Leadership Team

Chris E. Rivera

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board

Chris brings more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. Chris was the Founder and CEO of Hyperion Therapeutics, which was acquired by Horizon Pharma in 2015, the Senior Vice President and head of Commercial Operations at both Tercica, where he led the cross-licensing transaction between Tercica and Ipsen, and Genzyme Therapeutics, where he built and ran Genzyme’s US renal Commercial Operations, he also helped launch Genzyme’s renal division globally. Prior to Genzyme, he helped build Cephalon and Centocor’s initial commercial infrastructures.

From 2009 – 2015, Chris was the President & CEO of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA), where he was responsible for building the biotechnology industry in Washington state. While at the WBBA, he oversaw one of Washington’s largest and fastest growing economic industries, including mentoring more than 400 life science start-up companies, and co-founding WINGS – Washington’s Medical Technology angel network.

He has also been recognized as a state and national leader through his appointments as co-Chair for the Governor’s life science and global health advisory committee, Governor’s Higher Education Task Force, the Washington Global Health Funding Commission, and Chairman, for the national Council of State Bioscience Associations.

Chris holds a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; a bachelor degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University; and studied marketing and management at the Albers Graduate School of Business and Economics at Seattle University.

Xavier A. Figueroa, PhD

Vice President, Pre-clinical Development

Xavier is the principal scientist for EMulate Therapeutics overseeing pre-clinical research and the application of EMulate Therapeutics technology in multiple disease areas. He has more than 20 years of experience in basic and neurological clinical research, including Alzheimer’s research, neuron biology, cancer research, bioengineering and biophysics.

He has advised emerging biotechnology companies, most notably Cytokinetics and ENG3. Xavier has also served on non-profit Scientific Advisory Boards for such organizations as the Brain Health and Healing Foundation and has published broadly in multiple areas of science and medicine.

Xavier received his doctoral degree in Neurobiology & Behavior from the University of Washington. His doctoral training was followed by two post-doctoral fellowships within the University of Washington’s Department of Bioengineering. He is currently an affiliate assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington.

David Matteson, MPH, MEd, MPA

Investor Relations and Education

David is a seasoned business leader and strategist, who has dedicated his career to advancing healthy innovations, services, and products into the market place. Prior to joining EMulate Therapeutics full time in 2012, he consulted to early- and growth-stage companies in healthcare to develop strategic plans, raise capital, craft public policy campaigns, design and implement marketing and branding programs, manage company growth and change, and foster high-performance teams at both the board and C-suite levels. As an executive coach he has worked with dozens of entrepreneurs to hone their ideas into viable business structures and lead their ventures through the volatile journey to market.

David has a diverse background that spans five academic preparations and numerous executive positions across several industries. This broad base of training and experience provides a unique, integrated, and long-view perspective that is valuable when designing integrated business structures and strategies to move innovation into the market. He has a proven track record of brokering and managing multi-disciplinary teams to tackle complex business opportunities.

During his career he has worked with well-known companies, such as Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, Aetna, GTE/Verizon, Eli Lilly, and Monsanto, as well as with local and national trade associations in the areas of public health, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and with numerous health-related start-ups. He also is an entrepreneur in his own right, having co-founded several healthcare services and product companies. He has solid international experience, having worked extensively in the Pacific Basin with multi-national companies, during his tenure as Sr. Vice President with Hill & Knowlton.

David serves on a variety of boards and advisory teams dedicated to enhancing organizational capacity and leadership. He is an associate editor for a peer-reviewed integrated medical journal. He holds academic degrees in biology/engineering, education, public health, and public policy and planning. He is a certified mediator and accredited in public relations.

Michael Mischke-Reeds, MA

SVP of Business Development

Michael has over 25 years leadership experience in life sciences companies, having worked as a startup biotech executive and a management consultant, specializing in biotechnology. After studying biology and management science at Stanford University, he co-founded startup companies Fast Track Systems (software to support pharmaceutical clinical development) and Chiron Informatics (disease management software for HIV). His management consulting career started at Strategic Decisions Group (world leader in pharmaceutical asset valuation and portfolio management) and then cofounded Keelin Reeds Partners (biotech-focused consulting firm offering valuation, strategy, and transaction support). Michael is currently Senior Vice President of Business Development for EMulate Therapeutics, where he leads partnering activities as well as strategy and valuation.

While working as a management consultant at SDG, Michael led strategy and portfolio management projects with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Then at Keelin Reeds Partners, he led a broad range of projects for over 50 emerging biotech, medical device and diagnostics companies, including asset valuation and product development strategy, partnership strategy and deal term negotiations and portfolio management. Recognizing that mid-sized biotech and specialty pharma companies face complex decisions regarding product development and out-licensing/in-licensing, he led the development of KR’s breakthrough methodology for optimizing portfolio-level decisions that incorporate both R&D resource allocation as well as partnership dimensions.

His innovative work at Chiron and Fast Track resulted in five patents. Michael has chaired numerous international healthcare standards committees, including HL-7 Decision Support and the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC). He received his BA in Philosophy from Stanford University, where he was a premed student and completed the entire graduate curriculum in Decision Science courses, and a MA from Naropa University in Psychology.

Donna Morgan Murray, PhD

Chief Regulatory Officer

Donna is the Chief Regulatory Officer for EMulate Therapeutics. A seasoned healthcare professional, she has more than 30 years experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. She's authored more than 60 publications and served on several non-profit boards and organizations.
Donna holds a PhD from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Eric Peterson

Vice President of Operations

Eric brings more than 20 years of experience in developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative medical devices in fast growing start-up companies. He serves as the Director of Development and Manufacturing at EMulate Therapeutics, where he is responsible for leading design, development and manufacturing operations with strategic partners while ensuring compliance with FDA and ISO standards.

Eric began his career as a product development engineer focusing on medical devices and equipment for therapeutic cell separation applications. He then advanced to leadership positions including Director of Device Development and Manufacturing at Dendreon Corporation where he managed device development and contract manufacturing, and Director of Operations at Northstar Neuroscience where he oversaw supply chain operations for implantable medical electronic devices used to treat neurological disorders. Most recently, Eric was a Principle Program Manager at EMC, (acquired by Dell Technologies), where he was responsible for leading global programs to help the organization deliver on its business transformation strategies and new product introductions. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Steven Pope, MA (Oxon), JD

Corporate Secretary and Sr. VP, General Counsel

Steven is responsible for overseeing the legal affairs of the Company, including contracts, securities, governance, intellectual property, and employment matters. Prior to joining Nativis in 2010, Steven was a Partner at Perkins Coie LLP.
Steven received his J.D. cum laude from Seattle University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review, his M.A. from the University of Oxford, and his B.A. summa cum laude from Gonzaga University.

Gabriel Vogeli, PhD

Senior Distinguished Scientist

Gabriel, Distinguished Scientist, is the former Director of Molecular Biology for Dendreon Corporation, former Senior Scientist at Upjohn Company/Pharmacia-Upjohn and Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Gabriel holds a PhD from the University of Zurich, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University.