Pluristyx’s management team combines over 50 years of rich scientific and commercial expertise in the field of stem cell biology, developmental genetics and cell therapy.
Benjamin Fryer, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Ben Fryer received his Doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He has spent 18 years in industrial research, including 14 years as a stem cell scientist on projects ranging from basic research to translational R&D and clinical manufacturing. He is experienced in cross-functional team management, technical transfers to GMP environment, and managing large and diverse teams. Dr. Fryer has multiple issued and pending patents regarding processing, expanding and differentiating stems cells, and is a co-inventor on the foundational patent application for Semma Therapeutics, Inc.
Jason Carstens, PhD
Chief Operating Officer
Jason Carstens has over 20 years of process development, GMP manufacturing, and CMC project management experience in the biotech industry. Prior to Pluristyx, Dr. Carstens was VP of Manufacturing and Development at Nohla Therapeutics, a cell therapy company developing clinical products from hematopoietic stem cells. Dr. Carstens also spent five years as the Director of Cell Therapy Process Development and Manufacturing at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and spent 13 years at CMC Biologics as the Director of Upstream Process Development.
Dr. Carstens has an appointment at the University of Washington as an Affiliate Associate Professor. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington.
Brian Hawkins, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
Brian Hawkins received his Doctorate in Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is an internationally recognized expert in mitochondrial biology and cell metabolism with over 15 years of combined experience in academic and industrial research. Dr. Hawkins formerly served as a founding member and assistant professor in the Mitochondria and Metabolism Center at the University of Washington before transitioning to cell therapy as Scientific Applications Director at BioLife Solutions. Dr. Hawkins serves on numerous national committees that aim to advance the development and manufacture of cell therapy and regenerative medicine products.
James B. (Jim) Laing, CPA, MBA
Jim joined the Pluristyx executive team at the beginning of 2022. He is a dynamic cross-functional leader, collaborator, and executive advisor with a strong “business partnering” focus who instills shared vision and purpose across departments to align business goals and objectives. He has predominantly worked in small to medium sized businesses ($5M - $100M in Revenues) in the manufacturing and distribution, dealership management and bio-technology industries. Jim has had the privilege of working in Canada for over 25 years and recently returned to home in 2017 to continue his professional career in the Pacific Northwest. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Clarkson University, a CPA license from the State of Maine and an MBA from Concordia University in Montreal, QC.
Kaye Reiter, PhD, JD
Kaye D. Reiter, PhD, JD has over 10 years of biotech law experience, counseling pharmaceutical companies and academic and non-profit institutions. She has substantial experience in preparing patent landscape, freedom to operate, and commercialization analyses; assessing intellectual property (IP); identifying strategic partners for growth and negotiating agreements that may develop from those activities. Kaye obtained her PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley and then conducted research at a large pharmaceutical company before attending law school at the University of Washington. After serving as patent associate for both Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati and Davis Wright Tremaine, Dr. Reiter served as Senior Licensing Associate and Technology Manager at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), where she played a significant role in negotiating several high-impact patent licenses and in promoting the establishment of a number of life science companies, including Juno Therapeutics, Nohla Therapeutics, and Rocket Pharma.
Jake Krembil, Mmgt
VP, Business Development and Site Lead Canada
Jake Krembil is the VP, Business Development and Site Lead Canada at Plurityx. Before becoming VP, Business Development at Pluristyx Jake served as Chief Operating Officer at panCELLa, Jake assisted management In harnessing the potential of panCELLa and spearheading its allogenic solution innovation through panCELLa’s ‘try before you buy’ business model. In this time Jake established relationships with numerous industry leaders ultimately leading the successful partnerships for panCELLa. WIth nearly a decade of experience in the Canadian healthcare industry, Jake has worked within various institutions including UHN, Toronto Western Hospital and the Toronto General Western Hospital Foundation. His focus has been on risk management, business development and financial analysis. In addition to his long-standing position as a Director with the Krembil Foundation Jake has been able to establish numerous connections that have led to positive results.
Isaac Haq, MSc
Head of Corporate Development and Strategy
Isaac joined Pluristyx in 2023 as head of Corporate Development and Strategy. Isaac brings +5 years of investment experience in the Cell & Gene Therapy sector, having previously worked with ArchiMed, a leading global healthcare focused investor. At ArchiMed, Isaac supported the launch ArchiMed’s dedicated Life Science & Biologics Tools sector and took a leading role in this team, with investment experience including Polyplus Transfection, Imabiotech, Clean Biologics, Xpress Biologics and Title21 Healthcare Solutions, whilst also supporting the launch of ArchiMed’s US office in 2023. Prior to ArchiMed, Isaac led gene editing research for a Venture Capital firm and helped deliver a seed funding round for a small Biotech.