EASEL was co-founded by Dr. James Liao and NantWorks LLC in 2010.


Dr. Liao, UCLA’s Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Professor and chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, is a leading expert in metabolic engineering of single-cell organisms. He holds over 50 patents and applications in the field, with his contributions recognized by the President’s Green Chemistry Challenge and the prestigious Eni award.

In recognition for his many breakthroughs with the potential to disrupt numerous industrial and energy applications, Dr. Liao was elected to the National Academy of Engineering early in 2013– the highest professional honor given to engineers in the United States.

Dr. Liao received his B.S. from National Taiwan University and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He began his career as a research scientist at the Eastman Kodak Company, joining UCLA Engineering in 1997.

Among the scores of additional recognitions given to his work, Dr. Liao has also received the following honors: the Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Green Chemistry Award; a Champion of Change award from the White House; the James E. Bailey Award from the Society for Biological Engineering; the Marvin Johnson Award from the American Chemical Society; the Charles Thom Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology; the Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and the Merck Award for Metabolic Engineering.


On the front-lines of the cutting edge, NantWorks brings the impossible to life.

Founded by famed scientist and medical mind Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, NantWorks LLC converges the powers of semiconductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks, and proven innovation —all animated by the limitless power of human ingenuity—to reimagine and redefine the world around us. Applying collaborative sciences to fields as diverse as healthcare, commerce, and digital entertainment, NantWorks seeks not just to remodel how we interact with our environments—but to revolutionize how we all work, live, and play on a daily basis.


One of the preeminent scientific and medical minds in the world today, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has lent vision, voice, and action to the power of convergence – applying the limitless potential of collaborative science and technology on a personal level – at the speed of thought.  A physician, surgeon and scientist, he has pioneered treatments for both diabetes and cancer, published over 100 scientific papers, and holds 50 US patents on groundbreaking advancements across myriad fields.

Dr. Soon-Shiong has garnered vast acclaim as a visionary who has brought forth a fact based crossover between the wonders of science and the wonders of imagination – merging vision with proven application.  Harnessing the power of convergence, he has an established record of achievement in bringing together people who are inspired by the impossible; who believe progress begins where “possibility” ends.