Board of Directors

Ron Meeusen PhD

Dr. Meeusen is a Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox and co-founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures. Ron has over 30 years of experience in bringing new technologies and products to market. He has led research and development for major corporations in agricultural chemicals, field crop and vegetable genetics and breeding, animal health, novel foods and industrial materials.

His successful projects include the world’s first field trial of a genetically engineered crop trait in 1986, development and launch of one of the first insect and herbicide resistant corn hybrids in 1996, introduction of a trans-fat free canola oil, and development of dozens of new varieties of field and vegetable crops on three continents. Ron has been a frequent speaker at conferences, a consultant to Federal policy on biotechnology regulatory issues, and active in industry trade groups. Prior to forming Cultivian Ron led the expansion of the biotechnology research and development program of Dow AgroSciences, and founded a successful biopharmaceutical company, Immuneworks, Inc. Ron represents Cultivian on the board of directors of Allylix, Aratana, Proterro and Rivertop Renewables. He was also a member of the board of directors of Divergence, Inc. Divergence was sold to Monsanto Company in February of 2011. Ron holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in plant cell biology, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in plant physiology.

Matt Bell MBA

Mr. Bell is a Principal of Cultivian Sandbox. Matt has over 9 years of technology commercialization and start-up experience through his time with the University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer where he was directly involved with the formation activities of over 20 start-up companies.

Prior to working at the University, Matt spent over 10 years in the Agriculture industry working for several production Ag supply companies including Growmark Incorporated where he was involved with their highly regarded precision farming services group. Matt has two degrees from the University of Illinois in Agronomy and a Masters of Business Administration and spent much of his early career as a professional grain farmer on the family farm that he grew up on in Central Illinois.

Paul Dick MSc, DVM

Dr. Dick has 25 years of experience in the animal health industry including product development, regulatory affairs, business development, commercialization and general management. Roles in this sector have involved both large and medium multinationals and small start-up companies, in various capacities including COO and CEO level positions.

Dr. Dick has worked extensively with Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on numerous regulatory submissions and on departmental committees.

Saeid Babaei  PhD, MBA

Saeid has over 20 years of academic and corporate experience in the biotechnology sector. Prior to AbCelex, he was the VP of business development at Lorus Therapeutics (now Aptose Biosciences), where he was responsible for product and technology licensing, strategic planning, and investor relations. During his tenure at Lorus, Dr. Babaei was central to the creation and management of the internal portfolio review and prioritization processes.

Prior to Lorus, Saeid served as Director of Corporate Development at Northern Therapeutics where he negotiated and executed a variety of key deal transactions, which included the out-licensing of clinical programs, the in-licensing of research technologies, and the establishment of R&D collaborations. Dr. Babaei has served as President of AngioCell, providing partnering support and advice to a range of clients on licensing, M&A, pipeline valuation, strategic planning and project financing.
Dr. Babaei holds a PhD and an executive MBA, both from the University of Toronto. He has authored over 50 publications including research papers, conference presentations, and patents. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of BriaCell Therapeutics, a clinical stage immuno-oncology company listed on TSX-V.


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