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Board of Directors

Roger Vertrees, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board, Chief Science and Technology Officer

Roger is a Certified Clinical Perfusionist Emeritus, and he received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Experimental Oncologic Pathology. He is retired from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where he was an Associate Professor of Surgery and Pathology, and he currently focuses all his time and energy into ®Verthermia. Roger has more than 30 years of research in whole-body hyperthermia and has overseen preclinical animal studies in hyperthermia and was instrumental in the design and administration of the only human trials for lung and ovarian cancer patients. 

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Jan Winetz, M.D.

Chief Clinical Officer

Jan is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. Jan graduated from the Cornell University Medical College with a residency, and then he served as a Chief Resident at S.U.N.Y. affiliated hospitals at Buffalo, N.Y. Jan also served a fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center where he won two National Kidney Foundation Fellowships for his research. Jan has multiple peer-reviewed publications and has been a practicing Nephrologist for over 30 years. Jan was instrumental in the company’s Phase 1 ovarian hyperthermia trials.

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Jay Smith

Board Member, Secretary

Jay was a certified public accountant with a large national firm and has over 30 years of experience as a financial executive. Jay has successfully established and managed businesses in manufacturing, distribution, importing, and agriculture. Jay initially joined the company as the interim CFO and helped support capital raising efforts. Jay holds a BS and an MBA from the University of Southern California. 

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Petra Smeltzer Starke

Board Member

Petra Smeltzer Starke is the founder and CEO of a global growing hot yoga healthy lifestyle brand SweatNGlow. She partners nationwide with businesses and charities to promote yoga, fitness, skincare, and nutrition. She is the author of a bestselling book on her journey from Communism growing up in Czechoslovakia to her times in the Obama White House. Her book highlights how Yoga was her means of mental and physical support.
Previously, Petra graduated at the top of her class from Georgetown Law before practicing law at the firm of O’Melveny & Meyers, LLP. At the firm, she represented political nominees and appointees during the Bush Administration. She was subsequently recruited for the Obama Presidential Transition. Later she worked in the Obama White House where she served as General Counsel to the White House Council of Economic Advisors and Senior Advisor to the President. More recently she served as a member of the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

Gary Keeling

Board Member

Gary has been active in the hyperthermia sector since 1992 and received the first FDA IDE to treat AIDS patients with whole-body hyperthermia in 1995. Gary’s company received the first FDA clearance for an intraperitoneal hyperthermia device in 1999 and has been commercially operating the HIPEC Procedure. This procedure is used by surgical oncologists to treat advanced abdominal cancer and is a standard of care in over 172 prestigious hospitals, including Mass General, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, and the Mayo Clinic. Gary has invented and patented two abdominal drainage catheters which are used in surgery every day throughout the world. He also developed and patented a chemotherapy sensitizing solution and co-wrote in-vitro and in-vivo study protocols for the solution. Gary attended the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received a BS in Economics.

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