Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Dr. Aynun Begum is a founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NeyroblastGX. She earned her Ph.D. and did postdoctoral training at the University of Tokushima, Japan, and the Institute of National Research on Agronomique, France, on blood flow microcirculation and polyphenol chemistry, respectively. Dr. Begum completed her extensive postgraduate research study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), on the neurobiology of disease (Alzheimer’s disease). She has also worked as a senior stem cell specialist at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and at the Western University of Health Sciences (WUHS) on generating human pluripotent stem cell-derived human organoids. Later in her career, as a principal investigator (Senior Scientist) in InnoSense LLC, she was devoted to developing Alzheimer’s diagnostic and theranostic products, including biomaterial fabrication and encapsulation. She has received funding from NIH (National Institute of Health Sciences), NIH-NIA, the Defense Health Agency, and the Navy.

Chief Scientific Officer / Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Alexander Michkov is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO)/Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NeyroblastGX. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in Molecular Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics. Dr. Michkov was a postdoctoral scientist at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he studied expression patterns of human GPCRs and G-protein signaling pathways in lung tissue and the primary pulmonary cell cultures. Dr. Michkov worked in the UCSD- Bristol-Myers Squibb joint project on the discovery of disease-relevant GPCR targets and therapeutics using a combination of GPCR expression data with validation studies (e.g., signaling and functional activities assays). He initiated a project for a more precise prediction of GPCR protein amounts by measuring translated mRNA using Polysome Profiling Analysis. He has various research publications and presentations related to genome editing, RNA/DNA sequencing, G-protein signaling, and the discovery of new therapeutic targets (GPCR).

Senior Advisor (Neurodegenerative Diseases)

Dr. Rakez Kayed is the John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research, Professor at the Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience & Cell Biology & Anatomy, and a member of George & Cynthia Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases at University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston Texas. A world-class expert of amyloid-beta (Aβ), tau oligomers, and tau oligomer specific antibodies. Dr. Kayed has 16 years of experience in the study of Aβ and tau oligomers and their role in disease. He made enormous contributions to the Aβ and tau fields of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. Some of his and his team discoveries in this field, as well as the development of novel methods and reagents, have allowed other researchers around the world to greatly advance the understanding of the mechanisms of neurodegenerative pathogenesis of AD and other neurological disorders of aging. He has an exceptionally vibrant track record for engaging in cutting-edge amyloid research, coauthoring more than 135 peer-reviewed articles with more than 27,000 citations. Dr. Kayed is a senior advisor of NeyroblastGX, closely working with the company’s team to generate next-generation theranostic products for AD.

Advisor (Stem Cell Technology)

Dr. Yiling Hong is the Professor in Stem Cell Biology and Nanotoxicity Laboratory at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences. She is a renowned scientist in the field of pluripotent stem cell reprogramming and neuronal cell differentiation. She is pioneered in discovering a mutagenesis assay system to assess the risk of nanomaterials on stem cell properties. Her laboratory has recently developed several novel approaches to derive neurons from stem cells. Currently, her laboratory also focused on generating 3D organoid, serum replacement medium, and biomatrix for enhanced growth of specific lineage cells from stem cells for disease modeling and toxicity screening. She published more than 50 publications and has trained post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and CIRM (California Institute of Regenerative Medicine) funded students to provide knowledge on the next generation stem cell technology and their use in cell therapy. Dr. Hong is an advisor of stem cell-related research and closely working with the NeyroblastGX team to generate next-generation 3D organoids or related culture materials to improve the cell therapy platform.

Our team of scientists, collaborators, partners, and commercial experts are leading the discovery and building of new theranostic products for the future cure of disease.