Meet Our Team.

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

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


Want to join the team? Check out our Careers Page.

Board of Directors

Jan Hardorp
Partner • re.Mind Capital
Srinivas Rao PhD MD
CSO • atai Life Sciences
Jeff Miller PhD
Founder/CSO/CEO/Chairman • Invivoscribe
Sher Ai Butt MBA
Cofounder & CEO • CB Therapeutics
Jacob Vogan PHD
Cofounder & CEO • CB Therapeutics


Christian Angermayer
• Highly active entrepreneurial Investor—one of the most influential in Europe and, increasingly, the US
• Psychedelics Investor pioneer: co-created Compass Pathways and atai Life Sciences and supporter of non-profit initiatives @ MAPS and Imperial College
Stephen Van Dien PhD

• Expert in metabolic engineering, industrial microbiology, and modeling of biological systems

• Sr. Director of Technology @ Genomatica, where he led biosynthesis efforts for industrial chemicals

• Cofounder @ Persephone Biome

• VP Commercialization @ Kalion Inc.

Lada Rasochova PhD MBA
• Expert microbiologist turned entrepreneurship professor and program director for UCSD Business School
• Previously worked for Dow Chemical Company as a Program Leader for biopharmaceutical development of vaccines
• Founder & CEO @ Dermala, Inc.
• Managing Director @ Rady Venture Fund

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.


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
Vice President, Operations

As vice president of operations, 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.


Thanos has a Doctorate degree in Strategic Management, Alliant International University, a Masters in International Business Administration (MIBA) from US International University (USIU), in addition to a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from United States International University (USIU), San Diego.

Tiffany Hurd
Business Development Lead

Tiffany Hurd has over fourteen years of experience having worked in high executive Neurology and Neuroscience positions for Fortune 500 Companies in Business Development and Sales.


She has over four years experience consulting teams, Psychedelic companies and coaching individual clients. Tiffany graduated from Providence College in 2012 as a Division I Athlete with a BA in Sociology; making the Dean's List and being a Team Captain.

Stephanie Elliot
Office Manager

Stephanie is the Office Manager at CB Therapeutics. Her responsibilities include administrative tasks, meeting planning, purchasing, HR projects, event planning and basically helping out wherever is needed to keep the office running smoothly. She is a professional at juggling multiple tasks, meeting deadlines, and being an integral part of lab operations.


With a degree in public relations, Stephanie brings critical skills to the company keeping things organized and on track. She wholeheartedly believes in our core values, one of which is that our people are our greatest asset. It really feels like a cohesive team environment at CB Therapeutics, where Stephanie feels right at home.

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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


“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.


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. 

Kirsten Tang
Senior Research Associate, Biotechnology

Kirsten received her BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD and is responsible for developing and optimizing biosynthetic pathways for target molecules in multiple project areas. By bringing a strong work ethic, curiosity, and initiative to the team, she has discovered methods leading to significant increases in target molecule production in yeast and assumed a more senior role in her projects. With a keen interest in synthetic biology, she looks forward to further engineering biosynthetic pathways at the molecular level.


Andi Burnett
Senior Research Associate, Analytical Chemistry

Andi, who holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Arizona, designs and standardizes LC and LC-MS analytical methods for quantifying existing and novel drug molecules. They also collaborate with the fermentation team to create extraction and purification processes for target drugs from fermentation broths.


In previous work, they have operated state of the art LC-MS and ICP-MS technology for quantitative analysis in various fields including water resources, geochemistry, emerging environmental contaminants, and bioaccumulation studies. They have dedicated their professional career to answering perplexing problems in human and environmental health, which is exactly what we do here at CB Therapeutics in creating novel therapeutics at a lower carbon footprint.

Andrea Morales
Research Associate

Andrea is a Research Associate with a Master's degree of Science in molecular cell biology from San Francisco State University and has a background in interdisciplinary research. She is part of the strain development team and supports key projects for production. 

Her mission statement as a scientist is to enhance diversity in the workspace and promote inclusivity. It is important for her as a first-generation immigrant to preserve her identity as a Latina in science.


Andrea takes great pride in every step she has taken to launch her career as a synthetic biologist. As a former National Institution of Health fellowship recipient and Genentech scholar, she is an asset to our team. CB Therapeutics’ culture allows her to embrace her values of inclusivity in the workspace and continuously keep preserving a space to grow.

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.


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.