Seongwon Peter Hong, Ph.D.
Peter is currently leading the LG Chem Life Sciences Innovation Center in Cambridge. He is also the Head of Research at LG Chem Life Sciences headquartered in Seoul, overseeing scientific and operational aspects of all intramural research, development of new technologies, and collaborative research through open innovation.
Peter has brought over 20 years of experience in drug discovery, translational science, and drug development of small molecules and biologics for various therapeutic indications, including immuno-oncology, autoimmune disease, metabolic disorder, and inflammatory disease. With his extensive experience in working with corporate partners of various sizes and academic collaborators, Peter is also specialized in defining and implementing drug discovery and development initiatives through leveraging external technologies. Prior to joining LG Chem Life Sciences, he worked at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as Associate Director and served as Project Team Lead for Cemiplimab (PD-1 inhibitor) which was approved in 2018, REGN1979 (anti-CD20xCD3 bispecific antibody) and REGN3767 (LAG-3 inhibitor) in the clinical stage, and numerous assets in the pre-IND stage.
Peter earned his B.S. in Pharmacy and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Science from Seoul National University, and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alex Gaither, Ph.D.
Head of Translational Medicine
Alex is Vice President and head of the Translational Medicine department at the LG Chem Life Sciences Innovation Center in Cambridge supporting the R&D portfolio of LG Chem Life Sciences headquartered in Seoul. He also supports due diligence and collaboration activities for the Innovation Center in Cambridge to help drive new target and platform technology into clinical development.
Before LG Chem, Alex worked at Novartis Pharmaceutics in New Jersey followed by the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge for a combined 18 years. At Novartis he navigated multiple disease areas including neuroscience, infectious disease (HCV and Dengue), diabetes, oncology, and immuno-oncology. During his tenure at Novartis he supported each step of the pharmaceutical pipeline including early research, target discovery, drug discovery, and early translational work. He has contributed to multiple projects that have entered clinical trials and eventually to commercialization for small molecules, biologics, and siRNA therapeutics. He has leveraged many academic and corporate strategic collaborations over the years to successfully drive target discovery, validation, and translational research from inception to the clinic. Alex has authored 15 patents and over 40 peer reviewed publications across multiple disciplines.
Alex earned a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Evangel University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Manfred Stapff, MD, Ph.D.
Manfred is the head of the LG Chem Life Sciences Innovation Center in Cambridge, leading and managing the scientific team, overseeing the projects, driving open innovation and the transition of programs to the clinic and beyond.
Manfred is a physician and brings over 30 years of experience in clinical medicine and all aspects of drug development, e.g. in clinical development, quality management, medical and regulatory affairs, clinical and observational studies.
Prior to joining LG Chem Life Sciences, he held several leadership positions in global R&D with pharmaceutical companies including Merck & Co, Forest Laboratories (now Allergan) and he was Chief Medical Officer at TriNetX. Some innovative milestones in Manfred’s career were the introduction of electronic data capture, operational trial simulation, and most recently the substitution of clinical trials by the use of electronic medical records. He started his medical career as a practicing physician in the Institute of Air and Space Medicine of the German Airforce and in the Policlinic for Internal Medicine of the University of Munich.
Manfred received his MD and PhD from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, and a Clinical Pharmacology license from the Bavarian Physicians Chamber. His publication list includes abstracts, papers, and books in cardiovascular medicine, drug development, project management and observational studies.