Management Team

Claudia Mitchell

Claudia Mitchell, Ph.D, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Claudia Mitchell is the CEO and co-founder of Universal Cells Inc. She previously co-founded Halo-Bio RNAi Therapeutics, a biotech start-up company developing new RNAi molecules, and served as its Chief Scientific Officer from 2008 to 2011. Besides being a biotech entrepreneur, Claudia has also held positions in the non-profit sector and in academia; she worked as the Program Director at the LGMD2I Research Fund, a family non-profit foundation, and has held a tenured Academic research position at the French National Institute of Medical Research (INSERM).

She received a Masters in Molecular Virology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Paris and an Executive MBA from the Ecole des Ponts Business School, Paris, France.

David Russell

David Russell, MD, Ph.D

Chief Scientific Officer

David Russell is the CSO and co-founder of Universal Cells Inc., a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a past president of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. His research career has focused on developing improved methods for manipulating the mammalian genome, with the goal of creating new genetic therapies. He received clinical training in internal medicine, hematology/oncology, and bone marrow transplantation. His laboratory has made major contributions in the fields of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors, vector integration, insertional mutagenesis, and the genetic engineering of human stem cells. He discovered the rAAV-mediated gene editing technology licensed by Universal Cells, and has used this approach to engineer HLA genes in human stem cells.

Gregory Block portrait

Gregory Block, Ph.D

VP Business Development

Gregory Block is the Vice President of Business Development of Universal Cells, Inc. He completed his fellowship at the University for Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine where he developed stem cell-based technologies for drug discovery.  Gregory holds a Doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, and a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.  Prior to Universal Cells, Gregory was the Scientific Director for Friends of FSH Research, a Seattle-based non-profit, where he led the granting program, patient community outreach, and was intimately involved with the improvement of global patient registries.

Gregory previously owned and operated an internet marketing company, OracyWeb Inc. He currently serves on a number of non-profit boards, and continues to serve on the scientific advisory board of Friends of FSH Research.

Bryan Steadman portrait

Bryan Steadman, Ph.D

Chief Technology Officer

Bryan Steadman joined Universal Cells Inc. in Feb 2017 as the Chief Technology Officer responsible for the translation of R&D to GMP activities and leadership of the Quality, Regulatory, Process Development and Manufacturing Operations.  Most recently, Bryan was the Executive Director Process Development at Amgen helping transform biotechnology manufacturing by leveraging new internal and external technology development into an integrated facility design.  Prior to Amgen, Bryan was VP CMC Operations for LigoCyte, a VC funded biotechnology firm in Bozeman MT that was acquired by Takeda.   In total, he has more than 25 years of technical experience having also worked at Merck, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Allergan in technical and management roles.

Bryan has a PhD in Environmental Toxicology and BS in Microbiology, both from the University of Wyoming.