Matthew R. Gevaert, Ph.D.  CEO & Co-founder  linkedin

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.

Howland E. Crosswell, M.D.  Chief Medical Officer  linkedin

Dr. Hal Crosswell is Chief Medical Officer responsible for advancing the company’s internal research and development program including preclinical drug discovery assays and clinical diagnostic applications as well as fostering strategic external collaborations with the scientific community. Before joining the company, Hal was Assistant Professor of the University of South Carolina-Greenville in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, where he developed translational and clinical trials, and was principle and co-investigator for over 40 industry and NCI-sponsored collaborative group research studies. He has presented numerous abstracts and lectures at the national level, has published a number of oncology-related articles and is an ad-hoc scientific reviewer for serveral peer-reviewed journals.

Hal grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, received his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. His fellowship training in clinical hematology/oncology and molecular oncology was at Emory University Winship Cancer Institute. He is double board certified in pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatrics and is a practicing pediatric oncologist.

Lillia M. Holmes, M.S.  Chief Operations Officer  linkedin

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.

Tessa DesRochers, Ph.D.  Chief Scientific Officer  linkedin

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.