Team

Michael Wittekind

  • Prior to founding Olympic Protein Technologies, Mike served as the Chief Scientific Officer at ContraFect Corporation leading the team to build their discovery and development pipeline including CF-301 and CF-404 for the treatment of infectious diseases. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director of Research for Amgen Inc., where he directed the Protein Science Departments at the Amgen-Seattle and Amgen-Massachusetts sites leading discovery efforts for multiple protein therapeutics including antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, bi-specifics, and protein fusions, as well as epitope mapping studies to support patent filings. Under his direction 11 programs were transitioned from discovery to the preclinical and clinical stages, including brazikumab, AMG-820, tezupelumab, and brodalumab (Siliq™). Prior to that he held positions at Phylos Inc. and at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, directing groups at multiple sites leading protein expression and structural biology research for protein and small molecule therapeutic efforts including atazanavir (Reyataz™/Evotaz™). Mike received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison  followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington and is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed publications and 13 patents.

Elham Ettehadieh

  • Elham Ettehadieh received her Master of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of British Columbia and has authored publications in impactful journals including Science and Oncogene.  Elham has over 20 years of research experience.  She began her career in the biopharmaceutical industry at Immunex (later Amgen), joining the Protein Sciences group, where she developed thousands of mammalian expression constructs.  Elham has a proven track record of accomplishments as a molecular biologist including vector design, expression cassette design, and expression optimization for challenging proteins.  In addition to her other accomplishments while at Amgen, Elham played key roles in the discovery and characterization of AMG 820, tezupelumab, brodalumab (Siliq™), evolocumab (Repatha™), antibody-drug conjugate AMG 224, and bi-specifics AMG 570 and AMG 330.  


Rob Kegel

  

  • As an established protein biochemist, Rob has forged his career by leveraging his ability to solve problems creatively, while calling on his 12+ years of experience at the bench. From antibodies and nanoparticles, down to cytokines and chemokines, Rob has successfully purified and characterized an extensive breadth of biomolecules. While working on a wide array of proteins in the Amgen Protein Science Department, Rob earned a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Bioengineering from the University of Washington. After 8 years at Amgen, Rob joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and successfully developed purification and characterization packages for an HIV vaccine candidate intended for Phase I clinical trials. Rob brings ambition and creativity to Olympic Protein Technologies, and is always ready for the next challenge. 

Monique Howard

  • After obtaining her BS in Biology from Gonzaga University, Monique directly participated in the discovery and development of marketed small and large molecule biotherapeutics at Icos Corporation and Amgen Inc.  She has extensive experience in biophysical and biochemical assay development, with specialized training with Dr David Myszka focused in kinetic analysis of biomolecular interactions through the use of surface plasmon resonance technology (SPR/Biacore). This expertise and experience spans every phase of the drug discovery and development process from early discovery research proof of concept studies, antibody screens, antibody maturation and epitope binning, to later stage molecular optimization using protein engineering and high throughput SPR screens, to late stage molecular characterization for regulatory submissions including biosimilarity and comparability studies. Monique played key roles in the characterization and development of novel molecules such as tadalafil (Cialis™), antibody-drug conjugate AMG 224,  evolocumab (Repatha™), bi-specific AMG 330, as well as biosimilars ABP 215 and ABP 980.