Ms. Helena Cowley, MS, MBA, CEO

As the CEO, Ms. Cowley drives action with a solid scientific understanding and a result oriented focus. She holds a Master’s degree in Bioengineering and a MBA degree from the University of Florida.

Ms. Cowley started her career as a Research Engineer at Volvo Car Corporation, which followed by various research functions related to medical devices, and enzyme therapeutics.

Her research has resulted in two pending patents and she has been instrumental in Captozyme’s proof-of-principle in vivo studies and the receipt of five SBIR grants.
Qingshan Li, PhD, CSO

Dr. Qing-Shan Li is a co-founder and CSO of Captozyme. Qing-Shan graduated from East China University of Science and Technology in 1994 with a PhD in Biochemical Engineering.

From 1998 to 2001, he held post-doctoral research positions at Kyoto University and Stuttgart University. He subsequently entered into a Research Scientist position at the University of Kansas under the direction of Professor’s Robert Hanzlick and Robert Borchardt (2001-2005).

In 2005, Qing-Shan joined OxThera Inc. (Alachua, FL) where he continued to reside as a R&D Director until establishing Captozyme.
Aaron Cowley, PhD, MBA, COO

As the co-founder and COO, Dr. Cowley strives to build Captozyme into a renowned player in the biotech community. He holds a Bachelor’s (Biochemistry), PhD (Inorganic Chemistry) and MBA degree from Benedictine College, University of Kansas and the University of Florida, respectively.

He was the recipient of the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service award for his post-doctoral work at the University of Georgia, and his work has culminated in 15 peer reviewed journal articles.

Dr. Cowley was a Scientist II/Preclinical Manager at OxThera Inc. (Alachua, FL) prior to establishing Captozyme in 2009.
 
Tracey Francis, MS, Bookkeeper

Tracey Francis graduated from the University of Florida with a Master's degree in Accounting and has been working in the accounting field for 25 years. Tracey has worked as an accountant for various private companies and as an accountant and auditor for the state of Florida.

Tracey currently tutors college-level accounting and economics and also works as a USA Archery tournament judge. As a part of the team, Tracey does the daily bookkeeping and accounting for Captozyme.
Erik Nordwald, PhD, Senior Scientist

Dr. Nordwald has a BS in chemical engineering and a PhD in chemical and biological engineering. His thesis involved exploiting various types of protein engineering, such as post-translational modification and mutagenesis to understand protein thermodynamics and kinetics in solutions with high organic salt content and then use this information to engineer enzymes to have high stability in such media.

Dr. Nordwald hopes to use his skillset to bring new biological solutions to market to improve the quality of life across the world. Currently, he is working to bring solutions to oxalate-related disease via decreasing oxalate content in the body.
Isabella Ramos, BS, Marketing Manager

Mrs. Ramos earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Her current role as Marketing Manager involves strategic, customer relations and project management of all marketing efforts for Captozyme and the launch of Nephure™.

Mrs. Ramos will apply past agency experience managing accounts from retail automotive to higher education toward the successful launch of Nephure™ and any other marketing or branding efforts.
 
Jeff Heslep, BS, Assistant Lab Manager (Client Services)

Mr. Heslep is a graduate of Santa Fe College with a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science focusing on Biotechnology and Medical Technology.

His current role as a Assistant Laboratory Manager involves assisting in new method development for the efficient manufacturing of a live therapeutic. He also enjoys technical installations, equipment calibration, and keeping the laboratory equipment running properly.

Mr. Heslep completed his Medical Technologist internship at North Florida Regional Medical Center and is passionate about clinical research.
Haochen Zhang, MS, Assistant Marketing Manager

Mr. Zhang obtained his Master's degree in Advertising from University of Florida with specialties of brand management and market research. As the Assistant Marketing Manager, he coordinates day-to-day activities relating to market research and marketing.

Mr. Zhang aims to further a career in marketing, advertising and brand management.
Meekah Chaderton, BS, Assistant Lab Manager (QC)

Ms. Chaderton is a recent graduate of the University of Florida with a background in microbiology and cell science.

As Assistant Lab Manager, she is involved in product development, method development, optimization, and assay validations along with managing day-to-day activities within the QC laboratories. Ms. Chaderton is also a part of the Customer Relations Management team—furthering consumer knowledge about oxalates and kidney health.

Ms. Chaderton has past research experience with Shand’s Hospital at the University of Florida and aims to further her education in the medical field.
 
Brendan Kinney, MS, Lab Technician

Mr. Kinney is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a Master’s of Science degree in Medical Sciences with a Graduate Certificate in Health Sciences. 

As a Lab Technician in the client services lab, Mr. Kinney assists in optimizing media for bacterial growth, cell bank creation, as well as viability assays and stability screening of freeze dried powders.

Mr. Kinney aims to further his education by studying the relationship between the human gut microbiota and various disease states within the human body.
Peiyu Wang, MS, Lab Technician

Mr. Wang obtained his Master’s degree in materials engineering at the University of Florida. Prior to joining Captozyme, he worked in a bio-chemistry project at UF’s Chemical Engineering Department for one year.

Mr. Wang currently works in the R&D Laboratory of Captozyme. As a Laboratory Technician, his responsibilities include operating fermenters and perform experiments for Captozyme’s research and development.
Mark Durham, MS, Research Associate

Mark is a research associate within the service lab. He graduated from Auburn University with a Master’s of Science in Plant Pathology, specializing in bacteriology.

From his education and experience, Mark has extensive experience working with biological products. He assists with fermentation process development and compliance with laboratory safety and regulations.

Mark enjoys working with microorganisms and facing the challenges it presents. He is also ardent about fostering a constructive, supportive and open environment for those he works with.
 
Emily Hollingshead, BS, Communications Intern

Ms. Hollingshead is a full time student pursuing her Master’s degree in Telecommunication at the University of Florida with a focus in Marketing.

As part of the Marketing team she is working to create a strategic SEO plan for the company and aids in content creation as well as social media management.

Ultimately, she is looking to expand her career into content marketing and provide value to those she serves.
Careers

We believe that “good people recognize good people”. We enjoy pushing the envelope, and breaking down barriers where others build walls. We are action oriented, and strive to make a big change in the world.

We work until it is done, do what it takes, and do not ask for praise or glory; we climb the mountain to see the world, not so that the world can see us.

Do you recognize us? If so, then we are looking for you - join us and start making a difference.
Michelle Ordax, Lab Technician

Ms. Ordax is a full time student pursuing her Bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Florida.

As a Laboratory Technician, she takes care of inventory, prepares buffers and media, and assists in general laboratory organization and support.

Ms. Ordax aims to continue her education in biomedical engineering and take part in research in regenerative medicine.
 
Jackie Strawbridge, Freelance Writer

Jackie Strawbridge is a writer and editor based in Gainesville, Florida. She helps businesses attract wider audiences by translating their work into compelling stories. Her background is in NYC local media.
Erik Andréasson, MS, Business Intern

Mr. Andréasson is a recent graduate of Karlstad University in Sweden with a Master's degree in business administration with accounting as his focus. As a business intern, he assists with monthly budget analysis, process streamlines, and calculations related to the business. Mr. Andréasson also supports day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting operations.

In the future, Mr. Andréasson aims to use the valuable experience he has gained to pursue a career as an auditor.