Board of Managers
David Gamm, MD PhD
Dr. Gamm is a practicing pediatric ophthalmologist at the University of Wisconsin, and a leader in the field of retinal cell differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dave holds positions as RRF Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Sandra Lemke Trout Chair in Eye Research, and Principal Investigator in the Waisman Center Stem Cell Research Program and the UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center. His laboratory at the Waisman Center utilizes stem cell technology to 1) investigate the cellular and molecular events that occur during human retinal differentiation and 2) generate cells for use in human retinal disease modeling and cell-based rescue or replacement strategies. Three-dimensional optic vesicle-based differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into retinal cells, including photoreceptors, was first described in Dr. Gamm's laboratory.
Kazuyoshi Hirao, MBA
Mr. Hirao has served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a FUJIFILM company, since June 1, 2015. He previously served as business development manager of FUJIFILM’s pharmaceutical division from 2013 to 2015, where he had responsibility for the M&A transactions and licensing activities in the global markets. At FUJIFILM headquarters, he held international leadership and management roles for global business operations, including the non-destructive test business director of the industrial products division from 2010 to 2013 and senior operations manager for business development and global governance of the electronic materials division from 2005 to 2010. Between 1998 and 2005 he held various project management roles at the corporate planning division in connection with FUJIFILM Second Foundation. From January 2012 to May 2015, Mr. Hirao was the secretary general of the Japan Netherlands Society, established in 1912, which contributes to the mutual understanding of the cultures between Japan and the Netherlands in cooperation with the Netherlands Embassy in Japan.
Takashi Okada, LLB
Mr. Okada has served as Chief Technology Officer of Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a FUJIFILM company , since October 1, 2015. He previously served as manager of FUJIFILM’s Healthcare Business Development Office from 2009 to 2015, where he had responsibility for Intellectual Property (IP) management in the fields of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, functional foods and regenerative medicine. In conjunction with the strategic expansion of FUJIFILM’s business, he was in charge of IP due diligence in mergers and acquisitions and licensing opportunities. Before he joined FUJIFILM in 2006, he worked for Asahi Kasei Corporation, where he was in charge of business development and licensing activities for the pharmaceutical division, technology scouting for its U.S. subsidiary, IP prosecution and legal searching for the IP department and its U.S. affiliated law firm, and manufacturing development of cell culture in its research laboratory. Mr. Okada earned a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Tokyo and a Bachelor of Laws from Meiji University.
Nicholas Seay, JD
Mr Seay holds a B.S. from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering and a J.D. from George Washington University. He practiced law for 28 years in Madison, WI as a partner at Quarles & Brady LLP, working for technology companies in intellectual property, corporate and litigation matters. He was recognized as AV by Martindale Hubble, was named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer and was annually listed as among the Best Lawyers in Madison by Madison Magazine. While at Quarles & Brady, one of his clients was the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, who hired him to represent WARF in the prosecution of the very first primate embryonic stem cell patent for Dr. James Thomson. After taking early retirement from Quarles & Brady in 2005, Mr. Seay served as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a FUJIFILM company until 2015, during which time CDI grew from a startup to the leading manufacturer of induced-pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) products, completed an IPO, and was acquired by FUJIFILM. He currently serves on the the Board of Directors for Epic Systems Corporation, a leading supplier of electronic medical records software systems, and for BellBrook Laboratories, a biotech reagent supplier. Mr. Seay was an active angel investor with the Wisconsin Investment Partners (WIP) until 2013, and is currently active in the Chancellorsville Angel Network.
Mr. Yamamoto is President of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation, and President and CEO of FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Fujifilm’s largest subsidiary in North America. As President and CEO for FUJIFILM North America Corporation, he is responsible for five operating divisions: Imaging Division, Electronic Imaging Division, Graphic Systems Division, Optical Devices Division and Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division. Mr. Yamamoto joined Fujifilm in Japan in 1986 after graduating from Waseda University in Japan in 1986, and has spent 12 years in the United States in various positions within Fujifilm. During that time, Mr. Yamamoto studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received an MBA in 1996. Later, he was assigned to FUJI PHOTO FILM USA in 2000 as the senior assistant to the President, responsible for the Imaging Products Division, and held positions of increasing responsibility. In 2008, Mr. Yamamoto was appointed Division President of Imaging and for the next two years, worked with the entire Fujifilm team to guide the business through the digitalization of the photographic industryin the United States. In 2010, Mr. Yamamoto returned to Japan and had the opportunity to lead the global imaging business. Then, in 2012, he was appointed General Manager of Photo Imaging Products Division, FUJIFILM Corporation where he helped improve top line sales and increase the company’s profitability in a challenging market, and became President and CEO of FUJIFILM North America Corporation in 2015.