; and a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, with a research focus on human pluripotent stem cell engineering. During his postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School (George Church lab), he pioneered the development of the CRISPR/Cas systems for eukaryotic genome engineering. For his graduate work he received the Siebel Scholar Award in 2011, and in 2014 he received the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface.


David is an experienced drug developer and biopharma industry executive. He is currently Director of the Centre for Technology & Development and Associate Dean at Duke-NUS Medical School. Prior to joining Duke-NUS, David was the New York Site-Head, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for Oncology Research at OSI Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for leading the cancer drug discovery and clinical-translational research efforts conducted by around 140 staff and scientists. David led OSI’s cancer research program from 2006-2013, which was focused on targeting key drivers of cancer development and disease progression. OSI was acquired in 2010 by Astellas Pharmaceuticals for $4 billion, and David led the integration and expansion of the OSI and the NY campus into Astellas-Japan research and global development.

Prior to joining OSI, David was a principal founder and Vice President of Archemix Corp (2001-2006). While in this capacity, David facilitated the development of two therapeutic aptamers currently in late-stage clinical development for treating wet and dry macular degeneration. David has 20 years of leadership experience in both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, leading wide-ranging efforts in oncology, ophthalmic and cardiovascular drug discovery.

David completed his postdoctoral fellowship in structural biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, completed his Ph.D. work in The Graduate Department of Biochemistry at Brandeis University, and obtained his B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1981 from Lewis & Clark College, a liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon.


Daphne is an initial shareholder of the company and serves as a board director. She assists the company especially in finance matters. This leverages her background in finance and investments. She currently serves as Chief Investment Officer of D3 Capital and previously worked at Goldman Sachs and HSBC in the Investment Banking Division in Hong Kong and Singapore, where she gained a large amount of investment and transactional exposure.

At D3, she has executed and overseen a number of multi-million investments in real estate and natural resources across Asia and USA. She also serves as a board director at selected portfolio companies. Most recently, she was a co-founder and investor in the 3.6M sq. ft. Golden City integrated real estate development in Yangon, Myanmar and helped drive the successful sale of the company at a valuation of US$110 million. Daphne received her master’s from Stanford University’s School of Engineering and her bachelor’s from Purdue University (highest honors).