Christof Westenfelder, MD

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Westenfelder is a Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the University of Utah and Chief of the Nephrology Section of the VA Medical Center. Dr. Westenfelder has extensive experience in clinical and basic research in the field of adult stem cell biology, stem cell translational research with an emphasis in the fields of transplantation medicine and renal and critical care. In addition, Dr. Westenfelder is an internationally recognized expert on the biology and clinical uses of erythropoietin and treatment of acute kidney and multi-organ failure. Dr. Westenfelder has successfully founded a number of companies including Nephrogen, SymbioCellTech, LLC and Nephrocelltech, and he holds numerous patents pertinent to SCT’s technology. He has obtained an IND from the FDA for the conduct of a successful Phase I Trial in which the safety and kidney protective activity of allogeneic, bone marrow-derived Multipotent Stromal aka Mesenchymal Stem Cells was demonstrated.


Axel Zander, MD

Cofounder and Vice President

Dr. Zander is emeritus Professor of Medicine and Manager of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Center at the University of Hamburg in Germany.   Dr. Zander is an internationally recognized expert in bone marrow transplantation and stem cell research, with particular expertise in novel clinical uses of adult stem cells in regenerative medicine.   Dr. Zander has founded and co-founded a number of companies including Nephrogen, SymbioCellTech, LLC and Stem Cell Rescue, and he holds numerous patents related to steam-cell therapy.


Anna Gooch, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Gooch has fifteen years experience in Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine research and commercialization. Her vast operational experience includes Clinical Operations Manager at Allocure, Inc., a biotech company founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, focused on developing cellular therapies for acute kidney injury (AKI). While at allocure, Dr. Gooch successfully led the scientific team through all preclinical studies and a successful IND application for cultured mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Dr. Gooch was directly responsible for cellular manufacturing and banking protocols and assisted in chemistry, manufacturing & control (CMC) oversight. Dr. Gooch also supervised and managed all laboratory operations in support of a Phase 1 Clinical trial utilizing MSCs for a novel cellular treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI) in high risk cardiac surgery patients. Dr Gooch received her Ph.D. in Cellular, Viral and Molecular Biology from the University of Utah.


G. Russell Reiss, MD

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Reiss has over twenty years experience in stem cell research and commercialization. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Center for Gene Therapy and Institute for Cellular Therapeutics prior to founding the Utah Center of Excellence for Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine and University of Utah Cell Therapy Facility & Public Cord Blood Bank, where he served as Medical Director. His extensive experience in Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine includes patents for the use of mesenchymal stem cells in lethal radiation injury and the therapeutic use of adult stem cells in cardiac and renal patients. Dr. Reiss was one of the earliest FDA Sponsor-Investigators attaining an IND to inject bone marrow-derived stem cells directly into the myocardium for the treatment of ischemic heart disease. He is a board certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon and received his medical degree from Hanhnmann University School of Medicine, completed General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery residencies at the University of Utah and an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center.


William P. Tew, PhD

Director of Business Development

Dr. Tew has over forty years of experience developing and commercializing Life Science research products, medical devices, sterile pharmaceuticals, and biopharmaceuticals. Dr. Tew founded Chesapeake Biological Laboratories and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for almost two decades, developing and manufacturing bulk pharmaceuticals, parenteral drugs, and medical devices in compliance with FDA and cGMP regulations. Most recently, Dr. Tew has served as the Chief Commercial Officer and VP of Business Development at BioTime. He was a Co-Founder and CEO of GlycosanBioSystems, Inc. (later acquired by BioTime), and VP of Business Development at OrthoCyte Corporation. He is former research faculty at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he served as Associate Provost and Assistant Dean of Technology Licensing. Dr. Tew received his Ph.D. in bio-inorganic chemistry from the University of Idaho and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Leanne Swenson, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Swenson is a practicing endocrinologist with extensive scientific training in the field of diabetes and its treatment. She will contribute to the design of clinical trials and oversee their conduct.

Meet Our Board →