Management Team

Leah Amir, MS, MHA, CEO 

XCellCure CEO Leah Amir has achieved commercial success throughout her career, starting with her experience at Mallinckrodt Medical and extending through her input as Executive Director of The Institute for Quality Resource Management. She has developed and provided creative solutions to vastly increase market share for Biosphere Medical, Medtronic, Zimmer, RadioTherapeutics, DataScope, and FocalSeal in addition to many other companies.  As a Partner at Data Management Consultants, she achieved exceptional growth through sales negotiation to Modis in 1999. With 20 years of experience leading commercialization of new products, Leah Amir has become an expert in delivering clinical solutions in numerous areas of medical practice including cardiovascular disease, orthopedics, diagnostics, and tissue regeneration.

Expertise:  Product development, FDA submission / clearance, Reimbursement, Sales Force Training, and Implementation of routine use of new technology.

 Burak Okumus, PhD, Vice President Research and Development

Originally trained as a physicist, Burak has been extensively working on developing new methods for studying biological systems. For his Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, he devised novel assays for single-molecule microscopy. During his postdoc at the Harvard Medical School, he was instrumental in developing various microfluidic platforms for single-cell analysis – ranging from quantification of low-abundance molecules with single-molecule accuracy to high-throughput screening. As an interdisciplinary scientist, he worked on a diverse range of subjects and co-authored a number of publications in different scientific journals, including Science, Nature Methods, Nature Communications, JACS and PNAS. Burak is also an inventor on several patent applications. Prior to joining XCellCure, he continued his research career at Illumina and ArcherDX (now Invitae), focusing on NGS (next-generation sequencing) and its applications in molecular diagnostics, liquid biopsy, genomics and oncology.

Expertise: biochemical and biophysical assays, molecular biology, microfabrication and material science, microfluidics, single-molecule and live-cell microscopy, single-cell handling and analysis, high-throughput automation and screening, microbiology, NGS and genomics.

David Creely, Senior Scientist

David has an impressive track record of success in  scientific research focused on protein chemistry for over 30 years. He has honed his experience while at bioMérieux Incorporated, Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia,  and Saint Louis University. At bioMérieux he was invited to be a select  member of the elite global Scientific Office at bioMerieux. This 15 member group of researchers identified as critical to scientific discovery is chosen to join the scientific office from a global company of more than 12,000 employees. He has multiple publications and patents to his credit specifically in the area of creating novel assays to detect small molecules and rare diseases. With solid success in discovery of inflammation pathways, and microbiology using advanced molecular biology and protein biochemistry techniques. David is a key member of our new product development team. XCellCure’s R&D has benefited from his knowledge in developing novel methods  to identify bacteria, molecular methods aimed at  detecting antibiotic resistance, and creating a quantitative microarray targeted at elements of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.   David was granted a patent for the discovery of Leukotriene C4 Synthase and has co-authored 10 publications which have been cited over 600 times.  David has an exceptional ability to answer scientific questions by designing appropriate experiments, analyzing the results, and implementing solutions.

Lin Li, PhD, Vice President Sensor Systems 

Lin is ... has an impressive track record of success in  scientific research focused on protein chemistry for over 30 years. He has honed his experience while at bioMérieux Incorporated, Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia,  and Saint Louis University. At bioMérieux he was invited to be a select  member of the elite global Scientific Office at bioMerieux. This 15 member group of researchers identified as critical to scientific discovery is chosen to join the scientific office from a global company of more than 12,000 employees. He has multiple publications and patents to his credit specifically in s which have been cited over 600 times.  David has an exceptional ability to answer scientific questions by designing appropriate experiments, analyzing the results, and implementing solutions.

Jim Carlile, Strategic Advisor

Jim has extensive experience growing sales and launching products against competition to emerge as the market leader. As the past president at Mallinckrodt Medical Imaging Division, Jim developed a core team to drive sales of a 3rd to market diagnostic product exceeding $1 billion over a mere 3 years. Having recently participated in the successful launch of other privately-financed medical product opportunities, Jim has in-depth knowledge of the strategy necessary for financial realization in the world of medical technology.

Expertise: Executive-level management experience, board participation, hands-on comprehension of the dynamics of launching products worldwide while delivering shareholder value

 

Frankie Myers, PhD 

Frankie obtained his PhD in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley in 2012, where he specialized in microfluidic devices for quantitative cell biology and point-of-care diagnostics. In addition to his position with XCellCure, Frankie currently teaches courses on medical instrumentation at UC Berkeley. He brings broad technical expertise to the team in microfabrication, electronics, software development, and molecular diagnostics.

Expertise: Bioengineering, Cell Biology, Point of Care Medical Technology, Microfabrication, Software Development, Molecular biology, Medical Diagnostics

Scientific Advisory Board

Biomarker Discovery Team

Stuart T. Higano, MD, FACC 

Stuart is on staff at Missouri Baptist Medical Center as a High Volume Interventional Cardiologist. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, nuclear cardiology and interventional cardiology and has strong ties to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Higano completed his medical degree at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA and completed all post-graduate training at the Mayo Clinic, including his residency in internal medicine, a cardiovascular training program, and an interventional cardiology fellowship

John Kirby, MD, FCCWS, FACS Surgery / General Surgery 

John currently practices in the Division of Acute and Critical Care Surgery Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to his employment at Washington University, John is an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of General Surgery - Acute and Critical Care Surgery Section and Director of the Wound Healing Program Barnes-Jewish Hospital & Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. His experience in high volume institutions with immensely varied patient populations is an asset to support clinical trials in the area of emergency detection of an impending MI and for patients with acute and chronic wounds.

Robert Bolla, PhD  Molecular Biologist 

Dr. Bolla recently served as Associate Provost for Research at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. Prior to his post at Bradley University he was Chairman of the Biology Department at St. Louis University.  Bob brings to XCellCure extensive experience launching innovative technologies for SLU and later Bradley University.

 

 

 

Dr. Erik (E.A.L.) Biessen, PhD

Dr. Biessen currently serves as a Professor of Experimental Vascular Pathology at University of Maastricht. He is the principal Investigator on multiple studies fueling the innovative technology at XCellCure including groundbreaking studies regarding the prognostic value of Cardiac Biomarkers CCL3, CCL5, and CCL18.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Theo van Berkel, PhD

As a specialist in Cardiology, cell biology, and molecular biology, Dr. Theo van Berkel serves as a leading expert at Leiden University. Dr. van Biessen has contributed groundbreaking discoveries to the field of cardiac biomarker use in risk assessment, particularly regarding prognostic value of CCL3, CCL5, and CCL18. He serves as Head of Department at Leiden University's Biopharmaceuticals & Atherosclerosis Center for Drug Research in addition to his contributions at XCelLCure.