Board of Directors
David E. Thomas, Jr.
Mr. Thomas has over 40 years of investment and merchant banking experience. He has advised companies and shareholders across a broad range of industries with regard to capital formation, acquisition, and divestiture strategies. Mr. Thomas currently serves as Senior Managing Director of Hill River Capital, Inc., a merchant banking and private equity firm. Mr. Thomas previously served as Senior Managing Director of Raymond James Capital, the predecessor to Hill River Capital, Inc. and as Chairman and CEO of Safety-Kleen Corp. (NYSE-SK), during its corporate investigation, financial restatement, and restructuring. Prior to that, he served as Head of Investment Banking and as Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Raymond James Financial, Inc. Mr. Thomas graduated from Emory University, receiving JD and MBA degrees, with distinction, and from the University of Richmond, summa cum laude. In addition to his role as Chairman of Nielsen BioSciences, Inc., Mr. Thomas serves as Director of Salon Lofts Group, LLC. Mr. Thomas previously served as Chairman of Sirchie Acqusition Company, LLC., Albion Medical Holdings, Inc., Greer Laboratories, Inc., Allermed Holdings, Inc., and as a Director of Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc., HVT, Inc. and Southern Assisted Living, Inc.
Harry S. Nielsen, Jr., Ph.D.
Dr. Nielsen served as President and CEO at the founding of Nielsen BioSciences. He also founded Allermed Laboratories, Inc. and served as President of the company for over 40 years. His interest in the antigenic properties of fungi and microorganisms provided the foundation for developing and licensing numerous products in the field of allergy and immunology. He developed two key biologic products at Allermed, CANDIN (Candida albicans) and SPHERUSOL (Coccidioides immitis). Dr. Nielsen received his B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Botany from Brigham Young University. Dr. Nielsen received his Ph.D. in Botany and Microbiology from The Ohio State University. He was awarded a National Science Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Mycology, which he completed at Duke University. He was a member of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Duke University Medical Center where he taught microbiology, mycology, and parasitology.
Gene J. Ostrow
Mr. Ostrow has over 30 years of experience as a senior corporate executive and director of growth companies. He was Co-Founder and former CFO of NationsRent, Inc. (NYSE). Mr. Ostrow was formerly CFO and Head of Business Development of OHM Corp. (NYSE), an industrial and environmental services company, as well as a former Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Raymond James Financial, Inc. Prior to that, he was a Senior Manager at KPMG. Mr. Ostrow graduated from the University of Albany and is a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Ostrow serves as Chairman of Salon Lofts Group, LLC and also serves as a Director of Sirchie Acquisition Company, LLC. Mr. Ostrow previously served as a Director for Albion Medical Holdings, Inc., Greer Laboratories, Inc., and Allermed Holdings, Inc.
Robert E. Esch, Ph.D.
Dr. Esch has over 35 years of experience as a scientific investigator and corporate executive. He earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Bacteriology and Public Health from Washington State University. During his 35 years at Greer Laboratories, Inc., he held a variety of positions in quality control, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, and research and development. He was Chief Scientific Officer at Greer Laboratories and served on the Board of Directors of Albion Medical Holdings, Inc. Dr. Esch has served as an industry representative to the Allergen Products Advisory Committee of the FDA, Consortium of Food Allergy Research, Inner City Asthma Consortium, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute along with many committees and appointments for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He currently serves on the board of directors of Sirchie, a global provider of products and services to law enforcement professionals and on Hoffman Materials, a custom manufacturer of differentiated crystalline materials.
John G. Roby
Mr. Roby has 32 years of experience in a variety of industries from Plastics to Jet Engines to Pharmaceuticals. After obtaining his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, Mr. Roby joined General Electric and is a graduate of their Manufacturing Management Program. Additionally, he attended GE’s Corporate Management Development Course. Mr. Roby has held various leadership positions spanning all functional areas, and has spent the last 16 years in the capacity of CEO, most recently leading Greer Laboratories, Inc., (now Stallergenes Greer) a leader in diagnostic and therapeutic allergenic extracts. He is currently the CEO of Sirchie, Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of products and services to law enforcement professionals, and serves on the board of directors of Sirchie.
Bruce F. Mackler, Ph.D, MS
Dr. Mackler’s has 30 years of FDA legal and regulatory experience in biomedical products includes allergens, allergy vaccines, biologics, drugs, nutraceuticals, medical and in vitro diagnostic devices. He held a senior corporate regulatory position and served on the Board of Immunomic Therapeutics, an allergy vaccine company. He currently serves on the Board of several Biopharma companies.
Dr. Mackler has a Ph.D. and M.S. in the areas of Immunology and Microbiology and has authored more than 100 published scientific papers and abstracts in allergy, immunology, immunopathology, and various disease models, as well as numerous additional articles and briefing papers on FDA and FDA-related legal and regulatory issues. He serves on the NIH/NHLBI Small Market SBIR Phase IIB Study Section.
Dr. Mackler received his J.D. from the South Texas College of Law (magna cum laude). He received his Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Oregon Medical School, his M.S. in Immunology and Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University, and his B.A. in Biology from Temple University. He was a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and was admitted to practice before the Federal District and Appeals Court and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Meera Desai, Ph.D., NACD.DC
Meera Desai is the Founder and Managing Partner of Karana Biotech, a boutique life-science advisory firm specializing in business development, licensing, and M&A. She currently also serves on the Board of Directors for Adamis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ADMP) and is the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. Dr. Desai has over 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in drug development and commercialization of products in multiple therapeutic areas. Over her career, she has held positions of increasing responsibility at AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Nektar Therapeutics, and Johnson & Johnson/ALZA Corporation.
Dr. Desai has extensive Business and Corporate Development experience negotiating and executing licensing deals valued at over $1 Billion, managing complex alliances and supporting the fundraising, financing, and investor relations efforts for small Biotechs.
Dr. Desai holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Drew University, a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Iowa State University and an NACD.DC., Directorship Certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors.