President & CEO
Rick Pauls was appointed our President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2009. Mr. Pauls has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2005 and as the Chairman of the Board from April 2008 to July 2014.
Before joining DiaMedica, Mr. Pauls was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of CentreStone Ventures, an early-stage life sciences venture capital fund, from February 2002 until January 2010. Mr. Pauls was an analyst for Centara Corporation, an early-stage venture capital fund, from January 2000 until January 2002. From June 1997 until November 1999, Mr. Pauls worked for General Motors Acceptation Corporation specializing in asset-backed securitization and structured finance. Additionally, Mr. Pauls has served on the board of directors of several public and private companies. Mr. Pauls received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Manitoba and his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of North Dakota.
Chief Financial Officer
Scott Kellen joined us in January 2018 as our Vice President of Finance and was appointed our Chief Financial Officer and Secretary in April 2018.
Before joining DiaMedica, Mr. Kellen served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sun BioPharma, Inc., a publicly-traded clinical-stage drug development company, from October 2015 until April 2018. From February 2010 to September 2015, Mr. Kellen served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Kips Bay Medical, Inc., a publicly-traded medical device company. He became Chief Operating Officer of Kips Bay in March 2012. From November 2007 to May 2009, Mr. Kellen served as Finance Director of Transoma Medical, Inc. From 2005 to October 2007, Mr. Kellen served as a Corporate Controller of ev3 Inc. From March 2003 to April 2005, Mr. Kellen served as Senior Manager, Audit and Advisory Services of Deloitte & Touche, L.L.P. Altogether, Mr. Kellen has spent more than 25 years in the life sciences industry, focusing on publicly traded early stage and growth companies. Mr. Kellen has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
Kirsten Gruis, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Prior to joining DiaMedica, Dr. Gruis served as Chief Medical Officer for Edgewise Therapeutics, Neuromuscular Franchise Head at Roche, Chief Medical Officer of Agilis Biotherapeutics, Inc. and a number of additional senior clinical development roles at companies including Wave Life Sciences Ltd., Idera Pharmaceutics, Inc., Alynylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Pfizer Inc. Prior to her time at Pfizer, Dr. Gruis was Associate Professor at SUNY Upstate and Assistant/Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, where she was a practicing neurologist for nearly ten years. Dr. Gruis earned her Medical Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, has a Master of Science in Clinical Trial Design and Statistical Analysis from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Iowa State University.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Cundari has over 30 years of pharmaceutical experience in various commercial roles in high growth markets. Prior to joining DiaMedica, Mr. Cundari served as an independent commercial strategy and development consultant for Genentech since February 2009. From January 1988 to January 2009, Mr. Cundari held a variety of sales and marketing management positions across multiple medical specialties at Genentech, a global biotechnology company. As Senior Director for the Vascular Franchise, Mr. Cundari was responsible for shaping commercial strategies, leading product launches in cardiology, pulmonary and neurology specialties and establishing strategic partnerships with telemedicine companies. Mr. Cundari holds both a Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Villanova University.
Chief Business Officer
Before joining DiaMedica, Mr. Wambeke served as Partner and Managing Director of Investment Banking at Craig-Hallum Capital Group, LLC, a growth-focused investment bank. Mr. Wambeke joined Craig-Hallum in May 2007 and was involved in more than one hundred financing and M&A transactions with a focus on the life sciences and biotech industries. Prior to joining Craig-Hallum, Mr. Wambeke was enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as an artilleryman and military police officer. During a deployment in Baghdad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mr. Wambeke was wounded in combat and awarded the Purple Heart. Mr. Wambeke received a B.S. from the University of Minnesota.
Julie VanOrsdel Daves, MSHS, CCRP
Senior Vice President, Clinical Development Operations
Ms. Daves was appointed our Senior Vice President, Clinical Development Operations effective as of September 13, 2022. Prior to joining DiaMedica, Ms. Daves served as the Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Operations of Sanifit Therapeutics, S.A., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for progressive vascular calcification disorders, from September 2021 through August 2022. Ms. Daves also served as President and Principal Consultant at JVD Pharma Consulting, LLC, a consulting services company specializing in clinical operations and outsourcing, from February 2018 to August 2022. Ms. Daves served as Vice President of Outsourcing and Vendor Management for Edgewise Therapeutics, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, from May 2021 to August 2021 and served as Edgewise’s Executive Director and Head of Clinical Operations from April 2020 to May 2021. Prior to Edgewise, from February 2018 to April 2020, Ms. Daves served as Senior Director, Clinical Operations & Head of Outsourcing for miRagen Therapeutics, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company. From February 2016 to February 2018, Ms. Daves served as Global Head and Senior Director of Clinical Vendor Management of Chiltern International Inc., a contract research organization, and from November 2015 to February 2016, she worked as the Director of Clinical Operations. Prior to her time at Chiltern, Ms. Daves worked for Array Biopharma, Inc. as the Director of Clinical Operations & Development Outsourcing from October 2014 to November 2015, as Associate Director of Clinical Outsourcing and Operations from October 2011 to October 2014, and as Clinical Principal Research Manager from January 2011 to October 2011. Ms. Daves worked as a Senior Manager of Clinical Development for BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from April 2007 to January 2011, a Study Manager and Senior Clinical Research Associate for Cellgate Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from July 2006 to April 2007, and as a Clinical Project Manager for Inveresk/Chares River Clinical/Kendle from December 2002 to February 2005. Ms. Daves is a certified clinical research professional and received her MSHS in Clinical Research Administration from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and BS in Zoology from North Carolina State University.
Edward G. Calamai, Ph.D.
Consulting Head of Manufacturing
Edward Calamai, Ph.D., was appointed our Consulting Head of Manufacturing in January 2020.
Dr. Calamai has over 30 years' experience with multiple products, including Sr. Vice President of Operations at Sensus Drug Development, where he was responsible for C.M.C. operations and compliance in support of the company's development and successful B.L.A. filing for a recombinant protein therapeutic.
Earlier in his career, he was Vice President of Operations at Seragen, Inc., R&D Manager at Baxter Travenol Laboratories, and also worked as an independent consultant in the area of biologics development, manufacturing, and regulatory compliance.
Dr. Calamai received his B.S. in Biology from Union College and a doctorate in Bacteriology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He was a postdoctoral fellow in cellular immunology in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Paolo Madeddu, MD
Senior Scientific Advisor and KLK1 Expert
Dr. Paolo Madeddu is an expert on the human protein KLK1 and the kallikrein-kinin-system, he has over 310 publications including over 55 related to KLK1, and internationally known for his research and publications. Dr. Madeddu obtained his MD degree in 1976 at the University of Sassari (Italy) and in 1980 became Specialist of Cardiology from the University of Sassari. He worked as a Senior Consultant for the Internal Medicine Department and Chief of the Regenerative Medicine Center in Osilo and Porto Conte Ricerche until 2005. He was then recruited by the University of Bristol, where he is currently a full professor in Cardiovascular Experimental Medicine. He is Editor of Vascular Biology and Trends in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine, and associated editor of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB). His research focuses on new solutions to cardiovascular repair and rejuvenation, using gene therapy, protein therapy, and tissue engineering. He has received funding to this research from the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, Heart Research UK, Diabetes UK, JDFR, and the European Community.