Dede Willis, President & CEO and Board Member
Dede Willis has over 30 years of international experience in start-ups and turn-arounds. She is on the Board of Directors of CombiGeneVet AB, a Swedish animal health company. Prior to co-founding Orbit Genomics, she was co-founder and COO of Boulder Diagnostics Inc, whose technology was acquired by Oxford Immunotec in 2014. Prior to that, she was CEO or COO of numerous life science start-ups in the US and Germany. She has expertise in strategic planning & execution, product development from concept to commercialization, capital build outs including CLIA laboratories and cGMP manufacturing, FDA and CE Marking regulatory processes for drugs & devices, as well as sales & marketing. Dede spent the first 15 years of her career with the former Hoechst Group (now Sanofi, Celanese and DuPont) where she worked in several corporate start-ups in the U.S. and Germany. Her last position with the Hoechst Group was President and CEO of a $100 million coatings subsidiary. Dede has a B.Sc. Degree in Chemical engineering from Clemson University and an MBA from the University of Houston.
Harold “Skip” Garner, Chief Scientific Officer and Board Member
Harold “Skip” Garner is the inventor of Orbit Genomics’ platform technology. He has a corporate and academic background as a physicist, engineer and biomedical researcher. He is currently Executive Director, Primary Care Research Network and the Center for Bioinformatics and Genetics, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM); Professor of Biomedicine (VCOM); Executive Director, Medical Informatics, Translation, Training and Ethics (MITTE) Office, Virginia Tech; Professor of Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. He is a serial entrepreneur and has held multiple founder, board and advisor positions in the biotech industry, including Light Biology which was acquired by Nimblegen and subsequently Roche and BIoAutomation. He is an adviser and reviewer for various US and international government agencies, publishers and journals. He has contributed to 10 books, has over 200 peer reviewed publications and has over 30 issued and pending patents. Skip has a B.Sc. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri, an M.Sc. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the University of Wisconsin.
Scott Woodward, Chief Business Officer
Scott Woodward has more than 20 years experience of global business development experience across pharma and healthcare having held consulting and senior leadership roles in the United States and Europe. His experience spans the entire BD spectrum, including alliances and collaborations, licensing and partnering, operational strategy, market development and execution of sales strategies. He began his career at Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals in business development, then moved to start-ups, serving as North American Business Development Director for Nordic Bioscience, a biomarker company targeting pharmaceutical R&D, ultimately resulting in the sale of their product lines. As Global Vice President for Biochemical Markers for Synarc, a multinational CRO, he tripled revenue in a two-year period following five years of flat growth, positioning this company for sale to Bioclinica. During his time, he also established laboratories in Europe and China, along with distributorships in Mexico and South America. He later served in interim business development roles in Synarc’s business lines of patient recruitment and clinical imaging. Scott holds graduate degrees from Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is actively involved in mentoring at Oxford University, Cambridge University and Stanford University helping entrepreneurial-minded scientists commercialize their inventions.
Randy Berholtz, General Counsel
Randy Berholtz has more than 25 years of experience as an executive and general counsel to public and private life science companies. He also has over 15 years experience as an angel and venture capital investor into seed and early stage life science companies. His experience includes advising on various corporate, financing, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, collaborations, patents, trademarks and litigation for companies in the genomics, diagnostics, therapeutics, device and other related healthcare fields. He worked for large law firms in New York and San Diego and was the general counsel for Nanogen, Inc. (Nasdaq), the ACON group of Chinese and life science companies, (Apricus Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq), Convalo, Inc. (Toronto Venture Exchange) and for Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Markets). He is also a Senior Advisor to Mesa Verde Venture Partners, a San Diego-based venture capital fund and is on the board of directors if Life on Earth, Inc. (OTC Markets). He is a graduate of Cornell University, Yale University Law School, Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar) and the University of San Diego School of Business.