Gil Van Bokkelen PhD
Chairman and CEO
Dr. Van Bokkelen has served as our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman since August 2000. Dr. Van Bokkelen co-founded Athersys in 1995 and has served as Chief Executive Officer and Director since the Company’s founding. Prior to May 2006, he also served as the Company’s President. Dr. Van Bokkelen is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors for the National Center for Regenerative Medicine. He served as the Chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine from 2010 through 2012, a Washington D.C. based consortium of companies, patient advocacy groups, disease foundations, and clinical and research institutions that are committed to the advancement of the field of regenerative medicine, and served ex officio from 2013 to 2014. He has served on a number of other boards, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s ECS board of directors (from 2001 to 2004, and from 2008 to present). He received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University School of Medicine, his B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and his B.A. in Molecular Biology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Van Bokkelen brings to the Board leadership, extensive business, operating, financial and scientific experience, and tremendous knowledge of our Company and the biotechnology industry. Dr. Van Bokkelen also brings his broad strategic vision for our Company to the Board of Directors and his service as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Athersys creates a critical link between management and the Board, enabling the Board to perform its oversight function with the benefit of management’s perspectives on the business. In addition, having the Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Van Bokkelen, in particular, on our Board of Directors provides our Company with ethical, decisive and effective leadership.
John Harrington PhD
Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Harrington co-founded Athersys in 1995 and has served as our Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President and Director since our founding. Dr. Harrington led the development of the RAGE® technology, as well as its application for gene discovery, drug discovery and commercial protein production applications. He is a listed inventor on over 20 issued or pending United States patents, has authored numerous scientific publications, and has received numerous awards for his work, including being named one of the top international young scientists by MIT Technology Review in 2002. Dr. Harrington has overseen the therapeutic product development programs at Athersys since their inception, and is also focused on the clinical development and manufacturing of MultiStem®. During his career, he has also held positions at Amgen and Scripps Clinic. He received his B.A. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California at San Diego and his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford University.
Dr. Harrington’s scientific experience and deep understanding of our Company, combined with his drive for innovation and excellence, position him well to serve on the Board of Directors.
William (B.J.) Lehmann JD
President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Lehmann joined Athersys in September 2001 and has served as our President and Chief Operating Officer since June 2006. Prior to that time, Mr. Lehmann was Athersys’ Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Finance from August 2002 until June 2006, when he became Athersys’ President and Chief Operating Officer. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Lehmann was with McKinsey & Company, Inc., an international management consulting firm, where he worked extensively with new technology and service-based businesses in the firm’s Business Building practice. Prior to joining McKinsey, he worked at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, a Silicon Valley law firm, and worked with First Chicago Corporation, a financial institution. Mr. Lehmann received his J.D. from Stanford University, his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Laura K. Campbell CPA
Senior Vice President of Finance
Ms. Campbell joined Athersys in January 1998 and has served as our Senior Vice President of Finance since March 2016. Ms. Campbell served as our Controller from January 1998, followed by Director of Finance and Senior Director of Finance, and then served as our Vice President of Finance from June 2006 until March 2016. Prior to joining Athersys, she was at Ernst & Young LLP, a public accounting firm, for eleven years in the firm’s audit practice. During her tenure with Ernst & Young LLP, Ms. Campbell specialized in entrepreneurial services and the biotechnology industry sector and participated in several initial public offerings. Ms. Campbell received her B.S., with distinction, in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and is a certified public accountant.
Manal Morsy MD PhD
Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Morsy joined Athersys in 2013 as Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs and has served as our Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs since September 2016. She is responsible for the global regulatory activities for the Company’s therapeutic programs, including its MultiStem® cell therapy. Prior to joining Athersys, Dr. Morsy served as Vice President at PTC Therapeutics, Inc. since 2007 where she led global regulatory affairs, developed the company’s regulatory capabilities and was responsible for regulatory activities for multiple programs in several therapeutic areas, including the programs for treatment of Duchene muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis using Ataluren, the company’s lead product candidate. Prior to joining PTC, Dr. Morsy spent three years at Tibotec / J&J, serving as Senior Director, Global Regulatory Affairs, where she was responsible for global regulatory activities for the company’s pediatric development programs, the tuberculosis and the HIV (Prezista) programs. Previous to her tenure at Tibotec, Dr. Morsy served as Director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for Merck & Co., where she led and supported new regulatory filings in the US and abroad, as well as supplemental filings for previously approved products. Dr. Morsy received her MD degree from the University of Alexandria, Faculty of Medicine, Egypt; her PhD from the Eastern Virginia Medical School/Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA; and her MBA from the LeBow Business School, Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Morsy has several scientific publications and reviews in peer reviewed journals, including Nature Biotechnology, The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Annual Review of Medicine (ARM).
Robert (Willie) Mays PhD
Vice President of Regenerative Medicine and Head of Neuroscience Programs
Dr. Mays is the Vice President of Regenerative Medicine and Head of Neuroscience Programs at Athersys, Inc. He is focused on the Company’s novel adult stem cell product, MultiStem®, and its applications in Regenerative Medicine and drug discovery, with a specific focus on injuries and diseases affecting the central nervous system. Dr. Mays is a member of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, the American Heart Association and is an Adjunct Professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He has authored or co-authored over thirty peer reviewed scientific papers or reviews, and is the inventor of more than fifteen patents relating to the use of stem cells for treating disease. Dr. Mays is on the Board of Directors for the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Cleveland and the scientific advisory board for the Children’s Neurobiological Solutions Network in Los Angeles. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1987 with a B.S. in Cell and Developmental Biology. In 1994, he received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. After doing Post-doctoral research at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot Israel and the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Mays co-founded Athersys, Inc.
Anthony Ting PhD
Vice President of Regenerative Medicine and Head of Cardiopulmonary Programs
Dr. Ting joined Athersys in 2001 as a Senior Scientist and has been promoted over this fifteen year tenure at the Company, where he currently serves as Vice President of Regenerative Medicine and Head of Cardiopulmonary Programs. With more than thirty years of experience in cell and stem cell biology, Dr. Ting has developed expertise in translational clinical studies with adult stem cell therapies and has been responsible for all stages of the development of MultiStem® from the bench to the bedside. Dr. Ting manages all programs in the cardiovascular and pulmonary areas at the Company, as well as the evaluation of potential new uses for the cell therapy product. Dr. Ting serves on several regenerative medicine society committees including the International Society for Cell Therapy, the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine and the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy. From 1995 to 2001, Dr. Ting was a Principal Investigator and Head of the Screening for Novel Inhibitors group at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) at the National University of Singapore, where he established a multi-disciplinary group that focused on the identification of therapeutic targets and the development and implementation of high-throughput screens. Prior to joining IMCB, he was a post-doctoral fellow with Richard Scheller in the department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. Dr. Ting received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Johns Hopkins University and his B.A. in Biology from Amherst College.
Rakesh Ramachandran MS
Vice President and Head of Information Technology and Communications
Mr. Ramachandran joined Athersys in 1997. He has served as Vice President and Head of Information Technology and Communications since January of 2017. He previously served as Director of Software Development and then as Director and Senior Director of IT and Communications.
Mr. Ramachandran received a BTech degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Cochin University of Science and Technology, India and a MS in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.
Raymond Starling PhD
Vice President of Clinical Development and Operations
Dr. Starling joined Athersys in 2008 and has served as Vice President of Clinical Development and Operations since January of 2017. He previously served as Senior Director (2008-2016) and Head of Clinical Development and Operations (2014-2016). Dr. Starling oversees the execution of Phase I-III clinical trials including working with external pharmaceutical partners, contract research organizations, and vendors.
Prior to joining Athersys, Dr. Starling served as Associate Director (2001-2006) and Director of Clinical Development (2006-2008) at Pfizer Inc. focusing on Phase II-III clinical trials in osteoporosis, women’s health, and obesity. Prior to his pharmaceutical career, Dr. Starling served as a Research Assistant Professor within the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and has over 13 years of experience conducting human interventional trials in an academic setting.
Dr. Starling received his PhD from Ball State University in Human Bioenergetics and completed his post-doctoral training within the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont.