Our Team

Neil Warma

President, CEO and Board Director

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Neil Warma has been a successful healthcare entrepreneur for over 25 years having managed and advised numerous biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies across the globe. Mr. Warma became CEO of Mongoose Bio in 2024. Prior to that he was CEO, Representative Director and Board Member of Genexine, Inc. (095700.KQ) a public, global biopharmaceutical company based in Seoul, South Korea, where he led the company’s restructuring and commercialization of its first products.

Previously, Mr. Warma was the US CEO/General Manager of I-Mab Biopharma U.S., (Nasdaq:IMAB) a publicly traded global biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, San Diego and Gaithersburg, where he was responsible for the expansion of global operations and a key driver in I-Mab’s U.S. IPO.

Prior to that, Mr. Warma was President and CEO of Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPXA), a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company developing novel cellular therapies for autoimmune diseases. Prior to Opexa, he was CEO of Viron Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company developing novel protein-based therapeutics for cardiovascular disease and transplantation.

Mr. Warma spent several years in key management roles at Novartis Pharmaceuticals at its corporate headquarters in Basel, Switzerland in Global Marketing and as Head of International Pharma Policy. He was also President and Co-Founder of MedExact, a health-technology company dedicated to providing an interface between physicians and pharmaceutical companies, which he later sold.

Mr. Warma currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and ProMIS Neurosciences (Nasdaq:PMN). Mr. Warma obtained an honors Bachelor of Science degree specializing in neuroscience from the University of Toronto and an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Katie Chudnovsky

Katie Chudnovsky

Board Director

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Yekaterina “Katie” Chudnovsky is an attorney, venture investor, dedicated patient advocate, and supporter of medical research. She firmly believes in the power of scientific inquiry to unearth groundbreaking treatments for
cancer patients. She is deeply committed to the cause, leading and participating in countless research projects that aim to expand our understanding of rare cancers and the most effective ways to fight them.

Katie’s philanthropic endeavors have significantly advanced the reach and resources of cancer research. Her efforts have provided financial support for hundreds of patients in need and understands that without sufficient funding, even the most promising research projects remain unrealized.

Katie serves as the chairperson of GI Research Foundation (GIRF) for the University of Chicago Digestive Diseases Center and has previously served as their President and Board Member for 12 years. Additionally, Katie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Elicio Therapeutics, Immix Biopharma, XCures, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA).

Katie holds a BA from Northwestern University and a JD from DePaul University.

Cassian Yee


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Dr. Yee is Founder and CSO of Mongoose Bio Inc. He holds an academic faculty position as Endowed Professor and medical oncologist in the Division of Cancer Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he is appointed Director of Solid Tumor Cell Therapy and Director of the Program in TCR-based Therapeutics. He received his medical training in Canada, residency at Stanford and fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators, CPRIT Scholar, former Co-Leader of the Stand Up to Cancer- AACR/CRI Dream Team and recipient of translational scientist awards from Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the Rao Potul Basic Science Award. He has an unbroken record of peer-reviewed funding from the NIH as PI / PD/ Project Leader of individual, multi-PI and multi-institutional grants from NCI, DOD and FDA as well as several completed and current academic-industry partnerships for investigator initiated trials.

Over the last 20+ years, Dr. Yee has pioneered a form of Adoptive Cellular Therapy (ACT), known as Endogenous T Cell (ETC) therapy, using peripheral blood to generate a uniform population of antigen-specific memory T cells. He has conceived and executed First-in-Human clinical studies establishing principles of T cell persistence, memory and antigen-spreading as fundamental to the success of adoptive cell therapy, including the first-in-class use of tetramer-guided cell sorting, the first clinical trial using cell therapy in combination with immune checkpoint therapy and first use of antigen-specific memory T cells without lymphodepletion to mediate durable complete responses. Dr. Yee is the senior or lead author in > 100 publications in The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Science, Science Immunology, Science Translational Medicine, Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Experimental Medicine, JCI, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences garnering more than 17,000 citations for his work in cellular therapy, T cell biology and antigen-discovery.

He has been the chief scientific advisor for several biotechnology companies (Berkeley Lights, Deep Space Bio and Immatics US) and is a current or past member of the SAB for Adaptive Biotechnologies, Obsidian Therapeutics, and Affyimmune, as well as for non-profit entities as the Rare Cancer Research Foundation, Cancer Research institute, InnoHK (Hong Kong), and Yonsei Cancer Center

Dr. Yee’s studies in understanding the intrinsic epigenetic mechanisms contributing to the generation of highly persistent T cells in ETC have been instrumental in the development of reprogrammed memory T cells for TCR-T, CAR-T and TIL therapies. To more broadly apply this principle for all cancer patients, the Yee Lab expanded the portfolio of TCR targets through an antigen discovery pipeline that uses tandem mass spectrometry, proprietary filtering algorithms and a platform that uses ETC technology to empirically validate candidate epitopes. To date, more than 200 novel, shared tumor-associated epitopes have been identified among both common and rare tumors, for alleles representing > 80% of global patient population. The primary assets from these discoveries and inventions have been licensed to Mongoose Bio. Dr. Yee holds more than 11 patents and 15 applications worldwide in the field of cellular therapy and antigen discovery.

Shailbala Singh

Preclinical and Laboratory Sciences

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Dr. Singh has over 18 years of experience, and she has a proven track record of success in both pre-clinical and clinical research. Her extensive background in T cell biology, immunology, and translational research is part of the foundation for Mongoose Bio’s groundbreaking advancements.

Dr. Singh is currently serving as the Research Group Leader in Dr. Yee’s laboratory at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She brings a wealth of expertise in immuno-oncology, immunotherapy, virology, vaccines, and vaccination strategies. She received her veterinary medicine training in India and holds a Ph.D. in Virology from Texas A&M University. She further expanded her qualification by obtaining Master of Health Administration/Business Administration from the University of Houston.

Dr. Singh’s expertise encompasses cancer and viral disease models, xenograft models, immune monitoring, immune function, and immune toxicity assay development. Her skills include biomarker discovery and precision medicine using multiple novel technology platforms. Dr. Singh’s significant contributions extend to studies focusing on neoepitope prediction and discovery, T cell engineering, immune toxicity, vaccine and therapeutic development against SARS-CoV-2, HPV, HIV and Avian Influenza Viruses.

Her prolific research contributions have been published in numerous high-impact scientific journals and have led to the funding of several grant proposals, highlighting her dedication to advancing the field of immunotherapy and vaccines. Dr. Singh actively advises collaborators and industry partners on experimental design, data analyses, and feasibility analyses, leveraging her expertise to drive impactful research initiatives.

Oumar Diouf

Manufacturing, Chemistry and Control (CMC)

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Oumar brings more than 18 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with expertise in GMP manufacturing of cell therapies and gene therapy. During his career, Oumar has played key roles in building manufacturing and quality organizations and overseeing process development up to launch, clinical manufacturing. Throughout his career he has, he was responsible for the design and qualification of cell & gene therapy laboratories using novel technologies, cGMP production facilities, and translational research laboratories.

Oumar’s earlier positions include Laboratory manager of Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine coordinating manufacturing activities for multiple phase I clinical trials. Director of Manufacturing Process and Development for Cell Medica and, recently as VP of Manufacturing for Marker Therapeutics leading the development of cell therapy products for phase II clinical trials in oncology.

Oumar received his BS of Biotechnology and MBA at the University of Houston Downtown.

Oumar lives in Houston, with his wife and 2 children. To relax, he enjoys cycling, camping and family outdoor events.

Lori McDermott

Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs

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Lori McDermott is a driven and passionate clinical operations and drug development executive with nearly 25 years of industry experience. Ms. McDermott is the founder and President of SME Clinical Consulting, a company providing Subject Matter Expertise (SME) to emerging biotech/biopharma companies developing assets in the field of oncology. She has successfully overseen submission and clearance of multiple oncology INDs, with none resulting in clinical hold, and managed first-in-human/early phase oncology studies and regulatory activities supporting FDA Fast Track and Orphan Drug designation.

Most recently, Ms. McDermott held the position of Chief Operating Officer of LumaBridge, a growing and cutting-edge Clinical Research Organization specializing in the conduct and execution of clinical trials in oncology. In this role, she led the workforce and business strategies to support growth and profitability of the company while engaging with biotech and pharmaceutical clients to deliver their drug development programs. Her success in this role resulted in a majority share investment by a life-science focused, private equity firm, Summit Partners.

Before joining LumaBridge, Ms. McDermott held the position of Vice President of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs at Heat Biologics and Pelican Therapeutics (a CPRIT Product Development Grant Awardee), where she was responsible for building out a full clinical operations department to drive forward the development of 4 novel oncology assets. In the years preceding her work there, Ms. McDermott held Director and Management roles across biotech, pharma, and CRO settings and developed expertise in creating and leading high performing teams.

Ms. McDermott began her career in the hospital, providing bedside care as a registered nurse before transitioning into the clinical research industry. Ms. McDermott is PMP® certified and holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Neumann College as well as a Master of Science from Drexel University School of Medicine.