Team

Management

  • Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD

    Chief Executive Officer

  • Kenji M. Cunnion, MD, MPH

    Chief Medical Officer

  • Neel K Krishna, PhD

    Chief Scientific Officer

  • John S. Rickman

    Chief Financial Officer

  • T. Kerry McCarter

    Vice President, Business Development

Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD is the Chief Executive Officer of ReAlta and provides strategic leadership for commercialization of ReAlta’s new class of Complement and Inflammation Inhibition drug products for a variety of life-threatening medical conditions. Ulrich was formerly Chief Medical Officer at Finch Therapeutics, Boston. Prior to Finch, Ulrich had 20 years of biopharmaceutical drug development leadership, with experience in both biotech and large pharma, including Johnson & Johnson, BMS, and Takeda. His experience spans autoimmune, hematology, neuroscience, respiratory and rare diseases. In previous roles as Therapeutic Area Leader and Chief of Development and Medical Officer, he oversaw research development and commercialization of multiple assets, including small molecules, siRNA, antibody and device technologies. He is well versed in FDA regulatory processes, including experience with multiple Investigational New Drugs (INDs), New Drug Applications (NDAs) and Biologics License Applications (BLAs). Ulrich received his MD and PhD degrees at Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany and also completed training in Internal Medicine. He subsequently completed specialty training in Rheumatology at Columbia University in New York and Executive Training in Sales and Marketing at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Kenji M. Cunnion, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Cunnion is an Infectious Diseases Pediatrician and basic science investigator in inflammation and innate immunity. He completed his undergraduate degree in Physics at Dartmouth College, Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina and Doctorate of Medicine and Clinical and Research Fellowships at Duke University. Dr. Cunnion has his laboratory at Eastern Virginia Medical School and clinical practice with Children’s Specialty Group, PLLC, the largest physician-owned multi-specialty Pediatric practice in the U.S. His research interests focus on inflammation and innate immunity and he has published over 50 peer-reviewed original research articles. He has been the Primary Investigator on 14 research grant awards and a Co-Investigator on 6 additional grant awards. Dr. Cunnion is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology. He is the co-inventor of the PIC1platform.

Neel K Krishna, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Krishna is a research scientist in virology and immunology. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana followed by a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center where he studied retrovirus assembly. Dr. Krishna then went on to complete post-doctoral studies in viral structure and assembly at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Krishna is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology and Department of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School. His researchin virology and immunology have resulted in over 40 peer-reviewed research articles and multiple patents. He has been the Primary Investigator on 12 research grant awards and a Co-Investigator on 10 additional grant awards. He is the co-inventor of the PIC1 platform.

John S. Rickman

Chief Financial Officer

John S. Rickman; Chief Financial Officer, joins the Company following nine years with Beaufort, LLC, a Norfolk, Virginia based CRO. As CFO and General Manager, he was responsible for growing Beaufort from a start-up to a profitable business with significant annual revenues. Prior to Beaufort, Mr. Rickman was Chief Financial Officer of Expedient Communications, a provider of data center, managed network, and telecommunications services. Earlier positions include New Ventures Director for Landmark Communications, a Senior Financial Analyst at General Motors, and Sales Associate at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Rickman received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Darden School of Business in 1998 at the same institution.

T. Kerry McCarter

Vice President, Business Development

Mr. McCarter, now the Managing Director for ReAlta Life Sciences, has been actively involved in the effort to commercialize the PIC1 technology platform since mid- 2016. Previous to becoming a member of the management team, Mr. McCarter was a founder, CEO, and COB of Soluble Systems, LLC (now Solsys Medical, a tissue regeneration company), and President of MedSci Technologies, an ultrasound-based diagnostics start-up.

Mr. McCarter’s earlier career included a stint as a staff reporter for FORBES, management positions at General Electric, and brand management responsibilities at Procter & Gamble. Joining Johnson & Johnson in 1980, he participated on the Management Boards of multiple device and pharmaceutical companies, including as VP of the US Hospital Business. Mr. McCarter then moved to J&J Europe for ten years to help lead the restructuring of Western Europe and grow newly formed Eastern Europe companies as President of J&J Russia.

Mr. McCarter attended Washington University in St. Louis, the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and Harvard Business School in Engineering, Economics, and Business respectively.


Board of Directors

  • John P. Harding, FACHE

    Chairman of the Board of Directors

  • Barry Strasnick, MD, FACS

    Director

  • Edward A. “Buzz” Heidt, Jr.

    Director

  • Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD

    Director

  • Frank “Buddy” Gadams

    Director

  • Kenji M. Cunnion, MD, MPH

    Director

John P. Harding, FACHE

Chairman of the Board of Directors

John P. Harding, FACHE; Chairman of the Board of Directors, presently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Children’s Health System in Norfolk, VA, where he is responsible for operational and support services at CHS. Mr. Harding brings to the Company a wealth of knowledge regarding the ReAlta initiative, as he led the Founding Stockholder’s Steering Committee through the process of funding the ongoing research and forming the legal entities necessary to advance the science.

Prior to joining CHS, Mr. Harding served in other healthcare executive leadership roles at pediatric academic medical centers. He received his BA in Psychology from Georgetown University and his Master’s in Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland. Mr. Harding is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and currently serves as the ACHE Regent for Virginia-Central.

Barry Strasnick, MD, FACS

Director

Barry Strasnick, MD, FACS; Director, is a professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School and serves as the Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. His medical degree was earned at the Baylor College of Medicine, and he completed residencies at the Baylor College of Medicine and UCLA School of Medicine, and completed a fellowship with The Otology Group in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Strasnick previously served as Chief Science Officer and Board Member for Tympany, a medical device company that produced the world’s first fully automated audiometer. He serves as Scientific Advisor for Tympanogen, a medical technology company that develops ear, nose and throat devices and wound healing therapies. He has invented a number of implantable otologic devices and holds numerous patents in the field of hearing technology. In 1999, Dr. Strasnick authored legislation mandating universal hearing testing of all newborns in the State of Virginia and was responsible for protocol development and process implementation throughout all birthing facilities in Virginia. He previously served as Chairman of the Virginia Newborn Hearing Screening Commission.

Edward A. “Buzz” Heidt, Jr.

Director

Edward A. (Buzz) Heidt, Jr.; Director, is the Chairman and CEO of the Penrod Company and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital Systems. Penrod is a leading worldwide supplier in the Specialty Building Materials Industry. Mr. Heidt joined Penrod in 1970 and, since 1983, led a team to expand Penrod into international markets and to change the structure of the company to focus on importing. Mr. Heidt is a former chairman of the Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association and participates on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Forest Products in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Mr. Heidt is significantly involved in the American Red Cross, serving as Vice- Chair of the American Red Cross Board of Governors and providing oversight for Biomed Operations, a revenue-generating subsidiary. He currently serves on the Governing Board of the International Federation of Red Cross based in Geneva in addition to serving as Chairman of CHS. Mr. Heidt holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD

Director

Ulrich Thienel, MD, PhD is the Chief Executive Officer of ReAlta and provides strategic leadership for commercialization of ReAlta’s new class of Complement and Inflammation Inhibition drug products for a variety of life-threatening medical conditions.
Ulrich was formerly Chief Medical Officer at Finch Therapeutics, Boston. Prior to Finch, Ulrich had 20 years of biopharmaceutical drug development leadership, with experience in both biotech and large pharma, including Johnson & Johnson, BMS, and Takeda. His experience spans autoimmune, hematology, neuroscience, respiratory and rare diseases. In previous roles as Therapeutic Area Leader and Chief of Development and Medical Officer, he oversaw research development and commercialization of multiple assets, including small molecules, siRNA, antibody and device technologies. He is well versed in FDA regulatory processes, including experience with multiple Investigational New Drugs (INDs), New Drug Applications (NDAs) and Biologics License Applications (BLAs).
Ulrich received his MD and PhD degrees at Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany and also completed training in Internal Medicine. He subsequently completed specialty training in Rheumatology at Columbia University in New York and Executive Training in Sales and Marketing at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Frank “Buddy” Gadams

Director

Frank “Buddy” Gadams; Director, a long-time resident of Norfolk, VA, is the city’s largest private real estate owner. In the last 10 years he closed over $600 million in real estate deals. In addition to real estate, Buddy is a significant investor in early stage Bio-tech firms, including ReAlta. Buddy’s deep understanding of debt and equity capital markets, with particular focus on new market tax credits and opportunity zone investment, helps ReAlta define funding strategies for rapid development. Buddy was a founder of the Virginia Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and he is also a member of the YPO Family Office organization. YPO is a global organization with over 20,000 members who are business owners. In 2018, he was appointed by the Governor to the James Madison University Board of Visitors.

Kenji M. Cunnion, MD, MPH

Director

Kenji Cunnion, MD; Director, is the Chief Medical Officer of ReAlta Life Sciences, Inc. (Read more in the Management section)


Scientific Advisors

  • Terrie Inder, MBChB, MD

  • Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD

  • James Christopher (Chris) Slaughter, PhD

  • Dr. Richard Furie

  • Dr. Jane Salmon

Terrie Inder, MBChB, MD

Terrie Inder, MBChB, MD is a dual boarded child neurologist and neonatologist who undertakes clinical and translational research into the nature and timing of brain injury and alterations in brain development using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Dr. Inder has undertaken longitudinal studies in three large cohorts of high risk infants that have been followed up to adolescence to examine the relationship of alterations in brain structure to developmental outcomes. Her laboratory aims to undertake clinical investigations of treatments and preventive strategies that may improve outcomes in high risk infants. In the laboratory, they strive to have a means of accurate, early diagnosis of brain injury or altered brain development. Dr. Inder has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Alongside this focused research effort, she has acquired leadership skills in neuroscience research and academic activities, including mentorship. Dr. Inder was recruited to Brigham and Womens Hospital in 2013 as Chair of the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine.

Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD

Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD, is a neonatologist and developmental specialist who is the director of the NICU follow-up program and NICU music therapy program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She works with a diverse team of scientists, engineers, and therapists who all believe strongly in the need to identify children at high risk for disabilities as early as possible, in order to optimize recovery after brain insults of the neonatal period.

Her research emphasizes the development of objective and quantitative measures of neural function in infants and children to allow the rational design and testing of neuroprotective/habilitative strategies. She has developed novel techniques to measure cortical processing of speech sound differentiation and tactile modalities in NICU patients and designed parental-speech based interventions to improve their outcomes. She is particularly interested in the sensory system of infants and children and how it can be harnessed to design new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. She has two current NIH-funded projects in this area. The first studies brain processing of auditory, tactile, and multisensory stimuli in term and preterm infants to identify the neural basis of behavioral and adaptive outcomes in the first two years. The second is a large randomized controlled trial of a new parent-administered sensorimotor training to improve the arm and hand function of infants diagnosed with asymmetric cerebral palsy.

James Christopher (Chris) Slaughter, PhD

James Christopher (Chris) Slaughter, PhD, is an associate professor in the biostatistics department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and masters degree from the University of Washington. His research interests include flexible Bayesian models for longitudinal data. Dr. Slaughter is particularly interested in collaborative research, and he works with a variety of investigators in pediatrics, neonatology, and gastroenterology. He is a co-author on over 130 peer-review manuscripts.

Dr. Richard Furie

Dr. Richard Furie, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Northwell Health and a Professor of Medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, is a rheumatologist whose activities for the last several decades have focused on patient care, physician education, and clinical research in the area of anti-rheumatic drug development. He directs The Program in Novel Therapeutics, the Health System’s clinical research program in musculoskeletal disease. He also directs the Hospital’sSLE and Autoimmune Disease Treatment Center, which has become internationally recognized for its role in the development of new therapies for SLE. Regarded as one of the senior rheumatologists in the New York metropolitan area, he has served as a volunteer for the local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation and the Lupus Alliance, the Lupus Foundation of America, the SLE Foundation, the Lupus Research Alliance, and Lupus Therapeutics. For twenty years he served on many committees of the American College of Rheumatology and was named a Master of the College in 2018. Although often featured as a speaker at national and international conferences, Dr. Furie’s favorite educational venue is at home with his colleagues and trainees.

Dr. Jane Salmon

Dr. Jane Salmon is the is the Collette Kean Research Chair and Director of the Lupus and Antiphospholipid Center of Excellence at Hospital for Special Surgery. She is also Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Salmon received her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed residency training at The New York Hospital and subspecialty training in rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Dr. Salmon’s basic, translational and clinical studies have led to a paradigm shift in the understanding of mechanisms of pregnancy loss, cardiovascular disease and end-organ damage in patients with lupus. Ground-breaking laboratory discoveries about causes of pregnancy loss and preeclampsia, and subsequent observational studies in women with lupus have allowed her to identify new targets to reduce damage and improve outcomes in patients with autoimmune illness.
In recognition of her contributions, she was awarded the Carol Nachman international prize in rheumatology, the Virginia Kneeland Frantz ’22 Distinguished Women in Medicine Award from the Columbia P&S Alumni Association, the Evelyn V. Hess Award from the Lupus Foundation of America, Master of the American College of Rheumatology, and election to the American Association of Physicians and to the National Academy of Medicine.

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