Miguel de los Rios, Ph.D., Founder – Chief Executive Officer, Chief Engineering Officer
Miguel founded RIFT with Cory Bentley in 2015. Trained in protein engineering and polymer biophysical chemistry, Miguel brings both scientific and entrepreneurial expertise to help RIFT pioneer its novel method of breaking cancer immune-based resistance with antibodies. He is also Vice President of Research and Development at Sevion Therapeutics, a publicly traded therapeutics company with a focus in oncology and autoimmune disorders. Previously, Miguel founded Chimeros, Inc., a venture-backed biologics therapeutic company, while working to complete his Ph.D. At Chimeros, he served as both the Chief Executive Officer as well as the Chief Scientific Officer from 2003-2011, and was the inventor of the company’s core technologies. He received his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry and a B.S. in Cell Biology, both at UCSB. He also advises several start-up biotechnology companies, venture capital firms, and is a member of the UC Innovation Council, which advises the UC President on building a UC system-wide culture of entrepreneurial innovation. Miguel is lead author or inventor on 50 scientific publications, patents and patent applications. In his spare time, he is working to earn journeyman status as a blacksmith.
Cory Bentley, Ph.D., M.B.A., Founder – Chief Scientific Officer
Cory founded RIFT to develop antibodies to novel targets on immune cells to overcome cancer immune-based resistance to treatment. Cory has more than 10 years experience in target selection and validation, and antibody discovery and development. Prior to founding RIFT, she was the Director of Discovery at Sevion Therapeutics, previously Fabrus, an antibody discovery company with a focus on autoimmunity and oncology. Cory’s biological insight on target selection, development, and clinical strategy are informed by both her experience in drug development and her work with the Clearity Foundation, improving treatment options for ovarian cancer patients. Cory has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from UCSD, an M.B.A. from UCSD’s Rady School of Management, and a B.A. in Chemistry from Occidental College.
Jeff Pitman, Ph.D., Founder – Research Director
Jeff leads the target discovery and development at RIFT. Jeff has considerable expertise in molecular biology and genetics. Prior to his work at RIFT, Jeff performed postdoctoral research in metabolic disease and genetics at The Scripps Research Institute, and the molecular/developmental genetics of behavior at Brown University and the Salk Institute, where he was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow. Jeff has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from UCSD, and a B.S. in Biology from Harvey Mudd College.