Team

Ashok Khandkar

Ashok C. Khandkar, Ph.D, President & CEO

A member of the Company’s Board of Directors since December 2011, he was the founding CEO of Amedica Corporation (www.amedica.com), an orthopedics implant company utilizing its novel Silicon Nitride platform technology. While at Amedica, Dr. Khandkar led the company through the various stages of its development including the invention and co-authoring of its core patents, the design and implementation of its state of the art manufacturing facilities, regulatory clearances and commercialization of its ceramic products, including the first ever ceramic spinal implant cleared for humans by the FDA. In 2010, he founded Bloxr, a Salt Lake City radiation protection company that was sold to an industry buyer in September 2014. Since early 2015, he has been consulting with Xenocor, a startup founded on a novel laparoscopy platform. Dr. Khandkar’s 27 years of experience in advanced technology companies also spans management of finance, regulatory clearances, strategic planning and business development. He is an inventor on 35 U.S. and international patents. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Utah. Dr. Khandkar earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Arizona State University.

David Grainger

David W. Grainger, Ph.D.

A co-founder of the Company, serves as its Chief Scientific Officer and a member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Grainger is a Distinguished Professor and Presidential endowed Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and Professor of Bioengineering, at the University of Utah.  He serves as a scientific advisor to the AO Foundation in Switzerland and the affiliated Synthes Orthopaedics, the leader in orthopedic trauma devices, before its 2011 acquisition by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy orthopedics division. Dr. Grainger’s research is focused on biomedical polymer-based drug delivery and implanted medical device innovation.   Prior to joining the University of Utah faculty in 2006, Dr. Grainger held faculty positions at Colorado State University and Oregon Health Sciences University.  He has helped to found three biomedical technology companies, sits on the scientific advisory boards of four companies and actively consults internationally with industries in applications of materials in biotechnologies and medicine. Dr. Grainger graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Engineering and Chemistry, received a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Utah, and was Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Mainz, Germany early in his career.

Dennis Farrar

Denny Farrar, Executive Chairman

A founding partner of Upstart Ventures in Salt Lake City, Utah, a Salt Lake City life sciences seed fund. Over the last 24 years, Mr. Farrar has co-founded 13 Salt Lake City-based life sciences companies including Myriad Genetics (Nasdaq, MYGN), a genetic and molecular diagnostics company; Acacia Biosciences, a gene profiling company merged into Rosetta Inpharmatics and acquired by Merck; Sonic Innovations, a digital hearing aid company; Q Therapeutics, a stem cell therapy company; and Sera Prognostics, a preterm birth diagnostics company. He is an attorney who has specialized in corporate law, including representation of health care companies. Mr. Farrar was a partner at the VanCott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy law firm in Salt Lake City, and was previously associated with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City and McCutcheon, Doyle, Brown & Enersen in San Francisco. He received his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review, and a B.A. degree in Political Science from Stanford University.

Kirk Andriano

Kirk P. Andriano, Ph.D., VP. R&D

He joined the Company in 2012 and brings more than 20 years of experience in research, development, and commercialization of biomaterials, drug delivery, and tissue engineering technologies. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Andriano was Vice President of Research & Development at Histogenics Corporation. Previously, Dr. Andriano served as Chief Technical Officer of ProChon Biotech, Ltd., and Chief Science Officer of Curative Bioscience, Inc., where he was responsible for the executive management of research & development of both companies. Dr. Andriano earned his BS in Chemistry and Biology from Utah State University and his MS and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. He has held post-doctoral research positions at the University of Utah and the APS Research institute and was a National Institutes of Health research fellow and a visiting professor and research scholar at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan.

Kris Sinclair

Kristofer D. Sinclair, Ph.D.

Has been employed by the Company since February 2013 and currently serves as its Director of Product Development.  Before joining the Company, Dr. Sinclair was a Research Instructor and Department of Veterans Affairs Career Development Scientist at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine.  Dr. Sinclair graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Biology and from Clemson University with a Ph.D. in Polymer and Fiber Chemistry.

Stephanie

Stephanie L. Sorensen

Serves as Financial Controller for the Company.  She concurrently serves as the Corporate Controller for Q Therapeutics, a clinical stage company targeting a treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease).  Prior to Q Therapeutics, Ms. Sorensen worked as the Assistant Controller at World Heart, Inc, and Amedica Corporation, both medical device companies, and at NPS Pharmaceuticals.  Ms. Sorensen graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.