Leadership Team

 

 

Richard Brown
Chair of the Board of Directors
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research and
  Stowers Resource Management
  American Century Companies, Inc.
  BioMed Valley Discoveries, Inc.

Richard Brown serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research; Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stowers Resource Management, Inc.; and Chair of Biomed Valley Discoveries, Inc. He became Chair of American Century Investments’ Board of Directors in 2010 after having served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors since 2007. Before joining the Stowers group of companies, Brown was President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Midwest, a position he held from 1993 to March 2003. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Health Midwest from 1991 to 1993 after having joined Health Midwest’s predecessor company in 1980.

Brown has a Masters degree in health administration from the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a Bachelors of Arts in biology from Phillips University. 

 

David Chao, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
President and Chief Executive Officer
  BioMed Valley Discoveries, Inc.

David Chao was appointed President of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2009 and added the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2010. He serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of BioMed Valley Discoveries, the organization responsible for the translation of the Institute’s basic biomedical discoveries into therapeutic applications. From 2008 to 2009, Chao was an Executive Vice President of the Stowers Institute. Prior to joining the Stowers Institute, Chao worked as a licensing executive at Novartis, co-founded two biotech start-ups, and served as a consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Chao holds a Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a predoctoral fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also received a combined M.A. and B.A. in biology from Harvard University.

 


 

 

Steve Bellis, Ed.D.
Vice President of External Relations and Communications,
 Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Board Chair
 The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Steven J. Bellis joined the Stowers Institute in 2020 as the Vice President of External Relations and Communications. Prior to joining the Institute, Bellis spent 18 years in education at The Pembroke Hill School. Most recently, at Pembroke Hill, he served as Head of School from 2007 to 2019 where he was responsible for four divisions and two campuses. He also held several senior management positions during a 15-year career at Hallmark Cards. Bellis serves as the Board Chair for The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute.

Bellis earned a B.A. degree in history from Kansas State University; an M.B.A. with finance concentration from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a University Fellow and teaching assistant; and an Ed.D. from the University of Kansas.

 

Betty M. Drees, M.D., FACP, FACE
President
  The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Betty Drees was appointed President of the Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research (GSSIMR) in Spring 2018. She served on the Board of Directors of GSSIMR prior to appointment her as president. She is on the faculty at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine where she is Dean Emerita after serving thirteen years as dean, where she also held roles as acting provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. She is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the UMKC School of Medicine. She is a board-certified endocrinologist who practices at Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, MO. Drees has served in multiple regional and national roles in education, including the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Chair of the Governance Council of the American Medical Association’s Academic Physician Section, and Chair of the Missouri State Medical Association’s Commission on Continuing Medical Education. She is currently the Program Director for the UMKC Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism.

Drees received her medical degree from the University of Kansas and did her residency training in internal medicine and fellowship in endocrinology at the Kansas University Medical Center. Following fellowship, she did postdoctoral research training in the Veterans Affairs Career Development Program.

 

Charles German
Co-General Counsel
  Stowers Group of Companies

Charles German was appointed Co-General Counsel of the Stowers Group of Companies in 2020. Prior to joining Stowers, German was a founding shareholder of the law firm of German May PC. As a trial lawyer, his primary practice areas have been internal and governmental investigations, corporate governance, biotech, capital markets, and professional liability. German served as outside independent counsel for BioMed Valley Discoveries from 2018 to 2019, and is an adjunct professor of corporate litigation at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

German earned a B.A. from Drury University and a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, and served as the law clerk for Honorable William R. Collinson of the Western District of Missouri. German has served as a director and board chair at The Midwest Innocence Project and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. He was a founder and chair of the Kansas City Metropolitan Homelessness Task Force, a multi-disciplinary, inter-governmental entity that is now a permanent section of the Mid-America Regional Council. He has also been a board member of Drury University and of the Missouri Lawyers Trust Account Foundation. Past awards include the LAWMO Coburn Community Service Award, the KCMBA Deans of the Trial Bar, KCMO Legal Leader of the Year, Missouri Lawyers Media ICON Award, and the Downtown Council Urban Hero Award.

 

Matt Gibson, Ph.D.
Dean
  The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Investigator
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  School of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center

Matt Gibson joined the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2006, and assumed the role of Dean of the Graduate School in 2019.  His laboratory uses both the fruit fly Drosophila and the sea anemone Nematostella to investigate the molecular and cellular basis for animal development and evolution. Along with teaching and mentoring, Gibson previously served on a variety of Graduate School committees including Curriculum and Admissions. He also currently serves as an Editor for the journal Developmental Biology.

Gibson received a B.S. in biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington before completing a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Norbert Perrimon at Harvard Medical School. 

 

Brent Kreider, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer
 Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Chief Operating Officer
 BioMed Valley Discoveries, Inc.

Brent Kreider joined the Stowers Institute after serving as Vice President and Global Head of Scientific Operations at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he provided senior management oversight to scientific support functions at NIBR sites throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Before joining NIBR as Director of Program Operations in Cardiovascular in 2004, he held executive positions at three biotech companies.

Kreider received a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania followed by a postdoctoral appointment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

 

Patrick Mitchell
Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture
  Stowers Resource Management

Patrick Mitchell joined the Stowers Institute in 2019 as Director of Human Resources and was appointed Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity, Inclusion and Culture in 2020. Mitchell has more than twenty years of experience in leadership development, recruiting, performance management, and employee engagement and retention. Trained as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Mitchell uses a strengths-based approach to improve employee engagement and performance in the workplace. Prior to joining Stowers, Mitchell held positions at a variety of financial institutions, mostly recently as Director of Training and Development at Community America Credit Union.

Mitchell received his undergraduate training in organizational leadership and his M.B.A. in finance and management from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. He served on the Blue Springs Police Advisory Board from 2014 until June 2020.

 

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D.
Scientific Director
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Investigator
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
  Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado was appointed Scientific Director of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2019. He joined the Institute in 2011 from the University of Utah School of Medicine where he was the H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. In addition to being elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in 2018, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow with the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Sánchez Alvarado focuses his research efforts on understanding animal regeneration, particularly of the flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea, which he established as a powerful model system.

Sánchez Alvarado received a B.S. in molecular biology and chemistry from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and cell biophysics from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

 

George Satterlee
Executive Vice President of Administration
  Stowers Resource Management

George Satterlee joined the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2016 after serving in positions at two Kansas City area companies, Missouri Bank and Hallmark Cards, Inc. While at Missouri Bank, Satterlee served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer and was responsible for the company’s human resource, organizational development, culture, strategic planning, and marketing efforts. Prior to his 17 years at Missouri Bank, Satterlee spent 15 years at Hallmark Cards, where he held a number of significant human resource positions within the manufacturing, corporate staffing and field sales divisions.

Satterlee received a B.A. degree in business administration and political science from Westminster College and a M.L.A. degree in philosophy from Baker University. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he completed a three-year program in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Wharton School Executive Leadership Program. Some of his civic activities include serving on committees for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, serving as an advisor to the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, and serving as a mayoral appointee on the Kansas City & Vicinity Workforce Investment Board of the Full Employment Council.

 

Kausik Si, Ph.D.
Associate Scientific Director
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Investigator
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Professor, Department of Physiology
  School of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center

Kausik Si was appointed Associate Scientific Director of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2019. Si joined the Institute in 2005. He is the recipient several prestigious awards including a Searle Fellowship, the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Award, a Klingenstein Fellowship in the Neurosciences, and the McKnight Scholar Award. Si’s research seeks to understand the biochemical mechanisms that create long-term memory and produce persistent change in behavior.

Si earned his B.S. and M.S. in sciences from the University of Calcutta and Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his postdoctoral studies in the lab of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, Ph.D., at Columbia University.

 

Penny Spence
Vice President of Finance & Treasurer
  Stowers Resource Management

Penny Spence joined the Stowers Institute in 2019 as Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. Prior to joining the Institute Spence spent her career in finance and treasury roles at large, privately-held, multinational organizations including fourteen years at Lockton Companies where she most recently held the position of Vice President-Assistant Treasurer. Early in her career, she held other finance roles at Hallmark Cards and Black & Veatch. Spence earned her Certified Treasury Professional designation in 2006.

Spence received a B.S. in finance from Emporia State University and an M.B.A with a finance concentration from Avila University.

 

Roderick Sturgeon
Executive VP & Chief Financial Officer
  Stowers Resource Management

Roderick Sturgeon joined the Stowers Institute in February 2007 from a position as Senior Vice President – Personal Expression Group Finance at Hallmark Cards, Inc. While at Hallmark, Sturgeon oversaw all North American and international finance activities, credit services and Information Technology for the Personal Expression business. He was a corporate officer, and served on the company’s personal expression group management team. Sturgeon joined Hallmark in 1974.  He was vice president of finance and planning for Hallmark International prior to assuming the role as Senior Vice President and being named a corporate officer in 1993. Prior to Hallmark, he worked for the J.C. Penney Company.

Sturgeon received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and his M.B.A. from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He serves on the Kansas State University Business College Advisory Board, and the Community National Bank Board.  He has previously served on the Boards of both the Midwest Trust Company and Financial Counselors, Inc.

 

David Welte
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
  Stowers Resource Management

David Welte, who played a pivotal role in the creation of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and the Stowers Group of Companies, assumed his role as in-house General Counsel in January 2009.  Welte was most recently at Bryan Cave, LLP, and previous to that was a shareholder in the law firm of Polsinelli Shughart where he was one of the founders and served as the firm’s managing partner for 15 years.

Welte received his Juris Doctorate in 1968 from Loyola University-Chicago. He was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1968, the bars of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit in 1982, Tenth Circuit in 1985, and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982. Currently, Welte serves on the Board of Trustees and Compensation Committee of the Midwest Research Institute, the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Pembroke Hill School, as well as the Board of Directors of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures. Previously, he served on the Executive Committees and Boards of Directors of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Area Development Council, and Brush Creek Community Partners.

 

Sarah Zanders, Ph.D.
Vice Dean
  The Graduate School of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Assistant Investigator
  Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology
  School of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center

Sarah Zanders joined the Stowers Institute in 2016 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship training at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. In 2018, she was awarded a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation, an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and was named a Searle Scholar. Zanders’ laboratory uses an evolution-guided molecular approach to understand the effects of genetic conflicts caused by selfish genes embedded in eukaryotic genomes.

Zanders earned a B.S. in biology with Honors and Highest Distinction at the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in genetics and development at Cornell University .