Vivacelle Bio


Chief Executive Officer                  
Stephen Keith, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Stephen N. Keith, M.D., M.S.P.H. is a business leader, pharmaceutical and biotech executive, entrepreneur and clinician. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Vivacelle Bio, Inc. (VBI). Dr. Keith has been instrumental in launching VBI and
is experienced in raising capital for public and private life science companies, investment banking and venture capital.  He is also a board certified pediatrician with over 20 years of considerable clinical experience in academic, hospital and outpatient settings.


Prior to Vivacelle Bio, Inc., Dr. Keith served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Antex Biogics, Inc. Earlier in his career, he  held positions of increasing commercial responsibility at Merck & Co., Inc. and North American Vaccine, Inc.  He also served as Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

Dr. Keith serves on several business and civic boards including, but not limited to, Vivacelle Bio, Inc. and Nuo Therapeutics - formerly known as Cytomedix.  He is a member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Optima Health, Inc., a private company that is developing urgent care centers in urban communities to expand access to high quality health care for underserved populations.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of Nuo Therapeutics, a life science company marketing wound care products. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of National Fellowships and Community Health Charities.  Dr. Keith is a Fellow of Academy of Pediatrics and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics.

Dr. Keith completed his undergraduate education at Amherst College with high honors, Magna Cum Laude, an MD degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a Masters of Science in Public Health from the UCLA School of Public Health.

Vivacelle Bio, Inc. (VBI) is a private developmental stage biotechnology company focused on creating new approaches to injury and disease utilizing nano-micelle or liposomal technology.  The company's first product is a novel advanced colloidal volume expander for sustaining life during severe episodes of hypovolemia and hypotension due to fluid or blood loss.

Founder, President & Chief Innovation Officer
Cuthbert Simpkins, M.D.


Dr. Simpkins is the inventor of Vivacelle and the President of Vivacelle Bio, Inc. He is also a trauma surgeon and scientist.  Dr. Simpkins has over thirty years of experience as a surgeon including serving as Director of the Trauma Program at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA.   He finished his undergraduate studies at Amherst College with honors in Chemistry and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1974.  

Dr. Simpkins completed his surgical training in 1980 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City and Downstate
Medical Center in Brooklyn.  He did research fellowships at Boston University School of Medicine and the Naval Medical Research Institute. He achieved the rank of Commander and received two commendations for excellence in research while serving in the U.S. Navy which included several scientific discoveries and publications.  
While at LSU, Dr. Simpkins led the program in regaining its previously-lost Level One verification by the American College of Surgeons in adult trauma and in adding Level One verification in pediatric trauma, a designation that no LSU medical facility in the state had before.  Dr. Simpkins is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Chief Legal and Operating Officer
Harven V. DeShield, Ph.D., J.D.


Dr. DeShield is a pharmaceutical, biomedical and life sciences intellectual property attorney with more than nine years' experience. He is well-versed in Intellectual Property and other legal matters including but not limited to patent litigation and counseling, patent prosecution and preparation, trademark counseling and trade secret. His experience also broadly encompasses due diligence, reviewing and drafting documents embodying aspects of food and drug law, regulatory law, anti-trust, contract, corporate and commercial law. His experience traverses translational matters pertaining to licensing, assignments, mergers and acquisitions, research and joint development collaborative agreements, service, manufacturing and quality control agreements, confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements and pre-clinical and clinical trial agreements.

Dr. DeShield has a doctorate in Biochemistry from SUNY, Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; a Masters in Biological Sciences from SUNY, Buffalo Department of Biological Sciences and a Juris Doctorate from SUNY, Buffalo Law School with a concentration in Intellectual Property and Technology Law. He also holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology with honors from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. 

Chief Medical Officer
Krishna Talluri, M.D.                                                                                                                     email:

Dr. Talluri is the Chief Medical Officer for Vivacelle Bio. She is also the owner of Compass Consulting International. Dr. Taluri has over seventeen years of experience as a licensed physician and in drug development and medical affairs including stints at Johnson & Johnson, CATO, Lundbeck and Talecris Biotherapeutics.  

Her specialties include safety and medical affairs, global clinical development from early stages/POC to pivotal studies in small molecules, biologics, devices, delivery systems, blood substitute (Hemopure) and medical devices.

Her experience includes successful IND's and NDA's in CNS, neuroimmunology, immunology, pulmonary, oncology and other indications. Dr. Talluri possesses the rare combination of experience at the CRO investigator and sponsor level. She has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Talluri completed her residency at Duke University.


Advisory Board

Thomas A. Fitzgerald, M.B.A.
Thomas A. Fitzgerald has served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Velico Medical, Inc. since August 2006 and, for seven months in 2013, as Interim President and CEO.  Mr. Fitzgerald has over 30 years of extensive financial management experience, including with life sciences companies both as an investment banker and chief financial officer, as well as a consultant to emerging growth companies.  He was founding Managing Director for the healthcare investment banking firm of Leerink Swann, where he raised capital in both the private and public markets and completed mergers, acquisitions and other strategic transactions.  As a chief financial officer, he has managed financial reporting, upgraded reporting systems and processes, improved working capital and cash flow, and led corporate financing as well as corporate governance activities.  

Mr. Fitzgerald graduated with an M.B.A. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and an A.B. in Economics from Stanford University.  Mr. Fitzgerald served in the U.S. Army for nearly four years, initially as an enlisted man and, subsequently, an airborne-qualified infantry officer.  

Lexington Blood
Mr. Blood is a serial entrepreneur and investor who shares a deep level of under- standing and reverence for the field of nanotechnology. He studied Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at the University of Utah.

Lexington pioneered the sleep enhancement beverage category with the world's first sleep beverage brand in 2007 which is a $200M market today.

Most recently, he founded and led a biotech company that harnessed the power of wet nanotechnology for use in a variety of industries, including pharma. Lexington currently advises numerous companies, mentors for the Technology and Commercialization Office at the University of Utah and invests heavily in the future of mankind.

Ronald E. Damper, M.B.A.
Mr. Damper is the President & CEO of DAMRON Corporation which he founded in 1985.  DAMRON Corporation manufactures and distributes a variety of private label and branded products for the food service and retail industry.  DAMRON was McDonald's first national minority supplier.  It continues to provide McDonald's tea products and the McFlurry plastic spoon.  Mr. Damper is actively engaged in supporting VBI in the area of capital raising and general management.  In fact, his generous efforts ensured a very successful conclusion to our Friends and Family round of financing.  He is actively engaged as VBI’s Corporate Development Lead.

Samuel Hill, M.D.
Dr. Hill has over fifteen years' experience as a licensed physician.  He is a physician of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery.  Dr. Hill has been involved in biomedical research and his efforts and contributions in both residency and fellowship have lead to multiple publications.  He has helped VBI to focus on the safety profile of the active ingredients of Vivacelle in humans.

Kiki Hurt, M.D.
Dr. Hurt has several years of experience as a licensed physician.  She is an Anesthesiologist and Intensivist. She is the CEO and Founder of GM4L, LLC.  Her firm brings medicine and entertainment together.

Lacarya Scott, M.B.A., M.S., M.S.,A.B.

Lacarya has fifteen (15) years of experience in the biotechnology / biopharmaceuticals field on both the buy side (Hedge Fund investment firms) and Healthcare corporates making principal investment decisions from taking equity positions to complete merger and acquisition transactions to strategic partnering transactions to capital raisings.

Lacarya began his career at Life Technologies - formerly Invitrogen Corporation - which, at the time he joined, had a $4BN market cap in 2004 and had one of $13BN in a Thermo Fisher acquisition. In his role, Lacarya worked on all aspects of M&A deals from target selection, financial analysis and valuation to presenting to the board for final deal approval.

As Managing Partner at Jermyn Street Capital, a $500MM family office of funds, Lacarya made many public and private investments in life science and some macro and sectorial hedge funds, investing in many public and private biotechnology companies, serving on the boards of several companies and exiting via strategic sales. One notable exit was the sale of GeminX to Cephalon for $525MM which generated a 4X return over a 3-year holding period.

Lacarya served as Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Strategy at Mesoblast where he identified, evaluated, pursued and executed M&A and Strategic Partnering opportunities as well as Capital raisings both domestically and internationally. Lacarya was EVP Business Development of Liposeuticals where he completed cross border licensing deals with companies in Shanghai, China and another cross border transaction from a Hong Kong-based investment firm for an equity stake in Liposeuticals.

Lacarya received an A.B. in Molecular Biology/Biophysics from Princeton University; an M.S. in Biology from NYU; an M.S. in Engineering Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Applied Science and Engineering and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School along with the CFA designation.

Scientific Advisory Board

Conrad Epting, M.D.
Epting is a physician-scientist at Northwestern University.  He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Northwestern University, and an attending Pediatric and Cardiac ICU physician at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  He is a founding member of the Vivacelle Bio Team, contributing to the design and vision of the paradigm-shifting properties of micellar colloids, and has served as a contributing scientific consultant since April of 2013. Dr. Epting brings expertise in experimental design and interpretation, animal modeling and critical care physiologic principles underlying resuscitation.

Dr. Epting directs the Heart Center Cardiac Biorepository and the Fontan Futures initiative, as well as serving as the Associate Program Director for Research for the Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship.   In the past, his independent academic work in the past centered on myocardial targeting by pathogens.  In 2013, his laboratory shifted to the study of human pediatric heart disease, specifically cardiac stem cells and the regulation of heart failure.  

Presently, he studies the epigenetic modifications regulating stem cell phenotype following exposure to end-stage heart failure.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards and has received funding from the March of Dimes, the NICHD, the Children’s Heart and Mend A Heart Foundations, the Mathews Center for Cellular Therapy and from multiple other intramural sources. 

Corydon W. Siffring, M.D.
Dr. Siffring is a Trauma, Critical Care, and General Surgeon who resides in Kingsport, Tennessee. From 2006 to 2016 he worked at the Level 1 Trauma Center at Holston Valley Medical Center and taught surgical residents as a Professor of Surgery at East Tennessee State University. He has over twenty-four years of experience as a surgeon and medical researcher focused on trauma care.  He is currently serving in multiple understaffed Trauma Programs throughout the Midwest and East Coast as a Locum Tenens Surgeon with Weatherby Healthcare.

Dr. Siffring retired from the Army Reserves after 22 years of service, including three tours of active duty with Forward Surgical Teams in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2003-2010.

Mallory Williams, M.D., M.P.H.
r. Williams is Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Surgical Nutrition in the Department of Surgery at Howard University a Level I Trauma Center in Washington, D.C.  He is an academic traumatologist with a very busy practice in all three components of acute care surgery including, trauma surgery, emergency general surgery and surgical critical care. 

He has served our nation as a combat surgeon and the Chief of Surgery at the 345th Combat Support Hospital in Al Asad, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and as the senior officer of the Mobile Surgical Team of the Medical Element of Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras.  He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Medical Corps.  As an academic trauma surgeon, he was previously the Associate Director of Trauma & Critical Care at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport where he helped train providers and built capacity at the trauma center level.  He served on the Louisiana Emergency Response Network, a state commission with the mission of building an inclusive trauma system.  He is also the former Chief of Trauma, Critical Care & Acute Care Surgery at the University of Toledo. 

He is a member of several professional trauma societies.  As a result of a wealth of clinical experience in busy urban and rural trauma centers, active duty service in the military and academic contributions, he is considered a subject matter expert in resuscitation of multisystem trauma.

Consultant for Latin America

Gerard Millán
After graduating from the University of Maryland in College Park, Gerard Millán began his career in public relations at GMMB assisting the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with their marketing efforts to educate parents on healthcare access for their children. After a few years at GMMB, he relocated to Los Angeles and accepted a sales and marketing position at Breville USA. During that time, he was promoted almost every year for the first six years managing sales, marketing and, eventually, sales operations in North America. While at Breville, he was responsible for developing forecasting tools and best practices, SOP and ERP implementation, inventory management, sales budgeting and other supply chain, financial and business operations processes and systems.

On August 2015, Gerard Millán left Breville to become an advisor to startups and small-to-mid-size companies. His focus is on helping young, fast-growing companies develop scalable business models that address HR and morale issues, internal and external communication, supply chain management, IT systems, business continuity planning, domestic and international sales strategies and ERP implementation.

He currently commutes between Seattle and Los Angeles serving his clients and spends most of his free time running, cooking, learning the ukulele and sharing time with his wife, four children and their dog.

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