Yutaka Niihara, MD, MPH
Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board
Dr. Niihara has been involved in patient care and research for sickle cell disease for most of his career, and is the principal inventor of the patented L-glutamine therapy for treatment of sickle cell disease. He is a cofounder of Emmaus, principal investigator for LABioMed at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
His experience includes serving as President, Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Hope International Hospice. Board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine/Hematology, Dr. Niihara is licensed to practice medicine in both the U.S. and Japan. His honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California and the Abigail Kawananako Award. Dr. Niihara received his B.A. in Religion from Loma Linda University, obtained his M.D. from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1986, and received his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health in 2006.
Willis C. Lee, MS
Chief Operating Officer, Vice-Chairman of the Board
Mr. Lee has more than 30 years of management and consulting experience with influential companies in the healthcare and semiconductor industries. Prior to joining Emmaus, Mr. Lee led worldwide sales and business development of Yield Dynamics’ product group at MKS Instruments. He joined the Company in 2009 and has served as Chief Operating Officer since May 2011.
He has held various managerial and senior positions at companies including HPL, Syntricity and Reden & Anders, a subsidiary of United Healthcare that provides actuarial services including capitation and risk assessment analyses for healthcare insurance carriers. Mr. Lee received his B.S. and M.S. in Physics from University of Hawaii and University of South Carolina, respectively. He was a member of the American Physical Society, completed TQM/SPC programs, and has published papers in Nuclear Instruments and Methods.
Wei Peu Zen, MBA
Mr. Zen is Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wai Kee Holdings Limited., a Hong Kong-based construction and infrastructure company whose shares are listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Limited. He is also the Chairman of Build King Holdings Limited and Chairman of Road King Infrastructure Limited, both of which are subsidiaries of Wai Kee Holdings Limited. Mr. Zen has over 45 years of experience in civil engineering, and is responsible for the overall management of the Wai Kee Holdings Limited group of companies. He oversees the operations of the group’s construction, quarry and concrete divisions. Mr. Zen holds a B.Sc. degree in Engineering from The University of Hong Kong and a M.B.A. from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and is a member of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and fellow member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Institute of Quarrying, UK, respectively. He is a past Honorary Treasurer of the Hong Kong Construction Association and a member of HKTDC Infrastructure Development Advisory Committee. He is also the President of the Hong Kong Contract Bridge Association.