Molecular Matrix, Inc (MMI) has assembled a strong management team and Board of Directors (BOD) and believes that the quality and experience of the group is a critical factor to the success of the Company. MMI management team and BOD have over 25 years of experience in research and development, spine and biologics, and commercialization of new technologies.
Charles C. Lee, PhD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board
Dr. Lee invented the GroCell-3D™ scaffold technology, a key component of several products in development at Molecular Matrix, Inc., and has developed an innovative method to characterize and isolate stem cells. Dr. Lee has extensive expertise in cellular and molecular biology, with specialized expertise in the study of human and nonhuman primate mesenchymal, hematopoietic, and endothelial stem and progenitor cells. He recently identified a stem cell population with high proliferative and differentiation potentials and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers in the field of stem cells. Dr. Lee held a core director position at the Center for Fetal Monkey Gene Transfer for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases, and the Center of Excellence in Translational Human Stem Cell Research, both at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Lee’s expertise is essential for successful product development. He has also served as CEO of a company involved in clinical studies conducted by larger pharmaceutical companies. He plans to develop and implement corporate strategies and projects (business, clinical, and scientific) and be charged with developing Molecular Matrix, Inc.’s long-term vision.
James H. Keefer, Chief Operating Officer, Board Member
Mr. Keefer brings over 25 years of medical industry experience to the team, providing unique insight to the specific challenges associated with bringing new products to market. Mr. Keefer has been involved in numerous product launches, providing strategic direction that resulted in successful commercialization. Mr. Keefer is a seasoned sales leader with a consistent record of generating growth in the healthcare industry through tactical sales process enhancements providing new business development and sales team leadership. He is an expert at elevating startup organizations and positioning them for growth, M&A, or IPO by drawing on a unique clinical and business-oriented approach. Mr. Keefer has demonstrated success in facilitating clinical results, reducing complications and shaping a brand name through clinical expertise. Mr. Keefer is a skilled provider of advanced training that results in the development and retention of top-performing talent.
Kee D. Kim, MD, Director, Board Member
Dr. Kim is Chief of Spinal Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the UC Davis Spine Center. He is involved in multiple clinical trials as a primary investigator and evaluates cutting-edge technologies such as cervical artificial disc and minimally invasive surgery. Although Dr. Kim’s research focus is primarily clinical, he is also involved in studying epidural fibrosis and spinal cord regeneration. He has a special interest and expertise in dealing with challenging neurosurgical disorders requiring surgical treatment, and has vast experience in complex spine surgery, regardless of etiology (including tumor, infection, degenerative spine, and trauma). Dr. Kim plans to oversee all clinical development projects and participate in clinical evaluation and planning efforts at Molecular Matrix, Inc.
Christopher Wink, CPA, PFS, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Wink graduated magna cum laude with an accounting degree from California State University, Sacramento, in 1991.
Chris is a licensed CPA in the State of California, and also holds Series 7 and 63 securities licenses, and a California real estate salesperson license. Most recently, Chris was awarded the personal financial specialist credential from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Mr. Wink is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, finance committee member of Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization, the Kiwanis Club of Greater Davis, and various other organizations.
Frank Patton, Financial Advisor
Mr. Patton is a seasoned finance professional with over 25 years of experience. During his career, he has worked in the medical products, telecommunications, software development, and foodservice distribution sectors. Mr. Patton joined Nextremity Solutions in May 2013 as their Senior VP, CFO and COO. During his career, he has held the positions of Division CFO, Senior VP of Internal Audit, Group CFO and Division President. Prior to joining Nextremity Solutions, Mr. Patton was the Vice President of Finance for Zimmer’s Global Businesses Group with sales in excess of $1.3B. He was responsible for all finance, strategic planning and business development activities for the Trauma, Dental, Surgical and Spine business units. Complementing his medical device experience, Mr. Patton has significant experience in several aspects of operational and financial management; internal audit, strategic planning, controllership, operational finance, manufacturing accounting, credit and collections, business development and IPOs. He is a former board member of Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona. Frank is active member of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Financial Executives Institute and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
John Kapitan (Kapstone Medical), Clinical & Regulatory Affairs
Mr. Kapitan brings 30 years of experience in regulatory affairs and the development of quality control systems. He has also been the lead is numerous research/clinical studies. His expertise covers clinical regulatory compliance, study design, and fda submission expertise. His managerial and leadership roles in conjunction with his vast experience in a broad array of clinical and research arenas, make him exceptionally qualified to conduct the fda submission activities for novel products in development at Molecular Matrix.
Ron Blackman, MD, Surgical Advisor, Trainer, Consultant
Dr. Blackman is a retired pediatric spine surgeon who continues to engage in new technology development. He is the inventor of the first minimally invasive deformity correction system where scoliosis correction was accomplished through a series of tubes. This technology was acquired by Medtronic. Dr. Blackman plays a key role in the surgeries, and training of operating room staff. Dr. Blackman also provides invaluable expertise in the development of new technologies and procedures.
Fred Groverman, DVM., Director of Preclinical Development
Dr. Groverman graduated from the University of California Davis as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1958 and has been a practicing veterinarian ever since. As an active member of his community, Dr. Groverman has served on numerous boards for more than forty years including Santa Rosa Memorial Alliance, Sonoma County 4-H, Association of California Hospital Districts, Waugh Elementary School and the Sonoma County Fair boards. Dr. Groverman served as President of the American Shropshire Sheep Association and has authored many scientific articles for national sheep and veterinary publications.
Steven I. Whitlock, Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Whitlock has over 25 years of orthopedics industry experience, in addition to being a co-founder of Path4 Ventures and an Operating Venture Partner with PTV Sciences. He co-founded Spinal Restoration, and LDR Spine USA, where he served as President. Steve also served on the executive team at Ortho Kinematics as Vice President of Product Development, and still maintains observer rights to the board. Steve was very involved with development, funding and commercialization stages at each of these companies, and participated in the successful exit of LDR through Public Offering and later $1 billion acquisition by Zimmer Biomet. Mr. Whitlock began his healthcare industry career with Sulzer / Centerpulse Orthopedics, where he held executive management roles in Research and Development, New Business Development, and Global Products in the areas of total joints, sports medicine, trauma, and orthobiologics. He was part of the executive team responsible for a major company turnaround leading to a $3.2 billion acquisition by Zimmer in 2003. Mr. Whitlock has been instrumental in bringing many technologies to the U.S. orthopedic and spine markets, and holds 15 issued patents.
Mr. Whitlock holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.