Ram Mandalam, President & CEO
Margaret Dillon, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory, QA & Project Management
Rob Tressler, Vice President of Research & Development
William Reed, Vice President for Clinical Development
Jun S. Yoon, Vice President, Corporate Development
Sean Givens, Vice President of Government Operations and Controller
Gautam Banik, Executive Director of Manufacturing and Process Sciences
Ram Mandalam, Ph.D., our President & CEO, joined the company in 2005. Ram was previously Executive Director of Product Development at Geron Corporation, where he managed the development and manufacturing of cell based therapies for treatment of degenerative diseases and cancer. Prior to Geron, he was Director of Developmental Research at Aastrom Biosciences, where he was responsible for the research and development programs involving ex vivo expansion of human bone marrow stem cells and dendritic cells. Dr. Mandalam received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. Mandalam is the author or co-author of several publications,patent applications, and abstracts.
Margaret Dillon, Ph.D., our Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance, joined Cellerant in October 2010 with 19 years of regulatory experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Previously, she worked at CV Therapeutics, Inc. for 9 years, serving most recently as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs. During this period, Margaret was involved with the development and US/EU marketing approvals for two new chemical entities for cardiovascular indications. Prior to this, Margaret was part of the regulatory groups at SyStemix, Inc., Connetics, Inc., and Schering-Plough Research Institute. Margaret holds a B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Albany and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Pharmacology from SUNY Buffalo.
Robert Tressler, Ph.D., our Vice President of Research & Development, joined the company in January, 2011. He has over 20 years of industry experience in oncology, cardiovascular and age-related disorders. Previously Dr. Tressler was Executive Director of Preclinical Research and Development at Geron Corporation, where he led the discovery research and preclinical development with oversight of Geron's telomerase inhibitor and cancer stem cell programs. Prior to Geron, he held multiple preclinical pharmacology leadership roles in the biotechnology sector, including Matrix Pharmaceuticals, Chiron, Syntex and Ligand Pharmaceuticals, establishing multidisciplinary preclinical research and development teams focusing on oncology-based therapeutics as well as participating in IND and NDA filings for oncology development programs. Dr. Tressler received his M.S. in Microbiology from McNeese State University and his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University Of Texas Graduate School Of Biomedical Sciences at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and has co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and reviews as well as giving numerous invited talks and presentations at national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Tressler also holds multiple patents for oncology-based therapeutics.
William Reed, MD, our Vice President for Clinical Development, joined Cellerant in January 2013. Dr. Reed is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist with specific interests in hemoglobinopathies, cord blood banking & transplantation and leukocyte microchimerism. Previously, he was Director of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs at Cerus Corporation. He has been an investigator at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco for 10 years and a member of the clinical faculty at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. He has also served as Medical Director for the Northern California Region of the American Red Cross. Dr. Reed received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Brown University, and completed his medical training in pediatrics at Oregon Health Sciences University and in hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital Oakland. He also received his Masters of Health Sciences in Radiation Health Science at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a member or fellow of several medical societies and is the author or co-author of numerous research publications and reviews.
Jun S.Yoon, our Vice President of Corporate Development, joined the company in 2010. Jun recently served as Sr. Director, Licensing & Business Development at VIA Pharmaceuticals from 2004 to 2010. He was responsible for in-licensing VIA's programs and managed VIA's business development activities. Previously, he was Manager, Business Development at Sagres Discovery until it was acquired in May 2004 by Chiron Corporation. Mr. Yoon had joined Sagres from its merger with MemRx Corporation, a biotechnology company focused on the structure based drug discovery of membrane proteins. Prior to Sagres/MemRx,
Mr. Yoon was Manager, Business Development at Syrrx, a structure based drug discovery company based in San Diego, which had been acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. He was one of the earliest employees of Syrrx and had been responsible for in-licensing technologies and compounds. Prior to Syrrx, Mr. Yoon was conducting structural biology research at The Scripps Research Institute. Mr. Yoon received a B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.
Sean Givens, our Vice President of Government Operations and Controller, joined the company in June 2011. Sean brings extensive experience in government relations, building and implementing government compliant accounting and project management systems, including EVMS (Earned Value Management Systems). Previously, Sean was Chief Financial Officer of Microfluidic Systems (MFSI), where he was instrumental in growing the company's revenue by 500%, leading to its acquisition by PositiveID Corporation. Prior to MFSI, Sean was the Director of Business Development for Inter-4, which had developed one of the first wireless handheld devices. Sean has also worked in government consulting roles with large defense contractors including Bechtel Corporation and Varian. Sean obtained his B.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.
Gautam Banik, Ph.D., our Executive Director of Manufacturing and Process Sciences, joined the company in 2009. Dr. Banik was previously at Cell Genesys from 1997 to 2008, serving most recently as Director of Process Development and Process Engineering. During this period, Dr. Banik held a number of positions with increasing responsibility including leading the development of manufacturing processes and scale up to commercial scale for cell therapy products such as GVAX immunotherapy, a vaccine for prostate cancer and gene therapy products for cancer and infections. Dr. Banik conducted his post-doctoral research in biochemical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder and received his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College. Dr. Banik is the author or co-author of several publications, patents, and abstracts.