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.
Executive VP and 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.