Frontage Leadership


1 Song

Song Li, Ph.D., Founder, Chairman and CEO

Dr. Song Li founded Frontage in 2001 with the ambition of building a client-focused organization to help solve the most complex drug development challenges. Born and raised in a village of Henan Province in the People's Republic of China, Dr. Li traveled to Montreal, Canada to advance his education more than 20 years ago. Following post-doctoral research in pharmacokinetics, Dr. Li moved to the United States, where he held management positions at Great Valley Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth. During this time, he led numerous projects related to the development of pharmaceutical products.

Dr. Li has authored more than 15 scientific publications spanning a wide range of topics, including chiral separations, drug-protein interactions, pharmacokinetics, and analytical chemistry. Importantly, Dr. Li has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the "Realizing the American Dream" award from the Pennsylvania Welcoming Society and the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award from the AABDC.

Dr. Li earned a doctor of philosophy degree in analytical chemistry from McGill University and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Zhengzhou University in China.


Carlos Orantes, Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Orantes provides strategic direction and leadership to Frontage Laboratories’ business unit operations, quality infrastructure, administrative functions and business development efforts. He holds overall responsibility for the US business lines that compromise bioanalytical laboratories, biometrics, clinical research, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics laboratories, and a portfolio of CMC services spanning product development, analytical testing and CTM manufacturing.

Bringing 20 years of experience within contract research and life sciences, his background includes operational management, process re-engineering, Lean Six Sigma, regulatory compliance and business development. Mr. Orantes most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithers AVANZA Laboratories, a contract research organization specializing in toxicology, bioanalysis, analytical method development, and formulation services. There, he developed the company’s business strategy, and led activities related to the company’s asset purchase in 2012.

Prior to Smithers AVANZA, Mr. Orantes was General Manager and Vice President for Bridge Laboratories, a toxicology and immunology testing laboratory where he held management responsibility for US operations. Earlier career positions included 10 years of operational, quality assurance, process improvement and management roles of increasing responsibility at Covance.

Mr. Orantes earned a master’s of business administration degree from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor of science degree in biology from George Washington University. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from the Six Sigma Academy.

Mr. Orantes is a member of the Board of Directors at the Tech Council of Maryland, and is a Co-Chair of the Program Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland's MdBio Division.

1 Zeke

Zeke Li, MD, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

Dr. Li is responsible for global project management functions and the company’s corporate strategy.  As one of the founders and board members of Frontage, Dr. Li has more than 20 years of related experience that began with post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to Frontage, he served as Group Leader, Preclinical and Pharmacology for Scios Inc, a Johnson and Johnson company. In recent years, Dr. Li has interacted extensively with Chinese biopharmaceutical companies on novel and generic development projects. With in-depth experience in research and development of small molecules, peptides and protein drugs, he has authored and co-authored more than 40 scientific papers and patents.

Dr. Li received his medical degree and a master’s degree in pathology from Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences in China. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree in pathology from McGill University.

1 Ron

Ron Connolly, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Marketing

Ron Connolly is Senior Vice President, Business Development & Marketing. Mr. Connolly oversees the company’s business development, client services and marketing initiatives and the teams responsible for these areas.  He has been closely involved with the company’s business, technical and regulatory operations since joining the company shortly after its inception, serving in management roles of increasing responsibility.  Under his operational leadership at Frontage, he led the technical transfer of products developed by Frontage to commercial manufacturing facilities, including scale-up, as well as GMP training and preparation for FDA inspections.

Prior to Frontage, Mr. Connolly was Technical Affairs Manager for Flavine North America, where he assisted active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers in Europe, China and India in preparing FDA drug master files and FDA pre-approval inspections. Earlier, he was part of the esiLederle division of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he was involved in development and scale up of new injectable formulations, abbreviated new drug application projects and management of active ingredient technical affairs over a five-year period.

He began his career in active pharmaceutical ingredient development and GMP manufacturing at Rhone-Poulenc Rhorer (now Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals). Recently named as an inventor on a chemical process patent, Mr. Connolly is a recognized CMC expert in FDA pre-IND meetings and regulatory interactions. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at Drexel University.

1 Azhar

Azhar Kalim, Vice President of Business Development, Strategic Client Management

Azhar Kalim is Vice President of Business Development. Bringing nearly 20 years of experience in the global CRO industry, he leads the company’s sales, contracts and proposals generation efforts and oversees the teams responsible for these areas.

Before joining Frontage in 2012, Mr. Kalim was the Vice President of Global Business Development for Lambda Therapeutic Research. There, he led global sales, bids, contracts and proposals teams and managed the company’s key accounts. Prior to Lambda, Mr. Kalim served as General Manager and Vice President of Global Business Development for Qualia Clinical Services. Mr. Kalim began his career at MDS Pharma Services, where he spent 12 years holding scientific, project management and business development roles that spanned clinical, bioanalytical, central laboratory and data management functions.

Mr. Kalim is currently a masters of business administration candidate at Creighton University. He earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from the University of Montreal.

1 Dongmei

Dongmei Wang, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and General Manager, CMC Services

Dongmei Wang, Ph.D., is General Manager of Frontage’s CMC services group.

With nearly 20 years of pharmaceutical development experience, Dr. Wang’s CMC operational oversight spans organic synthesis, formulation development, GMP analytical testing, and GMP manufacturing of clinical trial materials. Prior to joining Frontage in February 2007, Dr. Wang served as the director of analytical/QC at NovaDel Pharma Inc., where she led teams in providing support for NDA product development, clinical supplies manufacturing, CMC sections of regulatory filings, and technology transfer to commercial manufacturing sites.

Prior to Novadel, Dr. Wang headed pharmaceutical analysis and control functions at Therics Inc. in product development for 510(k) and IND filings. Earlier in her career, Dr. Wang was a lecturer at the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Science.

Dr. Wang earned a doctor of philosophy degree  in chemistry with honors from Iowa State University. She received a master’s of science degree in chemical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Peking University in China.

1 John

Zhongping (John) Lin, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Bioanalytical and Biologics Services

As Sr. Vice President, Bioanalytical and Biologics Services, Dr. Lin leads operations, with responsibility for overall planning, execution, and quality delivery of global bioanalytical projects.Before joining Frontage in 2007,he served as business leader in AstraZeneca’s global drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) division. Prior to AstraZeneca, Dr. Lin was laboratory director for Avantix Laboratories.

With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Lin's current research focus is in the area of bioanalytical method development and validation, dry blood spot (DBS) sampling with LC-MS/MS analysis, and biomarker quantification using LC-MS/MS. He has contributed to more than 20 research publications covering the development and validation of LC-MS/MS methods for the determination of small and large molecules in biological matrices, four book chapters and one technical patent. He is the invited reviewer for several international journals including the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biomedical Analysis (JPBA) and Journal of Chromatography B (JCB).

Dr. Lin earned a doctor of philosophy degree in analytical chemistry from Dalhousie University in Canada. He received a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from Yunnan University and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Fuzhou Branch School of Jiangxi Normal College.  Dr. Lin completed post-doctoral research in pharmacokinetics and metabolism at the College of Pharmacy and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Ohio State University.

1 Abdul

Abdul Mutlib, Ph.D., Vice President of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics

Abdul Mutlib is Vice President of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics.  Prior to joining Frontage in 2010, he held director-level positionswithin drug metabolism teams at Wyeth and Pfizer. Earlier in his career, he held key positions on the drug metabolism teams at Hoechst-Roussel (now Sanofi-Aventis) and DuPont-Merck.  With more than 20 years of experience in drug metabolism and analytical chemistry, Dr. Mutlib’s research includes application of various analytical techniques and stable isotope labeled compounds in elucidating structures of metabolites and metabolic pathways; mass spectrometry; qualitative and quantitative NMR; metabolism-mediated toxicities; reactive metabolites; phase II metabolism; drug-drug interactions; and toxicogenomics. He has published more than sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Mutlib earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a doctor of philosophy degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Sydney in Australia. He completed post-doctoral fellowships at Universities of Washington and British Columbia.

1 Jason

Jason Wu, MD, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Clinical Services

As Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dr. Wu is responsible for all clinical services businesses in the US and China, including biometrics and clinical pharmacology. He has more than 20 years of experience in clinical medicine, life science research, pharmaceutical development and commercialization.  Before joining Frontage in 2011, Dr. Wu was Executive Director of Product Clinical Development at Graceway Pharmaceuticals, with responsibility for product development of several product pipelines acquired from 3M.  Prior to Graceway, he was Senior Clinical Project Director at Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, where he led the development team for a biologic product and its BLA filing.

Earlier, Dr. Wu was senior manager at Sanofi-Aventis Worldwide Dermatology Division, where he led development programs for new anti‐fungal and acne products. Dr. Wu also worked for Pharmacia & Upjohn (Pfizer) as Head of South China and Head of the Peptide Hormones Business Unit in China. Dr. Wu has authored more than 15 patents and published more than 10 scientific papers in leading international journals covering both clinical and scientific research.
Dr. Wu obtained his doctor of medicine degree and master’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong
University School of Medicine. His research specialization was in the field of clinical and molecular hematology and the human genome. Dr. Wu also received a master’s of business administration degree from Penn State University.

1 Harry

Harry Zhao, Ph.D. – Senior Vice President, Bioanalytical Services

Dr. Zhao is Senior Vice President, Bioanalytical Services. A Frontage employee since its inception, Dr. Zhao established the company’s bioanalytical laboratory functions and currently manages the IT infrastucture, facilities and service of bioanalytical laboratories. He is responsible for assuring facilities and instrumentation are maintained and operated under the highest standards and meet international compliance standards.

Prior to Frontage, Dr. Zhao was as senior scientist working on the development of mass spectrometers for Spectru Medix Corporation. Earlier, he worked for Ames Laboratory in the research department. Dr. Zhao began his career as a chemistry instructor at Zhengzhou University in China.

Dr. Zhao received a doctor of philosophy degree in chemistry from Iowa State University. He earned a masters and bachelor’s degree of science in physical chemistry from Zhengzhou University.