Meet Our Team.

Meet our team of world-class scientists, researchers, and game-changers.

We are based in Carlsbad, California, with partners worldwide.


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Our Team

Sher Butt
CEO / Founder

Sher co-founded CB Therapeutics with a vision for developing scientific thought leadership in fermentation science and cellular agriculture.

His scientific background is supported by his work in pharmaceutical and wellness product companies. Sher holds a BSc in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from UC Davis and an MBA from the Rady School of Management, UC San Diego.

Jacob Vogan
CSO / Founder

Jacob Vogan is a founder, board member, and the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of CB Therapeutics (CBT). Jacob founded the company with Sher to create ethical, sustainable biotechnology products which improve the human condition by addressing mental health, increasing healthspan, and promoting longevity.

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Jacob has deep expertise on biosynthesis and genetic engineering, including tissue culture, precision fermentation, and new compound generation. Jacob completed his PhD and Post-Doc at UC Berkeley, with additional research experience at UC Davis and UC San Francisco. Jacob has over 16 years experience in bioengineering, and has authored over two dozen scientific articles and patents. 


Jacob drives the scientific vision and project management for furthering cellular agriculture achievements as part of the biomanufacturing revolution of which CBT is a leading force.

Thanos Karavokiris
Operations Executive

As operations executive, Thanos oversees all of CB Therapeutics’ non-scientific operations. His experience spans over 25 successful years of seeing companies through their mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings. Thanos has held high-visibility executive positions in finance and operations for startups, multinationals, and Fortune 500 technology companies and today he leverages those skills and more to keep CB Therapeutics on the cutting edge.




Jim Wade
Director of Analytical Chemistry

Jim Wade leads the Analytical Chemistry effort at CB Therapeutics, with the goal of optimizing both the upstream and downstream processes needed to produce new classes of valuable molecules. Jim began his career in the specialty chemicals industry, where he worked on food ingredients, paper chemicals, polymers, and solid rocket programs.

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The second half of his career has been spent in the biofuels and Green Chemistry sector, where he has led analytical groups in five companies. His most important successes have been the career successes of those who were in his groups.

Erin Scott
Associate Director of Microbiology

Erin has a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and a minor in Spanish from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from UC San Diego. As Associate Director of Microbiology, she provides technical leadership in multiple project areas.

She explores the untapped diversity of nature to create new molecules benefitting mental health. Working collaboratively with the rest of the CB Therapeutics team, she develops methods to produce target molecules in an environmentally sustainable way.

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Since coming to CB Therapeutics she has expanded the repertoire of successfully produced molecules, mentored a talented group of junior scientists, and advanced the company’s future by protecting novel intellectual property with strong patents.

Her professional goal is producing health-promoting molecules developed by healthy well supported scientists in a healthy fast-growing company.

Laura Peiffer
Associate Director of Strain Engineering

Laura Peiffer, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of strain engineering at CB Therapeutics. In her role, she helps advance cellular engineering projects, developing microbial factories to make valuable compounds from low-cost feedstocks. Laura has over ten years of industry experience, engineering a variety of yeasts and bacteria. 

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Laura has a B.S. degree from Duke University, where she majored in biology and chemistry. She earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Irvine, working on kinase signal transduction in yeast. Laura believes that bringing together a diverse group of people with a wide range of expertise is the best way to collaborate and solve difficult problems in the world of cellular agriculture and mental health.

Phu Khat Nwe
Scientist I - Strain Engineering

Phu Khat received her BA in Chemistry from Albion College and her PhD in Chemical Biology from Yale University. As a scientist I in synthetic biology and strain development, she engineers yeast to produce high value compounds in an efficient and sustainable fashion.

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She is very proud that she is one of the few people from Myanmar (Burma) who became a scientist. She looks forward to contributing and nurturing a culture of health and wellness at CB therapeutics.

Aaron Cantu
Fermentation & Downstream Scientist

Aaron Cantu is a Fermentation and Downstream Scientist at CB Therapeutics. One of Aaron’s professional accomplishments is being a part of the design and development of CB Therapeutics’ current downstream process. As a result, he can utilize his experience with recovering fermentations alongside his industry knowledge. Aaron’s perseverance, enthusiasm, and spirit of collaboration make him an excellent fit for the CB Therapeutics team. He believes that it is these three values that have helped guide him in the work he does.

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“I’d like to share how I’ve come to realize these values. Throughout my upbringing I’ve learned good work ethics through my sports career and schooling. I’ve learned how to persevere through difficult situations or assignments by focusing on my work and keeping a positive attitude. Having leadership roles in my sports career has taught me how to manage other skill sets of teammates in order to accomplish common goals. Here in the lab, collaborating across departments is vital to understanding results and optimization of a process. I feel that with these values, hard work and dedication is what I contribute to CB Therapeutics.”

Diana Castillo
Laboratory Manager

Diana handles all the details of running our laboratory facility. In her prior laboratory experience, she worked her way from an inexperienced lab assistant to the Laboratory Manager in less than five years. She has molecular biology experience and several professional biotechnology certifications.

Tyler Huelsman
Senior Research Associate

Tyler is a Senior Research Associate on the Strain Development team with a background in chemical engineering, molecular biology, and systems biology. He received his MS in Bioengineering at UCSD in 2015. He is responsible for the genetic modification and improvement of our most productive and promising yeast strains, as well as protein engineering to increase function in pathway enzymes, and mentoring new members on the Strain Development team.

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Tyler is a believer in the enormous potential of synthetic biology. He uses cutting edge biochemical techniques to transform organisms into efficient manufacturers of useful compounds whether they are rare, hard to isolate, not found in nature, or completely novel. 


Joseph Nunley
Fermentation Technician

Joseph is a fermentation tech at CB Therapeutics, with job duties including setting up, running, and ensuring the completion of the company’s fermentation runs. Joseph is currently majoring in Biology and has previous experience as a student researcher studying microorganisms on ocean plastics. In addition to this, his background in the Marine Corps provided him with a robust skillset, including a keen attention to detail and outside-of-the-box thinking which enable Joseph to troubleshoot and resolve any issues that may come up within the lab.


Hirmenia Rosabal
Laboratory Technician

Hirmenia conducts experiments under defined conditions to verify or reject various types of hypotheses using refined scientific methods. She designs and executes laboratory testing according to standard procedures. Additionally, she conducts and prepares bacteria and yeast samples, cultures, and ensures safe disposals of waste.

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Hirmenia is a 9-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps. She possesses a Bachelor of Science in Biology and is currently completing her Masters in Forensic Science.

Her top 5 values are Family, Integrity, Ambition, Determination, and Adventure. She is a science-oriented individual, focused on expanding her career where she can utilize her expertise in laboratory techniques for the benefit of the company and what it stands for.


Alexis Llamas
Laboratory Technician

Alexis is a Fermentation Technician at CB Therapeutics, with job duties including setting up, running, and ensuring the completion of the company’s fermentation runs. She is currently completing her B.S. in Biomanufacturing from MiraCosta College and has previous experience with mammalian cell culture. She believes synthetic biology can give mankind a better standard of living, better health, and a better mental life. She is looking forward to being a part of new breakthroughs and innovations at CB Therapeutics.