Our Founders & Our Story

Our Story

Xilis is developing next generation technologies that provide a functional model of a patient’s individual tumor that can be directly tested for drug response, helping clinicians make timely treatment decisions for cancer patients and supporting drug development for world-leading pharmaceutical partners. The company’s MicroOrganoSphereTM (MOS) technology and Precision Oncology Platform allows for rapid diagnostics, personalized patient care, and scalable patient-derived models for high-throughput drug discovery.

Xilis was founded in 2019 when the three founders -- an engineer, a physician and a biologist -- decided to develop and commercialize their technology to transform cancer care. As leaders in their respective fields and their unique experiences from bench to bedside, they have been working closely with clinicians and partnering with pharmaceutical companies to bring the right drugs to the right patients.

Our Founders

Xiling Shen, PhD
Xiling Shen, PhD
Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Shen is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Xilis. He has 13 years of industrial and academic experience as a design engineer and faculty member at Cornell University and Duke University. His work focuses on combining engineering, computational and biological techniques to study patient models of cancer and precision medicine. Dr. Shen is currently the Hawkins Family Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke, the Director of the Woo Center for Big Data and Precision Health (DAP) and a core member of the Center for Genomics and Computational Biology (GCB). He received his BS, MS, and PhD from Stanford University.

David Hsu, MD, PhD
David Hsu, MD, PhD
Founder

Dr. Hsu is co-founder of Xilis. He is a medical oncologist and is currently Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Hsu’s clinical interests include gastrointestinal malignancies and colorectal cancer. His lab focuses on using patient models of cancer, high-throughput genomic and proteomic technologies to develop new therapies and diagnostics for cancer. He received his MD and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his medical training at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Duke Medical Center.

Hans Clevers, MD, PhD
Hans Clevers, MD, PhD
Founder, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Clevers is co-founder and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at Xilis, and the inventor of organoid technologies. He is the Principal Investigator at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research (KNAW) and the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University, and Oncode Investigator. Dr. Clevers was the first to identify living stem cells in the intestine and is one of the world's leading researchers on adult stem cells, their role in cancer and their potential for regenerative therapy. Dr. Clevers received his MD and PhD from the University of Utrecht.