Frank Weber MD spent the first 10 years in academic and clinical research at the University of Cologne in the areas of cancer, immunology and infectiology (MD 1986, PhD thesis 1989). He joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1991 and contributed to several marketing authorizations in EU, US and Japan (PipTazo, Alfuzosine, Mizolastine, Amisulpride, Erbitux, Kuvan, Esbriet, Raxone), market access agreements (Zolpidem, Esbriet, Raxone) and BD transactions (Henning Berlin, Serono SA, InterMune Inc).
Dr. Weber spearheaded personalized medicine biomarker and companion diagnostics in oncology and immunology. He holds CMO positions since 2005 with a broad experience across many medical areas including cancer, immunology, infectious diseases, cardio-vascular, diabetes, urology, pulmonology, neurology; covering larger indications as well as the orphan drug space. He founded a fully owned Consultancy Company in 2017.
Dr. Peter Grossmann joined Fresenius in October 1990 as General Manager for Switzerland for both product ranges, Pharma and Medical Care. From 1996 on, when Fresenius Switzerland was divided into two companies, he was as General Manager and Delegate of the advisory board responsible for Fresenius Medical Care (Switzerland) AG until 2015. From 2001 until 2015 he also was a member of the advisory board of Fresenius Kabi (Switzerland) AG. Since 2015 he is a member of the advisory board of Fresenius Medical Care (Switzerland) AG.
Dr. Peter Grossmann holds a doctorate degree (PhD) in Chemistry from the ETH Zürich, Switzerland. He also holds a degree of Executive MBA from the Hochschule St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland.
Starting in 1980, Dr. Peter Grossmann worked as a research scientist in the group headed by Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Simon at the ETH Zürich. Before joining Fresenius, Dr. Peter Grossmann worked nine years for the company Bruker-Spectrospin AG in the application and as sales and marketing manager for Ion Cyclotron Fourier Transform Resonance Mass Spectrometry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography instruments. In this position he was active in Switzerland, Germany, South Africa, India and the Soviet Union.
Dr. Olaf Schermeier (48) was appointed Chief Executive Officer for Global Research and Development with Fresenius Medical Care on March 1, 2013.
Previously, he served as president of global R&D for Draeger Medical, Lübeck, Germany.
Dr. Schermeier has many years of management experience in various areas of the health care industry, among others at Charité-clinic and Biotronik, Germany. He holds a doctorate degree (PhD) in Computer Science from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany and graduated from the University of Hannover, Germany in Electrical Engineering.
Kees van Ophem joined Fresenius Medical Care on January 2015 as Executive Vice President & Global General Counsel.
Kees studied law at University of Amsterdam and New York University (LL.M; Fulbright-scholar).
He started his career at international law firms both in the USA and Europe. His in-house career as General Counsel led him through a complete cycle in the telecoms’ industry over a period of almost 15 years (from a monopoly player, KPN, an international joint venture of Swisscom, KPN, Telia and Telefonica, a Pan-European start-up (including IPO) to a global public restructuring in London at FLAG Telecom).
In 2005, he switched to the Life Sciences’ industry and became International General Counsel at Medtronic at its international headquarters in the Lausanne area in Switzerland. From July 2010 until January 2015, he was General Counsel at Leica. As head of the General Counsel function, he was responsible for all risk management matters of the Leica Group, including Legal, Compliance/Integrity, IP and EHS, and was member of its global executive management team. As Leica also had a significant and diversified healthcare business, Kees has experience with the complete spectrum of research, analysis, diagnosis, therapy/treatment and surgical solutions, covering devices, bio/pharmaceuticals, services, software and consumables, covering a wide range of Science & Technology businesses. At FMC, he supports its vertically integrated healthcare strategy of providing diagnosis and treatment solutions directly to chronically-ill and ambulant patients globally via its medical devices, consumables, pharma-productions and services across its thousands of clinics in all areas of the globe.
Florian Jehle heads Unicyte, an independent affiliate of Fresenius Medical Care. He is also Senior Vice President for Portfolio Management & New Businesses at Fresenius Medical Care, where he is responsible for the project portfolio within global R&D. Florian also serves as Managing Director of Fresenius Medical Care Ventures.
Prior to Fresenius Medical Care, Florian was partner and shareholder in Catenion, a strategy consulting firm focused on the pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical products businesses. He joined Catenion in 2005 and worked on numerous projects for European, U.S. and Japanese companies. From 2012 to 2014, he was responsible for establishing and growing Catenion’s business in the United States.
Florian holds a degree in wood science and economics from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.
Colin Buck is Head of Project Management & Operations, a role he has held since joining the company in 2019.
Colin first worked with the project team that would become Unicyte in 2015, during his time at the boutique life science consultancy Catenion where he spent 11 years work exclusively in life science R&D across the biopharma industry covering a range of topics including corporate strategy, portfolio management, translational strategy, and project-level decision making. Prior to that, for 2 years he was involved in the creation and making of science documentaries.
Colin holds an MA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford.
Professor Knowles was President of Group Research and Member of the Executive Committee at the Roche Group R until the end of 2009. He was a member of the Genentech Board for 12 years and a member of the Chugai Board for 7 years. In this role he had oversight of an R&D budget of more than €8 billion. Prof. Knowles was also the chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee of Genentech. Under his leadership, the company developed and implemented a strategy of highly effective therapies based on personalized healthcare.
For five years he was the Chairman of the Research Directors’ Group of EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations) and was the founding chairman of the Board of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a unique public-private partnership between 28 Pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission with the participation of over 200 academic institutions in Europe with a budget of more than €5 billion over ten years. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Glaxo Institute in Geneva for 10 years and as Head of European Research for Glaxo Wellcome. In 2011, Jonathan Knowles was appointed as a Trustee of Cancer Research UK, one of the world’s leading Cancer Research Organizations and as a board member of A*Star, the leading state research organization in Singapore. In 2013, he was appointed Chairman of the boards of Immunocore Ltd and Adaptimmune Ltd (ADAP) in 2013. He stepped down from the board of Adaptimmune in 2017 and from the Chairmanship of Immunocore 2018.
Jonathan Knowles is a visiting professor at the University of Oxford and at the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine at the University of Helsinki. He is a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, Professor Emeritus at EPFL, Lausanne and a visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In April 2015 Jonathan Knowles was chosen as the “Personalized Medicine World Conference 2015 Honorary” and in 2017 he was elected as a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences He is currently the chairman of the Genomics England Access Committee, the independent oversight committee for Genomics England. He also serves as a non-executive member of a number of Biotech company boards and on the international scientific advisory boards of several public organizations.
Giovanni Camussi MD, is Professor Emeritus, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Torino, Italy. He has been Research Associate Professor in Microbiology and Pathology at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA, and subsequently Full Professor of Nephrology at the University of Naples, at the University of Pavia, at University of Torino and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine of Brown University, Providence (RI), USA.
Giovanni has been President of School of Medical Biotechnology, Director PhD program in Medical Pathophysiology, Director of the Laboratory of Renal and Vascular Pathophysiology and of the Research Center for Experimental Medicine and of the Immunopathology Laboratory of the Department of Medical Sciences. He was also Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Torino and President Scientific Committee of the Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine, University of Torino/Fresenius Medical Care.
Currently he is Scientific Coordinator of Stem Cell Projects at the Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Torino.
Giovanni is a member of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles and of American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and he serves in the Editorial Board of several international journals and acts as Section Editor of Stem Cell Reviews and Reports and as Associate Editor of Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. He has served as referee for the following research agencies: Welcome Trust (UK); Cancer Research UK; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Ministero Istruzione Università e Ricerca, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Israel Science Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA.
Prof. Camussi has been the principal investigator in numerous research projects funded by national and international agencies. He worked on and published work on: clinical and experimental renal pathology including diabetic nephropathy; inflammatory and tumor angiogenesis; identification, purification and functional characterization of adult human liver stem cell-like cells (HLSC); identification, purification and functional characterization of adult human kidney stem/progenitor cells; generation of insulin producing organoids; identification of tumor initiating stem-like cells in renal carcinomas; purification and characterization of stem cell derived exosomes/microvesicles and their mechanism of action and molecular content; potential therapeutic application of stem cell derived extracellular vesicles. Moreover, he studied the physio-pathological role of extracellular vesicles of different cellular origin. He has over 560 publications and more than 40,000 citations.
As Professor of Surgery and Director of the Diabetes Research Institute and the Cell Transplant Program at the University of Miami, Camillo Ricordi led the team that performed the first series of successful clinical islet allotransplants to reverse diabetes. This procedure is now used worldwide by laboratories performing clinical islet transplants. Prof. Ricordi, along with collaborators, developed the method for large-scale production of human pancreatic islets.
He now chairs the NIH-funded Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium, which standardized cell manufacturing protocols in North America and Europe and recently completed the first multicenter FDA Phase III trial for what could become the first biologically active cell product approved in the United States by the FDA.
Prof. Ricordi is currently editor-in-chief of CellR4 (www.cellr4.org) and has served as co-editor of Cell Transplantation and associate editor of The American Journal of Transplantation. A former president of the Cell Transplant Society, he has served on the NIH-NIAID Expert Panel on clinical approaches for tolerance induction, on the FDA Biologic Response Modifiers Advisory Committee, and on the NIH-NIDDK Strategic Planning Committee.
In 2013 he was appointed President of the Ri.MED Foundation, one of the largest European investments in Biomedical Research, Biotechnologies and Regenerative Medicine. Prof. Ricordi also served as founding President of The Cure Alliance from 2011-15, and is now Chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute Federation (www.diabetesresearch.org). The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Prof. Ricordi has been knighted by the President of the Republic of Italy. Prof. Ricordi has 1,051 scientific publications (Source: Research Gate 6-15-2017), 35,875 citations, an h-index of 86 and an i10 index of 448 (Source: Google Scholar 6-15-2017). As an inventor, he has been awarded 25 patents.
Dr. Daniel Gau is Unicyte’s Head of Nonclinical and CMC Development. He is also Senior Director of External Venture Management at Fresenius Medical Care.
Dr. Gau studied biology at the University of Freiburg, Germany and biotechnology at the École Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS), a school within Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France. Following an internship in the diagnostics department of Boehringer Mannheim GmbH (now Roche Diagnostics), he joined the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany as a research scientist in the group headed by Prof. Günther Schütz.
Dr. Gau holds a PhD in molecular and neurobiology from the University of Heidelberg. His research has contributed to publications in Neuron, Nature Genetics and Genes & Development.
Starting in 2002, Dr. Gau worked as a technology analyst for TechnoStart, a German early stage venture capital organization, and as General Manager and Vice President of TF Instruments, a start-up located in Heidelberg and Princeton, New Jersey. Before joining Fresenius Medical Care, Dr. Gau was at Merck KGaA, a leading company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Within Merck KGaA, which he joined in 2008, Dr. Gau held various positions, as Associate Director In-house Consulting, Head of Business Development Functional Materials, and then as Head of Global Marketing Functional Materials.
Paul D. Robbins, Ph.D. is the Associate Director of the Medical Discovery Team on Aging and the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism (iBAM) and Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Before moving to the University of Minnesota, Dr. Robbins was a Professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in Jupiter, Florida and Director of the TSRI Center on Aging. Previously he was a Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Director of Basic Research for the Molecular Medicine Institute and Co-Director of the Paul Wellstone Cooperative Muscular Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as Interim Director of Molecular & Cellular Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He received his B.A. from Haverford College, his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Mulligan at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT.
Dr. Robbins has co-authored over 385 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 190 book chapters and reviews with a H-index of 123, and i10-index of 447 and 50,184 citations and has edited four books. His current research is focused on developing therapeutic approaches, including gene therapy, small molecules and extracellular vesicles from stem cells, to extend healthspan and treat age-related diseases.