Leadership Team

President and CEO, Board Member

EMILE NUWAYSIR, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Board Member

Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., joined BlueRock in Feb 2017, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in creating and guiding innovative life science companies from startup stage to fully integrated biotech companies. Prior to BlueRock, he was the President of a regenerative medicine division of Fujifilm (Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. – a Fujifilm Company) and President of Opsis Therapeutics, a biotech developing cell therapies for the retina. Prior to Fujifilm, he was COO of Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) where he helped manage CDI’s growth from a pre-revenue startup to a publicly traded Company on NASDAQ and through the ultimate acquisition of $307M by FujiFilm in 2015. Prior to CDI, he was CTO at Roche NimbleGen, a division of Roche Diagnostics, where he oversaw the product portfolio, Business Development and R&D. Prior to Roche, he was VP of Business Development at NimbleGen Systems where he helped build the company and its products, raise capital, prepare for an IPO, and manage a “dual-track” IPO process leading to the take-out sale by Roche for $282M in 2007.  He currently also holds positions of vice-chairman for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, and founder and vice-chairman of Invenra, Inc.  He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Chief Technology Officer

Robert Deans, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

Robert Deans, Ph.D., joined BlueRock in 2017, and is responsible for building BlueRock’s novel CELL+GENE platform. He has more than 25 years of experience in cell therapeutics, including hematopoietic and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and gene therapy approaches, as well as translational science and global regulatory expertise. His foundational scientific and pre-clinical research has resulted in the successful clinical development of 4 therapeutic cell platforms and 8 INDs in late stage development. Dr. Deans previously served as CSO of Rubius Therapeutics, where he was responsible for development of a gene-engineered red cell therapeutics platform. He holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Michigan.

Chief Development Officer

Joachim Fruebis, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer

Joachim Fruebis, Ph.D., serves as BlueRock’s Chief Development Officer. Dr. Fruebis brings more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He was most recently Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Bioverativ (acquired by Sanofi). In this role, Dr. Fruebis was responsible for developing Bioverativ’s rare disease program portfolio. Prior to Bioverativ, Dr. Fruebis served as Vice President, Senior Global Program Head for multiple disease areas, including hematology and ophthalmology at Bayer, a role in which he led cross-functional global teams responsible for the late-stage clinical development and commercialization of multiple products including the franchises for Eylea®, Kovaltry® and Jivi®. Prior to Bayer, Dr. Fruebis served as Vice President, External R&D Innovation at Pfizer, a role in which he was responsible for the rare disease, ophthalmology and cardiovascular/metabolic therapeutic areas. Dr. Fruebis received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Biology from the University Kaiserslautern, Germany for work conducted at UC San Diego, Dept of Medicine.

Chief Business and Financial Officer

Shane Kovacs

Chief Business and Financial Officer

Shane Kovacs joined BlueRock in September 2018 to help define and execute the vision of the company to develop and apply its CELL+GENETM platform across multiple therapeutic areas, leveraging both his extensive biotech operating experience and deep investment banking and capital markets expertise. Mr. Kovacs previous corporate experience includes serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development at PTC Therapeutics, where he helped transform PTC from a private, development-stage biotechnology company into a publicly traded, global commercial-stage biopharmaceutical business, and his investment banking experience includes senior roles at RBC Capital Markets and Credit Suisse. Mr. Kovacs received an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Chief Legal and Administrative Officer

MIN WANG, J.D., Ph.D.

Chief Legal and Administrative Officer

Min Wang, J.D., Ph.D., joined BlueRock in November 2018, bringing more than 20 years of senior leadership and legal experience in the biotechnology industry. She was most recently Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc., from its inception through the IPO process, and as a public company traded on NASDAQ. During her tenure, Agios grew to nearly 500 employees, raised $1.5 billion in public market funding, and signed numerous co-development deals with industry partners. Dr. Wang received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Brown University and her J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law.

Chief Manufacturing and Technical Operations Officer

Derek Hei, Ph.D.

Chief Manufacturing and Technical Operations Officer

Derek Hei joined BlueRock in September 2017 and oversees the entire manufacturing function, which includes developing and producing BlueRock’s induced pluripotent stem cell platform, maintaining its state-of-the-art cleanroom facility under cGMP, and leading the CMC regulatory efforts for the submission of investigational new drug applications. Prior to joining BlueRock, Dr. Hei served as vice president of clinical manufacture, quality and regulatory at Cellular Dynamics International, where he oversaw the development and production of its cell therapy products. Dr. Hei obtained his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Senior Vice President, Product Development/Toronto Operations

Michael Scott, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Product Development/Toronto Operations

Michael Scott joined BlueRock in 2017 to oversee the company’s product realization processes and Toronto operations. In this role, he is a key part of the team focused on cell therapy product development including cell processes, assay development and delivery devices for dopaminergic neurons to treat Parkinson’s disease and cardiomyocytes to treat congestive heart failure. Prior to joining BlueRock, Dr. Scott served as chief development officer & vice president of R&D at ViaCyte, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the treatment of type I diabetes with a stem cell-based therapy product. He received a Ph.D. in medical biophysics from The University of Western Ontario, and masters and bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Waterloo.