President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Lebovits joined Brainstorm in July 2007 as President and has been involved with its activities from early pre-clinical stage to the current Phase IIb clinical trials in the United States, and has taken a monumental part in its huge growth and development.
Since September 2015, Mr. Lebovits also serves as the CEO of the company on a permanent basis (previously, he served as Principal Executive Officer of Brainstorm from 2013 through 2014, on an interim basis). His extensive knowledge of the company and its activities as well as his vast business skills, experience and vision are instrumental to Brainstorm in its current stage of growth and beyond.
Mr. Lebovits controls ACC BioTech, which is focused on biotechnology. Additionally, he is involved in natural resources exploration projects around the world and has held senior positions in public and private companies in this field. Mr. Lebovits has also held senior positions for the worldwide Chabad Lubavitch organization, the largest Jewish organization in the world today and is a prominent figure in his community.
Ralph Kern, M.D., MHSc
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer
Ralph Kern MD MHSc is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer at BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics. He completed neurology training at McGill University, practiced neuromuscular neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and was head of the post graduate academic neurology program at the University of Toronto. He completed further post graduate training in heath administration at the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Ralph received his MD degree from Queen’s University, is board certified in neurology and neuromuscular disease, and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Ralph joined Genzyme in 2006 where he led Genzyme medical activities in Canada and moved to Boston where he led Fabrazyme global commercial activities as general manager in the personalized genetic health business. Subsequently he joined Novartis in 2011, where he assumed the role of VP and head of the neuroscience medical unit, leading the global launch of Gilenya. Subsequently Ralph moved to Biogen in 2015 where he assumed the role of SVP and head of the worldwide medical organization- his team launched Zinbryta in MS and Spinraza in SMA and developed the medical and scientific strategy for MS, SMA and Alzheimer’s disease.
Chief Commercial Officer
Arturo Araya joined the Company in February 2017 as a director. Arturo Araya has nearly two decades of international commercial experience in pharmaceutical commercialization, marketing and general management. He was formerly the Vice President and Head of Global Commercial for Novartis’ Cell and Gene Therapies Unit, where he led a cross-functional team to commercialize a portfolio of cell and gene therapies. As Global Brand Leader for CTL019, a CAR-T therapy, he was responsible for developing early launch plans, including worldwide and multiple indication forecasts and resource modeling. He has led the Oncology Unit for Novartis in seven countries. Prior to his tenure at Novartis, Mr. Araya was with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, most recently as Associate Director of Marketing Intelligence, Business Development & Licensing.
Mr. Araya earned an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut.
Joseph Petroziello, BSc, MSc
VP of Scientific and Corporate Communications
Joseph Petroziello joined Brainstorm in June 2018 from Juno Therapeutics, Inc. as VP of Scientific and Corporate Communications. Joe received his BSc in Biological Sciences (1992) and MSc in Medicinal Chemistry (1996) from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Joe has over 20+ years of combined experience in drug discovery R&D and medical affairs leadership in oncology, neurology and rare orphan diseases.
Joe joined Seattle Genetics, Inc. in 2000, as Head of Antigen Discovery, leading Translational Research to identify and patent novel tumor-associated antigens for drug targeting as Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) for Hematologic Malignancies. Joe was formerly VP and Medical Director at consulting Medical Communications Agencies in New York City with specialization in strategic leadership of Scientific Communication Plans, Global Medical Affairs Plans and Regulatory Writing for drug candidates in oncology, neurology and rare orphan diseases.
Recently, Joe was formerly Head of Medical Writing and Scientific Communications at Juno Therapeutics, Inc., from 2014-2018 with specialization in technical writing of clinical protocols, developing Key Opinion Leader (KOL) relationships at the worlds leading Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell Research & Development academic institutions and providing strategic leadership for Clinical Advisory Boards for drug development of novel cellular biologics, including Lisocabtagene Maraleucel (Liso-cel; JCAR017), an investigational CD19-Directed (CAR-T) cell therapy in pivotal-stage development for B-cell cancers.
Susan E. Ward, Ph.D.
Head Of Clinical Operations
Dr. Ward has an established track record in leadership, design and execution of innovative, cross-disciplinary research and program management across all phases, including early phase clinical research and exploratory scientific collaboration. She earned a Doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2001, while working as a researcher and a Post-Doctoral Training Fellow at the Harold Goodglass Aphasia Research Center from 1993 to 2002. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science and Psychology from the University of Rochester.
Dr. Ward joins BrainStorm from Pfizer, where she was the head of early development clinical trial operations, a group of clinical trial specialists supporting clinicians in operations and daily execution of early phase programs. She began at Pfizer as a clinician in Quantitative Medicine, leading human biology and exploratory research collaborations in biomarker, imaging and mobile devices. This added to her prior experience as a senior director and clinical program lead in Translational and Experimental Medicine at Biogen Idec, where she developed exploratory studies to further research strategy across therapeutic indications in neurology.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Ward was a clinical consultant in neuroscience at Roche and held positions of increasing responsibility at both biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including OvaScience, EnVivo and Sepracor. She also held the role of VP, Global Clinical Affairs at Clinquest, a niche CRO.
EVP, Chief Financial Officer
Eyal Rubin joins BrainStorm from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., where he served as Vice President and Head of Corporate Treasury from 2013-2017. While at Teva, he was responsible for Teva’s cash operations, cash management as well as Teva’s equity and debt capital market transactions.
From 2010 through 2013, Mr. Rubin was the Finance & Banking Manager for Cellcom Israel, LTD., where he was responsible for cash management and the operational financial aspects.
From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Rubin was Chief Financial Officer for IDT Carmel, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of IDT Corp., where he was responsible for all the financial aspects of IDT Carmel. From 2003 to 2005, he was General Manager and Chief Financial Officer for V-Secure Technologies, where he managed the mergers and acquisition process from the early stage of negotiations, due diligence until successful completion of the acquisition by Radware in December 2005.
From 1999-2003, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Finance for Sec2Wireless, where he managed the financial aspects of the reverse merger with TravelNG in 2003.
Mr. Rubin earned his Masters of Business Administration from Bar Ilan University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a specialization in Finance, and his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the College of Management, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a specialization in Financing and IT Systems.
EVP, Chief Business Officer
Uri Yablonka joined the company on June 6, 2014 as Chief Operating Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Yablonka served since December 2010 as owner and General Manager of Uri Yablonka Ltd., a business consulting firm. He also served since January 2011 as Vice President, Business Development at ACC International Holdings Ltd. (Holdings). Holdings is also an affiliate of ACCBT Corp. Prior to serving with Holdings, Mr. Yablonka served as Senior Partner of PM-PR Media Consulting Ltd. From 2008 to January 2011, Mr. Yablonka was Senior Partner at PM-PR Media Consulting Ltd., where he led public relations and strategy consulting for a wide range of governmental and private organizations.
From 2002 to 2008, he served as a correspondent at the Maariv Daily News Paper, including extensive service as a Diplomatic Correspondent.
Mary Kay Turner
VP of Patient Advocacy and Government Affairs
Mary Kay Turner joined the company in August of 2017 as Vice President of Patient Advocacy and Government Affairs. Ms. Turner joins BrainStorm from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, where she was Head of Patient Advocacy and Communications supporting the commercialization of edaravone for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Her prior industry experience includes senior sales leadership roles and Head of State Government Affairs and Advocacy for Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Mary Kay is recognized as a leader within the biopharma industry for developing advocacy and government affairs strategies. Most recently, she worked at Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America as Head of Patient Advocacy and Communications. Prior to this, Mary Kay spent over two decades at Bristol Myers Squibb Company where she played an essential role in establishing the company’s advocacy function and held various positions of increasing responsibility in sales leadership, patient advocacy and government affairs. From 2010 to 2016, she was Head of State Government Affairs and Advocacy at Bristol-Myers. In this role, she led a team of government affairs professionals that focused on significant legislative and regulatory issues that promoted and protected the discovery and development of innovative therapies. Mary Kay helped to define the company’s advocacy strategy and engagement for each of its key therapeutic areas.
In 2016, Mary Kay was appointed to the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and served a one-year term. She serves on the Board of Advisers for the International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN). Currently, Mary Kay is a member of the Board of Directors for the ALS Hope Foundation. She also served on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America for 3 years. Mary Kay has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the University of Oregon.
Yael Gothelf, Ph.D.
VP SCIENTIFIC AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS
Dr. Gothelf has over fifteen years’ experience in the biotechnology industry. At BrainStorm she is responsible for regulatory compliance, clinical trials, product development and intellectual property.
Before joining the company in 2007, she was the Scientific Manager of the Research and Process Development Division of InterPharm Laboratories, Israel a subsidiary of Ares-Serono. Prior to that, she was a Researcher at the Molecular and Cell Biology Department of the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she also completed her post-doctorate fellowship.
Dr. Gothelf holds a PhD from Tel Aviv University.
Yossef Levy, Ph.D.
VP CELL PRODUCTION
As a member of the original Tel Aviv University research team that developed the NurOwn technology, Dr. Levy has been a core member of BrainStorm’s R&D team since the inception of the company.
He is also responsible for the company’s in-house cGMP production for clinical trials, technology transfer and training to US-based cleanroom facilities, and co-development of bioreactor-based production scale-up. In addition, Dr. Levy supervises the company’s cleanroom operations and management, logistical coordination and personnel training.
He received an MHA in Health Systems Management and a PhD in Neurobiology from Tel Aviv University, as well as an MSc in Clinical Pharmacy from Hebrew University. He is a licensed pharmacist.
Revital Aricha, Ph.D.
VP Research & Development
Dr. Aricha joined Brainstorm in March 2015 and serves as Vice President, Research and Development since December 2015. Prior to joining the company, she served as Senior intern at the Department of Immunology of the Weizmann Institute of Science since 2006, where she specialized in autoimmunity, particularly in neuromuscular pathology and regulatory processes.
Dr. Aricha completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She received her PhD in Neurobiology Summa cum Laude from the Bar-Ilan University where she studied Parkinson’s disease.
Alex Burshtein, M.Sc.
Quality Assurance Manager
Mr. Burshtein has worked at Brainstorm since its inception, as a part of the core team that structured the company’s research and development and tech-transfer projects. He is involved in the development of the company’s cell therapeutic products from the academic stage to the cGMP production process, protocols, standard operating procedures (SOPs), batch records and QC methods.
Since 2013, he has served as the Quality Assurance Manager of the company. Before joining Brainstorm in 2005, he was a member of the Tel Aviv University research team that developed the NurOwn technology. He holds a master’s degree in Clinical Biochemistry from the Graduate School of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, of Tel-Aviv University and a B.Sc. from the Department of Chemical & Biotechnology Engineering at Ariel University.