Our Team



J. Jean Cui, Ph.D.

Scientific Founder, President and CEO

Dr. J. Jean Cui is a renowned oncology drug designer who is the lead inventor of multiple oncology medicines and clinical compounds.  Dr. Cui is the scientific founder of Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. (Turning Point), a San Diego based biotech company focusing on turning point medicines for cancer patients.  Turning Point went public on NASDAQ in April 2019 (Ticker: TPTX).  In June 2022, Bristol Myers Squibb announced the acquisition of Turning Point for $4.1 billion.  Dr. Cui served as Turning Point’s Chief Scientific Officer (October 2013-January 2020) and a member of Board of Directors (October 2013-June 2020).  Prior to that, she was Senior Principal Scientist and then Associate Research Fellow at Pfizer (2003-2013). Prior to that, Dr. Cui served as Project Leader and Group Leader at SUGEN, Inc., a Pharmacia Corporation (1999-2003).

Dr. Cui has made significant contributions in oncology drug discovery and development.  As scientific founder of Turning Point, she focused on solving drug resistance issues in targeted therapies and invented a unique macrocyclic platform to systematically address resistance issues.  This novel strategy and approach led to the creation of 3 clinical compounds: Repotrectinib (TPX-0005), Elzovantinib (TPX-0022), and TPX-0046 within 6 years since founding the company.  Repotrectinib, a ROS1/TRK/ALK inhibitor, is now in Phase 1/2 global clinical trial.  Repotrectinib received 3 FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designations, 3 FDA Fast-Track designations, and 1 FDA Orphan Drug Designation to date.  Elzovantinib (TPX-0022), a MET/CSF1R/SRC inhibitor, and TPX-0046, a RET/SRC inhibitor, entered into Phase 1 studies in 2019.  At Pfizer, Dr. Cui was the lead inventor of Crizotinib (XALKORITM) and Lorlatinib (LORBRENATM), and worked on several other oncology projects, including SUTENTTM.

Dr. Cui and her Crizotinib chemistry team at Pfizer were selected for the 38th National Inventor of the Year Award in 2011.  She received 2 Pfizer Worldwide R&D Achievement Awards (2006 and 2012) and Pfizer innovation award in 2011.  Dr. Cui was an honoree for the 2013 American Chemical Society (ACS)’s Heroes of Chemistry Program for the discovery and development of Crizotinib.  Dr. Cui received her 2nd Heroes of Chemistry Award from ACS in 2021 for the discovery and development of Lorlatinib.  Dr. Cui received the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from her Ph.D. alma mater.  She received 2022 San Diego BioPharma Achievement Award from SABPA in recognition of her outstanding contributions to San Diego biotech industry.  Dr. Cui was an honoree for the Committee of 100 Circle of Excellence Award in Humanity in Science & Technology in 2023.  She was the winner of the inaugural CABS K. Fong Award in Life Sciences in 2013.  

Dr. Cui received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and her M.S. and B.S. from University of Science and Technology of China.  She obtained her postdoctoral training at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley.

Y. Peter Li, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Co-Founder, and Executive Chairman

Yishan (Peter) Li, Ph.D., M.B.A. is co-founder of Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. (Turning Point), a clinical-stage biotech company, listed on NASDAQ (Ticker: TPTX). In June 2022, Bristol Myers Squibb announced the acquisition of Turning Point for $4.1 billion.  Dr. Li served as Chairman and CEO of Turning Point from October 2013 (founding) to September 2018 and continued to serve as a Director until Turning Point completed a successful $191 million IPO on Nasdaq in April 2019. As Chairman and CEO, Dr. Li led Turning Point for 5 years and successfully raised 4 rounds of venture financing for $147 million, in total, from leading biotech investors, Cormorant Asset Management, OrbiMed, S.R. One, Lilly Asia Ventures, Foresite Capital, venBio, HBM Partners, Nextech Invest, etc. Turning Point has built a strong pipeline with the lead compound Repotrectinib entering pivotal Phase 2 clinical trial and two additional projects in clinical development (TPX-0022, TPX-0046).

Prior to Turning Point, Dr. Li served as Executive Vice President at Epitomics, Inc., a leading antibody technology company specializing in rabbit monoclonal antibody development for reagent, diagnostics, and therapeutics (acquired by Abcam, plc in March 2012). Prior to Epitomics, Dr. Li was Vice President at Kenson Ventures, LLC. He served on Board of Directors and observers to the Board for biotech companies.

Dr. Li was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley. He earned his M.B.A. from Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio State University, where he was a University Presidential Fellow, and his B.S. from University of Science and Technology of China.  Dr. Li was an honoree for the Committee of 100 Circle of Excellence Award in Humanity in Science & Technology in 2023. 

Vincent Liptak, J.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.

General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Vincent Liptak, J.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. is General Counsel and Executive Vice President of BlossomHill Therapeutics, Inc. Vince has over 20 years of experience in the legal profession, with a focus on intellectual property. Prior to joining BlossomHill, Vince was a partner at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, serving as outside counsel for many clients in the chemical and life sciences space. While at Barnes & Thornburg, Vince served as a co-Chair for the firm’s Life Sciences Practice Group. With pharmaceutical patents as his practice focus, Vince has written hundreds of patents covering various aspects of pharmaceutical compounds, including patents covering several FDA-approved products. Vince has worked with BlossomHIll’s Scientific Founder, President and CEO, Dr. J. Jean Cui for over 18 years, beginning together as colleagues at Pfizer, Inc in La Jolla, CA. Over the course of his career, Vince has written the patents that cover crizotinib (Xalkori®), lorlatinib (Lobrena®), repotrectinib, elzovantinib, as well as other compounds discovered by Dr. Cui and her colleagues at Pfizer, Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc., and BlossomHill.

Vince received a B.S. with a double major in chemistry and mathematics from Loyola University Chicago. He went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Chicago. Before entering the legal profession, Vince was a post-doc in the laboratory of Prof. Dennis Dougherty at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. After a few years working as a patent agent, Vince received a J.D. and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego. Vince is a member of the California and Indiana bars and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Naresh Nayyar, Ph.D., M.B.A. RAC

Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Naresh Nayyar, Ph.D., serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs at BlossomHill Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Nayyar has more than 20 years of biotechnology development experience, most recently as senior vice president for regulatory affairs and quality assurance for Turning Point Therapeutics, which was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in August 2022. At Turning Point Therapeutics, Dr. Nayyar established the regulatory and quality functions to support the global development of repotrectinib (TPX-0005), elzovantinib (TPX-0022), TPX-0046, and TPX-0131 including number of combination studies and pediatric studies. He played a vital role in advancing repotrectinib global regulatory strategy through regulatory interactions (multiple breakthrough therapy, fast track, orphan designations, Type B and Type C meetings) leading to a successful NDA submission (of repotrectinib in March 2023) and its acceptance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (priority review) for the treatment of patients with ROS1-positive locally advanced or metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Prior to joining Turning Point Therapeutics, Dr. Nayyar was the Associate Vice President of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at aTyr Pharma (2016 -2018) where he was responsible for the corporate regulatory and QA functions. Dr. Nayyar also has extensive industry experience at companies such as Pfizer (1996-2009), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (2009-2010), and Halozyme Therapeutics (2010-2016) in leading and implementing strategic regulatory approaches (for nonclinical, clinical, and CMC), obtaining worldwide approvals for products such as Herceptin® SC, MabThera® SC, Rituxan Hycela® and HyQvia, as well as development strategies for numerous Phase 1-3 molecules, Phase 4 life-cycle management (Fusilev®, Zevalin® and Hylenex), and companion diagnostics. He also participated in due diligence activities of many high-value partnerships/collaborations at Pfizer and Halozyme.

Dr. Nayyar received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Delhi University (India), M.B.A. from University of Phoenix (USA) and is RAC certified.

Eugene Y. Rui, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Chemistry

Eugene Rui is the Senior Vice President of Chemistry at BlossomHill Therapeutics. Prior to joining BlossomHill, Eugene was an Associate Research Fellow in Oncology Chemistry Design at Pfizer La Jolla. During his nearly 25 years tenure at Pfizer, Eugene had led numerous projects, designed, and synthesized drug molecules to address unmet needs in the fields of oncology, antiviral and ophthalmology and contributed as a key designer to the delivery of 4 compounds (PF-0477736, PF-06821497, PF-06873600, PF-06939999) into clinical development. In addition, Eugene was the recipient of Pfizer’s La Jolla Discovery Innovation Award in 2006 for the design and synthesis of PF-04348733 for CAI project. Eugene received his BS in chemistry and MS in organic chemistry, both from Peking University. After working at Chinese Academy of Sciences for 2 years, Eugene came to the U.S. where he earned his Ph.D. at Purdue University in 1996. Eugene Rui is an inventor on 19 US patents and co-author on 28 publications. In his spare time, Eugene loves walking with his wife in their beautiful neighborhood and playing with their dog Muffin.

Z. Jesse Shao, Ph.D., R.Ph.

Vice President, CMC

Dr. Jesse Shao is the Vice President of CMC at BlossomHill Therapeutics. He has over 25 years of experience in Pharmaceutical R&D, notably in the area of controlled-release drug delivery. Dr. Shao has held various technical and leadership positions with increasing responsibilities at Schering-Plough, Pfizer, Arena Pharmaceuticals, and FibroGen. Prior to joining BlossomHill, he was Executive Director at FibroGen, where he contributed to the approval and launch of EVRENZOTM in the EU, Japan and China. At Arena Pharmaceuticals, he led the successful drug product technology transfer, approval and launch of BELVIQ® and BELVIQ XR®. Dr. Shao received his B.S. in Pharmacy from Peking University, M.S. in Physical Pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati, and Ph.D. in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy from Purdue University. Additionally, Dr. Shao is a registered Pharmacist in the state of New Jersey, an inventor of numerous patents, and has authored over 30 publications.

Antonio Garrido-Montalban, Ph.D.

Vice President, Drug Substance

Dr. Antonio Garrido-Montalban is the Vice President of Drug Substance at BlossomHill Therapeutics. Dr. Montalban started his industry career in San Diego as a medicinal chemist at Kemia and has since held positions as the Head of Early-Stage Drug Substance Development at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Executive Director and Site Head of STA Pharmaceutical, a WuXi AppTec Company and Senior Director and Head of Chemical R&D at Arena Pharmaceuticals. Before that, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London. Notable process chemistry contributions during his tenure at Arena Pharmaceuticals were the approval and launch of BELVIQTM and development of Etrasimod for which Arena Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Pfizer in 2022 for $6.7 billion. Dr. Montalban has over 29 years of combined industrial and academic experience covering discovery all the way to late-stage development. Dr. Montalban received his Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Applied Sciences, Darmstadt, Germany and his M.Sc./Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.  Dr. Montalban is an inventor on numerous patents, co-authored over 35 peer reviewed scientific publications and written a book chapter.

Board of Directors

Bihua Chen

Bihua Chen is the founder of Cormorant Asset Management, LP (“Cormorant”), an investment firm focused on innovative biotech, medtech and life science companies with assets under management of over $3bn. Ms. Chen manages Cormorant’s public fund as well as its private funds. Prior to founding Cormorant, Ms. Chen managed a separately managed account focused on the healthcare sector as a sub-adviser to a large, multi-strategy hedge fund based in New York. Ms. Chen obtained an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a Master of Science, Molecular Biology, from the Graduate School of Biomedical Science at Cornell Medical College. Ms. Chen also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics and Genetic Engineering from Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

J. Jean Cui, Ph.D.

Scientific Founder, President and CEO

(See Management)

Carl L. Gordon, Ph.D., CFA

Carl L. Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, is a founding member, Managing Partner, and Co-Head of Global Private Equity at OrbiMed Advisors LLC, an investment firm.  Dr. Gordon currently serves on the boards of directors of several public and private companies. He received a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard College, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Fellow at The Rockefeller University.

George J. Lee, Ph.D

George J. Lee, Ph.D. is a general partner and co-founder of Hercules Bioventure Partners, LLC, a venture management company specializing in investments in the biotech and pharmaceutical fields. Hercules Bioventure Partners has been dedicated to building a strong biotech portfolio in regions of the US and Asia over the last decade. Dr. Lee has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry having worked productively at a major pharmaceutical company (Syntex) and early-stage biomedical companies for years. Dr. Lee is an internationally known pioneer in the field of steroid hormones research. Dr. Lee has in depth experience in analytical methods development and validation for New Drug Application (NDA) as well as various applications to the Food & Drug Administration. Dr. Lee earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his B.S. degree in agricultural chemistry from National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Y. Peter Li, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Co-Founder, and Executive Chairman

(See Management)