Vladimir 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, Vice President, Quality
Ron Backman, Vice President of Quality, leads Ventria’s Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Facilities and Supply Chain teams. He has over 21 years of biopharmaceutical Quality and Supply Chain experience with increasing responsibilities throughout his career. He joined the company in 2018 after previously managing Product 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.
Randall Alfano, Ph.D., Vice President, Product Development
Dr. Alfano currently leads the product development team, where he utilizes his expertise in media design and optimization for biomanufacturing, cell-based vaccines, cell therapies and culturing stem/primary cells. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Alfano was the Process Development Manager for XBiotech in Austin, TX where he specialized in the development and optimization of the company’s cell culture processes in mammalian cells for cancer biologics. Previously, he was promoted from Postdoctoral Fellow to Senior Scientist at the Cancer Research Institute of Scott and White Hospital where he developed in vivo animal models for metastatic prostate cancer and was instrumental in developing thorough in vitro and in vivo models for immunostimulatory antigens. Dr. Alfano received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Scott E. Deeter, President and CEO
Mr. Deeter is the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. He serves as a Director of Iteris, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITI), the global leader in applied informatics for transportation and agriculture. Previously, he started and led a joint venture between Cargill and F. Hoffmann-La Roche that commercialized pharmaceutical intermediates and functional food ingredients. 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 (BSc-Economics); University of Chicago (MBA); and London School of Economics (MSc-Economics).
Seymour Fein, M.D., Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Fein began his career at Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. as a senior research physician and was responsible for a clinical development program that led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of recombinant interferon-alpha for cancer treatment. Dr. Fein was also the medical director of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals (U.S.) where he was responsible for therapeutic areas including gastroenterology, oncology, and cardiology. He later served as medical director for Rorer Group (now part of Sanofi) and Ohmeda (now part of Baxter). Dr. Fein founded and has been managing partner of a clinical and regulatory consulting organization and has worked closely with the Division of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products at the FDA. He has participated in the development of and FDA approval of numerous drug products in many therapeutic areas. Dr. Fein has successfully overseen entrepreneurial drug development leading to the FDA approval of two orphan drug products in the field of gastroenterology.
Derek Schneweis, Ph.D., Vice President Upstream Product Development to the Management Team.
Dr. Schneweis leads Ventria’s team genomics, plant biotechnology, protein expression analysis, master and working seed bank development, greenhouse/nursery management, USDA Regulatory and plant production team. He has held positions of increasing responsibility since joining Ventria Bioscience in 2017. He earned his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Kansas State University.