Our Key Personnel

Chief Operating Officer: Michael Heffernan, Ph.D., P.E.

Michael Heffernan has been COO of AM Biotech since the acquisition of AM Biotech by Fannin Innovation Studio (Houston, TX) in 2019.  Prior to his role at AM Biotech, Mike was a Principal at Fannin and has served as Director of Product Development for BreviTest Technologies.  He has a track record of success securing non-dilutive funding for novel, disruptive technologies.  Mike earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering as well as his P.E. license from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute. He completed his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech and received his Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. Mike held a faculty position in the Pediatric Tropical Medicine section at Baylor College of Medicine for 4 years prior to joining Fannin Innovation Studio, and had a successful career in product development at Cummins Inc. 

Advisor and Past President : Mark Shumbera, MBA

Mark Shumbera formerly led MEI Technologies, Inc. Commercial Development Division where he built and managed MEIT IP assets before becoming President of AM Biotech in 2006.   Under Mark’s leadership, the company secured more than $6M of investment and $7.5M of grant funding from NASA, NIH, DARPA and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which led to the successful commercialization of AM Biotech’s powerful X-Aptamer technology.  Mark received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Houston Clear Lake.

Founder and Advisor: David Gorenstein, Ph.D.

David Gorenstein, Ph.D., joined UTHealth January 1, 2009 as Professor and Deputy Director of the IMM. He was most recently the Associate Dean for Research, School of Medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the Charles Marc Pomerat Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Neurosciences & Cell Biology. He also served as the founding Director of the UTMB Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Director of the Gulf Coast Consortium in Magnetic Resonance, a shared facility that includes UTMB, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Houston, UTHealth and UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He has nearly 40 years experience in structural biology, drug design, nucleic acid and protein chemistry with over 240 publications. He currently has major translation research programs in proteomics and nanomedicine for both diagnostics and therapeutics, particularly in cancer. He also has major programs in next-generation aptamer technologies NMR structural biology, drug design nucleic acid and protein chemistry. 

Dr. Gorenstein received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree and doctorate in chemistry from Havard University. Before moving to the Houston/Galveston area, he held faculty positions in the Departments of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Purdue University. He has received a number of awards, including Guggenheim (to the University of California San Francisco) and senior Fullbright (to Oxford University, England) fellowships and election as Fellow to the American Association for Advancement of Science. Dr. Gorenstein holds over three dozen patents on novel aptamer technology (awarded and pending), many of which have been to AptaMed and AM Biotechnologies, Galveston and Houston companies he founded.