Epivara (epi:epic, var:change) is bringing

Epic Change to the way spays and neuters are performed world-wide.

How we treat animals matters. That's why we created EpiFix, a new way to fix animals without painful, risky surgeries. 

Eliminating invasive surgery is always a good thing, but it's the impact that really matters. 

A low-cost single-injection makes it much easier and cheaper for spay/neuter organizations and shelters to fix homeless animals. That means better health, reduced overpopulation, and a happier life for vulnerable cats and dogs worldwide.

Our Mission is to make life easier and better for animals and humans through innovative science and compassionate care.


Dr. Chemyong Jay Ko, PhD

Founder, CEO, Chairman of the Board

Jay brings 20 years of research in the field of reproductive endocrinology to Epivara. He received his PhD from Seoul National University and his postdoctoral training from the University of Kentucky. He is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He maintains an active research program at the University. Before moving to Illinois, he worked as a professor in the Medical Center of the University of Kentucky for 10 years. In 2016, Jay founded Epivara with Dr. Eui Yul Choi at the University of Illinois’ Research Park. 

Dr. Eui Yui Choi, PhD

Board member

Dr. Choi brings extensive experience as a professor, inventor and entrepreneur. He received his PhD from the University of Tennessee and his postdoctoral training at Yale. He is the  founder and CEO of Boditech Med, a public, multinational biomedical company.


Boditech produces a variety of point-of-care diagnostic devices for human and animal disease detection. He co-founded Epivara in 2016 with Dr. Jay Ko. 

Dr. Janice Bahr, PhD

Board member

Dr. Bahr is a renowned reproductive biologist who is currently an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. During her over 40-year career as a comparative reproductive biologist, she has investigated reproductive functions in a wide variety of species, including the chicken, black bear, domestic rabbit, ferret, and sunfish. She has published over 180 manuscripts. Janice was the President of the Society for the Study of Reproduction and an interim Vice Chancellor of Research of the University of Illinois. She currently serves on several notable board positions, including the Champaign County Humane Society. 

Dr. Edwin Moore, PhD

Board member

Ed earned his PhD in Physical Biochemistry from Cornell University. He brings 40 years of biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and clinical diagnostic industry experience from global companies, including Baxter Healthcare Corp and Abbott Laboratories, in R&D product development. He has held positions ranging from bench scientist, to R&D Product Development, to Sr. Director, and Global Analytical Method Development and Validation. In 2014, Ed co-founded BioPhia Consulting, Inc., and is a Clinical Professor for the Technology Entrepreneur Center at University of Illinois, Champaign.  


Byron Wittenberg, MBA

Board member

Byron brings 20 years of finance, accounting, and business operations experience to Epivara’s board of directors. He received his Bachelors of Science in Accountancy from Florida State University, Masters of Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame, and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. Byron has extensive experience in business consulting with PwC and E&Y, as well as managing finance, operations, and strategy organizations across a number of private equity backed companies.

Dr. Rex Hess, PhD

Director of Science

Rex A. Hess, PhD, is Epivara's Director of Science and Professor Emeritus of Reproductive Biology at the University of Illinois, and a prolific fundraiser and publisher. Since 1986 when he completed his post-doc at the EPA, he has raised several million dollars for research funding, authored or co-authored over 225 scientific papers and book chapters and has over 17,000 citations, with an i10-index of 184.


In his more than 30 years at the University of Illinois, he has held positions on grant-review panels, served on numerous scientific journal Editorial Boards and as Secretary and Treasurer of the American Society of Andrology. In the last four years, he has published 29 peer-reviewed papers, authored two book chapters, and co-authored four others. For Dr. Hess, this is an ideal retirement.

Dr. Chanjin Chris Park

Vice President of Research

Chanjin majored in reproductive biology and received his PhD from Hanyang University and his postdoctoral training from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is now Adjunct Research Assistant Professor at the same department. He joined Epivara in 2020.

He has a great deal of experience in the male and female reproductive systems of various vertebrates and has authored several excellent publications. He leads research design, data analysis, and reporting for Epivara. 

Scientific Advisory Board

Arnon Gal DVM/PhD, is an assistant professor in Veterinary Clinical Medicine and board-certified veterinary specialist in small animal internal medicine and anatomical pathology.

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G. Robert Weedon, DVM, is a feral cat surgeon with TLC PetSnip. He retired in 2018 as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine at the University of

Indrani Bagchi, PhD, is a Professor and Field Chair in Reproductive Biology at the University of Illinois

Krista Keller, DVM, is an Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois who specializes in exotic and avian species

Timothy Fan, PhD, is a professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine and serves as the principal investigator of the Comparative Oncology Research Laboratory.

Misung Jo, PhD, is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Kentucky. Her primary research focus is understanding ovarian physiology and the periovulatory process.

Patrick Lin, MS, is a Senior Veterinary Research Analyst specialized in reproductive biology at the University of Illinois

Shiori Minabe, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Nippon Medical School. Her research centers on the effect of steroids on the development of reproductive neurons in the hypothalamus.