An Experienced and Expert Team

Bringing together a valuable combination of financial, business, and life sciences expertise, the Kineticos team guides and accelerates its portfolio companies and clients towards growth and success.

Kineticos Team

Dilán Rivera

Senior Analyst

Dilán Rivera first started working at Kineticos as a business development intern. After a year, he joined as an analyst focused on scientific due diligence, commercial strategy, and primary research. In his role, he supported both the operations side of the company as well as business development and thought leadership activities. Dilan recently joined Kineticos Ventures as a senior analyst where he helps evaluate cell and gene therapy and AMR-focused opportunities.

He earned his Master’s in Microbial Biotechnology from NC State University where he worked with several biotech companies in the RTP area on consulting projects. Now he hopes to use the skills he gained in graduate school to help improve patients’ lives by supporting the development of cell and gene therapy and AMR businesses.

Frank Lis

General Partner

Mr. Lis serves as the President, the Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Managers of Kineticos Ventures and, along with Mr. Maingi, controls the General Partner. In addition to serving on the Investment Committee, Mr. Lis expects to be active in sourcing new investment opportunities and overseeing active portfolio companies for the Fund.

Mr. Lis has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas and has an extensive background in drug development, manufacturing, supply chain, quality systems, and commercial operations. Prior to joining Kineticos Ventures, Mr. Lis served as a senior executive at leading pharmaceutical services firms. Mr. Lis also serves as a board member and advisor to a number of start-up biotechnology companies.

Most recently, Mr. Lis was President of Sharp Clinical Services with responsibility for the global drug development business unit of UDG Healthcare plc. Prior to that, Mr. Lis was Vice President and General Manager at Catalent Pharma Solutions, responsible for managing the clinical supply services business with sites in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In addition to his operational responsibilities, Mr. Lis has led the diligence, investment, and integration of numerous acquisitions during his career.

Mr. Lis earned a Bachelor of Science in General Science from Villanova University.

Keith Capecci

Vice President

Keith Capecci is Kineticos Ventures Director of Investor Relations managing the firm’s Investor Communications and Fundraising activities.

Keith has been in Private Markets for nearly a decade. Most recently he was a Vice President at Gabriel Horn Capital, a boutique fund placement advisory firm. Prior to Gabriel Horn Capital, he was a Vice President at IFC Investment Management, a farmland and agribusiness investment manager. At IFC Keith worked across the fundraising, investor relations, and product functions. He started his career in private markets at Hamilton Lane on the Product Management and Business Development teams.

Keith earned his MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and BA from Villanova University.

Mark Bamforth

KAMRA I Investment Comittee Member

Mark Bamforth is the Founder and CEO of Arranta Bio, a best-in-class microbiome contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Previously, Mr. Bamforth founded Brammer Bio in 2015, a best-in-class viral vector CDMO supporting cell and gene therapies, which was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in April 2019. Mark serves on the boards of Avid Bioservices, MassBio, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Entrepreneurial Scotland. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Mike Nicholson, PhD


Mike Nicholson, PhD is a Principal at Kineticos Ventures, leading the technical diligence process for potential investments. Additionally, Dr. Nicholson shares his expertise with portfolio and non-portfolio companies through positions on Scientific Advisory Boards. Before joining Kineticos, Dr Nicholson was President and Chief Operating Officer at Inceptor Bio, Kineticos’ first foundry company. Prior experience includes leadership roles at BioAgilytix and Precision BioSciences. Dr. Nicholson earned his BS in chemistry from SUNY Brockport, his PhD in molecular biology and genetics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Nathan Finger

Director, Investments

Nathan Finger serves as Director of Operations at Kineticos focused on sourcing opportunities, conducting diligence, leading deal execution, and working with portfolio companies. Mr. Finger has been with Kineticos since 2015 in a variety of roles in business development, marketing, and operations gaining deep expertise across a variety of markets within the life sciences. Mr. Finger has used his experience to support Kineticos' Disruptor Fund Series and AMR Accelerator Fund build their portfolios. Nathan brings years of experience in life science investing and venture capital, marketing, business development, primary research, strategy, and commercial operations to Kineticos. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from NC State University.

Richard Snyder, PhD

KAMRA I Investment Comittee Member

Richard Snyder, Ph.D. is the Vice President of Science and Technology, Pharma Services at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to joining Thermo Fisher Scientific, Dr. Snyder was a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Brammer Bio. In addition to scientific leadership roles in industry, he was an Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Director of Biotherapeutic Programs at the University of Florida; an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; and a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Snyder received his doctoral degree in Microbiology from The State University of New York at Stony Brook and obtained his BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Shailesh Maingi

Founder, Managing Partner

Shailesh Maingi is the Managing Partner of Kineticos Life Sciences, he founded the firm in 2007. Shailesh services on the Investment Committees of all funds and leads the strategic direction of funds and the Management Company. Shailesh is active in sourcing new investment opportunities and overseeing active portfolio companies for the Fund.

Shailesh founded Inceptor Bio, LLC, a biotechnology company focused on CAR-T, CAR-MN and CAR-NK technologies. Shailesh served on the Board of Directors of Arranta Bio Holdings, LLC and has served on the Board of Directors of a number of biotechnology companies including Locus Biosciences, Inc. and Gallus Biopharmaceuticals, LLC.

In 2018, Shailesh co-founded the InVincible Cancer Research Fund, a non-profit funding breakthrough science. Prior to founding Kineticos Life Sciences LLC, Mr. Maingi was a senior executive at Cardinal Health and Sigma-Aldrich. He started his career as a research and development scientist with Roche Diagnostics.

Mr. Maingi earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master in Business Administration from Golden Gate University.

Venture and Operating Partners

Abe Maingi

Abe Maingi is Vice President of Business Operations at Inceptor Bio. Prior to his current role, he spent seven years at Kineticos Life Sciences, an award-winning life sciences advisory firm, serving in roles of increasing responsibility. He is a partner in the Kineticos Disruptor Fund and serves as a board observer for Promaxo, a medical technology company that develops and commercializes customer-centric MRI systems and MRI-based technologies. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Abe received his BA in Business Administration from Campbell University.

Afshin Safavi

Afshin Safavi, Ph.D., is a veteran biochemist who has extensive experience in establishing and leading bioanalytical teams in support of the development of biological products in preclinical and clinical-trial laboratories in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, manufacturing companies and Contract Research Organizations (CROs). Prior to founding BioAgilytix Labs, he was the Director of Ligand Binding and Immunoassay, operating under Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) at AAIPharma.

At Talecris BioTherapeutics, he led the Preclinical and Clinical Assay Development team, building on his experience as a senior scientist at Nobex Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline and IGEN International. He is considered an expert in the area of immunoassay with a wide working knowledge of various platforms. Dr. Safavi gives lectures at local universities, has numerous peer reviewed journal publications, poster and podium presentations at national and internal conferences and a book chapter. He obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Kentucky Medical School, Department of Biochemistry and completed a two-year postdoctoral assignment at the Emory University, Department of Pathology.

Derek Hennecke

Derek was the Founder and CEO of Xcelience, a Florida-based contract development and manufacturing company that specialized in developing clinical Phase I-III drug product. He started the company in 2006 and sold it to a large multinational in 2016. He is currently a Board Member for The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance. Derek received his BSC from the University of Alberta and his MBA from RSM Erasmus University.

Douglas Tomson

Douglas Thomson is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder at Pneumagen a clinical stage infectious disease business. Prior to co-founding Pneumagen, he led executive teams generating rapid value creation at companies such as GT Biologics a part of 4D Pharma. His background is in infectious disease vaccine research and development. He was previously at SingVax, in Singapore, as CEO, and Microscience Ltd as Business Development Director. Douglas currently sits on the board of Omideon, a St. Andrews based biotech company focused on the development of novel treatments for cancer. He is also a non-executive director at EnteroBiotix, a microbiome therapeutics platform and product company.

George Fotiades

George Fotiades is a recognized chief executive who has led global, complex companies through significant change — the kind that accompanies development and marketing of major new products and services, creating organizational capabilities on a global scale, securing a broad range of strategic acquisitions, and integrating businesses to create unified operating companies. Beginning in early 2019, Fotiades served as CEO of Cantel Medical, a leader in infection prevention solutions serving the medical and dental markets. During his tenure, Fotiades implemented several organic growth initiatives to expand global leadership of the endoscopy reprocessing market, successfully navigated the impact of the Covid pandemic to emerge with a stronger market presence, completed a $775 mil transformational acquisition to become the clear market leader in dental office infection prevention, and led a significant strategic sale to Steris Corporation in June 2021 for $4.6B, a ~17x EBITDA multiple.

George Fotiades serves as chairman of the board of AptarGroup (NYSE: ATR), the leading global supplier of dispensing systems for a broad range of consumer and healthcare products, and as a director of ProLogis (NYSE: PLD), the leading global provider of distribution facilities and services. Fotiades holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

John Ballantyne, PhD

Dr. Ballantyne has over 23 years of experience in the development and manufacture of DNA, RNA and proteins across the research, diagnostic and licensed drug product spectrum. He co-founded Aldevron (now a Danaher operating company) directly out of graduate school in 1998 and has served as its Chief Scientific Officer since inception. Much of his focus outside of industrialization of biologicals manufacturing has been dedicated to working with military researchers to produce countermeasures to high threat/weaponizable viruses and in the development of systems for “n of 1” therapies in the oncology space. Dr. Ballantyne also has an interest in the anti-cancer and molecular-adjuvanting properties of a novel class of superantigens and has supported the technical and clinical maturation of these moieties through his research and development group for over a decade. His areas of expertise include large-scale biologicals production, purification systems and novel ligand/matrix designs, pharmacokinetics, and clinical path forward design and support. Dr. Ballantyne received his undergraduate degrees in Pharmacy at the Central Institute of Technology and the University of Otago in New Zealand and his doctorate from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Dakota State University.

Michael Chambers

Mr. Chambers co-founded Aldevron in 1998, holding the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer until 2020. Mr. Chambers is now Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aldevron. Using a technology platform that Mr. Chambers co-invented, Aldevron started producing plasmid DNA for biotech researchers in a small lab on the campus of North Dakota State University (NDSU). Aldevron specializes in the contract production of nucleic acids (e.g., plasmids, mRNA), recombinant proteins, and antibodies generated via genetic immunization and provides novel proteins like Cas9 variants and enhanced enzymes for in vitro mRNA transcript production. In recognition of his significant contributions, Mr. Chambers was named as one of the “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs in 2018. Mr. Chambers also serves on the Board of Directors of Calviri, a fully integrated healthcare company. He received Bachelor of Science degrees in biotechnology, chemistry, and microbiology from NDSU.

Marc Wolff

Marc Wolff brings more than 23 years of experience in the life sciences industry in various global general management and finance leadership roles. Prior to joining Calviri, Marc Wolff served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Aldevron, where he played a key role in scaling the company through exponential growth, enabling Aldevron’s clients to access essential GMP materials for their novel applications in gene and cell therapy. During his tenure, employees grew from 150 to 560 in little over two years, and the company built the world’s largest GMP plasmid DNA and GMP mRNA facility. Prior to Aldevron, Mr. Wolff was instrumental in supporting the growth of a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company and oversaw the successful completion of two private equity backed life science company mergers. Additionally, he spent fifteen years with Cardinal Health and Catalent in global general management and finance executive roles.

Nigel Walker

Nigel Walker is the Founder and Life Sciences Investor at the marketing firm “That’s Nice,” a full-service agency providing a breadth of capabilities including research, business strategy, messaging development, and consulting. With 35 years of experience in entrepreneurial business management, sales, and brand marketing, and 25 years in the pharma market, Nigel harnesses the capabilities of That’s Nice to help companies research future trends, communicate their marketing vision, and achieve business growth goals. He earned a BA with honors from London College.

Strategic Advisors

Bruce Thompson

Bruce is the CEO of Kincell Bio, bringing over 28 years of experience to his position. Prior to his role with Kincell Bio, LLC., Bruce was Vice President and Technical Lead for the Cell Therapy Franchise at Resilience, Inc., where he helped to build the development and GMP manufacturing capabilities and served as a technical advisor both internally and externally.

He has over 18 years of CMC strategy, product development and cell therapy manufacturing experience. In his first startup role, he was Vice President of Process Sciences at Lyell Immunopharma, where he was responsible for Process and Analytical Development, as well as tech transfer of processes and methods to a newly built state-of-the-art cGMP facility. Prior to Lyell, Bruce served as the Sr. Director of the Therapeutic Products Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), where he led GMP manufacturing of cell and gene therapy products. He was responsible for supporting >15 active clinical programs and contributed to the filing of 6 INDs for various cell therapy programs.

As part of his early career development, Bruce spent nearly 10 years at Pfizer in the Pharmaceutical Sciences division where he gained expertise in analytical and process development.

Bruce received his B.A. in Biology, an M.S. in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Louisville.

Chris Heery, MD

Dr Christopher Heery is the Chief Medical Officer of Arcellx. There, he oversees the development of their lead asset, CART-ddBCMA, as well as the ARC-sparX platform of modular CAR T cells which may improve CAR T cell capabilities via multiple antigen targeting and controlled cell expansion. Previously, he has served as Chief Medical Officer of Precision BioSciences and Bavarian Nordic. At Precision, he oversaw the clinical development of one of the first allogeneic CAR T cell platforms and provided clinical insight into clinical efforts for gene editing therapeutics. While at Bavarian Nordic, he oversaw clinical development programs for its immune-oncology and infectious disease vaccine portfolio. Prior to his roles in biotech, he was head of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He joined the NCI Medical Oncology Branch as a Medical Oncology Fellow in 2009 and held an Adjunct Appointment in the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch. At NCI, Dr Heery was part of the larger effort of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology to create new immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Dr Heery is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago after receiving his MD from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. Dr Heery also holds a BA in English Literature from Duke University.

Dan McCormick

Dan McCormick brings over 25 years of experience in biopharma, devices, and diagnostics. He has built highly collaborative cross-organizational teams to drive incremental revenues in multiple U.S. and ex-U.S. markets. Dan leverages analytics, efficient channels, and technologies to develop strategic solutions that focus investments for highest impact. His broad perspective is a culmination of experience that spans numerous sales, marketing, and strategy roles.

Mr. McCormick is a Vice President for a leading consulting firm focused on commercialization and market access. He serves as a board member for Promaxo, a medical technology company that develops and commercializes MRI systems. He also serves as an advisory board member for Kickstart Venture Services, a UNC Chapel Hill organization that helps facilitate and accelerate start-up companies spinning out of the University.

Mr. McCormick holds an M.B.A from Campbell University, and a B.S. in business administration from the UNC Chapel Hill. A frequently solicited industry conference speaker, Dan’s topics have included “Creating Sustainable Change,” “Channel Optimization in Pharma,” “Selling Value Through Technology,” and “Strategies for a Customer-Centric Approach to Business Growth.” Accolades include: PHARMAfield UK Magazine’s “Movers & Shakers” and PM360 Magazine’s “2018 Innovators” award.

David King

Mr. King was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of LabCorp (NYSE: LH) from 2007 to 2019. At LabCorp, Mr. King also served as the Executive Chairman of the Board from November 2019 to May 2020, and as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board from May 2009 to October 2019. Mr. King is the board chair of PATH and was appointed in 2017 to the advisory board for Duke University’s Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy. Mr. King previously served on the board of Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH), Elon University and the American Clinical Laboratory Association, where he served as board chair from 2010 to 2014. Mr. King is also on the board of The Emily K Center, a college-readiness center in Durham, North Carolina, founded by Mike Krzyzewski, the head coach of the Duke University Men’s Basketball team. Mr. King received a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Princeton University and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Dave Ousterout

Dave Ousterout, Ph.D., is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Locus Biosciences. Dr. Ousterout’s expertise is in protein engineering and early-stage applications of new technologies to treat human diseases. He completed his doctoral studies at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Charles Gersbach, where he developed novel gene-editing approaches for correcting mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dr. Ousterout earned a B.S. in Biological & Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.

Mark Gilbert

Mark Gilbert, M.D. is the founding Chief Medical Officer at Juno Therapeutics. Prior to joining Juno, Dr. Gilbert served as an interim Chief Medical Officer and consultant in strategic drug development and portfolio management in medical oncology for several U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to these positions, Dr. Gilbert was a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle and trained in the laboratory of Dr. Phil Greenberg, one of Juno’s scientific co-founders. Dr. Gilbert earned a BS degree in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and an MD from the University of Iowa Medical School in Iowa City, Iowa.

Steve Favaloro

Steve Favaloro is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Arranta Bio, a best in class microbiome CDMO. Steve also currently advises several early stage biotech companies, helping them to architect their financial and fundraising strategy. He was formerly the Chief Financial Officer at Brammer Bio, with responsibility for overseeing the financial health and information systems during a period of rapid growth and the execution of a $200M capacity expansion program. Steve received his BA in Economics from Boston College, and an MS in Finance and an MBA from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.