Our Team

Our team has centuries of “in the field” experience working in a range of environments, from academic institutions to start-ups, small and large biotechs and pharmaceutical enterprises. This is why our clients trust OrganaBio as one of their most reliable partners.

team hero


Chief Executive Officer


Chief Business Officer


Vice President, Quality & Regulatory Affairs


Vice President, Operations


Senior Director, Scientific Affairs


Senior Director, Tissue Procurement


Senior Director, Quality Assurance


Director, Scientific Sales


Director, Regional Scientific Sales


Director, Quality Systems


Associate Director, QC & Analytical Development


Managing Director, CPC Services


Senior Manager, Manufacturing


Principal Scientist


Senior Director, Business Development


Donor Coordinator, GaiaGift


Customer Success Associate Manager

Join Our Team

We are actively seeking talented and motivated individuals.

Priya Baraniak, Ph.D.

Chief Business Officer

Dr. Baraniak is a proven strategic thinker, problem solver and leader who brings 20 years of expertise in stem cells and tissue engineering, coupled with a keen business acumen, to OrganaBio. Dr. Baraniak has published multiple peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on the use of stem cells and biomaterials in cardiac repair and regeneration and is routinely invited to speak at conferences.

Before joining OrganaBio, Priya was a founding member of RoosterBio and was a vital member of the company’s Leadership Team. At RoosterBio, Priya leveraged her technical expertise to build and rapidly scale the company’s sales and marketing engines in a fast-paced start-up environment, delivering impressive growth in revenue year-over-year. Additionally, in her role as Business Development lead at RoosterBio, Priya structured, negotiated and executed multiple strategic partnerships for aggressive growth of the organization.

Priya’s industry experience includes a role as Senior Director of R&D for Garnet BioTherapeutics, a clinical-stage stem cell-based regenerative medicine company, where Priya led multiple projects on tissue repair and regeneration using mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapeutics and devices. While at Garnet Bio, Priya also worked on the company’s FDA filings, contributed to drafting and prosecuting the company’s patent portfolio, managed CRO, CMO and industry partner relationships and actively participated in establishing Garnet’s strategic R&D plan, thereby gaining critical insights into business operations across a small organization.

Priya’s scientific training began as an undergraduate student at Duke University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) from Duke University in 2001 after double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. While at Duke, Priya conducted research in the lab of Dr. Doris A. Taylor on the use of skeletal myoblasts and stem cells for cardiac repair and regeneration. Priya went on to receive her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. She completed her dissertation research in the laboratory of Dr. William R. Wagner working on developing a controlled release biodegradable elastomer for applications in cardiovascular regenerative medicine. In 2008, Priya joined Dr. Todd McDevitt’s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University as a post-doctoral fellow. Her post-doctoral research as an American Heart Association Fellow focused on harnessing the secretome and isolating the extracellular matrix from MSCs and other cell types, including pluripotent stem cells, for cardiac tissue repair and regeneration. Priya co-authored many grants while a post-doc and went on to contribute critical sections to a NIST grant that resulted in the first ever National Cell Manufacturing Consortium in the United States.

Justin Irizarry, CFA

Chief Executive Officer

Justin Irizarry brings more than 17 years of entrepreneurial experience and executive-level leadership of business operations, finance, corporate development, and M&A.

Previously, Justin co-founded OrthoNOW, the nation’s only network of immediate orthopedic care facilities. He led OrthoNOW through its various stages of growth and development, and his success has been featured in numerous publications, such as Entrepreneur Magazine, CFO Magazine, the South Florida Business Journal, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, MedCity News, and Becker’s Hospital Review and the Pivotal Leader podcast.

Prior to the healthcare industry, Justin was a Wall Street investment banker at Scott-Macon, Ltd., where he helped build the Education and Information Group. As an investment banker, he was responsible for sourcing and executing transactions between $50 million and $350 million, running the group’s day-to-day activities, and developing its long-term growth and technology strategies.

Justin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Cornell University – where he was a four-year varsity baseball scholar-athlete – and a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania – where he was a Joseph Wharton Fellow. He has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation, the most respected and recognized investment designation in the world.

Justin is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including South Florida Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, South Florida Business Journal’s CFO of the Year, South Florida Business & Wealth’s Up and Comer Award, Hispanic Unity of Florida Foundation’s American Dreamer Award, and Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders.

He has been an invited speaker at Columbia University’s Business School, University of Miami’s Business School, The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, South Florida Business Journal’s Roundtable Series, the South Florida Executive Roundtable, the American Academy of Orthopedic Executives, and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.

Christopher B. Goodman

Vice President, Quality & Regulatory Affairs

Christopher B. Goodman is a biopharmaceutical consultant and executive making a global impact in the cellular therapy technology arena. The scope of Christopher’s expertise encompasses Cellular Therapeutic Operations, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Global Corporate Operations, Scientific Strategic Planning, Scientific R&D Collaborations, and Marketing & Commercialization.

Christopher recently joined OrganaBio as their Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. In this role, Christopher will be helping the company, its clients and partners navigate the complexities of the domestic and international regulatory requirements governing advanced cellular therapy products and manufacturing.

Previously, Christopher held positions with the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB), Virgin Health Bank, Ventana Medical Systems, and Celgene.

While with AABB, he held the positions of Senior Director of New Products and Lead Quality Assessor, auditing both domestic and international organizations to known standards in an effort to promote and ensure patient quality care and manufactured product consistency and standardization within Cellular Therapy, Blood Banking, Transfusion Services, Perioperative and Donor Center industries and operations. He contributed greatly to the work of AABB’s accreditation program providing his deep breadth of knowledge and technical acumen on many committees during his tenure. His pioneering work in the realm of virtual assessments during the COVID pandemic allowed AABB to flex into the planning and execution of this novel approach to the maintenance of accreditation activities during a global travel crisis. His agile thinking and approach to planning provided as minimal disruption as possible to AABB’s customer facilities.

While working with Virgin Health Bank in the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom, Christopher advanced through a series of executive roles. He joined Virgin Health Bank as the Director of Operations, during which time he managed the successful design, and build out of a new state-of-the-art cGMP facility, the first in the Middle East. As Director and Chief Executive Officer, he directed the launch of the first Arab-centric stem cell bank, and strategically guided the organization to enhanced shareholder value and expansion across the Middle East and UK. In these roles, he also oversaw global corporate operations, research collaborations, product portfolio expansion, and regulatory framework.

Christopher managed the Detection and Chemistry Assay Development Group for Ventana Medical Systems, a global leader and innovator of tissue-based diagnostic solutions. In this role, he directed overall program goals, optimized resources, and guided technical and product direction in global regulated environments.

Prior to Ventana Medical Systems, he held the position of Director of Operations for the high-growth Cellular Therapeutics Division of Celgene. As a senior-level scientist and member of the executive team, he directed divisional operations, medical affairs and executed business and scientific strategic planning.

Dominic Mancini

Vice President, Operations

Dominic Mancini brings 12 years of experience working the interfaces between Analytical Development, Process Development, Quality, and Manufacturing Science to OrganaBio. A lifelong learner, Dominic enjoys solving the many scientific and operational challenges presented in the field of cell and gene therapy.

Prior to OrganaBio, Dominic spent 8 years at Bluebird Bio as the company grew from 45 to 1200+ employees and from 1 clinical asset to a robust commercial pipeline. At Bluebird, Dominic initially supported the development and technology transfer of lentiviral vector manufacturing processes. As demand grew for lentiviral process and product characterization, Dominic led the development, qualification, transfer, and validation two commercial release methods. Dominic transitioned back to the Process Development organization to lead the vector manufacturing core team, increasing operational efficiency through a 5S implementation, process schedule intensification, and reverse technology transfer initiative. More recently, Dominic supported the build-out of bluebird’s Manufacturing Science & Technology team followed by the Data Systems & Analytics team, handling late-stage commercial asset support.

Dominic received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Delaware. Dominic’s undergraduate research culminated in his thesis on heterologous expression of G-protein coupled receptors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After graduation, Dominic was the premier hire of the Zhou Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, MA. In three years, Dominic established an animal model of COPD and co-authored several papers with his collaborators in the Pulmonary division.

Sarah Alter, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Sarah Alter, Ph.D., has 15 years of immunology research experience which includes autoimmunity, cancer, and infectious disease.

Before her position at OrganaBio, Sarah was responsible for leading a team of scientists at Altor Bioscience where she facilitated the advancement of Altor’s technologies. As a Research and Development Manager, Dr. Alter coordinated immunotherapy-focused preclinical and clinical studies and contributed to the progress of Altor’s drug discovery and therapeutic applications.

Sarah received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She is also a registered Patent Agent, licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Her work was published in many peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international business and scientific meetings.

Thelma Cela

Senior Director, Tissue Procurement

Thelma Cela is a top performing professional with over 25 years’ experience in management, leadership, business development and marketing fields with business acumen and skills in driving revenue and profit growth in multiple corporate cultures. Prior to joining OrganaBio, Thelma served as Senior Director for Health and Human Services for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Her role had oversight for health clinics, health plan administration, the behavioral health department, and elder services. In this governmental administrative capacity, Thelma had primarily responsibility for the HHS’ divisions’ budget, capital projects, utilization management, efficiency, and efficacy.

Thelma’s prior work experiences include Vice President of Clinical Operations for OrthoNOW. In this role, she provided guidance on all clinical matters, set direction on clinical policies and procedures and monitoring healthcare policy changes. As the national Vice President of Clinical Operations, Thelma also designed, developed, and implemented guidelines and protocols and ensured compliance regarding overall patient experience.

Before joining OrthoNOW, Thelma had been recruited by Leon Medical Centers, a private healthcare company operating comprehensive medical centers to launch a new business line addressing the health and wellness of an aging population. As Director, Thelma researched, created, and launched the company’s Health Living Centers which provided first of its kind facilities in the South Florida market to offer services to the community of health aging.

Thelma has a proven track record in multiple corporate healthcare cultures having worked for Mercy Hospital where she was Senior Program Director of their Diabetes Treatment Center and Director of their Surgical Weight Loss Program. She enhanced these service lines awareness in the community, improved both lines’ clinical outcomes, and built volume growth while maintaining ongoing physician support. She served in a similar capacity for American Healthways.

Thelma earned her MBA from Miami Regional University where she graduated Cum Laude and her undergraduate degree in Psychology is from the University of Miami.

She serves on the advisory panel for Florida International University’s Women in Business Leadership Program helping future women become future business leaders through thought leadership, barrier destruction, and the power of influence.

Danielle Smyla

Senior Director, Quality Assurance

Danielle Smyla, M.S., brings 14 years of Quality Assurance and GMP experience in the Biotechnology and Medical Device industries. Ms. Smyla is an established Quality Leader with expertise in the implementation, management and continuous improvement of Quality Management Systems for GMP operations.

Prior to joining OrganaBio, Danielle was a key member of the Quality Management team at Canon BioMedical, where she led the cross-functional development and implementation of their Quality Management System. She also managed a team of Quality Specialists and Sr. Specialists, coaching them in the implementation, management and identification of improvements to quality processes.

Ms. Smyla’s Quality-focused career is complimented by valuable hands-on experience in GMP product manufacturing, as well as R&D laboratory experimentation and formulation work in support of product development.

Danielle has earned a Master’s in Biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the George Washington University.

Carlos Carballosa, Ph.D

Director, Scientific Sales

Carlos Carballosa is a biomedical engineer with over 8 years of stem cell research experience with broad expertise in the culture, differentiation, and cryopreservation of adult stem cell populations. Carlos earned his bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami, where his research focused on the effects of nicotine and electronic cigarette vapor exposure on the regeneration potential of adult stem cells. In addition to his dissertations, Dr. Carballosa has authored numerous publications related to stem cell biology.

Marisa Reinoso

Director, Regional Scientific Sales

Marisa has experience leading marketing and sales life sciences programs for over a decade. Originally a lab researcher, she made the jump to marketing & sales in life sciences and never looked back.

At OrganaBio, she connects cell therapy developers on the West coast and in Asia with the healthy donor starting materials they need to develop their therapies. Prior to OrganaBio, she was the cell therapy marketing lead at Invetech, heading the launch of the company’s first cell therapy product. Marisa has led marketing programs at clinical supply companies Sherpa Clinical Packaging and PCI Pharma Services. In her spare time, Marisa enjoys traveling, eating, and pretending she’s a tennis player. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Reed College and an MBA from Portland State University.

Oscar Robles

Director, Quality Systems

Oscar Robles has over thirty years of experience in pharmaceutical and medical device industries. His main areas of expertise are in Quality Systems, Quality Assurance, Manufacturing Systems Validation, Computerized Systems Validation, implementation of GxP Computerized Systems and ERP Systems such as TrackWise, Electronic Document Management, JDEwards, SAP, and Oracle. Prior to joining OrganaBio, Oscar was a member of the Quality Management team at Apotex – Aveva Drug Delivery Systems for ten years. Oscar has earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Florida International University.

Michael Dee

Associate Director, QC and Analytical Development

Michael Dee has spent the last 17 years researching the immune system. Initially studying the recombinant cytokine IL-2 and its role in T cell subset differentiation and function at the University of Miami. He also helped elucidate the lower level of TCR diversity of T regs required to prevent autoimmunity in mice. Michael also supported construction, cloning, production, purification, and testing both in vitro and in vivo a novel IL-2/IL2Rα complex currently under clinical development with BMS. Michael also was a member of the department of immunology’s program project delineating the effect of a novel Eg7GP96 heat shock protein vaccine on tumor immunity.

While at Immunity Bio (formerly Altor Biosciences), he helped to characterize over 20 novel drugs for immune modulation and treatment of cancer.  After Immunity Bio, Michael was a founding team member of HCW Biologics, where he continued his role in design and initial production and characterization of several novel biologics. He has experience with proof of principle experiments with the generation CAR-NK and CAR T cells. His research at HCW was highlighted by his discovery of a process using novel biologics to activate and expand CIML NK cells. The process and rights were sold to Wugen and is currently in Phase I clinical trials. He also is listed as an Inventor on patent number: US20210268022A1 on method of activating regulatory T cells.

Andrew Larson

Managing Director, CPC Services

Andrew joins OrganaBio as a project manager with varied experience in project management, client relations, and process improvement.

Prior to OrganaBio, Andrew was a client relations manager for the cGMP nucleic acids business unit at Aldevron, coordinating and managing contracts at each stage of the contract lifecycle in support of cell and gene therapy program development. Andrew supported small- and large-scale biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients anywhere from pre-IND work through commercial supply chain establishment. Before Aldevron, Andrew was a project manager for the commercialization and business development department for Sanford Health, a worldwide hospital institution. At Sanford Health, Andrew helped manage medical device patent and prototype development efforts for employee innovations primarily in the cardiovascular, neurovascular, and software spaces. Andrew was also an engineer for Atirix Medical Systems and supported the buildout of automated analysis worksheets to streamline radiology department quality control procedures.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Minnesota State University Moorhead and his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. At the University of Minnesota, Andrew was part of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, assisting efforts to automate MRI dataset registration and workflow improvement.

Clarissa Lenero

Senior Manager, Manufacturing

Clarissa Lenero brings over 8 years of experience in the fields of stem cell research, cellular and regenerative medicine therapies, product & process development, scale-up, and cGMP manufacture. Clarissa has wide-reaching experience in working with allogeneic and autologous pancreatic islet cells, Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) from various sources that include bone marrow (BM), adipose, cord blood (CB), birth and endometrial tissue, EVs, NK, PBMC, and endothelial cells. She has extensive knowledge of tissue and cell culture and selection methods for research and clinical applications. Clarissa has earned her B.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Biochemistry from the University of Guadalajara and received an M.S. degree in Molecular Biomedicine Sciences from the National Polytechnic Institute and the National School of Medicine and Homeopathy in Mexico City.

Before joining OrganaBio, Clarissa worked at the University of Miami (UM) as a Research Associate. During her tenure at UM, she participated in the manufacture of advanced investigational cellular therapies for clinical trials in patients with brittle Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), COVID-19, and Alzheimer’s spectrum disorders. She has investigated the effect of cellular therapies, as well as extracellular vesicles (EVs) in these conditions. Result of her work on the characterization of mesenchymal stem cells and EVs produced by these cells has been published in several peer reviewed publications and presented at a number of scientific conferences.


Valeria Beckhoff-Ferrero

Principal Scientist

Valeria Beckhoff Ferrero has over 5 years of experience in the fields of stem cell research and tissue engineering. Valeria received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Valeria has expertise in problem solving and finding manufacturing solutions for isolating various types stem cells and other cell derived products from different tissues.

Before joining OrganaBio, Valeria was a lead manufacturing engineer at the Amnion Foundation. She aided in instituting a GMP infrastructure, including documentation, to manufacture clinical grade placental derived stem cells. In her role, she worked in perfecting isolation, culture, selection and cell maintenance processes for perinatal derived stem cells.

Valeria’s experience includes working as an Automation Engineer at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, where she aided in the creation and coding procedures for liquid handlers to manufacture induced pluripotent stem cells. At NYSF, Valeria researched new methods of sorting, reprogramming and differentiating iPSCs.

During her studies, Valeria worked at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Radiation Oncology department, where she engineered various devices to aid in hyperthermia treatments. Additionally, Valeria co-authored multiple publications on magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound and radiation antennas for hyperthermia treatments.

Rich Martinez

Senior Director, Business Development

Rich has experience leading not only sales operations but business development in both retail & at-home health care for the past decade. Focused and dedicated on creating and simplifying processes operationally, he found a passion for helping to drive sales & revenue by creating improved efficiencies for the teams.

At OrganaBio, he leads the Business Development organization and helps his team provide cell therapy solutions to clients across the world. He focuses on building and improving day-to-day processes for the team, connecting clients with experienced professionals who help them uncover pain points and areas of improvement and supports the leadership team in driving business transparency and predictability. In his spare time, Rich enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and kids. He has a Bachelors in Business Administration from Hofstra University.

Erika Betancourt

Donor Coordinator, GaiaGift

Erika Betancourt has over 10 years of healthcare experience having begun her career in the surgical environment as a surgical tech, surgical assistant and as a certified medical assistant. Her work in the birth tissue arena began as a donor development coordinator but grew into more of eligibility and quality assurance responsibilities at Tissue Tech, formerly BioTissue. She returned to the donor side of tissue collection in late 2021 and is now working at Organabio’s GaiaGift Donation Coordinator since March of 2022.

Ben Isaacson

Customer Success Associate Manager

As a dedicated Customer Success Associate Manager, Ben is committed to enhancing customer experiences and addressing each customer’s unique needs. Prior to OrganaBio, Ben championed customer needs for aerospace and military contractors at one of the largest over-the-road transportation providers in the US. His expertise in understanding and exceeding customer needs was honed during his tenure as a customer service representative. Prior to that, Ben excelled as an outside sales representative for several years, further enriching his understanding of customer-centric strategies. Before transitioning into the Customer Success role at OrganaBio, Ben was an Inside Sales Representative, allowing him to develop a deep understanding of the company’s portfolio of products and services and unique customer needs for which OrganaBio’s bespoke portfolio is designed. Ben’s unwavering dedication to positive customer experiences is evident in his proactive approach to problem-solving and his ability to cultivate strong, long-lasting relationships. With a relentless focus on delivering exceptional service, Ben aims to exceed expectations and delight the customer with every interaction.

Meram Alamoudi

Senior Cell Processing Specialist

Meram received her master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Barry University and bachelor’s in Biology from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Before her position at OrganaBio, Meram conducted research at Larkin University where she worked on assessing the impact of Hurricane Maria on respiratory diseases in Puerto Rico, which provided her with insight into research investigation and analysis along with generation of grant documentation.