Hong Cai, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
- Ph.D. University of Southern California (1995)
- Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Lab, (1995-2009)
- Over 20 years of experience in molecular bioassay development
Dr. Cai has more than 20 years of experience in the field of molecular biology and is the inventor of the technology used in Mesa Biotech’s point-of-use nucleic acid-based diagnostic platform. As the CEO/President, she manages business operations with a primary focus on transitioning R&D efforts into product development. Prior to establishing Mesa Biotech, Dr. Cai spent 13 years as a principal investigator at Los Alamos National Laboratory, managing and leading projects (totaling more than $10 million) focused on the development of nucleic acid-based assays for forensic analysis, biothreat pathogen detection, and human disease diagnosis, including single nucleotide polymorphism-based genotyping, single fragment sizing-based DNA forensic analysis, and a variety of PCR, RT-PCR and isothermal amplification-based nucleic acid tests for human disease diagnosis.
R. Bruce Cary, Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
- Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder (1994)
- Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Lab (1995-2009)
- Over 20 years of nucleic acid array and assay development
Dr. Cary is the inventor of the lateral flow microarray and the passive buffer exchange nucleic acid purification technologies that are the basis for the Mesa Biotech’s point-of-use molecular diagnostic platform. As CSO, he leads projects for the development of rapid molecular tests and diagnostics for infectious disease, food safety, agricultural and human pathogens. Prior to co-founding Mesa Biotech, he spent 13 years as a principal investigator and scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, leading projects focused on biodefense, pathogen detection, nucleic acid metabolism and microarray gene expression technology.
William R. Brody, Chairman of the Board
- M.D. and Ph.D. Stanford University
- President, The Salk Institute (2009-2015) and President, The Johns Hopkins University (1996-2009)
- >100 publications and 2 U.S. patents in the fields of medical imaging, medical acoustics, computed tomography, digital radiography, and magnetic resonance imaging
Dr. Brody’s achievements in biomedical engineering have led to his recognition by numerous national and international organizations. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American College of Radiology, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the American Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Radiological Society of North America for his contributions to medical imaging science. He is a national figure in efforts to encourage innovation and strengthen the U.S. economy through investments in basic research and education. Most recently, he has written and spoken extensively to promote a fuller discussion of health care reform.
Tom Willardson, Chief Financial Officer
- MBA University of Southern California (1978)
- Former CFO of Sapphire Energy, Aurora Algae, Energy Recovery, Cost Plus World Market, and WebSideStory
- Over 30 years of finance related experience including 3 successful IPOs and small and large capital raises in a variety of industries
Mr. Willardson joined the Company as CFO in April 2016, bringing more than 30 years of experience in leading financial initiatives for public and privately held companies. Most recently, Mr. Willardson was CFO of Sapphire Energy, a venture-backed company that is considered the world leader in commercial-scale production of algae for products ranging from Omega-3 dietary supplements to crude oil for transport fuels. Previously, he was CFO of Aurora Algae (venture-backed producer of algae-derived products for the pharmaceutical, nutritional, aquaculture, and fuel markets), Energy Recovery (having lead the IPO initiative of this developer of energy saving devices for the desalination and other industrial processes), Cost Plus World Market (having served as a member of the board of directors for 14 years and CFO after leaving the board of this large specialty retail chain), and WebSideStory (having lead the IPO initiative of this leading software company that pioneered a cloud-based analytics eventually purchased by Adobe). Mr. Willardson’s experience includes 14 years with the Bechtel Corporation family of companies including Bechtel’s private investment company and Bechtel Enterprises.
John Monroe, Senior Vice President of Operations
- B.S. San Diego State University (1979)
- Over 30 years of experience in IVD product development and commercialization
- Former executive at Alere, Dako, and Quidel
Mr. Monroe joined the company in 2016 bringing >30 years of experience in operations, manufacturing, process development and procurement and inventory management. He is a health care industry veteran having lead teams at companies that include Alere, Dako, and Quidel. While at Alere, Mr. Monroe built and integrated operational organizations and was responsible for leading an operations group that produced 30 million units per year and introduced process improvements that saved $3.5 million. While Vice President of Technical operations at Dako, Mr. Monroe successfully transferred over 20 products from R&D to operations for commercialization. In roles at Metrika, Alastin and Quidel, Mr. Monroe managed OEM relationships and operations and successfully brought many new products to market. His depth of experience in scaling operations and manufacturing for commercialization and production, his leadership in process improvement, and his experience in lateral flow are ideal for Mesa Biotech.
Richard Lustig, Senior Director, Marketing
- B.S. Management, Tulane University School of Business (1984)
- Over 25 years of combined experience in medical diagnostic testing and devices, and in managed care
- Former Director of Marketing and held commercial support positions with Quest Diagnostics, Focus Diagnostics,
Genoptix, and PacifiCare (United Healthcare)
Mr. Lustig joined the company in 2016 bringing > 25 years of experience in the diagnostics, medical device and managed care industries. Prior to Mesa Biotech Mr. Lustig worked for companies that included Quest Diagnostics, Focus Diagnostics which specialized in infectious disease testing, Genoptix and PacifiCare. He has held leadership roles that included Director of Product Marketing, Director of Health Systems Marketing, Director of Strategy, Portfolio Planning and Commercial Services and managed pricing and business analysis. Mr. Lustig launched and managed a number of products that have included the h.pylori breath test, infectious disease transplantation testing portfolio, respiratory disease testing portfolio, hospital branding initiatives, GenomEx consultative services, and lead the Commercial Services team supporting the Focus Diagnostics Simplexa product line. Mr. Lustig also designed, launched, and managed the pricing program for specialized testing at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute and at Focus Diagnostics.