Board of Directors

Frank Grassler, VP for Technology Development, UT Southwestern / Board Chair

Frank Grassler is an intellectual property, corporate, start-up, and regulatory attorney, and licensing executive, with over 30 years of biopharma industry experience in law and business, covering preparation, prosecution, licensing, technology transfer, start-ups, acquisitions, divestitures portfolio management, and people management, as well as patent litigation, for IP and technology transfer departments. His technical areas have included chemical, biological, genetic, and mechanical inventions, including pharmaceuticals, biologicals, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, clinical trial outcomes, novel materials, and mechanical & electromechanical devices. His regulatory work has covered university & hospital research, development, and clinical programs and compliance with FDA, HIPAA, and FCPA. His affiliations include Gates Corporation, G. D. Searle, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences, Genentech/Roche and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Dave Carlson / Treasurer

Dave Carlson has over 20 years of financ­e and accounting experience in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries­. Working at various private and public co­mpanies, his experience includes sta­rt-ups, public offerings, mergers, product a­nd company acquisitions, along wit­h dive­stitures and liquidation. Dave is curren­tly the VP of Finance & Chief Accounting Officer­ at NCHS Holdings, a specialty pharmacy focusing on hemophilia care.  Prior to joining NCHS, he was Chief Accounting Officer at Cari­s Life Sciences, an innova­tive biot­echnology company focused on p­recision m­edicine helping patients with­ cancer. Dave previously held other senior finance roles for MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals and Adams Respiratory T­herapeutics after starting his career at RxAmerica. Dave ear­ned his B.S. in Finance­ from the Univer­sity of Utah and his M.B.A. with honors from the University of Texas at Dallas­.


Art Clapp is the CEO and founder of two North Texas life science companies and a past corporate executive with over 30 years of professional US and international pharmaceutical experience in licensing, M&A, strategy, technology assessment, product development, commercialization and global marketing. After his VP role at Galderma, a global leader in dermatology, he is now focusing on building life science start-up companies aimed at developing novel therapeutics and devices for dermatology and inflammatory conditions. Art earned his MBA from TCU MJ Neely School of Business and he has a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Biochemistry from The University of South Florida.

Duane Dimos, Ph.D. The University of Texas at Arlington

Duane B. Dimos, PhD.,  joined The University of Texas at Arlington in April 2015 as Vice President for Research. Before joining UT Arlington, Dr. Dimos served at Sandia National Laboratories in a wide variety of leadership and management positions, including as acting vice president of the Science and Technology Division, Director of the Engineering Sciences Center, a large multi-disciplinary research and development organization, at Sandia in Albuquerque, NM, and Director of Sandia’s Materials Science and Engineering Center. Dr. Dimos received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University. Over the years, his work has spanned the range from fundamental understanding of materials properties to process integration and compatibility to advanced device technologies. He has published over 140 technical papers, edited four proceedings volumes and holds 11 patents. He has been actively involved in nanotechnologies, leading programs in materials aging and reliability, developing new energy programs in materials, and in a range of national security R&D efforts. Dr. Dimos is a fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Ceramic Society.

David Foster, Ph.D., J.D., Co-Founder

David C. Foster, Ph.D., J.D. is co-founder of two biotechnology companies as well a founding partner at the law firm Roberts Foster LLP, which focuses on emerging technology companies Following a 12-year career in the San Francisco Bay Area working with biotechnology companies of all sizes, he returned to Texas with a desire to make a difference in the DFW and Texas biotechnology communities. Since then he has co-founded and serves as President & CEO of Tuevol Therapeutics, which is developing next generation cancer therapies. Prior to his work at Tuevol Therapeutics, he co-founded FPRT Bio, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of debilitating neurological diseases. David earned is BS in Biology from the University of North Texas, his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and his J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law. David is a resident of Colleyville, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, and two children.

Vipin Garg, CEO, Neos Therapeutics

Vipin Garg has over 25 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience building and managing both private and publicly traded companies in a wide range of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Neos, Dr. Garg served as President and Chief Executive Officer and Board Director of Tranzyme Pharma, progressing it from a discovery-stage, emerging biotechnology company to a NASDAQ-listed drug development company. Dr. Garg has also served as Chief Operating Officer of Apex Bioscience, Inc., and held senior management positions at DNX Bio-Therapeutics, Inc., and Bio-Response Inc. Dr. Garg currently serves on the Executive Committee of CED (formerly the Council for Entrepreneurial Development) and is the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Award, Carolinas Region. Dr. Garg received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and his M.S. from New Delhi, India.

Paul Herchman / Board Secretary

Paul Herchman is an entrepreneurial executive offering years of experience in the conception, development and management of medical and aesthetic ventures.  He has lead several well know and successful medical/aesthetic start-up companies and brings solid business insights with the ability to raise capital, analyze market needs, envision new program concepts and strategies. Paul excels in devising non-traditional solutions that exploit emerging technologies or trends.

Deborah Jenkins Hutchinson / Co-Chair

Ms. Hutchinson has over 30 years of senior management experience with a track record in successfully taking early and mid-stage healthcare, biotech and technology companies from concept, through product development and sales. She brings extensive international experience to the Company with past experience in Europe, China, the Americas and Asia. She serves on the Board of Directors for Private Access, Inc.

Melissa Krauth

Melissa Krauth is a life science industry veteran with over 20 years of biopharmaceutical experience including her most recent position as Principal, Life Science Investments at 2M Companies. Prior to 2M, she spent eight years as a senior executive with Reata Pharmaceuticals with responsibility for company and product-level strategies and operations. During her tenure, the company grew from seven to 200 employees, and from nominal to $3 billion in value. Prior to that, Melissa spent over ten years as a strategy consultant to executives at top pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Melissa is an honors graduate from Rice University with a degree in Biochemistry. She received her MBA in Health Care Management and Strategic Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Maxwell Lea

Maxwell Lea is Vice President, Corporate Development and Corporate Finance at DFB Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas based organization that invests in and operates a portfolio of healthcare businesses.  He is responsible for DFB’s acquisition, licensing, and financing activities.  He also leads the Business Development activities (strategic partnerships, new technology assessment) and International operations (sales & marketing in Canada, Europe & Latin America) for Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, one of DFB’s operating businesses that is an industry leader in the field of wound healing and soft tissue repair.

Prior to joining DFB, Maxwell was an investment banker with Bank of America Securities, where he was responsible for the origination, structuring and execution of capital raising and M&A transactions in a variety of industries.  He has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Kay Tieman, Co-Founder

Kay Tieman is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at AmeriPac, Inc., a contract packaging, fulfillment, kitting and distribution company serving the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement, animal health, medical device and consumer goods industries.  Kay is a career life sciences professional beginning with American Hospital Supply selling lab supplies and equipment to leading companies such as Genzyme, Genetics Institute and Biogen.  Her career in sales for AHS/Baxter was followed by sales leadership in the home infusion therapy industry and then to the Massachusetts’s Biotechnology Council where she and the executive director grew the organization from 75 to over 300 companies in 3 years.  At MassBio, Kay created the first ever Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) for the life sciences.  Kay then joined the Biotechnology Innovation Organization in Washington, DC, where launched a national GPO for companies across the country. Upon her arrival in Texas in early 2002, Kay was a Senior Director of Technology Business Development and helped launch BioDFW with the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, and had roles in executive recruiting and commercial insurance prior to founding bionorthTX. 

Jorge Varela, Executive VP, Texas Research and Technology Foundation

Jorge’s passion is launching and growing companies, and helping others do the same. He is a serial entrepreneur, startup evangelist, speaker, and business startup coach. Jorge’s primary focus is taking companies to scale. He has started and/or been a part of, the executive team, at numerous companies most notably in telecommunications, software, and information technology, with financially successful exits in each market segment. Jorge was formerly Director of TECH Fort Worth, a non-profit organization focused on helping entrepreneurs launch and grow emerging technology companies. Efforts of TECH Fort Worth are largely recognized through programs such as Cowtown Angels, an angel investors network in Fort Worth previously managed by Jorge Varela. During his almost 5 years at TECH Forth Worth he and his team contributed to the financial success of clients totaling over $4 Billion. From 2012 to 2017 he was Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. In addition, he serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation on Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR and STTR) grants. He serves on the boards of the International Business Innovation Association, and the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks.

Jaime Walkowiak, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Research, Baylor Scott & White Health Research

As the senior vice president of research and chief operating officer, Jaime oversees the research infrastructure of Baylor Scott & White Health Research by integrating research into all levels of the health care system, facilitating growth of new and existing research programs, and expanding collaborations. Jaime will also oversee the development of industry and business relations for research through partnerships, business ventures, licensing and other related opportunities. She joined Baylor in 2007 as assistant general counsel after several years of experience in legal and research settings, both in Dallas and her native Boston. Her prior life science experience includes clinical research and project management in leading health care institutions such as Massachusetts General, Harvard Medical School and Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Jaime has a Bachelor of Science degree from Suffolk University and a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.