Sector Expert: Gil Van Bokkelen
Gil Van Bokkelen has served as Athersys Inc.'s chief executive officer and chairman since August 2000. Van Bokkelen cofounded Athersys in October 1995 and has served as CEO and director since then. Prior to May 2006, he served as Athersys' president. From 2010 through 2012 Van Bokkelen served as chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, a Washington D.C.-based consortium of companies, patient advocacy groups, disease foundations and clinical and research institutions committed to the advancement of the field of regenerative medicine. He is also chairman of the Board of Governors for the National Center for Regenerative Medicine, and serves on a number of other boards, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization's ECS board of directors (from 2001 to 2004, and from 2008 to present), the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Regenerative Medicine Foundation. He received a doctorate in genetics from Stanford University, a bachelor's degree in economics and a second bachelor's degree in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Regenerative medicine is surging toward the mainstream, and Athersys Inc. is riding the crest. Potential safety concerns surrounding cell therapies have been largely addressed, and now the efficacy of the company's MultiStem platform in several massive markets, including stroke, heart attack and acute pulmonary disease, are ready to be tested. As the company advances its portfolio of programs, Chairman and CEO Gil Van Bokkelen tells The Life Sciences Report about the promise that MultiStem holds for both patients and investors.
Gil Van Bokkelen has been in the stem cell industry for more than a decade. In recent years, the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Athersys Inc. has stepped into regenerative medicine’s forefront, acting as a spokesman for the industry as well as demonstrating his love of science and passionately advocating for patients. In this interview with The Life Sciences Report, Van Bokkelen explores the past, present and future of the cell therapy and regenerative medicine industry, and outlines the investment possibilities in small companies on the sector's cutting edge.