An experienced team developing innovative treatments

Our leadership team is well-positioned to deliver on the promise of engineered macrophages as a transformative approach to the treatment of cancer.

With decades of experience to lean upon, working in concert with a team of passionate scientists, our goal is to develop the next generation of cell therapies to change the lives of cancer patients.

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Steven Kelly

President & CEO

Steven Kelly

Steven Kelly joined Carisma Therapeutics in February 2018 bringing nearly thirty years of experience in Pharma/Biotech at all phases of the business across multiple therapeutic categories. Prior to joining Carisma, Mr. Kelly held a number of leadership positions in the biotechnology industry including: CEO, Pinteon Therapeutics; CEO, Theracrine; CCO, BioVex; CEO, Innovive Pharmaceuticals; as well as various commercial and manufacturing roles at Sanofi, IDEC Pharmaceuticals and Amgen.

Steve holds a BS from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Cornell University.

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Debora Barton, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Debora Barton, MD

Debora Barton joined Carisma Therapeutics in November 2019. She brings 18 years of oncology experience, both in academia as a practicing physician and in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry.

Most recently, she served in key senior executive positions in cellular therapy and radiopharmaceutical biotech companies including Iovance Biotherapeutics and Advance Accelerator Applications, acquired by Novartis during Debora’s tenure. In her leadership roles, Debora built Clinical Development and Drug Safety teams setting up infrastructure for the conduct of clinical studies and was instrumental in obtaining FDA Breakthrough Designation for a cell therapy product and in the approval of a radiopharmaceutical agent by both FDA and EMA.

Previously, Debora spent 10 years at Celgene and Novartis, always focusing on improving the lives of cancer patients. She holds an MD from Pontificia Universidade Catolica Sao Paulo (PUC-SP) and completed her fellowship in Oncology at Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) in Brazil.

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Daniel Cushing, PhD

Chief Technology & Development Officer

Daniel Cushing, PhD

Dan is responsible for product development at Carisma Therapeutics. He has over 25 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience, including discovery research, drug development, medical affairs, and regulatory affairs. Over his career, Dan has led the development and registration of several products and launched multiple products that still enjoy success in the market.

Previously, Dan served as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Nuron Biotech Inc. and as Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Drug Development, Medical and Regulatory Affairs of Prism Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, Dan worked at Pfizer, Merck, and Astra Merck and AstraZeneca, where he held senior positions in medical and regulatory affairs.

Dan holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and is a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

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Michael Klichinsky, PhD

Co-Founder & Senior VP, Research

Michael Klichinsky, PhD

Mike is a co-inventor of the CAR-Macrophage technology and a scientific co-founder of Carisma Therapeutics Inc. In his role as Senior VP of Research, he oversees the research & discovery efforts of the company.

Mike developed CAR-Macrophages during his doctoral thesis under the co-mentorship of Saar Gill and Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael’s scientific expertise is in the intersection of immunology, synthetic biology, cancer immunotherapy, and translational pharmacology.

Mike previously earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Richard Morris

Chief Financial Officer

Richard Morris

Richard Morris joined Carisma Therapeutics in June 2021 bringing more than 25 years of experience in building and growing successful biotech organizations with a track record of delivering corporate value through capital fundraising (including IPOs), financial strategy and operations execution, and business development efforts.

Mr. Morris previously served as the CFO at Passage Bio, where he was instrumental in transforming the genetic medicines company from a private start-up to a public development stage company. Before that, he was the Executive Vice President and CFO for Context Therapeutics; he also was CFO for Vitae Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Allergan in 2016, and held several senior financial roles at ViroPharma, acquired by Shire in 2013.

Richard holds a BS in Accounting from Saint Joseph’s University and is a certified public accountant.

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Tom Wilton

Chief Business Officer

Tom Wilton

Tom joined Carisma Therapeutics in September 2019. He brings over 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience, including corporate strategy, business development, R&D operations and marketing. Tom most recently served as the Chief Business Officer for LogicBio Therapeutics, Inc., a genome editing company, where he was responsible for leading strategy, business development and intellectual property, and supported a successful initial public offering. Prior to LogicBio, Tom was the Chief Business Officer for The University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Therapy Program, where he completed multiple partnerships that enabled the group to grow to over 250 employees. Tom began his career at GlaxoSmithKline, where he was instrumental in establishing the Rare Disease Business Unit and served in various leadership positions in the US and Europe.

Tom holds a BS from the University of London, an MA from the University of Leeds, and an MS from Brunel University.