Board of Directors

//Board of Directors
Board of Directors 2016-12-06T11:52:22+00:00

Enabling ViaCyte’s Success

The members of ViaCyte’s Board of Directors include industry executives with the knowledge and expertise to help the company fulfill its mission of delivering a breakthrough diabetes therapeutic.

Our directors possess a depth of experience that is second to none and, in partnership with management, the Board is instrumental to our success.
Paul Laikind, President & CEO, ViaCyte

Fred A. Middleton, Chairman of the Board

Fred Middleton has over 30 years of experience in the biotechnology and biomedical industries in both corporate operating management and as an institutional venture capital investor.  He is currently Managing Director of Sanderling Ventures where he has, over time, served as an investor, management team member and director in over 25 new biomedical ventures built in the firm’s investment portfolios since 1988.  Prior to his career in venture capital, Mr. Middleton served as the founding Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development at Genentech.  Mr. Middleton earned his B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A with distinction from the Harvard Business School. He serves as a member of the MIT Corporation (board of trustees).

Steven R. Altman, Director

During his career at Qualcomm, spanning over 20 years, Steve Altman’s leadership and contributions have been instrumental to the company’s success.  Initially hired as Corporate Counsel, Mr. Altman distinguished himself as a key licensing strategist for Qualcomm’s broad intellectual property portfolio. He advanced through several executive roles and served as President for six years before being appointed Vice Chairman in 2011.  Mr. Altman is also a member of Qualcomm’s Executive Committee, providing direction and guidance on key initiatives, vision and strategy.  Mr. Altman earned his B.S. in political science and administration from Northern Arizona University and his J.D. from University of San Diego.  He worked as a corporate attorney for Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye (which became DLA Piper) before joining Qualcomm.

Donald J. Elmer, Director

Donald Elmer serves as Managing General Partner at Pacific Horizon Ventures.  Since forming the venture firm in 1993, Mr. Elmer has compiled a successful track record of 30 investments across multiple funds.  He has served on the boards of several venture-stage companies during his 25 years in the technology sector, and numerous organizations have benefitted from his extensive operational experience.  Mr. Elmer is currently the acting CEO and Chairman of the Board of Koronis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He earned a B.A. from Western Washington University and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark G. Foletta, CPADirector

Mr. Foletta has considerable audit and financial experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Mr. Foletta previously served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, from March 2006 through Amylin’s acquisition by Bristol Myers-Squibb Company in August 2012, and as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Amylin from 2000 to 2006. Prior to joining Amylin in 2000, Mr. Foletta held a number of management positions with Intermark, Inc. and Triton Group Ltd. from 1986 to 2000 and served as an Audit Manager with Ernst & Young. Mr. Foletta served as a director of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-held biopharmaceutical company now owned by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., from September 2005 through November 2011. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of AMN Healthcare Services, Inc., a publicly traded healthcare workforce solutions provider, and Regulus Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Foletta received a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Financial Executives Institute.

Franklin “Pitch” JohnsonDirector

Mr. Franklin Pitcher (“Pitch”) Johnson was co-founder in 1962 of Draper and Johnson Investment Company, a venture capital company, and became an independent venture capitalist in 1965 as the founder of Asset Management Company.  He developed and taught a course in entrepreneurship and venture capital at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 12 years and is still active on the faculty there.  Mr. Johnson has served as an advisor to eastern European countries in the areas of entrepreneurship and privatization, and has helped form venture funds in several foreign countries.  He is active in educational and cultural affairs and served as chairman of the board of the San Francisco Opera for almost 10 years.  Mr. Johnson has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Orville G. Kolterman, M.D.Director

During his 20 year tenure at Amylin, Orville Kolterman, M.D. has been instrumental in the development of first-in-class diabetes medicines, including SYMLIN and BYETTA injections.  Prior to his appointment as Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kolterman held leadership roles in the regulatory, research, development, clinical and medical affairs departments, many of which were officer-level positions.  Before Amylin, he was Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center and Medical Director of the Diabetes Center at the University of California Medical Center. Dr. Kolterman has served as a board member for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Research Foundation and is a past President of the California Affiliate of the ADA.  He has held the role of Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego for over 20 years. Dr. Kolterman earned his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Paul K. Laikind, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Paul K. Laikind, Ph.D. has over 28 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology and life sciences industry in San Diego. He currently serves as President, CEO and a member of the Board of ViaCyte, Inc. a leading company in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. A serial entrepreneur, over the course of his career Dr. Laikind co-founded and held top executive and board positions at three San Diego companies that each went public before ultimately being acquired. These include Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which was ultimately acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in a multi-billion dollar transaction, Viagene, Inc., which, like Gensia, was founded upon technology Dr. Laikind helped to create, and Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer. Just prior to joining ViaCyte, Dr. Laikind served as Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute where he established a number of licensing and strategic partnerships with large pharmaceutical organizations, including collaborations with Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceutical. Dr. Laikind holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He also serves as Chairman Emeritus of CONNECT and as a current board member and past Chairman of BIOCOM.