Executive Team

Jay B. Lichter, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jay B. Lichter serves as Avelas Biosciences’ President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Lichter is an entrepreneur and seasoned investor in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena with over 25 years of expertise in management, scientific research, and business development. Dr. Lichter is the inventor on over 260 patents and patent applications. Dr. Lichter has been either directly responsible for, or participated in, licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued in excess of $3 billion. Dr. Lichter currently serves as a member of the board of directors for AristaMD, SynthoRx, COI Pharmaceuticals, Otonomy, Fortis Therapeutics, T-Rx and Sova. Dr. Lichter held postdoctoral positions in Human Genetics at Yale University and pharmacogenetics at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. He obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a B.S. from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jesus “Tito” Gonzalez, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Tito Gonzalez serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Gonzalez joined Avelas Biosciences as a founding member in 2009 as Vice President of Research and Development. A leader with a successful record of applying chemistry, biology and instrumentation to develop leading technologies, products, and pharmaceuticals; Dr. Gonzalez has over 20 years of biotechnology, drug discovery, drug development, and management experience. Previously, Dr. Gonzalez held the position of Sr. Director, Biology at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he led both drug discovery project teams and a biology team to support discovery projects targeting pain, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis. Prior to Vertex, Dr. Gonzalez was the Director of Ion Channels at Aurora Biosciences, leading a multidisciplinary group that developed high-throughput ion channel drug screening technologies and provided assay development services to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Gonzalez earned a B.A. in chemistry cum laude from Rice University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University. He also held a postdoctoral fellow position at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute working with Professor Roger Y. Tsien at University of California at San Diego.

Steven Chen, MD, MBA

Chief Medical Officer

Steven Chen serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chen joined Avelas Biosciences in 2014 as the Vice President, Clinical Affairs. Previously, Dr. Chen served as the Chief of breast surgery at UC Davis Medical Center, followed by a position as an Associate Professor of Surgery and as the associate program director of the surgical oncology training program at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Dr. Chen is the current President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Dr. Chen serves on committees for a number of professional societies including the American Medical Association, the Society of Surgical Oncology, and the American College of Surgeons. He is also a practicing surgeon in San Diego, California and the Director of Surgical Oncology at OasisMD. Dr. Chen received his medical degree and completed general surgery and critical care residencies at the University of Michigan, followed by a surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Dr. Chen also obtained his MBA at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Kyri K. Van Hoose, CPA

Vice President, Finance

Kyri Van Hoose serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Vice President, Finance. Ms. Van Hoose joined Avelas in 2017, bringing with her over 15 years of experience, predominantly in the life science industry. Prior to joining Avelas, Ms. Van Hoose held a series of accounting, finance and business development positions of increasing responsibility over a period of 10 years at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Before ACADIA, Ms. Van Hoose gained experience in the life science industry with Invitrogen, Inc. and Allergan plc. Ms. Van Hoose began her career with Deloitte and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of California. Ms. Van Hoose earned her B.S. in accounting from the University of Southern California and her MBA from the University of California, Irvine.