Board of Directors

Robert L. Zerbe, M.D., Director at Aastrom BiosciencesRobert L. Zerbe, M.D.

Lead Director since October 2012; Director since January 2006

Dr. Zerbe is the CEO  of QUATRx Pharmaceuticals Company, a venture-backed drug development company which he co-founded in 2000.  Prior to his role at QUATRx, he held senior executive management positions with major pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly and Pfizer.  During his tenure at Eli Lilly, his clinical research and development positions included Managing Director, Lilly Research Center U.K., and Vice President of Clinical Investigation and Regulatory Affairs.  He joined Parke Davis in 1993 becoming Senior Vice President of Worldwide Clinical Research and Development.  In this capacity, he led the clinical development programs for key products including Lipitor® and Neurontin®.  Dr. Zerbe received his M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine and has completed post-doctoral work in internal medicine, endocrinology and neuroendocrinology at Indiana University and the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Zerbe currently serves on the boards of directors of one other public company, Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and two private companies, Metabolex, Inc. and Edgemont Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Zerbe’s qualifications to sit on the Board include his management positions at major pharmaceutical companies including the experience he gleaned in his clinic development roles.


Nelson Sims Lead Director of Aastrom BiosciencesNelson M. Sims

Director since February 2006

Mr. Sims most recently served as the President and CEO of Novavax, Inc., an international health and life science company.  From 1973 through 2001, Mr. Sims served in various executive positions in sales, marketing, business development, and general management of Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical company, including Executive Director of Alliance Management, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Hybritech, Inc. (acquired by Eli Lilly) and President of Eli Lilly Canada.  Mr. Sims received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and completed the Tuck Executive Program at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.  In addition to serving as a board member of companies where he also led the executive management team, Mr. Sims has other significant board experience serving both public and private companies, including MDS, Inc., ATS Automation Tooling Systems, Inc. and Novavax, Inc. Mr. Sims’s qualifications to sit on the Directors include his significant contributions at global life sciences companies. Mr. Sims was Chairman of the Board from 2007 through 2009.



Alan L. Rubino Director of Aastrom BiosciencesAlan L. Rubino

Director since September 2005

Mr. Rubino has served as CEO and President of Emisphere Technologies, Inc. since September, 2012.  Previously, Mr. Rubino served as the CEO and President of New American Therapeutics, CEO and President of Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, LLC., and President and COO of Pharmos Corporation.  Mr. Rubino has continued to expand upon a highly successful and distinguished career that included Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. where he was a member of the U.S. Executive and Operating Committees and a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) corporate officer.  During his Roche tenure, he held key executive positions in marketing, sales, business operations, supply chain and human resource management, and was assigned executive committee roles in marketing, project management, and globalization.  Mr. Rubino also held senior executive positions at PDI, Inc. and Cardinal Health.  He holds a BA in economics from Rutgers University with a minor in biology/chemistry and completed post-graduate educational programs at the University of Lausanne and Harvard Business School.  Additionally, he serves on the Board of Rutgers University School of Business and the Lerner Center for Pharmaceutical Studies. Mr. Rubino’s qualifications to sit on the Board include his leadership roles in the life sciences industry in a wide range of positions, including positions focused on sales and marketing and SEC matters.


Heidi HagenHeidi Hagen

Director since August 2013

Heidi M. Hagen is formerly the Global Chief Operating Officer for SOTIO a.s. in Prague, CZ Republic with a US office in Boston, MA. She has an extensive and proven track record in leading operations and commercializing innovative technologies. Before joining SOTIO she worked for Dendreon for ten years as Senior Vice President of Operations, where she was responsible for technical operations, among other duties. Prior to joining Dendreon, she spent ten years with Immunex Corporation where she held various positions in drug development and supply/operations management. Heidi has a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S. in Bioengineering, and M.B.A. from the University of Washington.


Dominick Colangelo

President & CEO

Nick joined Vericel in 2013 with more than twenty years of executive management and corporate development experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including nearly a decade with Eli Lilly and Company. Most recently, Nick was President and Chief Executive Officer of Promedior, Inc.  During his career, he has held a variety of executive positions of increasing responsibility in product development, pharmaceutical operations, sales and marketing, and corporate development.  He has extensive experience in the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies to treat fibrovascular, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.  During his tenure at Eli Lilly and Company, Nick held positions as Director of Strategy and Business Development for Lilly’s Diabetes Product Group and also served as a founding Managing Director of Lilly Ventures. Nick received his B.S.B.A. in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. degree, with Honors, from the Duke University School of Law.