Jack Kavanaugh, MD, MBA
Chairman, Acting CEO
Dr. Kavanaugh has served as CEO and Chairman at a number of technology-driven startups, creating industry-leading products and investor profits. As founder, chairman and CEO of ZetaRx, Dr. Kavanaugh successfully combined exclusive technological licensing from top institutions to place ZetaRx at the leading edge of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer; he assembled a well-seasoned team and guided the clinical strategy. In late 2013, ZetaRx was sold, becoming the core of Juno Therapeutics, which raised approximately $270 million and announced 88% clinical trial complete remission of terminal cancer patients.
Prior to ZetaRX, he served as Chairman of Calhoun, a biotech firm that developed the world’s only light adjustable intraocular lens for cataract surgery. It’s industry-leading product has been approved in Mexico and Europe (with a CE Mark) and is in FDA late Stage III clinical trials in the U.S. Dr. Kavanaugh played a pivotal role in assisting commercialization abroad, and he continues his involvement with the company as a consultant.
In 1996, Dr. Kavanaugh founded Amerident, a health care service provider, serving as Chairman and CEO. Under his tenure, the company organically grew its employee-ranks to over 600 by 1999, when it was sold to a public company. Amerident received over 30 community service awards and a state congressional medal of honor for its work with infants.
As founder, Chairman and CEO of Team Global, Dr. Kavanaugh was responsible for taking the company public, helping guide and create value as the public share price rose from an initial investor cost of 11 cents per share to approximately $27 per share.
Dr. Kavanaugh has also served as a member of the board of PreCash, where he is still an active consultant. In 2001, his efforts helped staved off an imminent insolvency proceeding, and lead to a major turn around. Two years later, PreCash was rated by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in profits in the United States. PreCash saw approximately $3 billion in transaction volume last year.
He is also a member of the board of Materia, a company that holds more than 300 patents and is instrumental in the production of over 100 pharmaceutical products.
Richard Kaner, PhD
Chair of Scientific Advisory Board
In his research in organic and materials chemistry, Professor Richard B. Kaner focuses on the design of new high-temperature materials and their synthesis by new chemical methods. Dr. Kaner has been continuously honored for his outstanding contributions to the fields of chemistry and biochemistry. He holds over 16 U.S. patents—with 20 more pending–and has published more than 275 papers in major peer-reviewed journals.
He was recently named as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and is the recipient of numerous other awards, including Fulbright, Guggenheim, Alfred P. Sloan, and David and Lucile Packard fellowships, as well as premier awards from the American Chemical Society, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
Dr. Kaner holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry as well as the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A graduate of Brown University, he received his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. After carrying out postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined UCLA in 1987 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1991, Full Professor in 1993, and Distinguished Professor in 2012.
Other awards include:
-Most Cited Author, Institute for Scientific Information (2014)
-UCLA Faculty Lecturer (2013)
-ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2012)
-ACS Tolman Medal (2010)
-UCLA Gold Shield Faculty Prize (2002-2004)
-Eka-Granules Lecturer University of Tasmania
-Visiting Professor University of Wollongong
-American Chemical Society Buck Whitney Research Award
-National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator
-American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
-Australian-American Fulbright Fellow
-American Chemical Society Exxon Fellowship in Solid State Chemistry
Member, Board of Directors
Robert Snukal, the chief executive officer of National Quality Care, Inc., will use his expertise to develop prototypes and launch initial products in a number of industries. His work with Dr. Kavanaugh dates back to 2009 when he joined ZetaRx Biosciences, Inc. as Board member. There, he was integrally involved in its sale to create Juno Therapeutics.
In 1985, Mr. Snukal founded Fountain View, Inc., (now Skilled Healthcare) where he served as CEO. Under his management, Fountain View grew to operate 50 skilled nursing facilities, three institutional pharmacies and two therapy companies. In 2001, Mr. Snukal left active management, although he remained a member of the board and major stockholder until 2005, when the company was sold.
Mr. Snukal founded ITASCA Pictures in 1993 where he served as chairman.
Christopher Turner, PhD
Chief Science Officer
For the past seven years, Chris Turner has worked at the UCLA Kaner Laboratory researching and developing superhard, refractory metals, the design and fabrication of laboratory devices and instrumentation, and working on the production of industry competitive sintered “Ceramic Metallic Composites” for industrial application.
His research on superhard materials has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Journal of the American Chemical Society.
He received his PhD. from UCLA in 2016 under the direction of Prof. Ric Kaner, and he continues his research on industrial applications.
Kesh Keshavan, PhD
Director of Development
Dr. Kesh Keshavan has 30 years of experience in the field of Superhard materials. In that time he has held a number of positions within the oil and gas sector, creating partnerships with universities, national laboratories and other industries, as well as directing research and development. His past positions include: Vice President, Technology Research, Smith International, Inc.; Vice President, GeoDiamond Engineering & Manufacturing; VP & General Manager, Advance Materials Group; and Director, Materials Engineering, Smith Bits. Dr. Keshavian graduated from the University of Kentucky with a PhD in Material Science. He holds over 210 patents or patent-pending applications.
Member of American Society for Metals
The American Ceramic Society
Society for Petroleum Engineers International
SPE – R&D Technical Committee – Director
American Society for Testing Methods
Mahi de Silva
Member, Board of Directors
Mahi de Silva is a Silicon Valley veteran with a strong track record for creating, financing, building and scaling businesses that have had a $1B+ exits. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Pre-Cash, and is a strategic advisor to Opera Software, ASA, where he helped engineer a $1.4B acquisition by a consortium of Chinese investors. From 2010 until 2016, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Opera Mediaworks Inc., the largest subsidiary of Opera Software.