Leadership

Evren Alici, M.D., Ph.D.
CEO AND CHAIRMAN
OF THE BOARD

Dr. Evren Alici is a senior researcher and group leader in Hematology at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Department of Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden. He also serves as co-director of NextGenNK, an international Competence Center for the development of next-generation NK cell-based cancer immunotherapies based at KI. He received his M.D. and did his residency at the Ege University, Turkey. He received his Ph.D. in 2006 at KI. His main research interests are novel approaches to generating universal cells including allogeneic NK cells, multiple myeloma, lentiviral and retroviral gene transfer, stem cell transplantation and immunology. He is a member of several international and national committees, advisory boards and scientific meetings. He is currently leading a group of more than 20 scientists. Dr. Alici participated in the planning and design of the first clinical study with gene-modified cells in Sweden and authored the final publication. Additionally, he was also responsible for the first-in-man autologous NK cell therapy clinical trial that was classified as advanced therapy medicinal product use.

Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, M.D., Ph.D.
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
& BOARD MEMBER

Professor Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren earned his medical and doctoral degrees at Karolinska Institutet (KI). He also serves as Center Director of NextGenNK, an international Competence Center for the development of next-generation NK cell-based cancer immunotherapies based at KI. In 2001, he was appointed Professor of Infection Medicine and Director of the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM), a Strategic Research Center at the Department of Medicine, KI. He has authored >300 articles within the fields of immunology, infectious diseases and cancer and been cited >20,000 times. Immune reactions mediated by innate immune cells such as NK cells have been a long-standing focus of his research. Starting off from simple model systems, Ljunggren and collaborators early on provided fundamental insights molecular specificity and function of NK cells. In recent years, he has gone on to explore the same cells in humans. His research group is now taking new steps exploring the use of NK cells in therapeutic settings in humans with cancer. Professor Ljunggren has been a member of the organizing or scientific committees of numerous international conferences. He has had multiple national and international assignments, involving external research evaluations and participation in international advisory boards. He has been a member of the editorial board of several leading international journals within the field of immunology. He has functioned as Dean of Research at KI and is a member of the Nobel Assembly at KI, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Douglas W. Calder
PRESIDENT
& BOARD MEMBER

Mr. Calder serves on the Board of Directors for NextGenNK, an international Competence Center for the development of next-generation NK cell-based cancer immunotherapies based at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He also serves as a Director for BioFlorida and is a Member of the Society for Natural Immunity.

A graduate of Florida State University, Mr. Calder has nearly 25-years of life science executive experience, with an emphasis on investor relations, capital markets strategies and public/media relations, having served in senior executive and officer roles for biotechnology companies and research institutes including the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute, Biovest International, Accentia Biopharmaceuticals and Viragen, as well as having formerly served as a licensed registered representative financial portfolio manager with a focus on life science equities with the NYSE-member firms, Gruntal & Co. and Dean Witter Reynolds.

Samuel Duffey, Esq.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL
& BOARD MEMBER

As a former attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Duffey has practiced corporate, business and securities law for more than 30-years. Mr. Duffey is the General Counsel for MyMD Pharmaceuticals and serves on the Board of Directors for Immuno(Logx), a cell therapy spin-out from Moffitt Cancer Center. Mr. Duffey formerly served as President & CEO of Biovest International, a pioneer in the development of neoantigen cancer vaccines in collaboration with the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Previously, Mr. Duffey was general counsel of numerous biotech companies and served as President and CEO of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals. Mr. Duffey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence with Honors from Drake University.

Michael J. Keller, J.D.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
& BOARD MEMBER

Michael J. Keller, J.D. has practiced intellectual property law in the life sciences for over 25 years. He earned his BS in biology and his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia. Mr. Keller is the founder of Keller Life Science Law, a boutique firm specializing in assisting life science companies to protect and develop biomedical technologies. Previously he founded the patent department for IVAX Corporation and later served as Chief Patent Counsel to GMP Companies. Prior to founding his own firm he held partner level positions in an AMLAW 250 general practice firm and well as with two intellectual property boutiques. Mr. Keller started his career in technology transfer first with the Department of Energy and later with the National Cancer Institute.

Nick Burke, CPA
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Mr. Burke has over 25 years of senior financial management experience with private and public companies in the information technology and biotechnology industries. Since 2016, Mr. Burke has provided financial consulting services with an emphasis on assisting life science companies with capital transactions and regulatory compliance. From 2009 to 2015, he was the Director of Financial Reporting for HeartWare International, where he was responsible for all aspects of the Company’s financial reporting function, including technical accounting matters and SEC reporting. Mr. Burke began his career with Ernst & Young, where he served public clients in the computer technology and biotechnology industries after receiving his Bachelor and Master of Accounting from Florida International University. He has been a Florida Certified Public Accountant since 1994.

Jim DiCesaro, CFA
DIRECTOR OF CAPITAL MARKETS STRATEGIES

Mr. DiCesaro has more than 20 years of experience in Capital Markets including investment banking and equity research. After beginning his career in the equity research department at Raymond James & Associates, his focus for the past 15+ years has been on raising growth capital for small to middle market private and public companies. He most recently served as a Managing Director at Skyway Capital Markets, rejoining former colleagues to help lead Skyway’s life sciences practice.

Jim is a graduate of the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Engineering Sciences. Mr. DiCesaro is a CFA charterholder.