Team

Head Office

Michael Graham, BSc (Hons), PhD

Founding Scientist

Dr Graham’s research interests are in the field of molecular genetics, with a particular focus on the applications of RNAi in biotechnology. He commenced the development of Benitec’s ddRNAi technology while working in plant biotechnology at CSIRO and continued this work at QDPI and Benitec, focusing on medical applications; the core Benitec patent portfolio was developed at this time.

Kerrie Boyd

VP, Development Operations

Kerrie joined Benitec in October 2017, bringing with her 24 years of experience in drug development and operations. She has held senior positions in pharma, biotech and CROs, and managed projects across most Asia-Pacific countries as well as the US, UK and Russia. Her most recent role was Director of Drug Development at Actinogen Medical where she was responsible for the clinical, CMC, non-clinical and regulatory operations and was integral to their successful IND in 2016.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Kerrie is based at the Benitec head office in North Sydney.

Scientific Operations

Claudia Kloth, PhD

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing

Dr. Kloth leads the manufacturing efforts for clinical and pre-clinical gene therapy vectors for Benitec.  Dr. Kloth has over 20 years of cGMP manufacturing and process development experience in therapeutics, including adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors used by Benitec in its hepatitis C, hepatitis B, AMD and OMPD programs.

Prior to joining Benitec, Dr. Kloth led the Process Development group at the CMO Lonza Viral Therapeutics and successfully developed, optimized and transferred robust viral-based products (Ad5, AAV, lentivirus) to cGMP manufacturing. She contributed to enabling process scalability from small to large manufacturing scale of over 1000L using disposable technologies.  She was also instrumental in establishing a scalable AAV process production platform.

During her tenure at Medarex Inc. as a process development specialist, she guided the process transfer and process validation activities of its most advanced anti-melanoma antibody product Ipilimumab, aka Yervoy (Bristol-Myers Squibb) approved by the FDA in 2011.

Dr. Kloth earned her Ph.D. in Biotechnology Engineering from the Technical University Berlin, Germany.  She joined Benitec in April 2015 and is based in New Jersey, U.S.A.

Peter Roelvink, DScAg

Senior Director Research

Peter joined Benitec in March 2015 and is responsible for overseeing scientific development in the San Francisco lab.

In 1989 Peter received a Doctorate in Agricultural Sciences from the Agricultural University of Wageningen, the Netherlands. After graduation, he completed two post-doctorals at the Agricultural University in the Netherlands  and Cornell University, New York on the use of baculoviruses as bio pesticides.

Between 1994 and 2003, he researched and developed targeted adenovirus vectors. Dr. Roelvink and his research colleagues were the first to demonstrate delivery of a targeted vector from its native receptor to an artificial receptor. Between 2003 and 2006, he was one of three Benitec senior scientists to design an AAV based short hairpin RNA interference treatment of Hepatitis C.

Peter is a (co) inventor on 19 issued US patents that cover RNAi vectors and approaches, targeted delivery of adenoviruses, tissue specific expression using adeno associated viral vectors and the use of adenovirus in vaccine strategy.

Shih-Chu Kao, PhD

Principal Scientist

Shih-Chu Kao is a Cellular and Molecular Biologist. She joined Benitec as a Senior Scientist in May 2014 and was one of the first two scientists who started the wet lab in Hayward, California. She is the lead scientist for Benitec’s Ocular Programs including Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Shih-Chu acquired her first experience in developing ddRNAi-based therapy during her postdoc at Harvard Medical School studying Alzheimer’s disease. She was recruited to Tacere Therapeutics in 2008 and was one of the key scientists who developed TTO33X, series of compounds targeting Hepatitis C virus. During a brief break between Tacere and Benitec, Shih-Chu was the leader of the target validation group at Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, a small molecule drug company acquired by Celgene, developing epigenetic drugs targeting cancer stem cells.

Shih-Chu holds a B.S. in Zoology from the National Taiwan University and earned her Ph.D. in Neurosciences at the Case Western Reserve University. She conducted her Postdoctoral studies in Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsored laboratories at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University.

Keiko Takahashi, PhD

Scientist II

Keiko obtained her Ph.D. in Bioscience at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan, studying the regulation of p53 tumor suppressor by nuclear localization. Her post-doctoral study was at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory focusing on the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation resulting from epigenetic changes in stem cells. Two years of this work was supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). She then transitioned to the Stanford Neuroscience Gene Vector Virus Core and managed the production of AAV and lentivirus and started developing new AAV capsids.

Head Office

Michael Graham, BSc (Hons), PhD

Founding Scientist

Dr Graham’s research interests are in the field of molecular genetics, with a particular focus on the applications of RNAi in biotechnology. He commenced the development of Benitec’s ddRNAi technology while working in plant biotechnology at CSIRO and continued this work at QDPI and Benitec, focusing on medical applications; the core Benitec patent portfolio was developed at this time.

Kerrie Boyd

VP, Development Operations

Kerrie joined Benitec in October 2017, bringing with her 24 years of experience in drug development and operations. She has held senior positions in pharma, biotech and CROs, and managed projects across most Asia-Pacific countries as well as the US, UK and Russia. Her most recent role was Director of Drug Development at Actinogen Medical where she was responsible for the clinical, CMC, non-clinical and regulatory operations and was integral to their successful IND in 2016.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Kerrie is based at the Benitec head office in North Sydney.

Scientific Operations

Claudia Kloth, PhD

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing

Dr. Kloth leads the manufacturing efforts for clinical and pre-clinical gene therapy vectors for Benitec.  Dr. Kloth has over 20 years of cGMP manufacturing and process development experience in therapeutics, including adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors used by Benitec in its hepatitis C, hepatitis B, AMD and OMPD programs.

Prior to joining Benitec, Dr. Kloth led the Process Development group at the CMO Lonza Viral Therapeutics and successfully developed, optimized and transferred robust viral-based products (Ad5, AAV, lentivirus) to cGMP manufacturing. She contributed to enabling process scalability from small to large manufacturing scale of over 1000L using disposable technologies.  She was also instrumental in establishing a scalable AAV process production platform.

During her tenure at Medarex Inc. as a process development specialist, she guided the process transfer and process validation activities of its most advanced anti-melanoma antibody product Ipilimumab, aka Yervoy (Bristol-Myers Squibb) approved by the FDA in 2011.

Dr. Kloth earned her Ph.D. in Biotechnology Engineering from the Technical University Berlin, Germany.  She joined Benitec in April 2015 and is based in New Jersey, U.S.A.

Peter Roelvink, DScAg

Senior Director Research

Peter joined Benitec in March 2015 and is responsible for overseeing scientific development in the San Francisco lab.

In 1989 Peter received a Doctorate in Agricultural Sciences from the Agricultural University of Wageningen, the Netherlands. After graduation, he completed two post-doctorals at the Agricultural University in the Netherlands  and Cornell University, New York on the use of baculoviruses as bio pesticides.

Between 1994 and 2003, he researched and developed targeted adenovirus vectors. Dr. Roelvink and his research colleagues were the first to demonstrate delivery of a targeted vector from its native receptor to an artificial receptor. Between 2003 and 2006, he was one of three Benitec senior scientists to design an AAV based short hairpin RNA interference treatment of Hepatitis C.

Peter is a (co) inventor on 19 issued US patents that cover RNAi vectors and approaches, targeted delivery of adenoviruses, tissue specific expression using adeno associated viral vectors and the use of adenovirus in vaccine strategy.

Shih-Chu Kao, PhD

Principal Scientist

Shih-Chu Kao is a Cellular and Molecular Biologist. She joined Benitec as a Senior Scientist in May 2014 and was one of the first two scientists who started the wet lab in Hayward, California. She is the lead scientist for Benitec’s Ocular Programs including Age-related Macular Degeneration.

Shih-Chu acquired her first experience in developing ddRNAi-based therapy during her postdoc at Harvard Medical School studying Alzheimer’s disease. She was recruited to Tacere Therapeutics in 2008 and was one of the key scientists who developed TTO33X, series of compounds targeting Hepatitis C virus. During a brief break between Tacere and Benitec, Shih-Chu was the leader of the target validation group at Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, a small molecule drug company acquired by Celgene, developing epigenetic drugs targeting cancer stem cells.

Shih-Chu holds a B.S. in Zoology from the National Taiwan University and earned her Ph.D. in Neurosciences at the Case Western Reserve University. She conducted her Postdoctoral studies in Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsored laboratories at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University.

Keiko Takahashi, PhD

Scientist II

Keiko obtained her Ph.D. in Bioscience at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan, studying the regulation of p53 tumor suppressor by nuclear localization. Her post-doctoral study was at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory focusing on the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation resulting from epigenetic changes in stem cells. Two years of this work was supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). She then transitioned to the Stanford Neuroscience Gene Vector Virus Core and managed the production of AAV and lentivirus and started developing new AAV capsids.

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