Team

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EXECUTIVE TEAM

Brian Sefton, MBA
CEO,  CTO, Founder

Brian is an experienced serial entrepreneur, biochemist and environmental scientist who has established and led several companies in diverse industries, from drug discovery to software development. Brian brings multidisciplinary experience in new venture creation, management and business development with an intense focus on market focused intellectual property creation. Mr. Sefton has filed multiple patents in the field and is the creator of our core intellectual property. 

Heyward Robinson, PhD
VP Business Development 

Heyward recently joined Oakbio as Vice President of Business Development. Heyward brings a unique technical and policy background to the Oakbio team. Prior to joining Oakbio, Heyward was the Programs Director at the Clean Coalition and a Senior Scientist with SRI International. He holds a BS from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford. He is the former Mayor of Menlo Park, CA; former Chairman of the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority; former Board Member of the Dumbarton Rail Policy Committee; and former member of the San Mateo County Congestion Management and Environmental Quality Committee.  He co-founded Menlo Park’s Green Ribbon Citizen’s Committee (GRCC). He previously served on the Executive Committee Member of the Sierra Club’s Loma Prieta Chapter and on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Silicon Valley

William Coleman, PhD
VP Biology

Dr. Coleman has decades of experience in leading research efforts at a several companies. Bill Co-founded the methane to liquid fuels bioconversion platform at Intrexon. Dr. Coleman is an expert in synthetic biology for engineering bacterial strains to produce chemicals and biofuels.  Bill also served as Chief Scientific Officer at Kairos Scientific.

Russell J. Howard, PhD
Chairman of the Board

Dr. Howard is an experienced CEO who has led several successful life-sciences and biotechnology companies, both private and public. Most recently, Russell served as CEO of Maxygen Inc, a publicly traded company he founded and led through its IPO (NASDAQ: MAXY), many corporate partnerships, and sale of spin-off companies. While he was CEO at Maxygen, the company raised over $700M in investment and $100M in Federal funds. At Maxygen Dr. Howard created and spun out the biofuels company Codexis and served on its Board of Directors until 2009. Codexis went public in 2010 (NASDAQ: CDXS). Previously Russell served as President and Scientific Director of Affymax Inc.. Dr. Howard has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications, is the recipient of numerous awards and honors and serves on the board of several companies and foundations in the U.S. and overseas.