Leadership Team

 

David Wellis
Chief Executive Officer / Board Member

David is a cell biologist with over 30 years’ experience in the life science industry and currently serves as the CEO of Excellos.  Prior to Excellos, he served as the CEO of the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) for more than 8 years.  At SDBB, David’s vision was to connect altruistic blood donors with basic research and clinical study opportunities, furthering SDBB’s mission of ensuring the health of the community.  David joined SDBB following his tenure at a variety of companies that developed tools for biomedical research, diagnostic and applied markets, including Illumina, GenVault and Axon Instruments.

David received his B.S. from UC Irvine, an M.S. and Ph.D. from Emory University, postdoctoral training at Tufts University and UC Berkeley, and business training at Leavey Business School of Santa Clara University and Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. David is on the Executive Committee of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UC San Diego and held board and committee roles in several national blood bank organizations, the National Institutes of Health and local biotechnology companies.  For the past two years, he was named to the SD500 list of Most Influential People in San Diego.

Robert Tressler
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Tressler is Chief Scientific Officer at Excellos. Previously he served as Chief Scientific Officer at the San Diego Blood Bank where he oversaw the Public Cord Blood Bank and Cell Therapy research and manufacturing programs. Previously he held leadership roles in Biotechnology companies, serving as head of Preclinical Oncology Research at Geron, Inc, overseeing their oncology and anti-aging research programs. He also was VP of Research and Development at Cellerant Therapeutics, heading up research and development efforts for stem cell and oncology programs. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and reviews as well as being inventor on several patents. Dr. Tressler has been invited to give numerous talks and lectures at Scientific and professional meetings and served as a chairperson and panelist at scientific symposia and meetings. His scientific focus is in stem cell biology, oncology and anti-aging research and he has served as a scientific advisor to various companies. He received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science and his Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology from McNeese State University. He is a member of the American Association of Blood Banks, The International Society of Cell Therapy and The American Society of Hematology.

George Eastwood
Chief Commercial Officer

George Eastwood is Chief Commercial Officer at Excellos. He has spent his entire career in the life sciences, with the last 10+ years being focused exclusively within the field of cell and gene therapy. He has held a variety of strategic roles in the space with a focus on cGMP raw materials and cell manufacturing. Most notably, he served as VP, Global Sales and Business Development at HemaCare and was a key member of the leadership team during a 5-year span of growth, which eventually culminated in being acquired by Charles River Labs in 2020. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Toxicology from Northeastern University and currently serves as Chairman of The Board for The Emily Whitehead Foundation.

Paul Grossman
Board Member

Before joining THP, Paul was Head of Strategy and Corporate Development for Life Technologies where he was responsible for spearheading the company’s corporate strategy, licensing, business development and acquisition activities. He held the same position at Invitrogen Corporation prior to the merger with Applied Biosystems in 2008. In his tenure at Life Technologies and its legacy companies, Paul has led the acquisition or divestment of more than 25 businesses, including the merger of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems, and was responsible for a corporate development strategy that included novel approaches to grow and monetize the company’s substantial intellectual property portfolio of over 4,000 patents and licenses. Prior to Invitrogen, Paul held a variety of leadership roles during his more than 20 years at Applied Biosystems, including research scientist, patent attorney, Vice President of Intellectual Property and Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Paul has represented THP on the boards of Agena Bioscience (acquired by Mesa Laboratories), Argonaut Manufacturing Services, Excellos, Nimble Therapeutics, Specific Diagnostics (acquired by bioMérieux), Teknova (NASDAQ:TKNO) and Verogen. Paul received bachelors and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. He has authored numerous scientific publications and holds more than 20 U.S. patents.

Terry Kinninger
Board Member

Terry has over 35 years of executive management experience in a variety private equity and public companies including medical/molecular diagnostics, medical devices, software/SAAS and life sciences. He has extensive experience managing merger and acquisition transactions on both the sell and buy side with multiple transactions aggregating over $1 billion in value. Terry has also raised over $300 million in equity and debt capital from public and private markets. Terry’s prior positions include CFO Agena Biosciences, CFO & COO Endoscopic Technologies, CFO & Executive VP Business Development R2 Technology, CFO & COO Bridge Medical, CFO & Senior VP of Operations MetaCreations, CFO & VP Corporate Development Delphi Information Systems, and CFO Integral Systems.

Deval Lashkari
Board Member

Deval is a co-founder of THP and has worked in the life sciences area developing and commercializing novel technologies for over 25 years. He gained experience as an entrepreneur and through senior management positions in a number of life science companies. He was a founding Research Director at Synteni, which was acquired by Incyte Genomics, where he became Director of Product Development. He also worked with Operon Technologies (acquired by Qiagen), leading product development and commercial strategies. Deval has represented THP on the boards of AcroMetrix (acquired by Life Technologies), Agena Bioscience (acquired by Mesa Laboratories), Akoya Biosciences (NASDAQ:AKYA), Althea Technologies (acquired by Ajinomoto), Applied Precision (acquired by GE), Argonaut Manufacturing Services, Aurora Discovery (acquired by NEXUS Biosystems), Asuragen (acquired by Bio-Techne), Cell Microsystems, Dynex, Excellos, NEXUS Biosystems (acquired by Brooks Automation), Nimble Therapeutics, Precision NanoSystems (acquired by Danaher), RareCyte, Sage Labs (acquired by Horizon Discovery), and SwitchGear Genomics (acquired by Active Motif). He has been an observer on the boards of Dharmacon (acquired by Fisher Scientific) and Carterra. Deval received a BA with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from Stanford University and currently serves on the Stanford Medical School Alumni Board of Governors.

Robert (Bob) Finzi
Board Member

Mr. Finzi, now retired, was a Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse serving on the Investment Committees of Credit Suisse Direct Equity Partners and Hudson Clean Energy. Previously he served as Managing Partner of the Sprout Group, Credit Suisse’s venture capital affiliate, and a General Partner of Merrill Lynch Venture Capital, which was merged into Sprout in 1991. Mr. Finzi serves on a number of for-profit and not-for-profit Boards of Directors. Mr. Finzi has a BS & MS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.