Ralph Kauten, M.B.A.
Mr. Kauten, Lucigen's Chairman and CEO, has served as co-founder and leader in a number of biotechnology companies, including Promega Corporation, PanVera Corporation, Mirus Corporation, and Quintessence Biosciences, Inc. Designated as an Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, Mr. Kauten serves on boards of directors and advisory boards for companies in the biotechnology, healthcare, banking, and manufacturing industries. Mr. Kauten holds a B.B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ms. Backhaus joined Lucigen in February 2016 as its chief financial officer responsible for managing the finance and administrative areas of the business, including human relations, legal, tax and treasury functions. Prior to joining Lucigen, Ms. Backhaus was CFO of a manufacturer of highly engineered steel fabrications in Janesville, WI. She has fifteen years' experience in large, growth-oriented, manufacturing companies, including five years at the senior executive level. Ms. Backhaus has particular expertise in implementing strong financial management, manufacturing control and quality assurance systems, achieving operational efficiencies, and leading highly effective teams—in addition to respected work with boards of directors and investor communities. Ms. Backhaus holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Ray Bandziulis, Ph.D.
Dr. Bandziulis, Vice President of Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs, joined Lucigen Corporation in December 2012. Before joining Lucigen, he served as director of quality systems at Exact Sciences, where he created and implemented the company's first policies and procedures for product development, management reviews, product risk management, document control, training, clinical protocol approval, corrective and preventive action, and validation. Before his tenure with Exact Sciences, Dr. Bandziulis worked for Promega Corporation. While there, he held positions of increasing responsibility and complexity over twenty years in quality and regulatory affairs, building the quality assurance, safety, regulatory affairs and export control functions. Dr. Bandziulis received his B.A. with honors in biological sciences from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from Yale University.
Julie Kramer, M.S.
Ms. Kramer, Director of Marketing, joined Lucigen in August of 2016. Prior to joining Lucigen, Ms. Kramer was product management director at Clontech Laboratories, where she managed Clontech's largest product line and led the company's initiative to expand its market position in diagnostic and translational research. Before her position at Clontech, Ms. Kramer was director of marketing at Takara Bio USA, where she managed an expanding marketing group; developed marketing, brand, and channel strategies; and was integral in the development of multiple key customer bulk and OEM supply partnerships. Julie has over twenty years of experience marketing in the life science and diagnostic supply markets, and prior to Takara Bio USA held positions of increasing responsibility at Epicentre Technologies, PanVera Corporation, Aurora Biosciences, and Mirus Corporation. Ms. Kramer received her M.S. in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.A. from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Dipankar Manna, Ph.D.
Dr. Manna, Director of Research & Development, joined Lucigen Corporation in 2013. At Lucigen, Dr. Manna has served as a senior scientist, then principal scientist, before becoming the director of research and development in 2017. Prior to joining Lucigen, he held many senior-level positions in both academic and commercial organizations. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he was an assistant professor, with a research focus in genomics, in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He joined MicroPhage, a diagnostic company, in 2008. At MicroPhage, Dr. Manna led product development and later managed multi-site clinical trials for diagnostic tests. Subsequent to his tenure at MicroPhage, he became the manager of research at Sharklet, a biotechnology company, where he led assay development and oversaw medical device development. In addition to his duties as director of R&D at Lucigen, Dr. Manna is the principal investigator on multiple NIH-funded studies. Dr. Manna has published numerous high-impact research articles and has received several awards for his work, including the Young Scientist Award from the Indian National Science Academy in 1995. He has a B.S. in physics, an M.S. in biotechnology, and received his Ph.D. in life sciences in 1995.
Glaselyn Miller, M.B.A.
Ms. Miller, Director of Global Sales & Distribution, joined Lucigen Corporation in January 2014. Ms. Miller leads the efforts of the commercial sales and customer service teams in driving significant growth, both domestically and internationally. Prior to Lucigen, she served as the Americas business manager for Gilson, Inc., where she was responsible for growing sales of manual and automated liquid handling instruments, including HPLC and SPE systems, in the Americas region. A Venezuelan native, Ms. Miller started her career at Promega Corporation as a foreign exchange student in the marketing department. She went on to serve at Promega for over fifteen years and held various positions of increasing responsibility in the international sales department. During this period, she was responsible for sales to Latin America, including management of the field applications specialists in this region, as well as support of the sales operations of Promega's distribution networks in Asia and Europe—taking an active role in the establishment of the company's branch offices in Spain and Brazil. Ms. Miller received her B.A. in business management from Universidad Metropolitana in Venezuela and has an M.B.A. in international business from Edgewood College.
Jay Schiestle, M.B.A.
Mr. Schiestle, Vice President of Operations & Diagnostics, joined Lucigen in April 2015. Prior to joining Lucigen, he was vice president of operations for Exact Sciences. At Exact, he led the team responsible for establishing all supply chain, manufacturing and distribution for a novel colorectal cancer screening test, managing operations from clinical trial through FDA approval and a successful product launch. Prior to Exact, Mr. Schiestle held positions of increasing responsibility in operations, product development and manufacturing with Roche Diagnostics, Corning, and the U.S. Navy. Mr. Schiestle holds a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Marquette University and an M.B.A. from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
Jeffrey Williams, Ph.D.
Dr. Williams joined Lucigen Corporation in 2009 as president. Prior to joining Lucigen, he held senior-level positions at several life science and diagnostic companies. At Ambion, and later Asuragen, he was general manager, diagnostics, and vice president of operations and product development, where he was responsible for the diagnostic business and the successful commercialization of several diagnostic products. Before joining Ambion, Dr. Williams spent over ten years at Roche Diagnostics, during which time he held several senior-level positions. From 1998 to 2002, he was vice president and general manager at Roche Applied Science, during the launch of the LightCycler and many new PCR-based products for the life science and diagnostic markets, before that he was director of operations at Roche Molecular Systems and was responsible for the production of all diagnostic and research PCR products. Prior to Roche, Dr. Williams spent six years as director of operations at Promega Corporation. Dr. Williams received both his bachelor's and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since 1989, Mr. Fortune has been president and CEO of Saris Cycling Group, located in Madison, Wisconsin. SCG is a manufacturer of Saris bicycle racks, Powertap and CycleOps performance training products. Besides serving on the board of directors of Lucigen Corporation, Mr. Fortune also serves on the boards of Pizza Hut of Southern Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, and Dream Bikes. Mr. Fortune holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Mr. Hornung is the founder and retired CEO of Pacific Cycle. He is vice-chairman of the board of Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI) and sits on the board of Petmate (Dallas, TX), Sturbridge Capital (Detroit, MI), and Quintessence Biosciences (Madison). Hornung is also a limited partner in Wind Point, a Chicago-based private equity firm.
Tim Konicek, Ph.D.
Dr. Konicek is currently a director at CleanTech Partners, Inc. He has served as president and CEO of OpGen, Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company, and has held management positions at S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Dr. Konicek holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in organic chemistry from Northwestern University and a B.A. in chemistry from Carthage College. He has also attended the Venture Capital Institute.
David Mead, Ph.D.
Dr. Mead, founder of Lucigen Corporation, is a member of the company's board of directors. Dr. Mead has twenty years of industrial experience in R&D, sales, and management at leading biotechnology companies, including BioRad, Promega, Molecular Biology Resources, Key Scientific, and Chimerx. In 1998, he founded Lucigen. Dr. Mead is a recognized expert in gene cloning and genomics. He holds eight patents, has published forty-three professional articles, and has written over fifty commercial articles in basic and applied molecular biology. He has developed more than thirty commercially successful products, including the TA cloning vectors and kits, which are the world's most widely used cloning tools—now manufactured by Life Technologies Corporation. Dr. Mead holds a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois.
Julie Mead, Ph.D.
Dr. Mead is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Mead provides leadership training for individuals interested in school leadership and policy. In particular, Dr. Mead researches, teaches and writes about topics related to the legal aspects of public elementary and secondary education. Her research centers on legal issues related to special education and legal issues raised by various forms of school choice, including vouchers and charter schools. She has published widely in both education and law journals. Dr. Mead received her B.S. from Illinois State University, her M.S. from the University of Illinois, and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has served on Lucigen's board of directors since 1998.
Kay Schwichtenberg, M.B.A.
Ms. Schwichtenberg, Executive Vice President of Central Garden and Pet (NASDAQ: CENT), has over thirty years’ experience providing expertise in the profitable commercialization and development of life sciences products for the public health and animal pharmaceutical markets. Ms. Schwichtenberg was an Ambassadorial Rotary Fellow at the University of Brussels, completed the Advanced Business Program at the London School of Business and has an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a former board member of Sage Laboratories and current sits on the board of directors of the University of Illinois Foundation.