Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board

The BioBridge Global Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board is a group composed of industry leaders with a wide range of scientific, product development and business experience brought together to support the organization’s continued growth in regenerative medicine.

Kenneth Bertram, MD, PhD, FACP

Bertram has had a career of medical service to the warfighter. After more than 20 years as an active duty officer, Bertram retired from government service as the Principal Assistant for Acquisition for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), Fort Detrick, Maryland, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service.

While in that role, he was responsible for the advanced development and acquisition of medical products (drugs, vaccines, and devices) for the U.S. Army. In addition, Bertram served as the Surgeon General’s Sponsor’s Representative to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and as the U.S. Army’s Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) for medical products. As such, he was responsible for the life-cycle management of fielded medical products (research, development, acquisition, and sustainment). He was a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps and is Acquisition Level III Certified in both Program Management and Science and Technology Management. Bertram has been awarded the highest recognition for Army civilians, the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service by the Secretary of the Army for his contributions to the Warfighter.

Bertram previously served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel in the Medical Corps after 24 years of active duty. His assignments included: Commander, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Chief of Staff, USAMRMC; Director, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (USAMRMC); and Chief, Hematology/Medical Oncology Service at Madigan Army Medical Center. Bertram’s military honors include two Legion of Merit awards, the Army’s The Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Designator in Hematology/Oncology, and the Order of Military Medical Merit.

He is board certified in internal medicine and has been board certified in hematology and medical oncology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (F.A.C.P.). He completed both his Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center. Bertram received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Washington and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Bertram continues his work to bring new therapies to the market in his work at Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

Read more

Gregory Bonfiglio, JD

Bonfiglio is the Founder and Managing Partner of Proteus LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused solely on regenerative medicine.  Formed in 2006, Proteus provides fund management and consulting services to the regenerative medicine industry. Proteus works with regenerative medicine companies across all levels of development, from early stage entities to large pharma and biotech companies, as well as governmental organizations pursuing regenerative medicine initiatives.

He is the Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada. Bonfiglio serves on the Board of Healios KK, one of the largest publicly traded regenerative medicine companies in Japan. In addition, he has served on the boards of several other regenerative medicine companies, including VistaGen Therapeutics (in vitro tools from hESCs); Advanced Cell Technologies (hESC therapeutics); California Stem Cell (hESC tools and therapeutics); and StemCyte, Inc. (cord blood storage and therapeutics).

Bonfiglio was an early investor in the field of stems cell and regenerative medicine, and he continues to be actively involved in the field. He is a frequent speaker at regenerative medicine conferences and is a member of the ISSCR, as well as serving on its advisory board, as well as its Finance Committee. He also is a member of the ISCT. In 2013, Bonfiglio was listed 14th among the Top 50 Stem Cell Influencers in the world.

He has more than 25 years’ experience working with technology companies. From 2000-05, Bonfiglio was a General Partner with Anthem Venture Partners – an early stage venture fund in California. While at Anthem, Bonfiglio led investments in both biotechnology and IT.

Prior to joining Anthem, he was a Partner with Morrison & Foerster, where he worked extensively with technology clients. Bonfiglio was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stanford Law School from 1996-2000. He has been a Guest Lecturer at the Stanford Business School on the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine Technologies. From 1995-2005, he was a regular Guest Lecturer at the UC Berkley Haas Business School in the Entrepreneurship Program.

Bonfiglio received his bachelor of arts degree 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.

Read more

Chris Mason, PhD

Dr. Mason is a Cofounder and Chief Science Officer at AvroBio, a clinical-stage, gene therapy company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He also is a professor of cell and gene therapy in the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London, working on the clinical translation and commercialization of cell and gene therapies. He has a multidisciplinary track record, spanning R&D, clinical practice, bioprocessing, regulation, healthcare economics, reimbursement and business.

He is on a number of national and international committees, working groups and initiatives related to the academic, clinical translation and commercialization of cell and gene therapies. He is the founder and CEO of the London Regenerative Medicine Network (LRMN) and a founding member of the UK-Israel Science Council. He also is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the UK Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Strategic Advisory Board of the Canadian Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), and Scientific Advisory Board of the Canadian Stem Cell Network.

He is a general spokesperson for the cell and gene therapy sector, including frequent newspaper, radio and TV interviews.

He is Senior Editor of the journals Cell and Gene Therapy Insight and Regenerative Medicine.

He received his bachelor’s in molecular biology from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in 1993, an MBBS in medicine/surgery from United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals in 1994, and Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from University College London in 2005.

Read more

Philip Vanek, PhD

Vanek is General Manager of GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business strategy, a business initiative funded in part through GE Ventures and GE Healthymagination, a $6 billion strategy to revolutionize the world’s health by improving the quality, access and affordability of care.  Prior to joining GE, he was Head of Business Development for Cell Therapy, and later Head of Innovation, for Lonza’s pharmaceutical division, helping to drive new technology initiatives focused on cell, protein and viral therapeutic manufacturing.

Vanek’s career has included a number of innovation, business and market development roles at Becton Dickinson, Invitrogen and Life Technologies, as well as two start-up biotechnology companies in the Washington, D.C., area.  Additionally, he was an Instructor for Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs, teaching Biotechnology Marketing for several years while working at BD and Lonza.

Vanek received his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University Medical Center and subsequently held an IRTA fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

He is an active board member of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, where he has served as an officer and chair of the Governance and Oversight committee. He also has been a board member of the ARM Foundation. Vanek serves on the board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada, where he chairs the HR and Governance committee. He has published a number of industry position pieces and serves on the Editorial Board of Cell and Gene Therapy Insights.

Read more

Michael J. Yaszemski, MD, PhD

Dr. Yaszemski is the Krehbiel Family Endowed Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the Mayo Clinic and director of its Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory.

He is a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general and served in the office of the Air Force Surgeon General and the office of the President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences prior to retiring in 2013. He served as president of the Mayo Clinic medical staff from 2013-2014, and had served for 10 years as the Chair of the Spine Surgery Division of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic Rochester prior to entering the presidential line.

He organized and then served as the first chair of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering study section at NIH, and served as a member of the Advisory Council of the NIH National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering from 2010-2014.

He currently is a member of the NIH Advisory Council of the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases. He served as chair of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiologic Health Advisory Committee and is a member of the FDA Science Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors. He has 84 issued patents and 24 additional patents pending. He is an emeritus member of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees.

His clinical practice encompasses spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology. His research interests are in the synthesis and characterization of novel degradable polymers for use in bone regeneration, cartilage regeneration, nervous tissue regeneration, and controlled delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to musculoskeletal tumors.

He received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University in 1977 and 1978, an M.D. from Georgetown University in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995.

Read more