Board of Directors

Learn about our Board of Directors and the experience that they bring to Hemanext.

Andrew Dunham, PhD

Chief Executive Officer- Hemanext


Andrew Dunham, who has been an integral part of the company’s success story, serves as the Chief Executive Officer.  Dr. Dunham joined Hemanext in 2015 as VP of Clinical & Scientific Affairs and, over the past eight years, played a key role in developing a scientific platform to characterize the biological and biochemical differences between hypoxic and conventional RBCs. His contributions not only led to securing an NIH grant for a pivotal clinical study but also, in collaboration with co-authors, earned the prestigious Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) RISE Award for impeccable study design, innovation, significance, and effective communication. As a scientist, he has authored or co-authored thirty-two publications with hundreds of citations, and on the business front, his distinguished fourteen-year tenure at Baxter Healthcare culminated in five years as the global Vice President of Research and Development, where he led a multinational team of several hundred professionals.

Steve Eckert

Classic Communities Organization CEO

Stephen Eckert is President and CEO of Classic Communities Corporation (CCC). CCC is a privately held homebuilder and developer with projects across Maryland. Steve began his career in property development in 1978 as the Director of Government Relations for the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association. He joined Herman Porten in 1980 to help assemble the property that served as the foundation for a new company, Porten Sullivan Corporation where he eventually became President. Steve left Porten Sullivan in 1989 to found CCC. Steve is the recipient of the Milton Kettler Award for lifetime contributions to the community at large and the homebuilding industry, having served on multiple special committees for the Montgomery County Council as well as serving as a frequent panelist at the annual Montgomery County Symposium on Affordable Housing. Steve has also served as President as well as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association. Steve received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History from the University of Illinois.

Eduardo Avayú

Director and Owner of Empresas Indumotora SA

Mr. Eduardo Avayu is vice chairman of family owned Empresas Indumotora SA, which represents, wholesales, and distributes automobiles, trucks, and buses in Chile. Mr. Avayu was also on the board of Forum Financial Services, owned by the Avayu and Yarur families, that finances automobile sales to retail customers. Forum Financial Services was later acquired in 2015 by Banco BBVA, Spain’s second-largest bank. Mr. Avayu is active in education through Grupo Cpech, of which he is chairman of the board, manages nonprofit K-12 schools and a technical institute, and offers preparation class for SAT exams to enter higher education. In addition, Mr. Avayu serves on the board of directors of Fobeju Foundation, that provides scholarships to the Hebrew Academy in Chile. He also held the office of president of the Chilean branch of Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal for 11 years and continues his affiliation a board member of the fundraising organization.

David Testa

Former Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, T. Rowe Price

Until his retirement in 2004, Mr. Testa was Vice Chairman and Chief Investment of T. Rowe Price where he built a very successful 30+ year career. Prior to joining T. Rowe Price, Mr. Testa worked for IBM in their Data Processing Division. He earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College and his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar.

Richard Perle

American Enterprise Institute Resident Fellow

Richard Perle is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Previously he served as member of the Defense Policy Board from 1987 to 2004 and as its chairman from 2001 to 2003; assistant secretary of defense for international security policy (1981-1987), and a staff member to Senator Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) (1969-1980). Mr. Perle is coauthor of “An End to Evil” (Random House, 2003) and author of “Hard Line”, a political novel. He co-directed AEI’s Commission on Future Defenses. He earned a M.A. in political science from Princeton University and a B.A. from the University of Southern California.

Paul M. Ness, M.D.

Senior Director of the Transfusion Medicine Division and Professor of Pathology, Medicine, and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


Dr. Ness served as Division Director from 1979-2018. From 1983-2000 he directed the Baltimore division of American Red Cross Blood Services leading the Baltimore community through the transfusion issues with the AIDS epidemic. At Johns Hopkins he helped to develop programs in patient blood management, bloodless medicine, therapeutic apheresis, and advanced immunohematology. Prior to coming to Hopkins, he was an undergraduate at MIT, a medical student at SUNY Buffalo, a medical resident at Hopkins, a staff associate in the blood program at NIH, and a hematology –transfusion medicine fellow at UC San Francisco

Dr. Ness was a member of the AABB Board of Directors for many years and became President in 1999. He served as editor of Transfusion from 2003-2018. Dr. Ness has written over 250 articles for medical journals and three texts. Dr. Ness also has extensive experience in transfusion related research with emphasis upon transfusion complications including transfusion transmitted infections and immune destruction of transfused cells. He was a member of the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee and is currently a member of the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee of Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability.

He served as PI for the Johns Hopkins site of the Transfusion Medicine Hemostasis Clinical Trial Network, funded by NHLBI. Dr. Ness was co-PI for a project funded by the NHLBI REDS III program to study donor virus epidemiology and blood utilization issues in China. He has served as a consultant to the coordinating centers of REDS II, REDS III, and REDS IV. He continues to serve as a consultant to many companies involved in transfusion medicine supplies and practices.

William O'Neill

Former partner in the corporate finance and M&A practice of Latham & Watkins LLP

Recently retired as a partner in the corporate finance and M&A practice of Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington, D.C. Mr. O’Neill has more than 42 years of experience representing public companies and their boards of directors in strategic and transformative transactions. Mr. O’Neill has counseled Hemanext Board since 2005.

Ismail Kola, PhD

General Partner at Forepont, Visiting Professor of Medicine at Oxford University and Adjunct Professor at several universities and medical schools in the US, Australia and the UK


Prior to Forepont, Ismail held several senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry.  He has published 159 papers in top scientific journals which have been cited over 16,000 times and has led teams that have brought numerous major medicines to the market during his 20-year career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Ismail Kola was until 2018 the CSO of UCB, His previous positions were: Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and Early Clinical Research & Experimental Medicine, Schering-Plough Research Institute, and Chief Scientific Officer, Schering Plough Corporation; Senior Vice President Basic Research and Site Head, Rahway, Montreal and Madrid, Merck and Chairman of Merck’s Antibacterial and Antifungal Worldwide Business Strategy Team; and Vice President Research, and Global Head, Genomics and Biotechnology at Pharmacia Corporation.

Prior to his move to Industry, Ismail was Professor of Human Molecular Genetics, Monash University Medical School, and Director of the Research Center for Functional Genomics and Human Disease for 15 years.

He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Athersys Inc. (ATHX, Nasdaq) and a Director of GPN vaccines (Australia).


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