The Team


The Team

Samuel C Wagner

Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

Samuel Wagner is a founder of Batu Biologics and has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since January of 2014. Mr. Wagner studied engineering at an honors level at the University of California at San Diego, but pursued an entrepreneurial path. Following a successful series of investments in various ventures, Mr. Wagner took a strong interest in biotechnology, where he is self-taught. He has since connected with leading biotechnology minds in San Diego and spear-headed their collaboration while garnering significant private investment. Mr. Wagner hopes to improve the lives of patients with devastating diseases by organizing and leading teams of highly qualified individuals to develop innovative therapeutics. He further seeks to utilize the success of Batu Biologics and future endeavors to drive his thirst for scientific entrepreneurship, and to give back to the communities that inspire him.

Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., FANA, FAAN

Consulting Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Kesari is one of “America’s Top Doctors” selected by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. He is among the top 1% of neuro-oncologists and neurologists in the nation, according to Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Each year, Castle Connolly surveys thousands of physicians and other healthcare professionals and asks them to identify excellent doctors in every specialty in their region and throughout the nation for their Top Doctors™ distinction. Dr. Kesari is often called upon by the media to comment on neurological issues and the non-surgical treatment of brain tumors. Dr. Kesari is currently the Chair and Professor of the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

Thomas Ichim, Ph.D.

Founder, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Ichim has extensive experience with stem cell therapy and cellular product development through FDA regulatory pathways. Dr. Ichim spent over 7 years as the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Medistem, developing and commercializing a novel stem cell, the Endometrial Regenerative Cell, through drug discovery, optimization, preclinical testing, IND filing, and up through Phase II clinical trials with the FDA. Subsequent to the acquisition of Medistem by Intrexon, in a deal worth $26 million, Dr. Ichim was brought on to the parent company in its cell engineering unit as Vice President of Cellular Therapy. Thomas Ichim hopes to greatly add to the value of Batu Biologics by leveraging his existing contacts and experience in product development, regulatory filings, and business development.

Dimitri Theofilopoulos, J.D.

Founder, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel

Dimitri Theofilopoulous oversees operations and legal matters for Batu Biologics. Dimitri was in-house business counsel for consulting transactions and research compliance at The Scripps Research Institute from June 2010 – March 2013.   Prior to that, he practiced employment and healthcare law. Dimitri holds a J.D. from USC School of Law and a B.A. in History from UCLA. He has also published The Bar Exam Memorization Book, a useful study aid for the bar exam.

Hong Ma, MD, Ph.D., M.B.A.

VP of Business Development

Dr. Ma has an extensive history in academic and translational research. Subsequent to completing her medical degree, she performed basic research in the area of molecular biology of endothelial-associated pathways in her doctorate and postdoctoral studies. She has been critical in establishing numerous ventures and collaborations in the area of biosciences. Dr. Ma has over 20 peer-reviewed publications and has worked with prestigious institutions in the USA, China, and Japan. She received her M.D. from Dalian Medical University, her Ph.D in Cardiovascular Pharmacology at Asahikawa Medical College, and has also earned her MBA at the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego.

Gerry Berg

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Berg has over 30 years of senior management experience working with private and public companies. Mr. Berg has served a number of public companies as their Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Financial Officer or as a financial consultant. He has also served on the Board of Directors for a number of public companies. He has been responsible for manufacturing, inventory control, product procurement, and quality control departments. He has managed shareholder relations, financial reviews, budgeting, contract analysis, legal services and banking relationships. Mr. Berg began his career as a Certified Public Accountant with the firm of Deloitte & Touche (Deloitte). He served as Audit Manager for the Buick Motor Division of General Motors Corporation as one of his primary assignments.  Mr. Berg holds a Bachelors of Arts in Accounting from Walsh College where he graduated Cum Laude. Mr. Berg became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Michigan in 1979 and in the State of California in 1984.