Management Team

Dr. Cheryl Blanchard joined Microchips Biotech in July 2014 as its Chief Executive Officer. She is a medical device and biologics executive with over 25 years of leadership experience. Most recently she was a corporate officer of Zimmer, Inc., a medical device company focused on musculoskeletal products, where she served as Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and general manager of Zimmer Biologics. During her 12 years with Zimmer, she operated in roles of increasing responsibility including global leadership of research and development, advanced technologies, clinical, quality and regulatory affairs, medical affairs, medical education, health economics, and reimbursement. She created, built and led the biologics business at Zimmer through disciplined execution of an R&D pipeline coupled with significant partnering and business development activities.

Prior to Zimmer, Dr. Blanchard built and led the medical device practice at Southwest Research Institute while also serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, both in San Antonio, TX. Some of her work led to the creation of Keraplast Technologies, LLC. Dr. Blanchard brings a unique combination of results-oriented business management skills, technical leadership, and a track record of commercializing game-changing products that address unmet needs. In 2015, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.

Dr. Blanchard holds a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University, and a Masters of Science and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

David Neafus was retained as CFO of Microchips Biotech in April of 2015. David also founded and currently manages Triton Resources, Inc., a boutique consulting firm providing part time CFO and other finance and HR services. David provides executive services specializing in interim executive management, IPOs, turnarounds, strategic analysis, and mergers and acquisitions. Previous clients include GlycoFi, where as CFO David helped the Company complete its $400 Million acquisition by Merck, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where as Vice President of Finance David led the company to a successful IPO, Infinity Pharmaceuticals where David served as Vice President Finance and Administration and Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he served as Corporate Controller. Prior to founding Triton, David was an auditor at KPMG.

Mr. Neafus received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, and his MBA from Bentley College. He is also a certified public accountant.

Todd Kerkow joined Microchips Biotech in August 2016 as Vice President of Product Development and Commercialization, bringing more than 20 years of in-depth product development experience covering concept development through global commercial launch.

Previously, Mr. Kerkow served as Director of Program Management for Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of various medical devices for use in interventional medicine. While at BSC, Mr. Kerkow led the cross-functional Core Team which developed, gained approval for, and successfully launched BSC’s second generation subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator. He also oversaw the Core Team responsible for the creation of BSC’s first generation Leadless Cardiac Pacemaker. Also while at BSC, Mr. Kerkow initiated, led, and oversaw the creation of the Program Management Strategic Plan, which identified four critical success factors for Program Management to focus on to maintain success and improve in key areas of project execution across all of BSC’s Rhythm Management division.

Prior to Boston Scientific Corporation, Mr. Kerkow held multiple positions at Cameron Health Inc., the last of which was the Vice President of Product Development. In this role, he led the Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Test Development and Program Management teams responsible for delivering the world’s first subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator system. He also led the integration of Cameron Health into Boston Scientific after BSC’s acquisition in 2012.

Prior to Cameron Health, Mr. Kerkow held several product development positions at Guidant Corporation, including New Product Development Manager, Manufacturing Process Development Manager, Test Equipment Group Supervisor, Process Development Engineer, and Design Engineer.

Mr. Kerkow has a proven track record of and a passion for leading cross-functional teams to deliver innovative medical products that are meaningful for patients, physicians, and industry.

Mr. Kerkow holds both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

Carol Pekar joined Microchips Biotech in May 2016 as Vice President of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, engaging over 30 years of executive leadership experience in bringing technical and medical products to market.

Previously, Ms. Pekar served as Vice President of Clinical and regulatory Affairs for Anika Therapeutics, Inc., an orthobiologics company. While at Anika, Ms. Pekar led successful clinical trials of a novel drug-device combination product that led to global marketing approvals, and achieved PMA approval of a device to treat symptomatic osteoarthritis requiring significant interaction with FDA leadership.

Prior to Anika, Ms. Pekar held positions at Abiomed, Inc., where she delivered PMA, HDE, and 510(k) approvals for implantable Class III cardiovascular devices, and Palomar Medical, a medical laser company, where she conducted multiple clinical trials that supported the first 510(k) for an Over-the-Counter Class IV laser device for consumers to treat wrinkles around their eyes.

Ms. Pekar has a proven track record of success in obtaining key global regulatory approvals for Drug-Device and Biologic-Device Combination Products and Class II and Class III Medical Devices. She has been instrumental in coordination of a successful FDA Advisory Panel leading to a PMA approval, and served on the FDA New Innovation Pathway Panel representing industry.

Ms. Pekar holds a degree in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University, an MBA from Babson, and Certificates in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs from the Boston University School of Medicine and Northeastern University.

Nicolas Pacelli joined Microchips Biotech as Vice President of Alliance Management and Business Development in 2015, bringing 14 years of product development and partnering experience in the medical device and biologics sectors.

Previously, Mr. Pacelli served as Associate Director, Project Management in the Early Intervention Business Unit at Zimmer Inc., where he held alliance management, technical sales support, and product management responsibilities for one of the company’s partnered products, Gel-One® Hyaluronate. During that time, he also evaluated external technologies for licensing or acquisition to expand the unit’s portfolio and pipeline. Prior to that, Mr. Pacelli held positions at Zimmer in product development and research where his work focused on the design and development of novel orthopedic device technologies for the spine and trauma markets.

Mr. Pacelli has proven experience across all stages of product development and has a successful track record of leading large-cross functional teams to support complex commercialization projects. In addition, he brings a significant background in international business, strategic planning and portfolio development.

Mr. Pacelli holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Kathleen Dennis joined Microchips Biotech as Vice President of Quality in February 2016, bringing more than 20 years in engineering and quality management system experience working in Operations, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, implementing systems and infrastructure supporting product development, manufacturing operations and corporate information technology initiatives across the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, after consulting for the company in 2015.

Prior to joining Microchips Biotech, Ms. Dennis held a senior leadership role at Pharmalucence providing general management expertise across product teams and functional groups and lead the definition and execution of business improvements by facilitating and driving change in high growth and rapidly evolving environments. Ms. Dennis has also fulfilled several senior management roles at both start-up and large corporations holding positions of increasing responsibility at Aeris Therapeutics, Boston Scientific and Thermo Cardiosystems, Inc.

Ms. Dennis graduated with honors and holds an MBA from Babson College and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University.

Paige Cochran is Vice President of Human Resources. Ms. Cochran brings over 20 years of experience in human resources for high-growth companies across a variety of industries including biopharma, medical device, clean tech and high tech. She has previously served as VP of Human Resources at Hydra Biosciences and at American Science and Engineering, Inc., where she managed through critical phases of rapid growth and organizational change. She brings to the team notable skills in executive coaching, employee relations, talent acquisition, compensation, performance management and compliance expertise.

Ms. Cochran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emory University.