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Experienced. Skilled. And passionate about iPSCs.

A diverse, highly focused and flexible team that listens to your needs and helps you realize your drug discovery ambitions

Gustavo Mahler, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Experienced life science investment and business leader with expertise in scaling biopharma operations

Gustavo Mahler is the Chief Executive Officer of Cellistic and its affiliate company, Ncardia. Gustavo brings Cellistic vast experience in stem cell technology, product development and general management. He was most recently a Venture Partner with DYNAMK Capital where he invested in leading life sciences tools, technologies, and services. Prior to this role Gustavo spent ten years leading and growing CMC Biologics (now AGC Biologics). Gustavo also held global leadership positions at Bayer Healthcare.

Gustavo holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires and an MBA from the University of Madrid and has attended MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Education Courses in Leadership & Management.

Jeroen de Groot, PhD
Divisional Chief Executive

An experienced bench scientist with extensive leadership experience

Jeroen de Groot is a highly accomplished R&D and business executive who has an extensive background leading international contract research organizations, with particular experience in innovation, drug discovery and development. Jeroen was previously Chief Operation Officer Early Discovery at Charles River Laboratories, where he spent almost a decade. He also worked at contract research firm Galapagos and, prior to that, spent 13 years at TNO, where he began his career as a bench scientist and was involved in research into bone & joint diseases, inflammatory & degenerative diseases, ADME, pharmacokinetics & human studies.  

He studied biology at Leiden university, and earned a PhD at Utrecht University Medical Center & TNO.

Stefan Braam, PhD
Chief Technical Officer

Co-founder, patent-holder and visionary who sets and blazes the scientific course for Ncardia innovations

Stefan Braam is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Ncardia and its sister company, Cellistic. Stefan brings Ncardia over a decade of experience in stem cell technology, product development and general management. He co-founded Pluriomics/Ncardia in 2011, and, as the inventor of its core technologies, has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the organization. Stefan earned a MSc and PhD (both cum laude) in stem cell biology under supervision of Prof. Dr. C.L. Mummery and obtained international experience in labs in the UK and Australia. Stefan won the NGI venture challenge (2009), the Niaba biobusiness Masterclass (2010), published in multiple leading scientific journals, is an inventor on multiple patent families, secured multiple grants and commercial research collaborations and was instrumental in Ncardia pre-seed, seed, Series A and B financing rounds.

Johan Te Koppele, PhD
Chief Operating Officer

Expert in biomedical research and operations who syncs science and service at Ncardia

At Ncardia, Johan Te Koppele, PhD, serves as the company’s COO. Johan’s considerable experience in biosciences includes roles as a managing director, chief operating and scientific officer, interim management positions in CMC, Clinical Development, Pharmacovigilance, program management in life sciences (food, pharma, biotechnology). His research has been published in the Proceedings National Academy of Science, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Arthritis and Rheumatism, among others.

Shushant Jain, PhD
Director of Discovery Technology

Molecular and cellular neurobiologist who directs Ncardia’s drug discovery technology group

Shushant Jain, PhD, directs Ncardia’s drug discovery team, helping develop biological phenotypic assays in representative model systems to improve the translation of therapeutic strategies. He brings a rich diversity of expertise to his Ncardia role, having led large, multiyear research programs to aid several drug discovery initiatives spanning numerous therapeutic areas through the use of automation and high-content methodologies. He has managed, mentored, and trained scientists of all levels, both as a scientist and manager. Shushant’s research has been published in Neuron, Genome Biology, the Journal of Biomolecular Screening and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, among others.

Arie Reijerkerk, PhD
Director of Manufacturing Technology

Experienced iPSCs technologist who leads Ncardia’s process development and large-scale manufacturing activities

Arie Reijerkerk, PhD, joined Ncardia in 2015 and has since been leading the project team that established the company’s platform for process development and large-scale manufacturing. He has an established track record in the disciplines that form the foundation of Ncardia’s drug discovery work, including cardiovascular health and disease; development of scalable processes for iPSC-derived cell types; large-scale manufacturing and characterization of iPSC-derived cell models for drug discovery and cell therapy; and technology transfer. Arie’s research has been published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, and the Journal of Neuroscience, among others.

Timothy Keefe
SVP Business Development

An expert in building successful relationships with biotech and pharmaceutical partners. 

As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Timothy Keefe will oversee outreach, strategic management and ongoing relationships with Ncardia’s clients and other biotech and pharmaceutical organizations. Tim has more than 10 years of experience in life sciences and biotechnology, in a career that began in research science before he moved into leadership positions of increasing responsibility. He previously worked with companies including Reaction Biology and BioIVT. 

Astrid Norenberg, PhD
Head of Project Management

Bringing experience and scientific rigor to the essential task of project management

Astrid is Head of Project Management, leading the global project management function for Cellistic and its affiliate Ncardia. She is responsible to provide harmonized project management practices and a consistent customer experience across both organizations.

Astrid has a strong technical background in cell biology and drug development. Her experience in the pharmaceutical industry reaches from commercial to consulting and project management. Before joining Cellitsic, she worked at Celyad Oncology in Alliance Management. She founded Upcyte technologies in 2015, supplying ready to use cells, cell line development and services, which Astrid sold by 2022. Astrid holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the Medical University of Hannover.




Designed and driven to excel for you

Our team readily embraces big goals and thrives on challenging science. And we’d welcome the opportunity to learn more about how our commitment to continually advancing iPSC drug discovery programs could yield unique value for your team.

Tessa, Scientist iPSC technology expert
Tessa, iPSC technology expert