Dr. Thomas E. Wagner
BA: Princeton University
PhD: Northwestern University
Dr. Thomas E. Wagner, Ph.D., is a co-founder of Perseus PCI. He is a world-renowned biomedical scientist, innovator and entrepreneur who has pioneered some of the past half-century’s most significant biomedical technologies used today in the study and elimination of cancer.
The personalized cancer immunotherapeutics deployed at Perseus are licensed by and principally based on Dr. Wagner’s research breakthroughs, which helped launch gene-based medicine and other aspects of the biotech industry.
Dr. Wagner has attracted more than $25 million in research funding and has held prestigious faculty and research positions at Cornell University College of Medicine, The Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, Ohio University, Cambridge University, Ohio Edison Biotechnology Institute, Clemson University and the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center. He has published more than 250 books and scientific papers in highly respected peer-reviewed biomedical journals and holds more than 50 patents.
Since the 1970s, Dr. Wagner has been a partner or a principal investigator for any number of major discoveries in the conformational changes in DNA associated with gene expression. His research has advanced embryonic microsurgery and the methods in molecular biology that are used to assemble recombinant DNA molecules and direct their replication within host organisms.
More than 30 years ago, Dr. Wagner was a pioneer in the development of transgenic technology — a methodology used to study the molecular details of a wide range of human diseases. He was also among the first to develop methods of cell-based therapies.
Dr. Wagner was also a pioneer in developing vehicles for cell-based gene therapy in 1987 and was the principal developer of a highly efficient cytoplasmic T7 gene therapy vector in 1993 which achieved for the first time rapid and high levels of gene expression in cancer cells and tissues.
Since 1998, Dr. Wagner’s research has focused exclusively on the application of modern molecular and cellular biology to the development of new therapies for the treatment of cancer. He served as Director for the Oncology Research Institute of Greenville Hospital System, which is a national, award-winning leader in effectively applying advanced medical technology in the fight against cancer. Dr. Wagner was also a Director of Eternal Technologies Group Inc., based in Beijing, China, which develops, manufactures and markets advanced medical equipment and technologies used in the detection and prevention of breast cancer.
Dr. Wagner has served as a scientific advisor to the World Health Organization, to the US Congress, and to the White House of President Ronald Reagan. He has continued to lecture and keynote at major scientific conferences and congresses on innovations on biotechnology, gene transfer and cancer therapy.
Dr. Wagner has been an enthusiastic supporter and active contributor behind the unprecedented growth of biomedical research and technology on university campuses across the People’s Republic of China. He is today a Senior Examiner and Consultant of Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, which is the principal distributor of medical research funds in Hong Kong; an Advisor and Honorary Professor of Molecular Biology at Tsing Hua University, Beijing, the “MIT” and principal science, technology and engineering campus in the People’s Republic of China; and Honorary Professor of Biology at China’s leading center for genetic and biological research, the National Hydrobiology Institute in Wuhan.
Dr. Wagner is an experienced and successful entrepreneur. In addition to his contributions to Perseus PCI, he is also a cofounder of Diagnostic Hybrids, founded in 1983, which develops, manufactures and markets cellular and molecular diagnostic kits used to detect respiratory diseases, herpes infections, thyroid function, and other high value markers of disease. He a founder of the Ohio Edison Biotechnology Institute, the GHS Oncology Research Institute, and Orbis Health Solutions LLC which is a founding and funding partner of Perseus PCI.
Dr. Sook Lee Yin, MD
MD: Queens University, Belfast
Member: British Medical Association; American Academy of Family Physicians
Registered: The General Medical Council, London, UK; Cayman Islands Medical and Dental Society
Dr. Sook Lee Yin is the treating physician with the Seven Mile Medical Clinic in the Cayman Islands, which she founded in 2001. As part of the Perseus PCI team, Dr. Yin coordinates patient care with a team of US-based physicians and physician assistants who evaluate each patient’s case for eligibility. This team functions as the care coordination team throughout the treatment process.
Since April 2001, Dr. Yin has served as medical director of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, the Cayman’s primary body for cancer education, detection, screening, as well as support of cancer patients with financial and counseling services. In 2005, she successfully raised enough funds to procure a state-of-the-art digital mammogram machine that was donated to a government hospital for public use. Her next fundraising campaign was aimed at preventing cervical cancer through a partnership with the government to provide the HPV vaccine to adolescent girls who lack insurance or other financial means to pay for it. Her efforts included working with a pharmaceutical manufacturer to discount the drug for the program’s patients.
In keeping with her holistic approach to health, Dr. Yin has worked tirelessly to ban public smoking in Cayman, and is also the medical director and founding member of the Cayman Heart Fund to promote awareness of cardiovascular disease as the number one killer in the Islands and the number one killer in women. In addition to this public awareness, she has campaigned for free screening of cardiovascular risk factors, and worked successfully to bring automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, in public places, along with organizing training programs on their proper use with basic life support techniques. As a result of Dr. Yin’s efforts, Cayman is now a “Cardiac Safe Place” with the first nationwide AED register coordinated with the Cayman Islands’ 911 response team, allowing dispatchers to notify callers of the closest AED to use until an ambulance arrives.
Dr. Yin’s preventative medicine emphasis extends to children, and in 2009 she became a founding member of the Children Health Task Force to tackle Cayman child obesity. Working with pediatricians, dieticians, counselors and fitness teachers, Dr. Yin developed a youth health program to promote healthy lifestyles, such as good eating habits and increased physical activity. Her efforts included lobbying for a national food policy mandating a nutritious public school food program, and a sports and physical fitness afterschool program. These efforts later expanded to include educating preschool teachers and caregivers on menu planning for toddlers.
A competitive swimmer, Dr. Yin advocates swimming as an activity that promotes a healthy mind and body for all ages. She has served as the medical director and team doctor of The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) since 2002, advocating water survival skills for every Cayman child as well as support in competitions. She has accompanied the Caymanian national swim team to several competitions, including the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and was selected as the Team Leader for the National Swim team at the London Olympics. Her support for the sport has helped Cayman prepare for a future Open Water World Championship bid.
Dr. Yin’s numerous and varied awards for recognition of her work and charitable services span from 2003 to 2012, including the MBE (Member of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen for Medical Services and Charitable Work in the Cayman Community in 2012; the Cayman Islands Certificate and Badge of Honor awarded in the name of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the medical profession and charitable organizations in 2006; Certificate of Recognition for relentless support toward Community Education and Women’s Health bestowed by Baptist International, Florida in 2004; and the 2005 Doctor of the Year Award of the Cayman Islands.
Pauline T. Nichol, PA-C
BA: Albany State University
PA: Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Pauline Nichol has practiced as a physicians’ assistant in Maryland and South Carolina since 1992, including consulting work in the medical legal field. In addition to performing routine medical exams and procedures, she has experience in performing numerous diagnostic procedures related to cancer diagnosis. She was a member of a bone marrow transplant team and has experience in bone marrow harvesting. She has also performed new patient consultations for clinical trials.
Ms. Nichol is currently licensed to practice in South Carolina. She is a member of the South Carolina Academy of Physicians Assistants and a Fellow of the American Academy of Physicians Assistants. Ms. Nichol is NCCPA board certified in both surgery and primary care and is a founding member of the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation, with an appointment to the Medical Advisory Board. She is also a previous member of the SmithKline Speakers Bureau, offering educational talks on female malignancies.
Ms. Nichol is very active in her children’s school, the Blue Ridge Christian Academy, and was appointed to the Board of Directors in the summer of 2011. She was appointed President of the Board in the spring of 2012. She is active in the Boxes of Love program in her community that distributes Thanksgiving meals and clothes to families in need at the holidays. She has co-chaired fundraising events, including the Heritage Festival of Blue Ridge Christian Academy. She and her husband, Joe, established Ghost Oak Truffiere in 2008 and will be the first growers of the black perigord truffle in South Carolina.
Ms. Nichol is passionate about helping patients diagnosed with cancer and helping them through the tedious and emotional process of understanding their disease and treatment options available to them. She resides in Landrum, SC with her husband and four children.