Silviu Itescu - MBBS, FRACP
CEO and Managing Director
Silviu Itescu has served on Mesoblast's Board of Directors since the Company's founding in 2004, was Executive Director from 2007, and became Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director in 2011. Prior to founding Mesoblast in 2004, Dr Itescu established an international reputation as a physician scientist in the fields of stem cell biology, autoimmune diseases, organ transplantation, and heart failure. He has been a faculty member of Columbia University in New York, and of Melbourne and Monash universities in Australia. In 2011, Dr Itescu was named BioSpectrum Asia Person of the Year. In 2013, he received the inaugural Key Innovator Award from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture for his leadership in translational science and clinical medicine in relation to adult stem cell therapy. Dr Itescu has consulted for various international pharmaceutical companies, has been an adviser to biotechnology and health care investor groups, and has served on the board of directors of several publicly listed life sciences companies.
Roger D. Brown – BA
Spine and Musculoskeletal Diseases
Prior to joining Mesoblast, Roger Brown served as the Divisional Vice President, Clinical, Regulatory and Quality for Abbott Laboratories’ Spine Division. He has over 20 years of regulatory, clinical, product development, quality and reimbursement experience dealing with a variety of technologies from physiological monitoring equipment to implantable and biological products. Mr Brown has also held clinical and regulatory roles at Axiomed Spine Corporation, Wright Medical Technology, CryoLife and Nellcor Puritan Bennett. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Missouri’s William Jewell College and completed coursework at Oxford University in England.
Joris de Bie – MSc, PhD
Joris de Bie, PhD, has extensive experience in clinical pharmaceutical development spanning translational medicine through to Phase 4 clinical trials. After moving to the United States from the Netherlands in 2005, he headed up the clinical development group at Organon USA for Women’s Health, Anesthesia and Analgesia. After Schering-Plough Corporation acquired Organon in 2007, Dr de Bie assumed leadership for the Global Trial Management Group for Neurosciences. Following the 2009 Merck & Co merger with Schering-Plough, he continued in this role until 2013 when he became head of the Trial Optimization Group. Dr de Bie has an MSc degree in Medical Biology from the Faculty of Medicine, Utrecht University, and a PhD degree from the Faculty of Pharmacy, at Utrecht University in collaboration with Boston University. He has also completed a management program at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School. Dr de Bie joined Mesoblast in 2014.
Lee Golden – MD
Dr Lee Golden, MD, is a trained interventional cardiologist with over 20 years of clinical and industry experience. He started his industry career at Pfizer as a Medical Director on the global Lipitor team, where his responsibilities included overseeing multinational cardiovascular trials. Dr Golden has extensive experience across several therapeutic areas, with orphan diseases, and with global drug development of both small molecules and biologics. Prior to joining Mesoblast, he was the Global Therapeutic Head for Cardiovascular and Hematology at Eisai where he managed multiple development programs from preclinical through to commercialization.
Paul Hodgkinson – MA (Hons), FCA
Chief Financial Officer
Paul Hodgkinson has extensive, high-level international pharmaceutical experience in all aspects of finance, strategic planning, business development and licensing, manufacturing and supply chain, and procurement. He joined Mesoblast in 2014. Previously, as the Country Chief Financial Officer for global pharmaceutical company Novartis ANZ (2011 to 2014), Mr Hodgkinson had full financial responsibility for the Novartis Australia and New Zealand Group (NVS) of companies and divisions comprising Pharmaceuticals, Alcon, Sandoz, Vaccines and Diagnostics, Consumer and Animal Health. Previously, he held a number of leadership roles with AstraZeneca in the United Kingdom, including Global Licensing Finance Director, before being appointed Chief Financial Officer for AstraZeneca Australia from 2006 to 2011. Mr Hodgkinson is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a Fellow Chartered Accountant of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and has an MA (Honours) in Engineering from Cambridge University. He has undertaken executive leadership programs at the Harvard Business School for Novartis and with Insead for AstraZeneca.
Peter Howard – BSc, LLB (Hons)
General Counsel and Corporate Executive
Peter Howard joined Mesoblast in July 2011. Prior to that he initiated and managed a leading Australian law firm’s biotechnology and life sciences legal practice with a focus on international assets and fundraising on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Mr Howard’s role encompassed intellectual property asset management, strategy, licensing, mergers and acquisitions and capital raising. He has extensive experience in the Australian biotechnology industry, including as a director of private companies and working in Europe and at Australian research institutes to commercialize their technologies.
Monica Luchi – MD, FACR, MBA
Dr Monica Luchi, MD, is a board certified rheumatologist with over 14 years in industry and 25 years’ clinical experience. From 2001 to 2008, she held key global clinical, translational and strategic roles at Novartis Pharmaceuticals across several therapeutic areas including autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases of the bone, osteoarthritis and gastroenterology. Prior to joining Mesoblast in 2013, Dr Luchi was the Vice President of Inflammatory Disease Development at Incyte Corporation for five years. She remains an adjunct faculty member and attending physician at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sue MacLeman – BPharm, MMktg, MLaw, FACPP, FAICD
Sue MacLeman worked initially in hospital pharmacy roles before moving to the pharmaceuticals industry and working in various development and commercialization roles with Merck, Amgen and Bristol-Myers Squibb. She has also been CEO and Board member of a number of publicly-listed companies in both the United States and Australia. Mrs MacLeman is a member of the Pharmaceutical Industry Council and the Australian Government Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group. In 2011 she was appointed to the Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council.
John D. McMannis - PhD
For the past 25 years, John McMannis has been involved in clinical cellular therapy trials in both academic and commercial environments and is considered an expert in translational research and large scale manufacturing. Before joining Mesoblast, he spent 13 years at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as a Professor of Medicine, the Director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory and the Technical Director of the Cord Blood Bank. Prior to this, Dr McMannis was at the Immunotherapy Division of Baxter and COBE BCT (now Terumo BCT). He has served on a number of Scientific Advisory Boards and Board of Directors for commercial entities and organizations in the cellular field.
Julie Meldrum – Inv Rel (AIRA)
Global Corporate Communications
Julie Meldrum has deep and diverse experience as a corporate communications strategist, European foreign correspondent, political and business reporter and television and radio producer. She also served as a senior diplomat for 14 years promoting Australian policies and industries in the key markets of Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia and has advised Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and business leaders. Ms Meldrum has been the recipient of the League of American Communication Professionals Gold Magellan Award, the United Nations Media Peace Prize for Radio, was a Governor of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong and a Director of Australian Doctors International. She is co-chair of the Washington DC-based Alliance of Regenerative Medicine’s Communications and Education Committee. Ms Meldrum joined Mesoblast in 2004.
Michael Schuster – MS, BSc, MBA
New Product and Technology Evaluation, Investor Relations
Michael Schuster was a founding executive at Mesoblast prior to its public listing in 2004. He has led Mesoblast's product operational activities, and has been a member of the corporate executive leadership team developing the Company's strategic, technical, and commercial plans. Mr Schuster also leads Mesoblast’s investor relations outreach program. He holds an undergraduate degree in science from Tufts University, a Master's degree in Immunology & Microbiology from New York Medical College, and a Masters of Business Administration from Fordham University in New York.
Karen Segal – PhD
Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases
Karen Segal established herself as a senior academic investigator for more than 15 years in diabetes, metabolism and obesity at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Weill Cornell Medical College. Prior to joining Mesoblast, she worked for 15 years in leadership roles at Hoffmann La Roche and at Sanofi-Aventis in global clinical development and medical affairs for programs in diabetes and metabolism.
Paul J. Simmons – BSc, PhD
Research and New Product Development
Professor Paul Simmons has had a long and distinguished career in stem cell research and his contributions to the field were recognized by his election as President of the International Society of Stem Cell Research from 2006 to 2007. He has received international recognition for his pioneering contributions to basic hematopoiesis research and of precursor cells for the stromal system of the bone marrow. Professor Simmons has been an editor and reviewer for multiple international journals and is a member of F1000. Prior to joining Mesoblast, he held the C. Harold and Lorine G. Wallace Distinguished University Chair at the University of Texas Health and was appointed as the inaugural Professor and Director of the Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Donna Skerrett – MD, MS
Chief Medical Officer
Dr Donna Skerrett, MD, has been involved in stem cell procurement, manipulation and transplantation for nearly 20 years and her areas of expertise include conventional transfusion medicine, immunohematology, apheresis, histocompatibility testing and stem cell apheresis and processing; and novel regenerative medicine translational therapy. She has worked on the design and execution of conventional and novel stem cell therapies in hematopoietic recovery, cardiac repair, skeletal repair, cartilage preservation, angiogenesis stabilization in eye disease and most recently inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Dr Skerrett was Director of the Stem Cell Facilities at Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York, and previously served as Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine at Columbia University's New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is an advisor to the New York State Department of Health on the Progenitor Cell Committee and has been Chair of the Governor's Council on Blood and Transfusion Services. Dr Skerrett joined Mesoblast in 2004.
Jonathan R. Symonds – CBE, BA, FCA
Corporate Finance and Strategy
Jonathan R. Symonds, CBE, was Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG from 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining Novartis, he was a Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (2007-2009), Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca plc (1997-2007) and a Partner of KPMG (1992-1997). In 2014, Mr Symonds was appointed an independent non-executive Director of HSBC Holdings plc and Chairman of HSBC’s European subsidiary, HSBC Bank plc. He is a non-executive Director of Genomics England Limited. Previous roles include non-executive Director of Diageo plc and Qinetiq plc., Chairman of the 100 Group of Finance Directors, Joint Chairman of the Business Tax Forum, board member of the Accounting Standards Board, and founder of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation Research, all in the United Kingdom. In 2007, he was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for service to industry. Mr Symonds joined Mesoblast as an advisor in 2014.
Darin Weber – PhD
Global Regulatory Affairs
Darin Weber is a leading regulatory expert for cellular and tissue-based regenerative medicine products. Prior to joining Mesoblast, he worked as a senior consultant at Biologics Consulting Group, Inc., working with a number of leading regenerative medicine academic and industry firms, specializing in stem cell based therapies and combination products. Dr Weber is an active participant in key stakeholder organizations, serving on the United States Pharmacopeia Expert Committee responsible for cellular and tissue-based products as well as committees within the International Society for Cellular Therapy and the American Association of Blood Banks, among others. Prior to becoming a consultant, he spent over seven years at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, working as a regulatory project manager, regulatory review officer and most notably as Chief, Cellular Therapy Branch in the then newly-created Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies. During his time at the FDA, Dr Weber was actively involved in the development of policies and guidance documents for cellular and tissue-based products.