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SOURCE Gentris Corporation
MORRISVILLE, N.C., Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gentris Corporation (www.gentris.com), a global leader in pharmacogenomics solutions, biomarker testing and biorepository services, announced today the addition of Dr. Heath Knight as vice president, corporate development and Mr. Joseph Kessler, as chief operating officer. These two executives join the executive leadership team as the company anticipates its next phase of growth.
Heath Knight, Ph.D., will lead business development, sales, and marketing. Her focus will be driving further expansion of the company's genomic testing and biorepository services in domestic and international markets. A key focus will be in China where the company opened its first international facility in November, 2013. Dr. Knight was previously with Gentris as vice president of sales and marketing and left in 2008 to join Third Wave Technologies as executive director of genomic services and general manager of the newly formed pharmacogenomic Services business unit. She was recently strategic director of companion diagnostics for LabCorp's Clinical Trials. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Knight has held senior management positions in business development and sales as well laboratory operations in leading specialty genomic testing providers. She earned a Ph.D. degree in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia and completed postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic.
"It is great to be back at Gentris. Our ability to deliver high quality genomic results to our pharmaceutical clients is unparalleled," said Dr. Knight "Gentris has one of the most comprehensive validated test menus of any specialty testing lab and can develop and validate de novo custom assays in just 4-6 weeks. Our clients tap into our expertise on a daily basis which has a significant and immediate impact on their drug development programs. It is very rewarding to be supporting such a large number of interesting and important pharmaceutical research programs through our collaborative partnerships with our clients."
"We are thrilled to have Heath rejoin us at Gentris. Heath has an outstanding reputation for delivering on growth initiatives and her strategic insights into the genomics services business make her a great addition to our new leadership team at Gentris," commented Dr. Amelia Warner, Gentris CEO and President.
Joseph Kessler, M.S., will head operations at Gentris' two laboratories, the company headquarters located in Research Triangle Park, NC and the newly opened testing and storage facility in Shanghai, China. Mr. Kessler has over 25 years leadership experience in clinical research and operations. Mr. Kessler joins Gentris from DaVita labs where he was senior director of laboratory operations and was responsible for oversight of their CAP/CLIA clinical testing laboratory and sample repository services. He was director of PPD's vaccine and biologics laboratory and also led their global biorepository services. Prior, Mr. Kessler was with Merck Research Laboratories for 18 years where his final position was associate director of vaccine and biologics research and clinical assay management.
Mr. Kessler is a recognized expert in clinical specimen management and served as co-chair of the ISBER Pharma & Academics Working Group for 8 years. He is on the editorial board for the ISBER Journal "Biopreservation and Biobanking" and has contributed as co-author for ISBER Best Practices, as well as to the science surrounding quality practices within biorepositories.
"Joe brings tremendous experience in clinical operations and biorepository services to Gentris. Under his leadership, Gentris' next generation biobanking and the next wave of scaling for clinical trial genomic services will help our pharmaceutical clients capitalize on their biospecimen collection," said Dr. Warner. "We are excited to raise the bar on current market offerings in this space and to establish the new industry standard for biorepository and genomic testing services. Our contributions to clinical trials and clinical testing will ultimately help to deliver safer, more effective medications to patients globally."
About Gentris Corporation:
Gentris provides pharmacogenomics, biomarker and biorepository support for all clinical phases and genomic biomarker programs across all therapeutic areas. Founded in 2001, Gentris is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, and has a facility in Shanghai, China. Gentris partners with pharmaceutical, academic and technology leaders to translate innovations in biospecimen asset management and pharmacogenomics and biomarker testing into safer, more effective medicines, which can lead to accelerated drug development and improvement in patient care globally.
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