Board and Management


Tara Heitner


Tara Heitner has more than 20 years experience from R&D, management and board positions in the biotech and pharma industry. Her previous roles includes CEO, Business Development Director and Scientist. In 2014 Tara Heitner founded her own consultancy company, Heitner Biopharm Consultation, focusing on strategic, financing and business development advice for small biotech companies and start-ups. Tara Heitner is the co-founder of a number of start-ups spun out from universities such as Lund University; Sweden and Aarhus University in Denmark. Tara has successfully closed several partnership deals and been successful in fundraising. She holds a PhD in chemistry from McGill University in Canada and an MBA from DTU in Denmark.

Ola Skanung


B Sc Business administration and Entrepreneurship and additional exams within financial law and Change Management. Skanung has many years of experience as CFO and working with start-ups and growth projects within the private as well as with state and regional development actors.

Malin Berthold


Malin Berthold holds a PhD in neurochemistry from Stockholm University and has more than 20 years’ experience from the pharmaceutical and medtech industries in different leading and expert roles. At Biovitrum AB she successfully led early discovery projects in metabolic disease, and headed biology teams in preclinical development responsible for preparation for Phase I clinical trials. Malin co-founded and worked as senior consultant in a company of four employees helping small and medium-sized life science businesses with project management and scientific evaluations. As senior scientific advisor in Global Marketing at ThermoFisher Scientific she was responsible for scientific and medical evidence, clinical study strategy and key opinion leader relations in allergy and asthma.


Bert Junno

Chairman of the board

Bert Junno is a co-founder of the life science companies: WntResearch AB (public), Galecto Biotech AB, Gabather AB (public), Aptahem AB (public) and Cyxone AB (public). He serves on the advisory board of the Swedish patent office since 2010. Bert Junno has previous management and board level experience from several European and US based companies in fields of electronics, biotech and IT. Bert Junno holds a Ph.D. in Semiconductor Physics and Technology and a M.Sc. in Physics from Lund University.

Theresa Comiskey Olsen

Board Member

Theresa Comiskey Olsen, Attorney at Law (USA), is a Partner at Nova Law Firm in Oslo, Norway. Before joining Nova, Comiskey Olsen was a partner at Langseth Law Firm since January 2016 after starting her own practice with focus on legal transactions in the Life Sciences/Biotech field. Prior to starting her practice in 2008, she was General Counsel of Nycomed, which has since been acquired by Takeda. Comiskey Olsen continues to grow her practice at Nova with focus on legal transactions in the Life Sciences/Biotech field. She has her B.A. from University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Saad Gilani

Board Member

Saad Gilani is a Managing Director at Yorkville Advisors Global and has been with the firm since 2005. As Head of the Healthcare Group, he has led financing transactions in a variety of life science companies focused on biotechnology, molecular diagnostics and medical devices in the US and in Europe. Gilani is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. He also sits on the supervisory board of Temple Therapeutics BV based in The Netherlands.

Prior to joining Yorkville Advisors Global, Gilani worked at Keyence Corporation for 11 years where he held various management roles within the Engineering and Marketing groups. He earned a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers College of Engineering and received his MBA from Rutgers University in NJ, where he specialized in finance.

Mikael Lindstam

Board Member

Mikael Lindstam has been engaged in several start-up companies and development programs that have generated investments of more than 250 MSEK. Dr. Lindstam has been part of the development of Galecto Biotech AB and Gabather AB from Forskarpatent’s portfolio including a number of license deals and IP-divestments. Dr. Lindstam is a co-founder of Accequa AB and is currently board member and CEO of Aptahem AB and holds a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry and with long experience from marketing, entrepreneurship and management.

Scientific advisory board

Christian gruber

Chairman of the scientific advisory

Christian Gruber is a research group leader and Associate Professor at the Medical University of Vienna (Austria). He studied Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and Molecular Biotechnology at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia), and received a PhD in Molecular Biosciences from The University of Queensland. For his achievements he received several scientific awards, e.g. the 2013 Heribert Konzett Award of the Austrian Pharmacological Society, the 2014 Young Investigator Silver Award of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, and the 2014 Dr. Willmar Schwabe Award of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research. The research focus of his team is to study biological function and pharmacological mechanism of nature-derived peptides isolated from plants and invertebrates (e.g., peptide hormones, neuropeptides and peptide toxins), and the development of novel peptide therapeutics. He is member of the scientific affairs committee of the European Peptide Society and member elect of the “Max-Bergmann-Kreis”.

Maarten Kraan

Maarten Kraan holds a medical degree and PhD in immunology from Leiden University, The Netherlands, and he also holds a board certification in Rheumatology. During his academic career he worked at Leiden University and as associate professor at the University of Amsterdam. He has held several management positions within drug research, clinical development and regulatory affairs in pharmaceutical companies in both Europe and USA. He is board member for Toleranzia AB and Vicore AB and for the latter he is also the chair of the scientific committee.

Rikard Holmdahl

Professor Rikard Holmdahl holds a medical degree and PhD in immunology from Uppsala University and has held several senior scientific positions within academia. In 1990 he was appointed Associate Professor at the Swedish Medical Research Council, and in 1993 he set up the Medical Inflammation Research group at Lund University as full professor at the university. Since 2008 he holds the position as professor at Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm, and since 2014 he is a member of the Nobel Assembly. In addition to his position at KI, he is also a scientific advisor and consultant for biotech and biomedical companies.