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Team Bios

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Robert Pestka Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Pestka has built PBL into a company that works hand in hand with scientists to help solve difficult assay development and protein quantification problems. Drawing on PBL’s deep knowledgebase, he has established successful relationships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities, and research institutions around the world. Mr. Pestka previously served in several project management and architectural design capacities at Kajima International, a turnkey construction company based in Japan. He received a Bachelor of Science in architecture and civil engineering from Princeton University.


Joan PestkaFounder & Executive Manager

Ms. Pestka established Pestka Biomedical Laboratories with Sidney Pestka in 1990. She has handled a wider variety of responsibilities than anyone in company history: purchasing, accounting, and collections; payroll, insurance, benefits, and human resources; product preparation, shipping and receiving; sales, customer service, and technical support. Prior to founding PBL, Ms. Pestka taught high-school mathematics and held positions in the psychology departments at the University of Pennsylvania, American University and George Washington University. She received a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, with minors in Psychology and Physics & Chemistry, from the University of Michigan.



Sidney Pestka, M.D.Founder & Chairman Emeritus (In memoriam)

Dr. Pestka is known as the "Father of Interferon" for his seminal work on interferon that gave birth to what is, today, a $6 billion dollar market directed at the therapy of hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other diseases that affect mankind. He was the first to purify interferon, to clone mature interferons, and to develop a commercialized recombinant biotherapeutic—“Roferon A"—while at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology of Hoffmann-La Roche, where he spent 17 years leading research efforts.


In addition to his position at PBL, Dr. Pestka is Emeritus Professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he served as Chairman for 25 years. He is presently the named inventor on 270 U.S. and foreign patents and has 442 publications and 178 abstracts in his name. Dr. Pestka is a 2001 National Medal of Technology laureate and received the 2001 Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research; the 2004 Warren Alpert Foundation Scientific Prize from Harvard Medical School; the 2006 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award; the 2009 Molecular Biology Medal from the National Institutes of Health for his role in deciphering the genetic code and the mechanism of protein synthesis; and the 2010 Edward J. Ill Outstanding Medical Research Scientist Award for Basic Biomedical Research.


He graduated summa cum laude in chemistry from Princeton University and received a doctorate in Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. His early work on the genetic code, protein synthesis and ribosome function in the laboratory of Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) led to Nirenberg’s 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

William A. Clark, Ph.D. – Vice President of Science and Strategic Alliances


Drawing upon his expertise in pharmacology, protein expression and purification, genetic engineering and assay development, Dr. Clark directs PBL’s business development and intellectual property efforts. He also negotiates research, alliance, service, consulting and licensing arrangements with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities and government laboratories. Dr. Clark earned degrees from Boston College and Yale University, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH.


Gregory Davies, MBA – Corporate Controller


Mr. Davies is responsible for managing PBL’s financial functions. He has more than 18 years of financial experience in a variety of industries including supporting an initial public offering and coordinating various debt and equity financing transactions. Mr. Davies received a Bachelor of Science in management from Montclair State University and an MBA in finance from Monmouth University.


Thomas B. Lavoie, Ph.D. – Chief Scientific Officer


Dr. Lavoie oversees all scientific aspects of PBL, providing direction for internal research projects and product development efforts. He is also an essential part of the Business Development team. Prior to PBL, Dr. Lavoie developed assays and proteins for structure based drug discovery at BMS, conducted research at the NIH and received degrees from Frostburg State and UMCP.


Alok Pandey, Ph.D. – Vice President, Scientific Services


Dr. Pandey leads the highly dynamic assay services team responsible for all client-based services, including consultation, assay execution, and data analysis. His team is also heavily involved in custom immunoassay development on cutting-edge platforms such a Simoa, Erenna/SMC, and MSD. Dr. Pandey did his Ph.D. from NBAGR, India, and pursued his postdoctoral research from Rutgers University with a focus on protein biochemistry and assay development.


Daniela Rotaru – Director, Manufacturing


Mrs. Rotaru oversees a team responsible for the manufacturing of ELISA products, interferon proteins, and antibodies, as well as shipping and receiving. She provides strategic direction for the manufacturing department, ensuring production, performance, and quality standards are consistently met; she develops plans for products, processes, and new product transfers with the overarching goal of increasing efficiency and profitability. She received a Bachelor of Economics degree with a focus in Management-Marketing from the University of Craiova Romania. 


Mike Skawinski – Chief Operations Officer


Mr. Skawinski leads a team that produces the proteins for PBL’s products, researches and develops new products, and provides custom assay services for clients. 


Vicki Wang – Director, Marketing


Ms. Wang is responsible for overseeing strategic marketing and communication efforts as well as relationship building with partners around the world. The efforts of her Marketing and Sales team enable our products and services to be discovered and used in research projects worldwide. She obtained her degree from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing an MBA.


Karen Zipf, MS – Director, Quality


Ms. Zipf oversees all quality-related aspects at PBL from products to services.