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.

Peter Andersen, MS, PhD


Peter Andersen, PhD, co-founded Vita Therapeutics, Inc. in 2019. He currently serves as the head of the Andersen Research Group at Johns Hopkins University. Peter has studied stem cell biology for more than a decade during which time he has published several novel discoveries contributing to the field of stem cell and developmental biology. He has an MS in molecular biology from Copenhagen University, where he also received a PhD in developmental biology.

Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD

Chief Development 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.

Michael Molyneaux, MD, MBA

Chief Medical Officer

Mike Molyneaux, MD, MBA, joins Vita from Sirnaomics, Inc., where he spent eight years as chief medical officer leading the development of clinical operations, medical and regulatory affairs. There, he was instrumental in leading the company through capital fundraising activities from a Series C to the company’s initial public offering (IPO). While at Sirnaomics, Mike was able to bring multiple drug targets to the clinic across a spectrum of therapeutic areas, including rare disease, oncology, fibrosis and anticoagulant therapy. Prior, he worked in the cell therapy space at Macrocure LTD., where he led successful teams in preclinical and clinical operations, and medical and regulatory affairs. Mike started his career as a physician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Canada and as a medical director at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, Ill. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Prince Edward Island, his medical degree at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and an MBA from Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis, Mo.

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.

Michael Kuo, MT (ASCP)

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing

Michael Kuo, MT (ASCP), has more than 24 years of experience in developing novel cell, gene and regenerative medicine therapies to support early-to-late-stage clinical trials. He previously served as MANA Therapeutics’ senior vice president of technical operations and vice president of quality and operations at MaxCyte. Michael also served as senior director of quality assurance at Mesoblast and held various CMC leadership positions throughout his career. He has established and directed numerous GMP manufacturing, quality assurance and analytical testing operations; and provided oversight of clinical manufacturing, process development, translational scale-up, technology transfer and analytical testing at major global contract manufacturing and development organizations and contract testing laboratories. Michael received his BS degrees in medical technology and microbiology as well as his biomedical regulatory affairs certification from the University of Washington.

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