Decades of experience

Our leadership brings decades of clinical, R&D and management experience. Our founders previously started and sold two life science companies to Abbvie (2016) and Healthways/Tivity (2009). Our advisors are renowned opinion leaders in drug development and medicine.

Management Team


Carsten Brunn, PhD

President and CEO


Blaine Davis

Chief Financial Officer

Metin Kurtoglu

Metin Kurtoǧlu, MD, PhD

Chief Technology Officer


Miloš Miljković, MD

Chief Medical Officer


Chris Jewell, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer


Jessica Keliher

Chief People Officer


Emily English, PhD

Senior Vice President, Head of Manufacturing Operations


Matthew Bartholomae

General Counsel, Secretary

Board of Directors

Ms. Cox most recently served as Executive Chairman of Humacyte, Inc., a leading regenerative medicine company, where she also held the title of CEO from 2010 to 2018. From 2003 until 2009, she held the positions of Executive Vice President and President, Global Pharmaceuticals, at Schering-Plough. During her tenure, Ms. Cox oversaw the company’s global prescription pharmaceutical business, which generated approximately $16 billion in annual sales, with a 5-year CAGR of 22%. Previous roles include President, Global Prescription Business at Pharmacia Corporation, and Senior Vice President of Global Business Management at Pharmacia & Upjohn. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Texas Instruments and Cardinal Health, and holds the position of Chairman of Organon. Previously, Ms. Cox served on the Board of Celgene, as Lead Director for Texas Instruments, as Chairman of Array BioPharma, as Chairman of electroCore, and as Chairman of Prism Pharmaceutical. She has been named to FORTUNE magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” six times. Her work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, and in the New York Times bestseller, The Profit Zone. She received her BS from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1981, and was a registered pharmacist.

Timothy C. Barabe joined our board of directors in July 2016. Mr. Barabe also serves on the boards of ArQule, Inc., Veeva Systems Inc., and Vigilant Biosciences, Inc., a private company. Mr. Barabe retired in June 2013 from his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Affymetrix, Inc. Prior to this, Mr. Barabe has served in senior executive positions in finance and management for companies including Human Genome Sciences, Inc, Regent Medical Limited, a U.K.-based, privately owned, surgical supply company, and Sandoz GmbH, the generic pharmaceutical subsidiary of Novartis. Mr. Barabe received his MBA degree from the University of Chicago.

Dr. de Silva brings over 20 years of experience in biotechnology operations, biopharmaceutical venture capital, and healthcare management consulting. He is currently chief executive officer and director of AFYX Therapeutics, a private venture-backed biotechnology company focusing on addressing unmet needs in mucosal diseases. He previously served as president, chief operating officer, and director of Poseida Therapeutics (PSTX), a cell and gene therapy-focused biopharmaceutical company, where he oversaw clinical development, regulatory, manufacturing, finance, and business development activities. Prior to Poseida, he was chief financial officer and vice president of finance and strategy at Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND). Earlier in his career, Dr. de Silva served as a principal at private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, responsible for late-stage biopharmaceutical investment opportunities, and was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. He holds a B.A. summa cum laude in biology from Harvard University, an MD from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an MBA with Distinction in healthcare management from The Wharton School.

Dr. Kalayoglu is Co-Founder of Cartesian and served as the company’s President and CEO prior to its merger with Selecta in November 2023. Prior to Cartesian, Dr. Kalayoglu was co-founder and CEO of Topokine, which he led from concept to late-stage clinical trials, followed by a successful sale to Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Dr. Kalayoglu was also co-founder and COO of HealthHonors Corporation, which he led from concept to commercialization, followed by a successful sale to Healthways (NASDAQ:HWAY). Dr. Kalayoglu is a board-certified ophthalmologist who completed his residency and research Fellowship at Harvard, MD/PhD in immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Dr. Kemal Malik has over 30 years of global development, regulatory, and commercial expertise at leading pharmaceutical organizations. He spent nearly 25 years in key leadership positions at Bayer, where he served for ten years as Head of Global Development and Chief Medical Officer, leading the company’s clinical development and regulatory functions, notably overseeing twenty consecutive positive Phase 3 trials and the approval of several blockbuster drugs across multiple therapeutic areas. Following his role as Head of Development, Dr. Malik was appointed to the Executive Board of Management at Bayer. In this role, he established Bayer LEAPS, a business unit responsible for strategic innovative medicine, including cell therapies and mRNA technology. Prior, he served as Head of Global Medical organization. Dr. Malik began his career at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he held various roles focused on medical affairs, clinical development, and new product commercialization. Dr. Malik studied at the Imperial College School of Medicine in London receiving a BSc in Pharmacology and an MBBS. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr. Singer is Co-Founder of Cartesian and previously served as the company’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Strategy Officer prior to its merger with Selecta in November 2023. He led clinical development for several monoclonal antibodies at Novartis. His research spans over 25 years in the basic and clinical sciences, with award of competitive grants and publications in journals such as Nature and PNAS. Prior to Cartesian, Dr. Singer was co-founder and CSO of Topokine and HealthHonors Corporation. Dr. Singer is a board-certified ophthalmologist and admitted to practice patent law. He has served as a Surgeon in the Veterans Health Administration and teaches at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Singer completed residency at Harvard and holds a BS, MD, and PhD from Yale University.

Timothy A. Springer, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2016 and as a scientific advisor to us since December 2008. Dr. Springer has most recently served as the Latham Family Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Springer was the founder of LeukoSite, a biotechnology company acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1999. Dr. Springer is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and his honors include the Crafoord Prize, the American Association of Immunologists Meritorious Career Award, the Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology, and the Basic Research Prize from the American Heart Association. Dr. Springer received his PhD from Harvard University.

Patrick Zenner served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., North America—the prescription drug unit of the Roche Group. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Zenner spent 32 years at Roche. Mr. Zenner currently serves as Chairman of the Board and a director of both ArQule, Inc., and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. Mr. Zenner received his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Dr. Elisseeff is the Morton Goldberg Professor and Director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at Johns Hopkins University Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Wilmer Eye Institute, with appointments in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, and Materials Science. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Elisseeff’s research focuses on the impacts of immune and stromal environments on complex tissue during disease and tissue repair. In these areas she has founded several successful startups and published hundreds of peer reviewed studies.

Dr. García is the Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Regents’ Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a co-founder of three successful start-up companies and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors. His research program integrates innovative engineering and cell biology concepts to create cell-instructive technologies for regenerative medicine and cell engineering. Dr. García has published hundreds of papers in these areas and received many distinctions, including Georgia Tech’s Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award and the Founders Award from the Society for Biomaterials.

Dr. Mooney is the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Core Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute. His laboratory designs advanced technologies for immunotherapy and regenerative medicine. Dr. Mooney’s efforts have led to hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors. His inventions have been licensed by over 20 companies, leading to several commercialized products. Dr. Mooney has founded a number of successful companies and is active on many industry scientific advisory boards. 

Clinical Advisors

Dr. Barnett-Tapia is Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Barnett-Tapia is a member of the medical advisory board for the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and Myasthenia Gravis Society of Canada.  Her research is focused on patient-centered outcomes research in neuromuscular disorders, aiming to incorporate the patients’ views and preferences into clinical trials and practice.  She has received funding form US Department of Defense, MGNext and Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Dr. Barnett-Tapia’s work has been recognized by multiple awards, including the inaugural Surinderjit Singh Young Lectureship Award by the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM).

Dr. Benatar is a Professor of Neurology and of Public Health Sciences, Chief of Neuromuscular Division, and Vice Chair for Clinical and Translational Research in the Department of Neurology. He is the Walter Bradley Chair in ALS Research and the Executive Director of the ALS Center at the University of Miami. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and is also trained in both basic neuroscience (DPhil, Oxford) and clinical research methods (Masters in the Science of Clinical Research Emory). He leads an active clinical and translational research program focused on biomarker and therapy development for ALS and MG. He is the PI of the ongoing Pre-Symptomatic Familial ALS (Pre-fALS) study as well as the CReATe Consortium, a rare diseases clinical research consortium focused on ALS and related neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Howard is the former James F. Howard Distinguished Professor of Neuromuscular Disease and the prior Chief of the Neuromuscular Disorders Section at UNC. Currently, he is Professor of Neurology, Medicine, and Allied Health at UNC, Chapel Hill School of Medicine and directs the Myasthenia Gravis (MG) Clinical Trials and Translational Research Unit at UNC. A practicing neurologist for over 43 years and expert on MG and electromyography, Dr. Howard has authored more than 340 abstracts, 185 articles, 35 book chapters, and 3 books. He was the 2019 recipient of the European Academy of Neurology Investigator Award and is frequently invited to lecture on MG. Dr. Howard is a member of the NIH-funded rare disease clinical research network, MGNet.

Dr. Libby is a cardiovascular specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds the Mallinckrodt Professorship of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He served as Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at BWH from 1998 – 2014. His areas of clinical expertise include general and preventive cardiology. His current major research focus is the role of inflammation in vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. Dr. Libby has a particular devotion to translate his basic laboratory studies to pilot and then large-scale clinical cardiovascular outcome trials. He instigated and helped to lead the large scale Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Trial (CANTOS) that provided clinical validation of the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis.  Dr. Libby has received numerous awards and recognitions for his research accomplishments, including the Distinguished Scientist Award for Basic Research, American College of Cardiology, the Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology and the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association, the Anitschkow Prize in Atherosclerosis Research of the European Atherosclerosis Society, and the Special Award of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

Dr. Manzi is Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Medicine Institute at Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Manzi received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She completed her medical Internship and Residency at Duke University Medical Center, after which she completed her Fellowship in Rheumatology at UPMC, and received her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Manzi is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the investigation of premature cardiovascular disease in systemic lupus erythematosus and in the discovery of biomarkers for lupus diagnosis, monitoring and stratification. She has published over 250 scientific reports and book chapters and is inventor of the cell-bound complement activation products (CB- CAPs) technology platform for which she holds more than 20 patents. Her research program has received multimillion-dollar support from many organizations including the NIH, the Department of Defense, the Lupus Foundation of America and the Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Mozaffar is a Professor of Neurology and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California – Irvine, where he is also the Director of the Division of Neuromuscular Disorders and Associate Director for the Center for Translational Sciences Award (CTSA).  Dr. Mozaffar is the Principal Investigator for UCI-NEXT, the NeuroNEXT award to the University of California, Irvine, one of 25 such NeuroNEXT sites funded by the NINDS/NIH. He is also the Lead Investigator for a multicenter NIH/NIAMS funded Natural History Study in sIBM (INSPIRE-IBM), which started April 2021.  Dr. Mozaffar has been at UC Irvine since 2000 where he has built an internationally recognized clinical and research program in Neuromuscular Disorders.  He is actively involved in clinical and translational research in Neuromuscular Disorders, including currently serving as Principal Site Investigator on over a dozen clinical trials in myasthenia gravis, rare and ultra-rare myopathies and in immune myopathies. He has co-authored over 190 peer-reviewed publications and has authored or co-authored over a dozen book chapters and invited reviews.

Dr. Vu is a Professor of Neurology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and the Division Director for Neuromuscular Medicine and EMG. Dr. Vu’s current research focus is on treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease), myasthenia gravis, peripheral neuropathy, and myositis. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and has been the Principal or Co-Investigator on more than 90 NIH and industry-sponsored grants and clinical trials.

Careers and Culture

Cartesian is expanding its world-class team of scientists dedicated to curing disease through developing cutting-edge cell therapies. Our highly integrated approach is a rare find in biotech; discovery, cGMP manufacturing, and clinical operations all happen under one roof. Team members learn and grow through exposure to an immersive experience. A sense of family stems from close, cross-functional, and continuous conversation with highly committed colleagues. The result is fast-paced innovation, leading to potential next-generation therapies for our patients.

We are proud members of the fast-growing Gaithersburg biotech community. Please view our current job openings or contact us at if you share our passion for developing the next-generation of cell therapies.

Scroll to Top