Female scientist filling vials

Our Team
We Combat Disease Caused By
Insufficient Gene Expression

Our Cohesive Team of Experts

Ractigen is led by a cohesive team of scientists, professionals, and biotech entrepreneurs with broad backgrounds in oligonucleotide research, chemistry, and drug development including the original core team of inventors behind the RNAa technology.

Management Team

Long-Cheng LI

Long-Cheng LI, M.D.

With a background of 13 years’ experience as a physician and 20 years in basic research, Dr. Li co-founded Ractigen Therapeutics in 2016. Prior to that, he held an Associate Professor in Residence position in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) until 2015 and a specially appointed Professor position at Peking Union Medical College Hospital of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences until 2017. Dr. Li is globally recognized for his groundbreaking work on RNA-mediated gene activation (RNAa), a technology that has advanced into human clinical trial. He has authored or co-authored over 80 publications which have received over 12000 citations. He is the inventors of 4 issued and 2 pending US patents. He received multiple research grants from both governmental and non-governmental organizations including a prestigious NIH Director’s Transformative R01 (T-R01) Award in 2009. He is an invited speaker at many national and international conferences, universities and companies around the world.
Moorim Kang

Moorim Kang, Ph.D.

Dr. Moorim Kang received his Ph.D. in Pharmacy from Chungnam National University, Korea in 2008. In August 2010, he joined the Li lab at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as a postdoctoral fellow. His postdoctoral work involves the anti-tumor effect of NKX3-1 activation by RNAa (RNA activation) and small activating dsRNA-based therapeutics targeting CDKN1A for the treatment of bladder cancer. Dr. Kang is a well-trained research scientist specialized in cancer biology and focused on evaluation of drug candidates not only small molecules but also small nucleic acids including saRNA. He has extensive experience with in vivo studies such as human tumor xenografts, live surgery and immunohistochemistry and has strong technical skills in molecular/cellular biology. He has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Kang joined Ractigen Therapeutics in December 2016. Prior to that, he was the team leader in degenerative arthritis research company (Garam E&C) in Korea.
Robert Place
Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder

Robert Place, Ph.D.

Rob has deep expertise in the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics with an entrepreneurial background in biotech spanning over 12 years.  As a fellow at UCSF, he was co-inventor and key scientific lead during the discovery of RNAa (RNA activation) unearthing a new field of oligonucleotide therapeutics. He helmed a collaboration between Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and University of California, San Francisco in the first efforts of RNAa drug development by combining Anlylam’s lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations with gene activating oligos. He has worked with several biotech companies including Sevident developing their molecular capturing platform for diagnostic testing that was acquired by Seinna Cancer Diagnostics in 2019. In 2016, he established the Chinese-based company Ractigen Therapeutic with long-time colleague Dr. Long-Cheng Li and Dr. Moorim Kang. Rob has a scientific background in oligonucleotide delivery and medicinal chemistry in context to drug development with upwards of a dozen patents, as well as experienced in the drug regulatory process of oligonucleotide-based IND submissions.
Lorenzo Xie
Chief Strategy Officer

Lorenzo Xie, Ph.D.

Dr. Xie has 10 years’ experience as Senior Patent Attorney/China IP Head in F500 MNCs, exposed to core business strategies including Glivec GIST patent litigation in Novartis Pharma. He was entitled as China Patent Agent since 2003 and started 10 years’ patent firm practice directly interfacing with clients in pharmaceutical/chemical industries. Before IP roles, he led R&D department for 8 years in Fosun Pharm developing nucleic acid diagnosis products and was awarded as Enlightenment Star of Science and Technology by Shanghai city. He was graduated from Fudan University as B.S. in Biology and obtained Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Chinese Academy of Sciences. His expertise includes IP strategy, pharmaceutical innovation and international protection scheme, lifecycle management, patent prosecution, enforcement litigation and IP transactions.
Dr. Fulu Zhao
Vice President, CMC

Fulu Zhao, Ph.D.

Dr. Zhao brings 18 years of industrial experience in chemical manufacture and control with a focus in process development and commercial manufacturing and a track record of successful drug development toward IND filing and regulatory approval. Before joining Ractigen Therapeutics, Dr. Zhao held senior positions as R&D director and head in well-known domestic pharmaceutical companies such as Kelun Pharmaceuticals and Yangtze River Pharmaceutical Group. Dr. Zhao obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has 10 granted patents and is an invited speaker at many industrial conferences. 

Scientific Advisory Board

David Corey

David Corey, Ph.D.

Dr. Corey received his B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from UC Berkeley under the guidance of Dr. Peter Schultz. After postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Craik at UC San Francisco, Dr. Corey started his independent career at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he is now the Rusty Kelley Professor of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Corey’s research focuses on the discovery of nucleic acids as leads for therapeutic development and on novel pathways for RNA-mediated control of gene expression.
Marc Shuman

Marc Shuman, Ph.D.

Dr. Shuman is currently an Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Emeritus Chief of Hematology and Oncology in the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). His career encompasses laboratory and clinical research, patient care, and teaching at UCSF Medical School and Medical Center, one of the top 5 Hospitals and one of the top 10 Graduate Schools in several scientific disciplines in the U.S.  He uses his considerable scientific and clinical experience to stimulate and accelerate interdisciplinary research between scientists and clinical investigators. Most recently, he has devoted considerable effort to the commercial sector of Health Care including drug discovery, Medical A.I. Dr. Shuman was funded for 30+ years continuously by the NIH and the NCI as a Research Principal Investigator. He is author or co-author of more than 100 research papers in peer-review journals including Science, Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, etc. He has led several NIH funded interdisciplinary cancer research grants examples of which include Proteases in Cancer and a Prostate Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE), and others from the NIH and the NCI. Currently he serves as a Research Advisor for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center Multiple Myeloma and Prostate Cancer Programs.

Board of Directors

  • Chenjun Zhou
  • Ting Xie
  • Xueli Geng
  • Long-Cheng Li
  • Feng Fang
  • Wenkai Xie
  • Wei Wang