Dr. Frances Verter spent her first career as an astrophysicist, her second career as a computer programmer, and currently in her third incarnation she is the founder and CEO of Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. Together with Alexey Bersenev and Pedro Silva Couto, she launched CellTrials.org as a subsidiary of the Foundation in 2017.
Pedro Silva Couto received his masters degree in biological engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisboa Portugal, and did his thesis work at Crioestaminal S.A. His thesis examined the laboratory procedures for isolating and storing mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) from the human umbilical cord - which procedures are better for cell counts, for cost control, or for quality control? Pedro has worked for the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation since 2014, and joined the co-founders of CellTrials.org in 2017. Pedro is currently working towards his PhD at University College London (UCL), where he is studying the expansion of MSC from adult and perinatal sources. Together, Pedro and Frances have co-authored several blogs and peer-reviewed publications about the biobanking industry and about the statistics of clinical trials. Pedro is a huge fan of the stem cells and regenerative medicine field and has contributed to the outreach efforts of professional organizations such as AABB and ISCT. Pedro's interests also include piano and choir singing, judo and soccer.
Alexey Bersenev received medical education and was certified as a general surgeon in Russia. After completing medical school, he received a PhD in transplantation/ pathology in 2003. Over the next six years, Alexey underwent post-doctoral training in the United States at Thomas Jefferson University and at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. During this period he gained expertise in immunology, hematology, stem cell biology, and published scientific papers. In 2011, Alexey started work as a cell processing technologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the next three years he received training in clinical cell processing in a GMP cell manufacturing facility. Since Feb. 2015, Alexey is working at Yale University (Yale-New Haven Hospital) as Facility Director of the Clinical Cell Therapy Processing Laboratory and the Advanced Cell Therapy Laboratory. His expertise is in clinical manufacturing of cellular products for clinical trials, including product and process development, cell processing and culture, operations of academic GMP facilities and compliance with regulations. He is also Associate Research Scientist at the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Yale University.
The core Team of Cell Trials Data consists of 3 people: Alexey Bersenev, MD PhD, Frances Verter, PhD, and Pedro Silva Couto, MSc. Alexey is currently the facility director of the clinical cell therapy processing and advanced cell therapy laboratories at Yale University. Frances and Pedro are the scientific staff of Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. Frances is the director of the Foundation and holds a PhD in astrophysics from Princeton University. Pedro has a Master of Science degree in biological engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal, and is currently pursuing his PhD in this field at University College London.