Stephen Minger

Stephen Minger

Stephen Minger

Senior Consultant in Cellular Sciences and Regenerative Medicine
Director, SLM Blue Skies Innovations LTD.

In the summer of 2013, Dr. Stephen Minger was appointed Chief Scientist for Cellular Sciences, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and was responsible for long-term global research strategy for technology development in cell therapy, regenerative medicine, cellular technologies, in vivo diagnostic imaging and precision diagnostics.  He left full-time employment with GE in Feb 2015 but is still a part-time Senior Consultant in Cellular Sciences and Regenerative for GE Healthcare Life Sciences.  He also serves as the Director of SLM Blue Skies Innovations Ltd, providing expert analysis in emerging healthcare technologies for the life sciences investment community.  

Stephen was appointed the Global Director for Research and Development for Cell Technologies at GE Healthcare in September 2009. Stephen received his PhD in Pathology (Neurosciences) in 1992 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. After post-doctoral work in central nervous system gene therapy, neural transplantation and neural stem cell biology at UCSD with Professor Fred “Rusty” Gage, he moved to the UK in 1996 and was appointed a Lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences at King’s College London in 1998. He was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology in 2005 and was the Director of the Stem Cell Biology Laboratory from 2002 until joining GE Healthcare in 2009. 

Over the past 20+ years, Stephen’s research group has been at the forefront of human stem cell research. In 2002, his research team was awarded one of the first two licenses granted by the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for the derivation of human embryonic stem (hES) cells and his group was the first to deposit a human ES cell line into the UK Stem Cell Bank.  Stephen was also one of the first two groups in the UK to be granted a research license by the HFEA in 2008 to pursue Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) to generate “hybrid human embryos” for fundamental research into genetic forms of neurodegenerative conditions.  He was actively involved with the UK Department of Health and with the Minister for Public Health in the consultation with both Houses of Parliament that led to the passage of the Human Embryo Bill of 2009 and the inclusion of new forms of animal-human embryos within primary legislation. 

Stephen was the Stem Cell Expert and a Member of the UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) at the Department of Health from 2006-2012 and was the Focal Point for Regenerative Medicine, Drug Discovery and Modernisation of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China for the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills from 2006-2009. He has been an external consultant and reviewer to the European Commission Framework Programmes (FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020) since 2003 to promote European-wide biomedical research, a member of the Grants Working Group of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine since 2004, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). 

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Ruth McKernan

Ruth McKernan

Senior Vice President of Pfizer,

President of Icagen Inc., 
Chief Scientific Officer Neusentis Unit

Ruth McKernan is a Senior Vice President of Pfizer, President of Icagen Inc. and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Neusentis Unit. Based in Cambridge, UK, Neusentis is a consolidation of Pfizer’s Pain & Sensory Disorders and Regenerative Medicine & Epigenetics units.

Born in Scotland, Ruth graduated from the University of London with a first in biochemistry and pharmacology. She gained her PhD at London’s Institute of Psychiatry studying the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. A Fulbright Scholarship took her to the University of California in San Diego for two years and thereafter Ruth joined the pharmaceutical Industry. In her 20 years of experience she has held many posts including Head of the Merck Neuroscience Research Centre in the UK.

Prior to leading Neusentis, Ruth was Site Head and Head of Research at the company’s former European R&D site in Sandwich, UK and before that held positions as Vice President of Biology in Sandwich, Head of the Research Technology Centre in Boston, MA and Vice President for External Research in Europe. She is a member of the UK board of Pfizer Ltd.

Ruth contributes broadly to further science outside of Pfizer. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the British Neuroscience Association, the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Stem Cell Centre and the advisory group of the UK’s Cell Therapy Catapult Centre. She is a trustee of the ISRT and a visiting Professor at Kings College, London as well as a member of the Medical Research Council and Trustee of the International Spinal Research Trust. Thereafter she fits in as much gardening as can be squeezed into daylight hours.

In the scientific world, Ruth is best known for her neuroscience research on ligand-gated ion channels with over 130 publications and 15 patents. In the real world, she is better known for her first book, “Billy’s Halo,” which was short-listed for the 2007 MIND awards.

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Geoff MacKay

Geoff Mackay

President & Chief Executive Officer
AVROBIO, USA & CANADA

Geoff is an experienced CEO with proven success leading innovative businesses. While CEO of Organogenesis Inc., the company treated 1 million patients with living cell therapies, received the first FDA CBER allogeneic cell-therapy approval and achieved an unparalled position within regenerative medicine. Geoff is also Managing Director of eGenesis, applying CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing to xenotransplantation. Geoff spent 11 years at Novartis in senior leadership positions within the Global Transplantation & Immunology franchise. Past activities include Chairman of the Board of MassBio, Chairman of the Board of the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, and Advisory Council to the Health Policy Commission for Massachusetts. Through his public and private enterprise work, Geoff is dedicated to applying innovation to reshape and improve the quality of healthcare.

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Rafi Hofstein

Rafi Hofstein

President and Chief Executive Officer
Mars Innovation, Canada

Dr. Hofstein received his PhD and Master of Science degrees in Life Sciences and Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. His Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics was attained from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Awards received while completing post-doctoral training and research at the Harvard Medical School in Boston in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Neurobiology include the Hereditary Disease Foundation Fellowship in 1982-83, and the Chaim Weizmann Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1980-82.

From 1999 to June 2009 Dr. Hofstein held the position of President and CEO of Hadasit Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. He serves as Chair of Hadasit BioHolding Ltd., a holding company for a cluster of companies engaged in drug development and medical diagnostics. Hadasit BioHolding Ltd. has been publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) since 2006. Dr. Raphael (Rafi) Hofstein joined MaRS Innovation as President and CEO in June 2009.

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Allen Eaves

Allen Eaves

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer
Stemcell Technologies, Inc., Canada

Dr. Allen Eaves completed his BSc in Biology and Mathematics at Acadia University (1962), his MSc in cell physiology (1964) and his MD and internship at Dalhousie University (1969), his PhD in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto (1974), and his clinical specialist training in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology at Toronto and Vancouver, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (FRCPC) in 1979 and a fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP) in 1980.

In 1981, Dr. Eaves founded the Terry Fox Laboratory for Hematology/Oncology Research, and served as the lab’s Director for 25 years.  Dr. Eaves was also Professor and Head of Clinical Hematology for 18 years at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency (1985-2003) during which time he spearheaded the building of the Leukemia/BMT Program of British Columbia.  He has over 200 papers in leading peer-review scientific journals, is a recipient of the prestigious R.M. Taylor Medal of the Canadian Cancer Society (2003) and Professor Emeritus of Hematology at UBC (2006 – present).   Dr. Eaves was elected President of the International Society of Cellular Therapies (1995-97), President of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (1999-00) and Treasurer of the Foundation for the Accreditation for Cellular Therapies (1995-2002). He was a member of Health Canada’s Expert Working Group on the Safety of Organs and Tissues for Transplantation and of the Canadian Standards Association’s Task Force to develop standards and an accreditation process for cellular therapies and transplantation in Canada (1998-2006). 

Dr. Eaves is Founder, President and CEO of STEMCELL Technologies Inc and its spin-off companies, Malachite Management Inc, and STEMSOFT Software Inc.  Active in the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of The Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) (1999-2011; Board Chair 2006-2011) and continues as Chair of the Board of its successor Mprime (2011- present).  He is also a member of the Board of the Stem Cell Network (2008 – present) and of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation (2011 – present).

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Greg Bonfigliogre

Greg Bonfiglio

Founder & Managing Partner
Proteus Venture Partners, USA

Mr. Bonfiglio received his B.A. in Mathematics (magna cum laude) from Michigan State University in 1975, and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Mr. Bonfiglio is the Founder & Managing Partner of Proteus, LLC – an investment and advisory firm focused solely on regenerative medicine.  Proteus provides fund management, consulting, and investment banking services to the regenerative medicine industry.

Mr. Bonfiglio was an early investor in the field of stems cell & regenerative medicine, and he continues to be actively involved in the field.  He is a frequent speaker at Regenerative Medicine Conferences.  Mr. Bonfiglio is a Member of the ISSCR and is on their Advisory Board, as well as their Finance Committee.  He also is a Member of the ISCT and is on their Commercialization Committee.   Mr. Bonfiglio is on the Boards of VistaGen Therapeutics (in vitro tools from hESCs);  StemCyte, Inc. (cord blood storage & therapeutics); and California Stem Cell, Inc. (reagents & CNS therapeutics from hESCs).

Mr. Bonfiglio has over 25 years experience working with technology companies.    From 2000 – 2005, Mr. Bonfiglio was a General Partner with Anthem Venture Partners – an early stage venture fund in California.    While at Anthem, Mr. Bonfiglio led investments in both biotechnology and IT.  Anthem generated top quartile returns for its investors.

Prior to joining Anthem, he was a Partner with Morrison & Foerster, where he worked extensively with technology clients.   Mr. Bonfiglio was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, from 1996 to 2000.   Since 1995, he has been a regular Guest Lecturer at the UC Berkley Haas Business School, in the Top Down Law program.

Mr. Bonfiglio lives in Portola Valley where he coaches basketball and baseball, and is actively involved in the community.

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