William Daniel Follas, M.S. - President and CEO
Dan has extensive experience in the laboratory and medical industry. He received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Manchester University in 1974, and his MS in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from Purdue University in 1977. Two years later in 1979, Dan co-founded Follas Laboratories which served various medical practices, clinics, and hospitals in Indiana. His efforts were focused on delivering recent advances in technology and information into practical solutions for patient healthcare.
Dan has utilized his knowledge of running high-complexity clinical laboratories inside strict regulatory environments and applied it to the ongoing management and development of Xeno Diagnostics. Working with various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to move their technologies through the regulatory landscape requires a strong knowledge and understanding of laboratory techniques, management, and proper documentation. This expertise has assisted clients in successfully addressing the development and execution of preclinical studies.
Daniel Wierda, M.S., Ph.D., Fellow A.T.S. - Director of Research and Development
Dr. Wierda received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Kansas Medical Center with postdoctoral training at the Chemical Industry Institute for Toxicology, Research Triangle Park, NC. Dr. Wierda has many years of research and development experience in both academia and industry in the areas of myelotoxicity, immunotoxicity, immunogenicity and biopharmaceutical preclinical drug development. He spent the major portion of his career working with in vitro and ex vivo cell cultures as models for investigating drug and xenobiotic effects on lymphocyte growth and development. As an academician, he conducted research on environmental chemical toxicity to bone marrow stromal cells and lymphocyte development. In the pharmaceutical industry, he maintained a laboratory in investigative immunotoxicology that utilized a breadth of in vitro and ex vivo immune cell assays for the characterization of potentially immunomodulatory chemicals, and also developed immunoassays for preclinical immunogenicity testing of biotherapeutics. He is currently the Director of Research and Development at Xeno Diagnostics, LLC with responsibility for designing fit-for-purpose exploratory cell-based assays, such as mixed lymphocyte reaction, mitogen, cytotoxicity, ADCC and CDC, Fc binding, macrophage, and mesenchymal stem cell assays as well as assays for immunogenicity and serological biomarkers. He is a member of several professional societies including the American Association for Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS), International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH), Society of Toxicology (SOT), American College of Toxicology (ACT), and the Academy of Toxicological Sciences (ATS).
Neil Balgobin, Ph.D. - Senior Scientist
Dr. Balgobin brings his extensive experience in Diagnostics, Life Sciences, and Biotech Industries with him to Xeno Diagnostics. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stockholm University in 1982. After finishing his post-doctoral work at Uppsala University, he went on to work for a major diagnostics company. There Neil gained intimate knowledge and familiarity with the commercialization of new products as he has been involved in all stages of development, from technology evaluation through research, scale up and launch, as well as process improvements contributing to company profits. Beyond the evaluation and introduction of new technology platforms, Neil also has experience in project management, and product development, from discovery through GMP production. More specifically, Dr. Balgobin has validated and introduced new assays and platforms for Immunoassay and Molecular Diagnostics while maintaining laboratory compliance with the accrediting organizations CAP and CLIA. His work also includes the establishment and implementation of new QC test procedures, and the creation of all GMP manufacturing documents necessary for new products. Neil’s experience is well suited to accomplish Xeno Diagnostic’s goals of creating new testing services and products.
Moazzam Khan, Ph.D. - Director of Quality Assurance
Dr. Khan received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Aligarh University in India in 1970. Dr. Khan then came to the United States and began work as a Research Associate at the Indiana University Medical Center. Dr. Khan also spent time as a Research Associate at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. His research was published in multiple peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Khan went on to hold various teaching and managerial positions in Hospitals and Universities in New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
Dr. Khan joined Follas Laboratories as the Laboratory Director in 1988. Dr. Khan structured and managed the daily Quality Control, calibration, and verification of the laboratory’s instrumentation in the areas of Chemistry, Special Chemistry, Enzyme Immunoassays (EIA), Radio-immunoassays (RIA), Coagulation, Hematology, and Urinalysis. After merging operations with another area lab, Dr. Khan became the Technical Coordinator & Director. His responsibilities included directing the technical operations of the aforementioned areas of the lab, developing and evaluating new lab tests, evaluating and selecting biomedical equipment, reviewing departmental policies and procedures, monitoring employee performance, and maintaining the laboratory’s Quality Assurance and Quality Control programs to maintain compliance with CLIA regulations.
Currently, Dr. Khan acts as a consultant to other independent clinical laboratories, and teaches bioethics at a local college. Dr. Khan’s expertise is a valuable asset to clients providing services in medical laboratories working under the regulatory guidelines of CLIA ’88.
Antonio S. Ricafort, ASCP - Technical Supervisor
Tony has been a certified Medical Technologist since 1969. He earned his BSMT from Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines in 1966, and continued his education at North Kansas City Memorial Hospital, Missouri, where he studied the theory and application of laboratory medicine. Since his time in the Philippines, Tony has gained 37 years of experience as a Medical Technologist performing testing in a diverse range of clinical, research and development, and esoteric testing laboratories.
Tony moved into a management role in 1992, when he was put in charge of daily operations at Follas Laboratories’ main lab, as well as its’ 14 service centers. In 2006, Tony oversaw the daily operations of 90 employees working in 67 Patient Service Centers, in four different cities. After his time in this position, Tony moved on to work for Covance, where he worked in the hematology, urine analysis, flow cytometry, automated chemistry, and immunology departments.Tony now works as a Technical Supervisor overseeing the validation of clinical and research assays at Xeno Diagnostics. Both his clinical and management experience provides a strong backbone for developing and implementing new assays at Xeno Diagnostics.