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2140 11th Avenue South, Suite 308 | Birmingham, AL 35205 hello@cerflux.com

Leadership Team

Karim Budhwani

Karim Budhwani
PhD, DLA

CEO

Karim is the CEO of elixir international, a science and technology firm which he co-founded in 1998. He also serves as Visiting Scientist at Coe College and Ambassador at Center for Advancing Innovation. He has served as Ambassador of Trade for his home State of Alabama on trade missions to India, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia. For excellence in leadership among top executives, Karim was named “CEO of the Year” by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2016. In 2017, Birmingham B-Metro recognized him among those “who fascinate, inspire, and make this city a great place to live” in their annual “A-List.”

More recently, in 2018, for his 20+ years of leadership in advancing innovation, scientific and professional excellence, service to humanity, and his vision for integrating STEM with the liberal Arts (STEAM) in undergirding the new knowledge society, Coe College conferred upon him an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Liberal Arts (DLA). He is a finalist for the upcoming “Alabama Innovation Award” by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA).

Karim has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Economics, and Business Administration from Coe College; an International Management Audit certification from the London School of Economics (LSE); a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB); and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus in Nanomedicine also from UAB. He has a utility patent application filed for his invention in microfluidics.

He has served on various industry and economic development boards including being the Chairperson of the Ismaili Professionals network, which under his leadership, grew to more than 20 countries across 5 continents. Karim’s background – transdisciplinary education, decades of scientific and professional leadership, global service engagements – uniquely positions him for developing and commercializing new paradigms in cancer disease modeling, drug discovery, and personalized theranostics.

Christopher Krebs

Christopher M. Krebs
MBA

CFO

In his professional career over many years, Chris has served in a number of financial capacities. More specifically, in the late 1960s he was instrumental in the organization of a utilities construction firm with his brother which is still active today. In his capacity, as chief financial officer, he dealt not only with the handling and management of others on general accounting issues, but he also was responsible for operational budgeting, capital budgeting and tax management issues.

He also served for almost 30 years as the chief financial officer of an environmental engineering firm where his responsibilities included general accounting management, cost accounting, project and overall company budgeting, capital budgeting, personnel issues and tax management.

During his tenure as the chief financial officer he also spent a significant amount of his time advising municipal clients on utility rate and cost of service studies, development of system development charge fee structures, and advising those clients on budgeting and spending matters.He has also provided expert witness testimony in connection with utility rate setting issues.

Concurrent with his duties as chief financial officer for the companies cited earlier, he has actively participated in the development of a number of real estate ventures, and he continues to be active in those in which he still retains an interest.

Mr. Krebs received his BA Degree from the University of Virginia (1961) and his MBA from the University of Alabama (1966). He has considerable experience in financial modeling and analyses, budgetary adherence, realistic financial projections and a robust understanding of markets and market forces.

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson
PhD, AHFI, CFE, PMP

COO

Lisa has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and a PhD in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice. To complement these degrees, Lisa attained two fraud and one project management certification.

Over the past 28 years Lisa has been a champion for innovation, process improvement, and appropriate health care delivery and payment. As Director of Operations at Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators, LLC, Lisa directed 3 locations, 340+ associates, 12 operational areas, and a multi-million-dollar annual budget. In numerous situations, Lisa was brought in to areas where she had no formal training to improve performance and quality when customer expectations were not being met. After a short time in the leadership role, double digit increases were realized in categories such as morale, quality and customer satisfaction.

To be successful, Lisa has worked tirelessly on leadership, and developed a deep understanding of the laws, rules and regulations surrounding Medicare. Similarly, in her previous role as Data Analysis Manager, she and her team identified health care providers who were committing fraud. Before accusing anyone of fraud, an in-depth understanding of the Medicare laws, rules and regulations must be obtained. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Attorney’s (USA) Office both complimented Lisa and her team for air-tight fraud referrals with exceptional, clear details.

Board of Advisors

Donald J. Buchsbaum

Donald J. Buchsbaum, PhD

At University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan, Don focused on the treatment of B cell lymphoma. The anti-B1 antibody produced the highest tumor localization in B cell lymphoma xenografts, and unlabeled antibody predosing increased the localization and therapeutic efficacy of the 131I-labeled anti-B1 antibody. Predosing was used in the clinical trials of 131I-anti-B1 in patients with B cell lymphoma, which produced a 30% complete response rate in patients that failed chemotherapy treatment. 131I-labeled anti-B1 (Bexxar™) was approved by the FDA in 2003. He then investigated the use of radiolabeled antibodies for the treatment of colon cancer and ovarian cancer. His use of pretargeted radioimmunotherapy continues to be an area of active investigation in the field.

At UAB in 1990, he investigated whether an antibody to epidermal growth factor receptor (Erbitux anti-EGFR) would sensitize head and neck cancer to radiation therapy. These studies resulted in phase I and phase III clinical trials of Erbitux (Cetuximab) in combination with radiation therapy which showed a statistically significant decrease in recurrent head and neck cancer and a significant increase in overall survival, which led to FDA approval in 2006.

He investigated antitumor efficacy of a TRAIL death receptor 5 antibody against breast, pancreatic, colon, glioma, lung, and ovarian cancer xenograft models alone, and in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These studies included evaluation of the response of fresh patient ovarian cancer tissue slices to the antibody, chemotherapy, and the combination. He discovered that cytotoxicity of the TRAIL DR5 antibody against breast cancer stem cells was enhanced by combination treatment with a Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor. His current research is focused on cancer immunotherapy with histone deacetylase and checkpoint inhibitors. He holds 18 U.S. and 143 foreign patents and patent applications licensed to two companies.

Mansoor Saleh

Mansoor N. Saleh, MD

At the UAB, Mansoor is the Director of Phase I Program both at the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) and the Clinical Center for Translational Science (CCTS). He is also the Medical Director at the UAB Clinical Trials Office. His hematology/oncology training included investigation in the immune mediated platelet destruction (ITP), as well as, the generation of human monoclonal auto-antibodies from splenic B-cells derived from ITP patients.

Mansoor was one of the lead USA investigators on the pivotal trial leading to the FDA approval of the recombinant TPO receptor agonist elthrombopag for the treatment of ITP. His translational research training included studying monoclonal antibodies against cancer associated target antigens, and he has been the PI or co-PI of a number of breakthrough, first-in-human, clinical trials of mouse, chimeric and humanized anti-tumor monoclonal antibodies conducted at UAB. His initial study demonstrated the synergistic role of anti-EGFR MoAb and radiation therapy, and these observations led to the pivotal RTOG trial and FDA approval of Erbitux/RT for the treatment of locally advanced Head/Neck cancer.

He developed and subsequently patented the first mirror-image anti-Id vaccine that mimics the tumor associated GD2 ganglioside. Over the past 25 years, he has been involved in the development, conduct and oversight of clinical trials involving monoclonal antibodies, cytotoxic chemotherapies vaccines, inhibitory small molecules and novel check-point inhibitors and immuno-oncology therapeutics. During this time, he also served as Chairman of UAB Cancer Center’s Protocol Review Committee, a member of the Gene Therapy Panel, and senior scientist and translational clinician at the Cancer Center. In addition to his interest in clinical and translational research, he has been an ardent promoter of cancer awareness in the LMIC and training clinicians in the early detection and treatment of common cancers.

Matt G. Clark

Matt G. Clark, PhD

Matt has over 23 years of research, development, and acquisition experience in neuroscience, pharmaceutical, and drug-device combination product development as a soldier-scientist and leader in the U.S. military. He currently leads the Chemical Defense Pharmaceuticals Joint Product Management Office within the Medical Countermeasure Systems Joint Program Office. He provides centralized research, development, acquisition management, and joint service, interagency, and international integration for over 15 medical countermeasures against chemical, radiological, and nuclear threats. He currently works closely with the FDA on the most challenging medical product development efforts involving the U.S. military and medical chemical defense. He also is a PMI-certified project management professional (PMP).

He has commanded medical clinics overseas, directed a branch of a national lab focused on neurobehavioral toxicology and preclinical drug development, led a cross-agency collaborative research facility, served as the deputy commander and chief operating officer of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) organization that manages the advanced development of military medical products, and served as the deputy director of the strategic planning and programming cell for an internationally active $2+ billion medical research an materiel organization.

He has conducted research and published on psychopharmacology, medical product development, leader development, support for military families, developmental language disorders, learning, and motivation. He has over 30 publications and professional reports, is active on the board of directors of a large non-profit organization, and he is the President of another 501(c)3. His most recent book is Leader Development Deconstructed and he has been a featured panelist on medical product development in the DOD at the two most recent BIO International Conventions.

Deborah Grimes

Deborah Grimes, RN, JD

Deborah Grimes received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UAB in 1986. While working as a Registered Nurse in Women’s Services at UAB Hospital for over ten years, she also attended the Birmingham School of Law. She graduated from the Birmingham School of Law in 1995 with a Juris Doctor Degree.

Deborah joined UAB Risk Management as a Healthcare Attorney for nine years. In 2004, she returned to Hospital Administration as the Director of Joint Commission/ Quality Resources. She was promoted to VP of Quality/Regulatory Affairs in 2006 and in 2007 assumed the Interim Compliance Officer position. In 2009, she became the Chief Compliance Officer for UAB Hospital. During this tenue she received a certification as a Healthcare Quality Professional, Certified Healthcare Compliance, completed leadership fellowship training with Momentum Inc. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Science Degree in Quality and Patient Safety. Effective April 1, 2017 she was appointed as UAB Health System first Chief Diversity Officer.

Deborah also serves as a Board member of the Alabama Kidney Foundation and is Past President, for Momentum Inc. She also is the Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Support Group "The Courage Network" to assist breast cancer survivor to thrive while surviving treatment. She is a member several professional groups, such as Black Nurses Association, Alabama Compliance Officers Association, Health Care Compliance Association, and Association of Healthcare Accreditation Professionals.

Lonnie Bookbinder

Lonnie Bookbinder, PhD

Lonnie is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of ARIZ Precision Medicine (ariz-pm.com). Experienced in drug development, marketing, business and corporate development. He has an educational background in pharmacology, toxicology, business management, biology and genetics. Current interests in targeted drug delivery of drug payloads that attack cancer at the initiation point by modifying the activity of master regulators of the histone code. By inhibiting or modifying the activity of the histone methyl transferases, especially the PRDM genes and proteins, his goal is to stop cancer at an early stage by removing the key driver of the oncogenic process.

Albert Folch

Albert Folch, PhD

Albert is the principal inventor of the patented microfluidics device that will be used by CerFlux. He has a BSc in Physics and a PhD in Surface Science and Nanotechnology. From 1994 to 1996, he was a postdoc at M.I.T. developing microdevices. In 1997, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Mehmet Toner as a postdoc at Harvard University's Center for Engineering in Medicine to work on BioMEMS and Tissue Engineering. In 2000, he joined the University of Washington's Dept. of Bioengineering (Seattle), where he is an associate professor. In 2014, he was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows Class of 2015 and also serves on the advisory board of the BioMEMS journal Lab on a Chip.

His primary areas of research span the interface between microfluidics, cancer, and neurobiology with a long-term mission is to make microfluidic devices as easy to use as smartphones and make them easily available to clinicians in order to enable novel cancer diagnostics and therapies. His lab is well known for its microfluidic designs, such as the microfluidic photomasks, a combinatorial micromixer, and a microwell array for optically recording from large numbers of olfactory sensory neurons.

Kristen M. Noles

Kristen M. Noles, RN, DNP

Kristen has more than 15 years of leadership in hospital operations specifically in nursing roles in various care settings. She holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), and is a certified Clinical Nurse Leader.

She serves as the nurse manager and project lead for the Clinical Decision Unit expansion. She is also the co-founder and Clinical Director of the UAB Solution Studios program that aims to accelerate the translation of clinical innovation by connecting engineering students with clinicians to solve every day problems.

Over the years she has been recognized with numerous accolades including being named the Outstanding Woman UAB Staff Member in April, 2018. She is a fierce advocate for cancer survivors and a co-founder of the Forge Breast Cancer Center to assist survivors along cancer care continuum. Kristen is also Faculty at the UAB School of Nursing.

Jonathan E. Raulston

Jonathan E. Raulston, JD

Jonathan is a partner with the firm of Engel, Hairston & Johanson, P.C in Birmingham, Alabama. He practices in the areas of business and commercial law, litigation, bankruptcy, creditor’s rights, foreclosure, and collections. He advises business of all sizes in connection with lending transactions, leases, sale agreements, contracts, and disputes arising therefrom as well as the formation and governance of entities. Jonathan is a graduate of University of Alabama School of Law and obtained a B.S., with distinction, from the University of Alabama in Business Management with a concentration in Health Care.While at the University of Alabama School of Law, Jonathan was a member of Phi Delta Phi and the Farrah Law Society and was honored with the Best Paper in Limited Liability Companies.

Jonathan is a frequent lecturer on topics related to bankruptcy, creditor’s rights, and foreclosure. He is active within the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section and co-chair of its Lender Liability subcommittee. Jonathan is also active within the Alabama State Bar and Birmingham Bar Association, where he is past chair of the Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, Long Range Planning Committee, and Continuing Legal Education Subcommittee and he presently serves on its Grievance Committee.

Allison C. Spensley

Allison C. Spensley, MS

Allison has over fifteen years of experience in supporting and advising biomedical research, development, and regulatory compliance in industry, academia, and government. She is currently a regulatory affairs manager for the Medical Countermeasure Systems Joint Program Office where she supports the development, fielding, and sustainment of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical products. She serves and the regulatory and product quality liaison for several government and industry partnerships, providing expert strategic analysis of regulatory events across product lifecycles and communicating portfolio impacts to stakeholders.

Allison holds degrees from Michigan State University (BS) and the University of Saint Joseph (MS). She is Regulatory Affairs Certified (RAC) and is a member of the Drug Information Association, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, and the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society.


Contact Us

CerFlux
2140 11th Ave. South
Suite 308
Birmingham, AL 35205

 

About CerFlux

At CerFlux we are creating advanced personalized medicine solutions to identify the most efficient and effective cancer treatments for each patient on an individualized basis.