With extensive expertise in critical laboratory techniques, animal husbandry, and pre-clinical study protocol development and execution, we ensure research is efficiently and securely conducted, yielding robust, high-value data.

Executive Leadership

  • Kieron Jones - Co-Founder,
    CEO & President

    Kieron Jones

    Co-Founder,
    CEO & President

    Kieron Jones has over 13 years of success in delivering results through direct sales, strategic revenue-generating partnerships and building collaborative long-term relationships in a variety of government and commercial contracting environments.

    Over the past 10+ years he gained expertise as a Project Management Professional with experience in pre-clinical through Phase 3 biopharmaceutical development, product life cycle management, cross-functional collaborations, financial analysis and budgeting, project and portfolio management, and global strategic planning. Kieron has a demonstrated track record of leading by example, adapting to evolving industry demands, and promoting efficiency through analysis of key performance indicators.

    Kieron held multiple positions at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies —Texas (formerly Kalon Biotherapeutics), most recently Director, Commercial Development, where he brought in more than $50 million in new business and participated in successful negotiations of Commercial Supply Agreements and other strategic partnerships. During his eight years at Fujifilm/Kalon he worked with the COO on global strategic planning and also managed a $175 million multi-option contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

    Previously, Kieron held positions as project manager and program analyst at BAE Systems, Atlantic Marine, Inc., Rham Construction and the Haskell Company. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).


  • Andrew Strong - Co-Founder

    Andrew Strong

    Co-Founder

    Andrew Strong has extensive experience representing many of the firm’s life sciences clients and routinely advises on corporate and securities, mergers & acquisitions, private and public financing, university licensing, executive compensation and regulatory matters.

    Andrew’s clients include public- and private-sector entities in the emerging technology and life sciences industries and public and private academic institutions. Andrew previously served as the General Counsel and Compliance Officer for the Texas A&M University System where he was responsible for, among other things, business transactions, technology commercialization, research compliance, real estate and litigation for the System’s 11 public universities, 7 state agencies and health science center.

    Andrew was the Founding President and CEO of a start-up biotech company (Kalon Biotherapeutics) which was formed by the Texas A&M System in 2011 and was integral to the multi-billion dollar award from the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) in 2012. Over the course of three years, Andrew successfully grew Kalon to over 100 employees and secured significant partnerships with MD Anderson Cancer Center and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. He then successfully ran a process to secure a strategic exit for Kalon that resulted in the sale of the company to Fujifilm and Mitsubishi in December 2014.

    Andrew set his focus on helping grow the Texas biotechnology industry and represented over 20 Texas private and public biotech companies, a number of which are CPRIT-funded companies.


Vivarium Staff

  • Kelly Sharp - Manager, Vivarium Services

    Kelly Sharp

    Manager, Vivarium Services

    Ms. Sharp has 15 years of experience as an animal and vivarium manager, during which she was actively involved in obtaining AAALAC accreditation for two new vivarium facilities. Most recently she was Senior Manager of the In Vivo Core at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, where she oversaw all animal studies, managed data collection and delivery from the Core team to multiple scientists, and finalized data for review by scientific teams. As Vivarium Manager at Bellicum, she was responsible for building and maintaining the company’s animal program and facility according to AAALAC guidelines, and managed submission of annual reports, site visit inspections, accreditation renewal, and communication with governing agencies. She has also developed and reviewed IACUC protocol submissions and has hands-on experience with laboratory animals and cell culture work.

    Ms. Sharp holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science.


  • Mary Brandt - Senior Research Associate, Vivarium Services

    Mary Brandt

    Senior Research Associate, Vivarium Services

    Ms. Brandt has 35 years of experience in designing, conducting, analyzing and managing in vivo studies in multiple animal models and across diverse biological systems and disease indications. Most recently she was Senior Research Associate, R&D at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals where, during her six-year tenure, she developed expertise in a wide array of laboratory skills, laboratory and animal management, data collection and analysis and establishing universal protocols for initiating, managing and concluding studies in mouse models. She supported the completion of 57 mouse studies in less than two years, demonstrating her dedication to scientific inquiry, efficient teamwork and organization, and collaborative technical cross-training.

    Previously, Ms. Brandt held research positions at leading academic institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine and the M. D. Anderson Cancer Research Center, as well as cutting-edge biopharmaceutical companies, including Ceros, Inc. and Lexicon Genetics, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry.


  • Fabricio Cabrera - Research Associate

    Fabricio Cabrera

    Research Associate

    Mr. Cabrera has dedicated his career to animal care, and has spent the past five years as an animal technician and research associate, most recently at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, where his responsibilities included maintaining the company’s animal facility to AAALAC accreditation requirements, assuring quality of health for animals used in research studies, and working collaboratively to conduct research using animal models. He is experienced with all aspects of animal handling for research purposes, including performing health checks, drawing blood and collecting tissue samples, animal imaging, and pre- and post-operative animal care.


Laboratory Staff

  • Eva Morschl, PHD - Scientist, Lab Manager

    Eva Morschl, PHD

    Scientist, Lab Manager

    Dr. Morschl is an immunologist and scientific consultant with more than 15 years of experience in developing transgenic and pharmacological mouse models as well as cell-based and biochemical assays to investigate mechanisms and treatment options for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular or lung diseases and cancer. During the past six years she has been involved in the development of cutting-edge cell therapy for cancer treatment while setting up and maintaining the laboratories of the Research and Development group utilizing the latest technologies. Dr. Morschl maintains compliance with regulatory and safety guidelines, writes standard operating procedures and provides training to employees.

    Dr. Morschl has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, presented at national and international meetings and received awards. She holds a doctorate in Medical Sciences and Physiology and a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.


Facilities and Support Staff

  • Alfonso Falco - Facilities Technician

    Alfonso Falco

    Facilities Technician

    Mr. Falco is a veteran of the U.S. Navy with eight years of experience in the design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of complex equipment and systems in a variety of industries and facilities. In his five-year tenure at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Falco oversaw the construction and assembly of the company’s cleanroom systems and lead and trained a team for cleanroom buildout. In addition to installing and/or modifying various systems throughout the facility, calibrating and testing laboratory equipment and coordinating with external contractors, Mr. Falco also assisted with the design of Bellicum’s facility, coordinated and lead construction teams to ensure proper buildout of office, laboratory and vivarium spaces, and installed multiple gas, vacuum and water systems.


  • Michael Val Verde - IT Support Services Lead

    Michael Val Verde

    IT Support Services Lead

    Mr. ValVerde is a U.S. Air Force veteran with more than 20 years of experience in communications and information technology. Over the past five years, he served as Systems Administrator and provided desktop support at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. In these roles, he provide local and remote desktop support for a variety of technologies and software systems, installed servers, printers and video teleconferencing systems for 25 users in a new office, participated in setting up multiple servers for Bellicum’s drug manufacturing facility, led the deployment of a backup solution for the company’s laptop users and a barcode creation and printing solution for its pharmaceutical manufacturing process. Mr. ValVerde is highly skilled in the implementation, optimization and trouble shooting of a wide array of communications and information technology software and systems.


  • Enid Mondragon - Logistics & Procurement Specialist

    Enid Mondragon

    Logistics & Procurement Specialist

    Ms. Mondragon has ten years of experience in laboratory research and management. In her two most recent positions she served as Laboratory Manager at Tessa Therapeutics and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, both of which are Houston-based life sciences companies. Previously, she held positions of Research Lab Supervisor and Senior Veterinary Technician at Baylor College of Medicine. Over her decade in the life science arena, Ms. Mondragon has overseen laboratory safety, budgeting, purchasing, inventory management, and equipment maintenance; established policies and procedures to ensure laboratory efficiency and safety; negotiated and maintained closed working relationships with vendors to acquire essential products and equipment; participated in the care and experimental use of mice; and assisted with the development of preclinical studies.


Board of Directors

  • Kieron Jones - Co-Founder, CEO & President

    Kieron Jones

    Co-Founder, CEO & President

    Kieron Jones has over 13 years of success in delivering results through direct sales, strategic revenue-generating partnerships and building collaborative long-term relationships in a variety of government and commercial contracting environments. Over the past 10+ years he gained expertise as a Project Management Professional with experience in pre-clinical through Phase 3 biopharmaceutical development, product life cycle management, cross-functional collaborations, financial analysis and budgeting, project and portfolio management, and global strategic planning. Kieron has a demonstrated track record of leading by example, adapting to evolving industry demands, and promoting efficiency through analysis of key performance indicators. Kieron held multiple positions at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies -Texas (formerly Kalon Biotherapeutics), most recently Director, Commercial Development, where he brought in more than $50 million in new business and participated in successful negotiations of Commercial Supply Agreements and other strategic partnerships. During his eight years at Fujifilm/Kalon he worked with the COO on global strategic planning and also managed a $175 million multi-option contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

    Previously, Kieron held positions as project manager and program analyst at BAE Systems, Atlantic Marine, Inc., Rham Construction and the Haskell Company. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).


  • Andrew Strong - Co-Founder

    Andrew Strong

    Co-Founder

    Andrew Strong has extensive experience representing many of the firm’s life sciences clients and routinely advises on corporate and securities, mergers & acquisitions, private and public financing, university licensing, executive compensation and regulatory matters.

    Andrew’s clients include public- and private-sector entities in the emerging technology and life sciences industries and public and private academic institutions. Andrew previously served as the General Counsel and Compliance Officer for the Texas A&M University System where he was responsible for, among other things, business transactions, technology commercialization, research compliance, real estate and litigation for the System’s 11 public universities, 7 state agencies and health science center.

    Andrew was the Founding President and CEO of a start-up biotech company (Kalon Biotherapeutics) which was formed by the Texas A&M System in 2011 and was integral to the multi-billion dollar award from the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) in 2012. Over the course of three years, Andrew successfully grew Kalon to over 100 employees and secured significant partnerships with MD Anderson Cancer Center and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. He then successfully ran a process to secure a strategic exit for Kalon that resulted in the sale of the company to Fujifilm and Mitsubishi in December 2014.

    Andrew set his focus on helping grow the Texas biotechnology industry and represented over 20 Texas private and public biotech companies, a number of which are CPRIT-funded companies.


  • Andrew Desomma

    Andrew Desomma

    Andrew DeSomma is founder and manager of Resolute Investments – a fund for investment in private and public companies across technology and biotech markets. Andrew has 20+ years of investing in both private and public businesses across technology, biotech, consumer and retail businesses. Prior to founding Resolute, Andrew worked as an analyst at two SEC registered crossover hedge funds in the Bay Area. At one fund, Andrew was responsible for idea generation in multiple tech sub-sectors for the multi-strategy fund managing over $2 Billion AUM in assets under management (AUM). Prior to working on the buyside, Andrew worked as a sell side analyst at Roberston Stephens and Flemings in both San Francisco and New York. Andrew resides in Santa Fe, NM and enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, reading, painting, skiing, and mountain biking.


  • Kevin Slawin, MD

    Kevin Slawin, MD

    Kevin Slawin, MD, the Founder and Managing Partner of Rapha Capital Management, LLC is an oncologic and robotic surgeon, and biotech consultant, investor, and founder focusing on disruptive technologies in oncology, T cells and immunotherapy, as well as other breakthrough healthcare technologies. He is the founder of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company listed on the NASDAQ, and led Bellicum to a successful $161 million IPO in December, 2014. He also plays a guiding role in several of the investments managed by Rapha Capital, serving as a board member at 3DBio Therapeutics, Inc., FIZE Medical, Inc. and Demeetra AgBio, Inc. He served as a board member and interim CEO of portfolio company AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc., in 2020, engineering their $35 million Series A financing led by Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund in mid 2020. He is the Founder and CEO of PONCE Therapeutics, Inc., an anti-aging company with its R&D department located in Houston, TX and the first client of K2 Biolabs.


  • Clifford J. Stocks

    Clifford J. Stocks

    Clifford Stocks has more than 28 of experience in the biotech industry and is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of OncoResponse, Inc., a Seattle based immuno-oncology company formed as a broad strategic alliance with MD Anderson Cancer Center. Prior to OncoResponse, he served as Chief Executive Officer at Theraclone Sciences, where he was responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s efforts to discover and develop novel therapeutic antibody immunotherapies for the treatment of infectious disease including HIV-cure antibodies licensed to Gilead. Prior to Theraclone, Mr. Stocks served as Chief Business Officer of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he led the partnering activities and M&A teamwork that resulted in the acquisition of Calistoga by Gilead for $600 million in 2011. Mr. Stocks spent over 15 years at ICOS Corporation, where he served as an Executive Officer and Vice President of Business Development. While at ICOS, he led acquisitions and joint venture activities, as well as alliance formation, strategy, licensing, and deal making. He played an instrumental role on the leadership team that developed and launched Cialis®, and was a key architect of the Lilly ICOS joint venture partnership leading to the $2.3 billion acquisition of ICOS in 2007. Mr. Stocks’ early career includes a turn as a management consultant in the Health Services practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, as well as academic research in the department of immunology at the University of Utah and the department of molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago.
    Mr. Stocks received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago, Booth Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Utah.


Strategic Advisory Board

  • Ann Tanabe

    Ann Tanabe

    Ann Tanabe was appointed CEO of BioHouston in October 2015 after serving four years as the company’s COO. Prior to joining BioHouston in 2011, Ann served as vice president of investor relations at Synthesis Energy Systems, a publicly traded alternative energy company, from May 2008 to December 2010. Prior to this position, Ann served as vice president of corporate communications and investor relations and investor relations director at Encysive Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded biotechnology company, from July 2003 to May 2008. From October 2000 to July 2003, Ann served as investor relations manager and corporate communications coordinator to Texas Biotechnology, the predecessor company to Encysive Pharmaceuticals. Prior to 2000, Ann held a variety of positions at Rochem Separation Systems. Ann earned a BA degree from Loyola Marymount University.

    Ann is a member of the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Product Development Advisory Committee. Additionally, Ann is a member of The University of Houston BME Industrial Advisory Board, Rice University’s Professional Science Master’s Program Advisory Board and Houston Community College’s Biotechnology Advisory Committee. Ann has been an active member of the Houston Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) since 2000 and is a current Board Member.


  • Michael Curran, PHD

    Michael Curran, PHD

    Michael Curran, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Immunology at the the MD Anderson Cancer Center, where his laboratory seeks to discover the underlying mechanisms of immune resistance in the “coldest” tumors, pancreatic and prostate adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma, so that rational therapeutic interventions can be developed to restore T cell infiltration and sensitivity to T cell checkpoint blockade. This research focuses on normalization of tumor oxygen metabolism to increase T cell metabolic fitness, and on pro-inflammatory activation of tumor myeloid stroma. While pursuing his postdoctoral studies at in the laboratory of James P. Allison at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Curran published several influential manuscripts describing how T cell co-stimulatory pathways could be modulated in tandem to mediate immunologic rejection of melanomas in mice. Dr. Curran was the first to describe how combination blockade of the T cell co-inhibitory receptors CTLA-4 and PD-1 promoted the rejection of a majority of murine melanomas – a combination that remains the most effective FDA-approved immunotherapy. Dr. Curran was the first recipient of the prestigious American Cancer Society Levy Fellowship to fund his post-doctoral studies in Dr. Allison’s laboratory. He received a PhD in Immunology from Stanford University, where he was awarded the McDevitt prize for the best graduate thesis in his year.


  • COL (Ret) George E. Peoples, MD, FACS

    COL (Ret) George E. Peoples, MD, FACS

    COL (ret) George E. Peoples, MD, FACS served 30 years of active duty as a surgeon and research scientist in the military. He is the Founder and Director of the Cancer Vaccine Development Program (CVDP), which has over 20 years of experience in discovering, developing, and clinical testing of cancer vaccines — four of which have been licensed for commercial development. With his retirement, the CVDP now has a commercial counterpart, Cancer Insight, LLC, which is a boutique cancer immunotherapy CRO currently conducting multiple phase I and II trials. Dr Peoples serves as the CEO of Cancer Insight, Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciecnes (USUHS) and Professor (adjunct) of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). He is the past Chair of the Cancer Care Program, San Antonio Military Medical Center and the past Military Director of the United States Military Cancer Institute. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed his surgical training at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a surgical oncology fellowship at MDACC. He has written extensively on the immune response to cancer with over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters.


  • Tom Campbell

    Tom Campbell

    Tom Campbell’s ability to craft multidisciplinary solutions to complex science problems is rooted in his time as General Counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). There he led the federal team that assessed the ecological impact of the Valdez Oil Spill and in the process created scientific methods that are widely used today. (Two decades later, he guided a part-owner of the Macondo well through the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident and the negotiation of a $1 billion settlement.) After his government service, he became General Counsel and head of the gulf coast Environmental Science Group for Entrix. There he led multi-disciplinary science teams that pioneered the use of the eco-econometric tools that are currently used by governments and industry worldwide.

    He was then a Founding Partner of a boutique environmental law firm that represented some of the country’s largest companies — dealing with some of their most challenging environmental liabilities. He combined understanding of science and economics with the law in creating innovative “win–win” resolutions of complex problems. That firm successfully melded into Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Campbell also created a venture capital and consulting firm that gave start-up technology companies access to both capital and management capacity. Campbell looks forward to bringing his diverse skill set to K2 to help emerging companies with disruptive technologies find their place in the market.


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