Dr. Matthew (Matt) Gevaert is Chief Executive Officer of KIYATEC Inc., a life sciences company commercializing advanced three-dimensional (3D) cell culture plasticware and cell-based diagnostics. Possessing a background which combines both business and technology, he led the commercialization of Clemson University’s biomedical and biotechnology intellectual property portfolio for nearly 5 years, working with both entrepreneurial start-ups and large, industry leading corporations. Currently Matt serves as president of SCMedTech, the industry organization for South Carolina’s medical device and technology companies. Gevaert grew up in Ontario, Canada and graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry. He also holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in Bioengineering from Clemson University. Matt has held a variety of professional roles with 3M, Dow Chemical, and Merck, and has additional experience as sole proprietor of Edge Biomedical, a biomaterials consulting practice. He maintains current appointments as adjunct professor in the Clemson University Department of Bioengineering and as visiting professor in the Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, where he teaches graduate courses in technology and biomedical entrepreneurship for scientists, engineers and professional business students.
Lillia Holmes is Chief Operations Officer overseeing KIYATEC’s operations and regulatory compliance. Prior to KIYATEC, Lillia gained experience in operational and financial management and furthered her regulatory affairs expertise as the Director of Cellular Therapy at The Blood Connection, Inc. where she managed the processing facility for bone marrow transplants and served as the Technical Supervisor for CLIA high complexity testing. Her interest in operational management and cellular therapy stemmed from translating oncology research to clinical therapies during her time as a Research Associate for the Greenville Hospital System Oncology Research Institute. Since that time, Lillia has continued to develop her knowledge of FDA, CLIA, FACT and AABB regulations and standards and has successfully translated that knowledge to operational improvements for biotechnology organizations as well as both research and clinical laboratories. Lillia is a Greenville, SC native and attended the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biology. She then furthered her education at East Tennessee State, Quillen College of Medicine by earning a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. Her love for Greenville led her back home where she has been instrumental in oncology research and cellular therapy manufacturing. Passionate about oncology and blood donation, Lillia brings a unique perspective to KIYATEC’s mission.
Dr. Tessa DesRochers is Scientific Director responsible for managing all research and development within KIYATEC, including all government contracts and grants, external collaborations, and internal preclinical and clinical assay development. Before joining the company, Tessa was in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University where she developed bioengineered 3D models of human kidney tissue and breast cancer with applications in the areas of nephrotoxicology, disease modeling, and infectious disease. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in the area of tissue engineering and disease applications, has presented a number of abstracts at multiple scientific meetings, and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. As a “military brat”, Tessa grew up in numerous locations, including California, England, and Ohio before her family settled in New Hampshire. She attended the University of New Hampshire where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She received her PhD from Tufts University’s Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology where her thesis focused upon epigenetic gene regulation in a 3D model of human skin. Her postdoctoral training included a year at Children’s Hospital in Boston and subsequent training in the lab of Dr. David Kaplan at Tufts University. Tessa is committed to the development of 3D tissues as better models of human development and disease.
Tim Decker is VP Commercial Operations, leading KIYATEC’s marketing, sales and reimbursement efforts. Tim has flourished in commercial roles of increasing responsibility and complexity in both the pharmaceutical and molecular diagnostics sectors, with a particular focus on oncology. He spent the first decade of his career honing his strategic and tactical marketing skills at G.D. Searle and later Abbott Laboratories. In 2007, he transitioned into oncology molecular diagnostics at Genomic Health, where he served as Director of Sales and Marketing and subsequently Senior Director of Sales and Marketing. Tim was integral to all phases of market and commercial development of Oncotype DX tests for breast, colon and prostate cancers. In 2015, he accepted the role of VP Marketing at Castle Biosciences, where he focused on corporate, pipeline and product planning as well as commercial expansion of Castle’s DecisionDx test platform in melanoma. Tim spent his formative years living in the US and abroad (Middle East, South America). He earned his Bachelor of Science in marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Tim is very passionate about tumor biology and differential response/benefit to therapy. He feels privileged to work at the intersection of diagnostics and drug therapy.
Charlene Knape is Vice President, Clinical Affairs, responsible for the strategy, development and conduct of clinical studies at KIYATEC. Her experience of 25 years conducting global clinical studies will support the expansion of clinical investigations for KIYATEC’s pipeline which includes ovarian cancer, glioblastoma, rare tumors and triple negative breast cancer. Prior to KIYATEC, Charlene has held Clinical positions at both large corporations and start-up medical device and in vitro diagnostic companies for regulated Class II and Class III products, including Inivata, Becton Dickinson, Micell Technologies, LabCorp, EndoTex Interventional, Somnus, and Avocet, which cover a vast array of technologies focused in the oncology and cardiovascular medical devices and the personalized medicine diagnostic space. Charlene grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and graduated with a degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the Michener Institute and is a Medical Technologist (G-CSLT). Her early career included clinical and research laboratory investigations and assay development employing flow and image cytometry for various solid tumor analysis, including participation as a site in clinical studies before supporting clinical research for industry. She has co-authored numerous publications for laboratory science and cardiovascular/endovascular studies. Along her career path, Charlene has gained a unique set of skills in Clinical, Regulatory, Quality and Marketing to help deliver KIYATEC’s precision medicine solution to patients through clinically-relevant diagnostic testing.