Who is Quintessence Biosciences?

Quintessence Biosciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on development of novel protein-based therapeutics. The Company’s products are based on the EVade™ Ribonuclease Technology which allows for the engineering of human proteins (ribonucleases) for the treatment of human diseases.

The EVade™ Ribonuclease technology is covered by patents acquired by the Company through an exclusive license with the University of Wisconsin. The Company has advanced lead candidate QBI-139 through a first in human Phase I clinical trial. Second generation products are under development and pre-clinical work is ongoing.


Mr. Ralph Kauten,

Ralph Kauten serves as Chief Executive Officer of Quintessence Biosciences, Inc. In this role, Mr. Kauten brings together the resources necessary to build the company and manage the resources to achieve commercial success. Before joining Quintessence, Mr. Kauten spent 20 years working in various technical and managerial positions in the biotechnology industry in such companies as PanVera Corporation (now part of Life Technologies), Mirus Bio Corporation (sold to Roche Pharmaceuticals) and Promega Corporation.

In recognition of his performance, Mr. Kauten received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2001. Mr. Kauten has Bachelor and Masters degrees in Business Administration.

Dr. Laura Strong,

Laura E. Strong, Ph.D., serves the Company as President and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Strong's primary responsibility is advancing the company's proprietary cancer therapies through human clinical trials to market. A major component of this work has been the development and execution of a regulatory and clinical strategy for a protein-based cancer therapeutic. She writes about cancer drug development, equity investing and other relevant topics at The Next Element blog and on Twitter as @scientre.

Dr. Strong serves as co-chair of the review committee for the Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning and Innovation Network (MERLIN). She has served as President of the Board of Directors for the biotechnology association for Wisconsin, BioForward. As an NIH fellow, Dr. Strong earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the UW-Madison. She is co-author of fourteen publications and co-inventor on four issued patents.

Business Board

Quintessence Biosciences, Inc. has assembled a Business Board to draw upon their managerial and scientific experience to provide input on the scientific and business direction of Quintessence Biosciences. The business board consists of Dr. Laurits Christensen, Mr. Walter Dewey, Mr. Chris Hornung, Mr. Ralph Kauten (who serves as chairman), Dr. Laura Kiessling (a founder of the Company), Dr. Ronald Raines (a founder of the Company), Mr. Theodore Rolfs, and Mr. David Walsh.

Dr. Laurits Christensen

Dr. Christensen is Chairman of Laurits R. Christensen Associates, Inc. an economic and engineering analysis and consulting firm. In his twenty years as an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, he published over sixty articles and established himself as an authority on applied microeconomics, economic evaluation, and econometric modeling. Mr. Christensen obtained his Bachelor degree in economics from Cornell University and his Masters and PhD degrees in Statistics and Economics from University of California-Berkeley.

Mr. Walter Dewey

Mr. Dewey is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Madison Investment Advisors. He spent the majority of his career at U.S. Bancorp where he had responsibilities in research, portfolio management, and client relationships. He managed the Firstar Growth Fund and also spent considerable time speaking on investment strategy for the organization at a national level. Mr. Dewey received a B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and is a member of the CFA Institute. Walter is also a board member and vicechairman of St. Colette Foundation in Jefferson, WI; the vice president of the Edgewood Campus Grade School Board of Trustees; and an Advisory Board member of the Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Mr. Chris Hornung

Mr. Hornung is the co-founder of Sturbridge Capital, an investment firm based in Michigan. Mr. Horning was previously C.E.O. of Next Testing LLC and was the founder and retired C.E.O. of Pacific Cycle. Mr. Hornung chairs the Nomination and Governance Committee of Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI) and sits on the board of Paragon Manufacturing (China). Mr. Hornung is also a limited partner in Wind Point, a Chicago based private equity firm. He is actively involved with the Grainger School of Business at the University of Wisconsin.

Mr. Ralph Kauten, Chairman

Since December 2001, Mr. Kauten has served as C.E.O. of Quintessence Biosciences, Inc. Mr. Kauten has served as co-founder and leader in a number of biotechnology companies including Promega Corporation, PanVera Corporation, and Mirus Corporation. Designated as an Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, Mr. Kauten serves on Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards for companies in the biotechnology industry and in other industries. Mr. Kauten holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BBA, from the University of Iowa.

Mr. Theodore Rolfs

Mr. Rolfs is Owner/Partner of Red Top Capital LLC a private equity investment partnership since 1993. Prior to joining Red Top Capital LLC, Mr. Rolfs was with Arthur Andersen specializing in tax matters. Mr. Rolfs serves as a member of the Board of Directors for all portfolio companies held by Red Top Capital LLC.

In a capacity unrelated to Red Top Capital LLC, Mr. Rolfs served as a director of PanVera Corporation. Mr. Rolfs holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and a JD all from the University of Notre Dame and is currently admitted to practice law in the State of Wisconsin. He is a member of the University of Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council.

Mr. Rolfs is Founder and Director of the Tall Pines Land Conservancy. He is Trustee and Executive Vice Chair for The Nature Conservancy – Wisconsin Chapter. From 2003 to 2006 Mr. Rolfs was appointed Public Service Prosecutor for the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office; and in 2006 he was elected to, and continues to serve on the Waukesha County Board.

Science Board

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) includes the company founders, Professors Ronald Raines and Laura Kiessling, as well as two oncologists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Doctors Howard Bailey and Paul Sondel. The SAB is chaired by Company President Laura Strong.

Howard H. Bailey, M.D.

Dr. Bailey graduated from the University of North Dakota Medical School and received his Internal Medicine training at Kalamazoo, Michigan. He performed fellowship training in Medical Oncology at the University of Wisconsin as well as a Research Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has been a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin Medical School since 1994 and currently is a Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Bailey is a past Vice Chair in the Department of Medicine and a past Associate Director of the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition to a long history of leading federally- and industry-sponsored cancer clinical trials he has developed and led multiple regional/national research networks. His clinical and research expertise is focused on the development of novel agents for the treatment or prevention of cancers.

Dr. Laura L. Kiessling, Founder

Dr. Kiessling, a founder of the Company, is a leading expert on the chemistry and biology of nucleic acids and carbohydrates. After receiving a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from Yale University, Dr. Kiessling did postdoctoral work in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. In 1991, she joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is now a Hilldale Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Laurens Anderson Professor of Biochemistry. Dr. Kiessling serves as a consultant for numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Dr. Kiessling is Editor-In-Chief of ACS Chemical Biology, and she has served on numerous Editorial Boards including the boards of the scientific journals Chemistry & Biology, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and the Annual Reviews of Biochemistry. She has received numerous national awards for her research. Dr. Kiessling received in 1999 a MacArthur Fellowship for the discovery of the Neobiopolymer TM technology, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in Organic Chemistry, and the Horace Isbell Award in Carbohydrates from the American Chemical Society. She also is a recipient of the Harrison Howe Award (2004), the Garvan Award (2007), the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale University (2008), She is a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Ronald T. Raines, Founder

Dr. Raines, a founder of the Company, is a leading expert on the chemistry and biology of proteins. Dr. Raines received A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University and did postdoctoral research in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1989, he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is now the Henry Lardy Professor of Biochemistry and a Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Raines has served as a Scientific Advisory Board member or consultant for numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He has been a Visiting Scientist at Chiron Corporation as well as a Visiting Associate at Caltech. He is on the editorial advisory boards of ACS Chemical Biology; Peptide Science; Protein Engineering, Design, and Selection; and Protein Science; and on the scientific advisory board of the Keystone Symposia. Dr. Raines is an author of over 200 scientific articles and has won national and international awards for his research, including the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award in Organic Chemistry, the Repligen Award in Biological Chemistry from the American Chemical Society, the Emil Thomas Kaiser Award from the Protein Society, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr. Raines is the inventor of the S-TAG™ technology, which is marketed by EMD Chemicals.

Paul M. Sondel, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Sondel received a Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and did an internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital. Dr. Sondel then did his residency in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin Medical School since 1980. He currently is Walker Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Oncology at UW Medical School where he is the head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. He has co-authored over 300 publications. Dr. Sondel does research related to immune modulation as treatment for malignancy.


If you are interested in a career at Quintessence, send a cover letter and resume by email (careers@quintbio.com), mail or fax to the attention: Human Resources. No telephone calls please! All applications are confidential. Quintessence Biosciences is an equal opportunity employer.

No current openings.