Leadership Team

Douglas Falk, MS

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Doug Falk, MS, co-founded and joined Vita Therapeutics, Inc. as Chief Executive Officer in 2019. Prior, he spent six years in the investment world with a particular focus in biotechnology at Brown Advisory, where he was a principal, Merrill Lynch, and Lazard. He was also involved in the formation of Regron Therapeutics, a Johns Hopkins spin, and currently sits on the board of directors. In addition to his work at Vita, Doug is actively involved in the venture capital scene, serving as a venture partner for Riptide Ventures. He received his MS from Johns Hopkins University in biotechnology and his BA from Goucher College in economics and business management.

Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD, is internationally known for his research involving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and has worked in the stem cell field for more than 25 years. He is the co-founder of neural stem cell company Q Therapeutics, NXCell and Implant Bio. Previously Mahendra served as vice president of research in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine division at LiFE Technologies and served as the chair of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee (CTGTAC) at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to joining Vita, he was the CEO of PanCELLa, a company with advanced iPSC engineering platforms and led the successful merger of PanCELLa and Pluristyx. Mahendra is an award-winning stem cell researcher and has published more than 400 papers on the topic. He earned his MBBS from Bombay University in India and his PhD in developmental neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

Alexandra Capela, PhD

Senior Vice President of Regulatory and IND Strategy

Alexandra Capela, PhD, is a neurobiologist with more than 20 years of post-doctoral and industry experience in the development of cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative disorders, most recently as a preclinical and regulatory consultant. Previously, she served as a member of the management team of StemCells, Inc. for 15 years. Alexandra received her doctorate in biomedical sciences from Albany Medical College/University of Oporto.

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