Board of Directors
Dr. Ervin Braun has served as our Chief Executive Officer and as one of our directors since October 2012. Dr. Braun has also served as a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ceres Group Holdings, LLC since 2017 and had served on the board of directors of Ceres Acquisition Corp, and Frozen Food Partners. As a serial entrepreneur for over 30 years, Dr. Braun has developed a broad portfolio of investments, including investments through financial markets, angel investing, private equity, and real estate. Dr Braun received his Series 65 License in 2018 qualifying him as an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR).
He has also served as a consultant for several entertainment and social media companies, as well as advised on the development of Pencils of Promise, a highly visible and successful nonprofit organization.
Dr. Braun has over 28 years of clinical experience and advanced training in prosthodontics. He received his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and subsequently completed specialty training in Prosthodontics followed by a fellowship in Maxillo-Facial Prosthetics in 1982 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Martin Sands has served as a member of the board of directors of OptMed since 2011. Since 1998, Martin has served as Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Sands Brothers Asset Management, a multidisciplinary investment firm that operated venture capital, private equity, fund of funds, and hedge funds. In 2007, Martin co-founded Genesis Merchant Partners which offers strategic and opportunistic asset-based investments and secured loans in underserved markets. Martin is currently on the board of Frozen Foods Partners and Sandpoint Energy.
Martin served as a director of Babson Diagnostics, a Siemens/Becton Dickinson-backed, blood testing company. Prior to 2018, he was Chairman of Viactiv Holdings, a calcium supplement company, and led its purchase from Johnson and Johnson and its subsequent sale to Texas Pacific Group. He received his bachelor's degree from Union College.
Steven Sands has served as a member of our board of directors since 2011. Since 1998, Steven has served as Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Sands Brothers Asset Management, a multi-disciplinary investment firm that operated venture capital, private equity, fund of funds, and hedge funds. In 2007, Steven co-founded Genesis Merchant Partners which offers strategic and opportunistic asset-based investments and secured loans in underserved markets. Since 2015, he has served on the board of Frozen Foods Partners.
Prior to 2018, he was Chairman of Critical Capital Growth Fund (SBIC), Olympic Cascade and Co-Chairman of Viactiv Holdings. He has sat on numerous public and private boards, including Air Methods, Brightpoint, Semiconductor Packaging Materials and Rodman and Renshaw. He is currently a member of Northwell Health Cancer Institute's Advisory Council and received his bachelor's degree from Hamilton College.
Ruiping Dong has served as a member of our board of directors since July 2020. Dr. Dong also serves as the Chairman of the board of directors of CK Rehab & Pain Clinic. He is currently the Chairman of the board of directors of Jiangsu Synecoun Medical Technology Co., Ltd. ("Synecoun"). He also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Haihe Biopharma Co, Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company that produces and sells innovative anti-tumor drugs, biomedicines, and other related products. Dr. Dong served as the Senior Vice President and Head of Emerging Markets Research and Development at Merck & Co. from 2010 to 2013.
He also served as a member of the Research Laboratory Leadership team, the Emerging Markets Leadership team, and as a member of the board of directors of a joint venture between Merck & Co. and Jiangsu Simcere Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Dr. Dong has experience designing and developing the research and development functions of biopharmaceutical companies, bringing products to the global market, and selling and producing cutting-edge biopharmaceutical products. He received his M.D. from Jiangxi Medical School in 1983 and his Ph.D. in immunogenetics from Kyushu University in 1994.
Dr. Kenneth Burhop has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2022. Since October 2021, Dr. Burhop has served as an advisor and consultant to various lifesciences and medical device companies. From March 2014 until October 2021, Dr. Burhop served as the Corporate Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer of Integra Lifesciences Holdings Corporation where he was responsible for setting Integra's strategic scientific vision and roadmap, as well as leading Integra's portfolio prioritization and management and the scientific evaluation of corporate development and new product opportunities.
Prior to joining Integra, Dr. Burhop served as Chief Scientific Officer at Sangart, Inc. from January 2011 to October 2013. Before joining Sangart, Inc., he spent 24 years with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, from 1986 through 2010, in a series of leadership roles such as Vice President, R&D, Baxter Pharmaceutical Technologies and Vice President, Global Scientific Lead for Baxter's Medication Delivery Division, a business with over $4 billion in annual sales. Dr. Burhop received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his B.A. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Curtis L. Cetrulo, Jr.
Dr. Curtis L. Cetrulo has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2022. Dr. Cetrulo has served in various roles at Massachusetts General Hospital since 2009. He has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School ("HMS") since 2009 and is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery at HMS, and he has served as the Senior Investigator of the Vascularized Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Lab in the Center for Transplantation a Sciences at Massachusetts General Hospital, a laboratory which Dr. Cetrulo established, since 2012.
He also serves as the President of the International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation and as Co-Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee of the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation. He has published numerous research articles and one of his primary goals is to develop a protocol for tolerance of hand and face transplantation to eliminate the need for immunosuppression. Dr. Cetrulo is certified in Plastic Surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He received his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1999, completed his residency at Nassau University Medical Center, and completed a Fellowship with New York University.
James J. Chao
Dr. James J. Chao has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2022. Dr. Chao has also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Oasis MD Lifestyle Healthcare since 2012 and as the Chief Medical Officer of Prime Plastic Surgery since 2020. Prior to serving In these roles, in 2015, Dr. Chao founded ShareMD, the first medical office co-sharing system, where he and the co-founders amalgamated seven different companies and established strategic partnerships into a vertically integrated healthcare system. He also served as Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California San Diego for over ten years.
He is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and he is the Past President of the San Diego Plastic Surgery Society. He also serves as the hand surgeon for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League and for the ESPN X Games. Dr. Chao also sits on the board of directors for three private companies and serves as a medical advisor to two publicly traded companies. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious state and national research awards and holds multiple patents of novel devices for plastic and hand surgery. He received his MS in microbiology in 1992 from the New York University School of Medicine and completed his general surgery, plastic surgery and hand surgery training at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at the New York University Medical Center.