EmitBio™ is a life science company using the precise delivery of light to stimulate, protect, regenerate and heal the body through light therapy.
We have developed light-based technology that acts directly or through intermediate mechanisms against invading pathogens and stimulates the body’s natural innate defenses to contain, attack and destroy these harmful intruders.
EmitBio is creating light that is fundamental to human health, harnessed for healing and for bodily defense.
Where Light meets Life™.
Your body is under attack every day.
Every breath including life-giving oxygen is accompanied by a host of other microorganisms, some harmless, others potentially life threatening. The ones that threaten us are called pathogens and include:
Causing COVID-19, SARS, MERS, Flu, Measles, Whooping Cough, the Common Cold
Our light therapy shows the potential to defeat them all.
While developing light-based treatments to fight the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we made a novel discovery—the treatments were also effective in fighting other pathogenic infections, such as, bacteria, influenza viruses, cold viruses, and many more.
This discovery puts forth the promise of an effective, non-pharmacological treatment for a wide variety of pathogens. While additional and specific clinic trials for other pathogens are needed to 100% confirm our findings, the in-vitro demonstration of efficacy against a spectrum of pathogens that promises the potential of a “universal antiviral” is in reach.
Our Mission: Change how the world treats infectious disease.
Develop advanced LED technology to produce the desired therapeutic and protective outcomes.
Deliver market-ready products for clinical and home use.
The promise of light-based antiviral therapies from EmitBio:
Uses safe, visible spectrum light, to bolster the body’s innate immune system when
confronted with bacteria and viruses
A non-pharmacological treatment, no chemicals or pills with adverse side effects
Mechanism of action not dependent on viral genetics or configuration of spike protein leading to utility as a treatment for current mutations and/or future genetic drift.
We bring decades of experience in light science and solid state lighting.
EmitBio includes pioneering experts in LEDs and advanced solid state lighting systems (including LEDs), enabling us to develop light delivery mechanisms that can consistently produce precise colors (wavelengths) targeted to specific needs. This gives an advantage in testing the impact of precisely selected wavelengths of light in different physiological environments and applications.
The EmitBio Leadership team
Our leadership team represents decades of research, discovery and development in both life science and light science. The therapeutic applications of this fusion of light science and life science are limitless.
Neal Hunter, Executive Chairman of EmitBio, has a 30 year track record of successfully raising capital for and building technology companies in both the public and private markets beginning as a Co-founder of Cree, Inc. Mr. Hunter served multiple roles at Cree, including as the public company CEO and Chairman from 1994 to 2001 (shareholders returned 26x during his tenure), and then Chairman until 2005. He was also instrumental in the creation and start-up of LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. which he co-founded in 2005 to accelerate the use of LEDs in general illumination applications and sold in 2008 for over $100M. While at Cree, Mr. Hunter led the creation and market introduction of the first viable LED lightbulb, generating over $100 million in revenues in 10 months. In 2014, Mr. Hunter began working with Dr. Nathan Stasko on developing a platform for lighting technology applied to difficult to treat human conditions. This work led to his new role as Executive Chairman of EmitBio, Inc. Mr. Hunter has been involved in light science for over 30 years and in life science for over 10 years.
David Emerson, Ph.D.
CEO – Chief Executive Officer
Dr. David Emerson joined KNOW Bio in January 2020 and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of EmitBio. Prior to this, Dr. Emerson was Executive Vice President and General Manager at Cree, Inc. (CREE) where he led the LED Products Division and where he continues to serve as LED Advisor. With more than 20 years of experience in the development and commercialization of LEDs and LED systems, Dr. Emerson invented key technologies that helped to ignite the LED Lighting Revolution. He has successfully built and led global teams to service complicated supply chains, partnered strategically across diverse industries to launch disruptive technologies into high volume manufacturing, and successfully led both start-up efforts and established enterprises. An expert on the use and solid-state production of light, Dr. Emerson has over 120 technical publications and holds nearly 400 patents in areas ranging from basic materials and optoelectronic device architecture to LED systems. Dr. Emerson holds both PhD and undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.
John C. Oakley
CFO – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Oakley joined Vast Therapeutics in July 2017 as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Oakley also currently serves KNOW Bio, LLC, EmitBio’s parent company, and all its group companies as Chief Financial Officer. Throughout his career, Mr. Oakley has served in senior financial positions and as a Director for both publicly traded and privately held companies such as Cleaver-Brooks, Inc., Flanders Corporation, and Home Meridian International. Mr. Oakley began his career in the audit division with Arthur Andersen, LLP after earning a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Nathan Stasko, Ph.D.
CSO – Chief Science Officer
Dr. Nathan Stasko is an expert in the field of nitric oxide and a key inventor of many technologies in the KNOW Bio portfolio. He is an inventor on over 100 international patent filings, 15 of which have been issued in the U.S. Dr. Stasko was part of the original entrepreneurial vision to develop and optimize a proprietary platform that enables the delivery of nitric oxide as a drug. As President & CEO, he led Novan Inc., an early embodiment of this vision, from biotechnology startup to publicly traded clinical stage leader in nitric oxide treatments. He also currently serves at the Executive Chairman of REVIAN, a medical technology company dedicated to stimulating the body’s natural processes to rejuvenate skin diseases with light. Dr. Stasko holds both a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John McNeil, MD, MPH, Ph.D
CMO – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. John McNeil is an internationally known Biologics Product Developer and Medical Epidemiologist and a leading expert on the prevention of infectious diseases. As well as serving as Chief Medical Officer for EmitBio, Dr. McNeil currently serves on the Board of Directors for the statewide UNC Healthcare System and recently as an advisor to the President’s Coronavirus Taskforce. Dr. McNeil is an accomplished product developer and clinical researcher with over 35 years’ experience and a successful track record developing active immune biologics for prevention of infectious diseases ranging from Falciparum Malaria in African toddlers, to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and HIV/AIDS. Before joining EmitBio, he was the founder and CEO of Verum Clinical Research, LLC and was a Senior Director and Clinical Franchise Leader for poverty-related diseases at Sanofi Pasteur. Previously Dr. McNeil held leadership positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and over 22 years of global service with the US Army Medical Research and Development Command. Dr. McNeil is a prolific researcher with over 150 published peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts. Among his honors, Dr. McNeil was awarded The Legion of Merit, the Army Medical Corp Alpha designator as an international expert in infectious diseases and public health and The US Army Medical Department Order of Military Medical Merit for Superior Achievement. Dr. McNeil holds a Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) from Wake Forest University and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research with concentrations in Internal and General Preventive Medicine & Infectious Diseases, Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD degrees from Harvard University in Medical Epidemiology and Public Health and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Adam Cockrell, Ph.D.
Director of Virology Research
Dr. Cockrell joined KNOW Bio in April, 2020 and serves as Director of Virology Research. Dr. Cockrell has over 15 years experience as a molecular virologist. Over the course of these 15 years, he worked with coronaviruses (i.e. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus [MERS-CoV] and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS-CoV]), alphaviruses (sindbis virus, Ross River virus, and Chikungunya virus), influenza viruses (H1N1 strains), lentivirus-derived vector systems (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], feline immunodeficiency virus [FIV], equine infectious anemia virus [EIAV]), simple retrovirus-derived vector systems, and adeno-associated virus derived vector systems. As a molecular virologist Dr. Cockrell has authored more than 20 publications in the fields of gene therapy and viral pathogenesis. Prior to joining KNOW Bio, Dr. Cockrell served as Principal Scientist for gene therapy at Pfizer and Novartis where he led teams developing adeno-associated viral vectors as therapeutics for monogenic disorders. Dr. Cockrell holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, and undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Winona State University.
Vin Gupta, MD, MPA, MSc
Senior Medical Advisor
Dr. Vin Gupta is an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Clinically active as a Pulmonary/Critical Care physician, Dr. Gupta’s research has focused on several important issues in global public health. He previously was a full-time Assistant Professor with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Department of Health Metrics Sciences (HMS) from 2018-2020. During this time, Dr. Gupta helped lead a large research portfolio examining the global burden of non-communicable diseases using the most advanced epidemiologic methods. These efforts were primarily funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and focused on attributable disease from tobacco use globally, with particular focus on Mexico, Brazil, China, and Indonesia. He concurrently holds an active commissioning as Major in the United States Air Force Reserve Medical Corps. In this capacity, Dr. Gupta previously assisted with bolstering the emergency health crisis response capabilities of partner nations in Africa as part of the US State Department’s African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership (“A-Prep”) initiative.Dr. Gupta received his BA from Princeton, MD from Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Master’s in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, and Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, regular health policy contributor for national media outlets, and board member on several health-focused nonprofit organizations nationwide.
Michael Knowles, M.D.
Dr. Michael Knowles is a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Knowles specializes in Genetic Modifiers of Disease phenotype in Cystic Fibrosis lung and liver disease, and is currently heading two multicenter studies: 1) Genetic Modifiers of Disease phenotype in CF lung and liver disease, which includes an International Consortium doing a whole genome scan; and 2) a Consortium with eight sites in North America studying rare genetic disorders of mucociliary clearance. He received a BA and an MD from UNC Chapel Hill and has over 30 years of clinical trial experience in the private and academic sectors with an emphasis on the following areas of study: biology, physiology, and clinical trials design. Dr. Knowles has been peer selected for 2017-2018 “The Best Doctors in America” award