Dr. Shimasaki is co-founder and CEO of Moleculera Labs, a neuroimmunology precision medicine company focused on diagnosing neurologic, psychiatric, and behavioral disorders triggered by an autoimmune response. The company’s testing panel is based on over 20 years of work from Dr. Madeleine Cunningham’s laboratory at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Shimasaki has been in the biotechnology industry for over 35 years, starting his career at Genentech. As a scientist, businessperson, and serial entrepreneur his work spans all stages of research and development from bench to bedside. His R&D work included epitope mapping for an HIV vaccine, SNP-based genetic breast cancer risk prediction biomarkers, a rapid influenza diagnostic, and therapeutic and biologic products for infectious diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders and noise induced hearing loss. He co-founded several companies and led multiple products through the FDA approval process and is a co-inventor on several patents.
Dr. Shimasaki received his BS in Biochemistry from University of California at Davis, his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Tulsa, and his MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business. He is an Adjunct Professor and Senior Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Oklahoma, Price School of Business and teaches biotechnology entrepreneurship. His passion is to help translate scientific and medical discoveries into acutely needed products so that more patients can live healthier lives.
Dr. Cunningham is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Moleculera Labs. She is the George Lynn Cross Research Professor and the Presbyterian Health Foundation Presidential Professor and Microbiology and Immunology Director, Immunology Training Program University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory has studied molecular mimicry, autoimmunity and infection related to inflammatory heart disease for the past 30 years. She has pioneered the development of human mAbs in understanding the pathogenesis of human diseases. Currently her laboratory is focused on translational studies of human diseases, to improve their diagnosis and treatment and determine how infections play a role in autoimmune diseases of the heart and brain. Dr. Cunningham is the director of an NIAID supported Immunology Training Program at the University of Oklahoma for the past 10 years. She has been the recipient of NHLBI Career Development and MERIT Awards and has been funded by NIH for the past 25 years. She is author of over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and speaks internationally on the findings of her research.
Dr. Cunningham’s laboratory studies the role of autoimmunity and infection in the pathogenesis of movement and behavioral disorders associated with streptococci, including Sydenham chorea, the neurologic manifestation of rheumatic fever, and pediatric autoimmune neurologic disorder associated with streptococci (PANDAS). Her laboratory identified antibody mediated neuronal cell signaling as the potential basis for choreic movement disorders. Other related movement and neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome and Tics are under investigation to determine the presence and role of autoantibodies which may signal in the brain for these diseases.
View Dr. Cunningham’s lab at the University of Oklahoma which focuses on the investigation of molecular mimicry, autoimmunity, and infection.
Mr. Hiller is the CFO of Moleculera Labs. He brings over 45 years of strategic financial and operations experience to the company. He began his career as a certified public accountant with Touche Ross & Co. from 1962 to 1968. Between 1969 and 1993, he served in various corporate financial capacities at several multinational companies. Mr. Hiller was the corporate controller of Elgin National Industries Inc. and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and was chief financial officer of Wilkinson Sword, Inc. Mr. Hiller has been a financial consultant to numerous companies since 1994. Mr. Hiller served as Chief Financial Officer for a publicly traded biotechnology company and a genetic-based CLIA laboratory testing for breast cancer risk assessment.