our people

Ventria Team

Management Team

Vladimir AkoyevVladimir Akoyev, Ph.D., Vice President Analytical Development
Dr. Akoyev leads the team responsible for process development, manufacturing and analytical method development. His expertise includes a wide spectrum of biophysical and biochemical methods of protein characterization including mass spectrometry, HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, spectroscopy, scanning calorimetry, and ultracentrifugation. Before joining Ventria in 2010, Dr. Akoyev was a Senior Scientist at Kansas State University. Prior to this, he was a Research Scientist in the Institute of Cell Biophysics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he received his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Hematology.

Ron Backman,

Ron Backman, Vice President, Quality
Ron Backman, Vice President of Quality, leads Ventria’s Quality Assurance and Quality Control teams. He has over 21 years of biopharmaceutical Quality experience with increasing responsibilities throughout his career. Previously he managed Quality, Stability and Microbiology services at KBI Biopharma, a global contract development & manufacturing organization in Durham, NC. Prior to KBI Biopharma he managed Quality Control and Support at Diosynth Biotechnology. He started his career in the Quality department of Boehringer Ingelheim. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas State University.

Crissa A. Seymour Cook

Crissa A. Seymour Cook, IP Counsel
Mrs. Cook is a Patent Attorney and advises Ventria Bioscience Inc. on its intellectual property, including all domestic and foreign patent and trademark matters, related contracts, due diligence matters, enforcement, and dispute resolution. Mrs. Cook is a Partner with Hovey Williams LLP, an intellectual property law firm. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas School of Law where she teaches courses in patent law and patent practice.

Marcus Curl

Marcus Curl, Vice President, Product Applications
Mr. Curl leads the Product Applications team working with leading developers in cell and gene therapy and vaccines to help them improve their workflows by implementing recombinant, scalable and sustainable solutions for biomanufacturing and final formulation. He has been instrumental in establishing the customer opportunity pipeline and has account management responsibilities in Europe and UK.  His responsibilities are global where he has developed an unique perspective valued by customers. Mr. Curl received his B.S. in Biology from Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges.

Katherine S. Deeter, Chief People Officer
Mrs. Deeter leads talent recruiting and retention as well as Company culture development. She joined the Company in 2013 and has been involved in several areas of increasing responsibility including lab supply and purchasing, customer order management, customer service and event planning. Mrs. Deeter received her Bachelors in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Kansas.

Scott E. Deeter

Scott E. Deeter, President and CEO
Mr. Deeter has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since it was formed in 2001. He licensed technology from University of California that provided the scientific foundation for the ExpressTec platform for recombinant protein expression. Previously, he started and led a joint venture between Cargill and F. Hoffmann-La Roche that commercialized pharmaceutical intermediates and functional food ingredients derived from plants. He served as President and CEO of CyberCrop and was a member of the Technology and Life Sciences Group of Salomon Brothers. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas, University of Chicago, and London School of Economics and Political Science.

L. Mark Lagrimini, Ph.D., Vice President Product Development. Dr. Lagrimini provides leadership for Product Development. Most recently he served as the Vice Provost for Research at the University of California where he supervised nine Research Centers. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he served as department head from 2005-2011 and led a research program in plant biotechnology. He was a plant biotechnology research leader at Syngenta and prior to that was an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University. Dr. Lagrimini received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa.

Kevin Sitts, Vice President, Manufacturing & Supply ChainKevin Sitts, Vice President, Manufacturing & Supply Chain
Mr. Sitts leads manufacturing and supply chain operations. Previously, he managed manufacturing operations for Pfizer in McPherson, KS with 380 operations personnel responsible to supply millions of units of drug product per year with multiple manufacturing lines operating 24 hours per day and seven days per week. In addition, Mr. Sitts was Director of Manufacturing for Tolmar Pharmaceuticals, a maker of injectible cancer therapeutics (Eligard) where he managed 80 operating personnel. Previously, he led sterile manufacturing for Meridian Medical Technologies in St. Louis and was with Amylin Pharmaceuticals in San Diego prior to its purchase by Eli Lilly & Co. Mr. Sitts graduated from Kansas State University.