Edward Sawicki, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Edward serves as CEO for Think20 Labs. He started his career specializing in hematology as a Medical Technologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While at Hopkins, he also worked at the Department of Health for the State of Maryland conducting HIV drug resistance research focusing on sequencing different strains of the disease. During this time, he developed a passion for molecular biology and sequencing. Edward’s desire to work with cutting edge technologies led him out of academia and into the biotech world. He spent several years at Nanogen helping to develop their electronic microarray platform focusing mostly on developing PGx and Pathogen detection assays. He spent 11 years at Illumina focusing first on support and specializing in Sequencing, Clinical Applications, Laboratory Set-up Consultation, Array Applications, and High Throughput lab design. He also spent several years in Sales at Illumina focusing on their entire sequencing and array portfolio.
Chief Technology Officer
As the CTO, Deiter is responsible for technical solutions, engineering, automation, and infrastructure. He converts high level vision into a technical roadmap aligned with the goals of the business. With over 20 years experience across a myriad of industries, he brings a diverse skillset that spans manufacturing, high throughput laboratory operations, R&D, engineering, analytical testing, customer relations, and information technology. Deiter spent the past 10 years at Illumina and, in his last role, led software development teams that supported both internal laboratory operations and manufacturing.
Chief Scientific Officer
Ben has 15 years of experience in Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). He received his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech by using LC-MS for drug discovery while also working as a clinical chemist at Johns Hopkins (JHU). Ben completed postdoctoral fellowships at both JHU and the National Institute of Health (NIH). He has held scientist positions at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (Thermo) and served as a Senior Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in one of the largest LC-MS labs in the world. He has authored three books on LC-MS along with his peer-reviewed work and has delivered invited lectures on the topic in 12 countries. Ben is the founder of News In Proteomics Research, where advances in LC-MS are disseminated through an informal blog format and short tutorial videos. In 2017, he founded LCMSmethods.org; a site that produces and freely distributes pre-made and optimized instrument methods to improve the quality and reproducibility of LC-MS experiments. The success of this project resulted in an invited appointment to the Association of Biomedical Research Facilities in 2018. His current work on new clinical methods has been recently featured in Science Daily and in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Chief Financial Officer
Michael Zindell is the Chief Financial Officer for Think20 Labs. Looking towards the future of personalized medicine and drug discovery, Michael successfully campaigned and overturned the Irvine city ordinance banning cannabis testing for regulatory purposes by forging a close relationship with the Irvine Police Dept, City Council, Planning Commission and Attorney’s Office. He began his career at Arthur Andersen, earning his CPA in M&A dealings, which led to a career on Wall Street before moving to California in 2006. For over the last 10 years, Michael has been on the front lines of the Cannabis Industry, offering services in both business operations and strategy in dealing with the regulatory landscape. Seeing firsthand the exponential growth of the industry, as it has entered the fray of capital markets, he is now championing for pillars of industry at the state and federal level of politics and banking.
Chief Marketing Officer
Steve serves as Think20’s Chief Marketing Officer. He excelled in various sales management roles for roughly 15 years working for Janssen Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Endo Pharma, and Neurocrine Biosciences. Over the past eight years, he has owned and managed GeneMatrix, a global laboratory consulting company. With the combination of Steve’s relevant background and experience, Think20 is uniquely positioned for immediate sales growth and success across all areas of the Cannabis and Hemp testing landscape. He will be leveraging his professional relationships to position Think20 as the preferred diagnostic testing partner for what is ultimately a global opportunity. His passion for the market, and creativity and approach to selling every day, is an expectation he has for himself and the entire Think20 team. Steve earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Villanova University and is an actively engaged alumnus.
Dr. Michael Ropacki
Dr. Michael Ropacki is a biopharmaceutical industry executive and veteran, and Think20 is fortunate to have him join the team. He will help provide strategic insight and assist Think20 to be positioned as the collaboration partner of choice for biopharmaceutical companies interested in researching cannabis and cannabinoids for conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Tourette’s, as well as other neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. It is Think20’s goal to be the collaboration partner of choice for clinical research and trials, and we believe this will be possible with Dr. Ropacki’s assistance.
Dr. Ropacki is currently the Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and US Site Head for Oryzon. In addition, he owns and is the President and Principal Scientist for Strategic Global Research & Development (SG R&D), a San Francisco-based S Corporation, which collaborates with sponsors developing and executing Clinical Development Plans to maximize meaningful and productive regulatory interactions, as well as increase probability of technical and regulatory success. Dr. Ropacki also currently serves as Chief Medical Advisor for Amarantus Bioscience and has oversight of the LymPro program. Prior to his role at SG R&D, Dr. Ropacki was Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at MedAvante-ProPhase after its acquisition by WIRB Copernicus Group (WCG) in 2017. Before the WCG acquisition, he served as MedAvante’s Vice President of Research & Development. From 2003 – 2016, Dr. Ropacki held roles of increasing responsibility at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), his last as Director of Clinical Development, Neuroscience, Research and Development, for Janssen Research & Development. In this capacity he served as the Clinical Lead responsible for developing and leading the Cognitive Health in Aging Registry: Investigational, Observational and Trial studies in dementia research – Prospective Readiness Cohort (CHARIOT-PRO) program and was responsible for assisting with the development and execution of other clinical programs within the neuroscience therapeutic area.
Dr. Ropacki serves as Co-Chair of a Scientific Advisory Group for the Innovative Medicines Initiative-European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (IMI-EPAD) program, and he is a National Institute of Health (NIH) advisor to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). He is a member of the Critical Path Institute’s Critical Path for Alzheimer’s Disease (CPAD) and digital Drug Development Tool (dDDT) Team. Previously, he was Co-Chair of the CAMD Preclinical Cognitive Outcome Assessment (COA) team working with the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Development Tool, COA Qualification Program. Dr. Ropacki authored or co-authored of dozens of published manuscripts and abstracts and was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Dr. Ropacki also previously served on the Steering Committee of the New York Academy of Sciences-Global Alzheimer’s Platform (GAP), and Co-Leader of the GAP Registries-to-Cohort team.
Dr. Ropacki holds a bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude from University of Arizona and a master’s degree and doctorate from Texas Tech University. He completed his internship/residency at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Psychiatry and two post-doctoral fellowships at Brown University School of Medicine and UCLA School of Medicine, Neuropsychiatric Institute.
Fred Santarpia will be advising Think20’s leadership on its media and go to market strategy, positioning Think20 as the standard bearer for consumer safety. We are confident that with Fred’s experience, Think20 will firmly establish itself as the lab of choice and trusted independent compliance partner for world class Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp brands who demand excellence in quality, safety, and transparency for their customers.
Fred is a digital media and business transformation expert. He was recently named the 2018 US Chief Digital Officer of the year for his work at Condé Nast where he was responsible for building and executing the company’s digital strategy to drive growth across its portfolio of brands.
In this role, Fred dramatically reshaped the digital capabilities of Conde Nast, redefining the way the company operates in a multi-platform world. Under his leadership, each brand repositioned to dynamically respond to changes in consumer expectations leading to explosive growth in both digital audience and revenue.
Fred led Condé Nast to launch new partnerships extending the Conde Nast brands to new platforms and entertainment mediums while at the same time diversifying into new revenue streams in paid content, commerce, and data services. He also led the company’s acquisitions of the popular music editorial property, Pitchfork, social data and marketing company, Citizen Net, and the launch of the company’s innovation center in Austin, Texas. He has overseen the development and launch of Conde Nast Spire, the company’s first ever proprietary data platform, which integrates online behavioral patterns with offline purchase activity to create predictive models for real-time marketing.
Previously, Fred served as EVP and chief digital officer of Condé Nast Entertainment (CNÉ), where he created and executed the vision and business strategy that brought Conde Nast’s iconic brands into the digital video space. Under his leadership, the company launched and scaled 15 fully distributed digital video and OTT channels from Condé Nast’s iconic portfolio of brands, building a subscriber base of millions and making digital video a core discipline that is now as endemic to the company as print.
Prior to joining CNÉ, Fred was EVP & general manager of VEVO, where he was part of the company’s founding leadership team and served as head of all business operations. Under his leadership, VEVO began its global expansion into the UK and Europe, built major editorial tent poles and artist discovery programs which continue to this day, and was consistently ranked the #1 video network on YouTube in terms of unique viewership.
Before VEVO, Fred worked for Universal Music Group, where he held a variety of senior level positions during his tenure with the company, eventually overseeing the operations of UMG’s 300 artist and label websites, and building the first ever digital ad supported revenue stream for the company.
Fred began his career in the media assurance practice at Arthur Andersen. He holds his CPA in the state of the New York. He is a graduate of Villanova University, where he volunteers with their Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Institute and holds an M.S. in finance from Boston University.