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Leadership

Management Team

Xiaochun “Chris” Xu, PhD | Chairman and Interim CEO
Dr. Xu has served on Cesca’s board of directors since March 2016, and was appointed chairman and interim chief executive officer in November 2016. He brings to Cesca over 15 years of leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has contributed to numerous successful product launches. In 2009, Dr. Xu founded Boyalife Group, a China-based diversified life sciences holding company and currently the principal shareholder of Cesca. Prior to founding Boyalife, Dr. Xu served as a project leader at Pfizer, as a director of research at two publicly-traded companies and as a vice president at Founder Group, a Chinese technology conglomerate focused on information technology, pharmaceuticals, real estate, finance, and commodities trading. Dr. Xu’s expertise spans several diverse therapeutic areas, including arthritis & inflammation, cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity, oncology and diabetes. He has authored over forty publications and has been recognized by numerous professional societies for his contributions to biomedical research. Dr. Xu received his Ph.D. in immunology from Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, USA) and an executive MBA from Emory University (Atlanta, USA).
Vivian Liu | Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Liu has served on Cesca’s board of directors since November 2016 and was appointed chief operating officer in February 2017. She has over 20 years of experience in finance, operations and M&A at both public and private biopharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining Cesca, Ms. Liu served as managing director at OxOnc Services Company, an oncology product development company. From 1994 to 2010, she served in various executive roles at NexMed, Inc., later renamed Apricus Biosciences Inc., which she co-founded. Ms. Liu obtained her MPA in international finance from the University of Southern California and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkley.
Jeff Cauble | Principal Financial and Accounting Officer
Mr. Cauble, principal accounting officer, joined Cesca in 2010 and has served in various accounting management positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. Cauble has over 19 years of accounting experience in various financial and managerial roles for companies such as Diamond Foods Inc. and E.&J. Gallo Winery.  Mr. Cauble obtained a B.S. in accounting and finance from the University of Idaho and is a certified public accountant.
Dalip Sethi, PhD | Senior Director Research & Development
Dr. Sethi joined Cesca in 2012 and, as senior director of research and development, oversees the development of the company’s novel cell therapy methods for treating vascular and orthopedic diseases. Dr. Sethi holds a Ph.D. in biotechnology from Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, New Delhi, and a Masters in organic chemistry from Hansraj College, Delhi University, India.  Dr. Sethi completed his postdoctoral studies at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, where he conducted research on receptor-targeted peptide-PNA (Peptide Nucleic Acid) conjugates as diagnostics and therapeutics agents.
Venkatesh Ponemone, PhD | Executive Director of India, Director of Clinical Development and Operations (TotipotentRX Cell Therapy Pvt. Ltd.)
Dr. Ponemone joined Cesca’s India division, TotipotentRX, in 2008 and currently serves as executive director and director of clinical development operations. He also oversees operations at the state-of-the-art cGMP cell processing facility for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cord blood banking at the Fortis-TotipotentRX Centre for Cellular Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, India. Prior to joining TotipotentRX, Dr. Ponemone was an assistant professor of medical microbiology at Kamineni Graduate School of Medicine, Hyderabad, India. He has authored more than 45 peer reviewed publications on regenerative medicine, the role of cytokines in autoimmune disease, and radioprotective and chemoprotective agents in cancer treatment. Dr. Ponemone is a Fellow of Academic General Education at Manipal University, where he earned his Ph.D. in radiation biology and oncology, his post-graduate degree in medical microbiology and his MBA.
Eric Hellebust | Director of Clinical Development
Mr. Hellebust joined Cesca in 2011 and currently serves as the company’s director of clinical development where he is responsible for product development and clinical study design. He has over 30 years of experience in the technology sector. Prior to joining Cesca, he held senior positions with Philips, Motorola and TDK. Mr. Hellebust earned a BSEET degree in electrical engineering from DeVry Institute.
Haihong Zhu | General Manager, Device Division (Thermogenesis Corp.)
Ms. Zhu currently serves as general manager for the company’s Thermogenesis device division. Since joining in 2004, Ms. Zhu has contributed significantly to the establishment of Thermogenesis’(?) commercial presence in China. Ms. Zhu has over 20 years of technical and sales experience in stem cell research. She started her career as a research scientist at Harvard Medical School Stem Cell Lab and BioTransplant, Inc. Ms. Zhu graduated from the Shanghai University of Science & Technology with a degree in biology and also studied statistics at Boston University.
Kim Ellner | VP of Manufacturing and Global Supply Chain, Device Division (Thermogenesis Corp.)
Ms. Ellner joined Cesca in 2003 and has held various positions of increasing responsibility, including sr. director of global supply chain and sr. director of operations, before being named to her current position in March 2016. She has more than 25 years of operations experience in the medical device industry. Prior to joining Cesca, Ms. Ellner held senior positions at Oratech Interventions, Inc. (now Smith and Nephew) and Stryker Corporation. Ms. Ellner obtained a BS in manufacturing administration with honors from Western Michigan University.

Board of Directors

Clinical Advisory Board