Current Team Members
Dr. Kellar is the Founder and President of Development Engineering Sciences, LLC, a biomedical consulting firm. He has over 15 years of experience in the development and regulatory approval of medical devices, cell-based products, and tissue engineered technology. Previously, Dr. Kellar was VP of Research and Development at Histogen, Inc. where he led multi-functional project teams for all aspects of product development. Prior to Histogen, Dr. Kellar was a product specialist for the first FDA-approved thoracic endograft at W.L. Gore and Associates where he served a lead role in development, regulatory, clinical trials, marketing, sales, and business for the thoracic device and the product portfolio. Previous to this position, Dr. Kellar was a product specialist for the Global Oral Health Business at W.L. Gore & Associates (both Gore-Tex® Regenerative Membranes and the entire resorbable membrane portfolio). Prior to Gore, at Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. he led cardiovascular research programs and managed the Anginera® program. Dr. Kellar previously served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Theregen and the Advisory Board for Flagship Biosciences, a digital pathology company he helped co-found. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for MyoStim, the Board of Directors for the Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation, the Advisory Board for Protein Genomics, and the Advisory Board for the California Stock Xchange. Dr. Kellar’s academic laboratory is the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine (TERM) Lab in the Center for Bioengineering Innovation (CBI) at Northern Arizona University (NAU). He also holds Faculty positions in Biological Sciences and Mechanical Engineering at NAU. He earned his Ph.D. in Physiological Sciences from the University of Arizona in the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory of Dr. Stuart K. Williams.
Melissa S. Schonauer is a senior research scientist at Development Engineering Sciences, LLC. She has 17 years of experience in molecular and cellular biology and cell culture research. She has trained and supervised multiple undergraduate and graduate students in various research labs. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona where she investigated the intersection of fatty acid synthesis and RNA processing in yeast mitochondria. As a post-doc at Northern Arizona University, she used baker’s/brewer’s yeast as a model organism to study chromosomal translocations and genomic instability. As a research scientist at Northern Arizona University, she worked on the application of algae for use and remediation of high salinity waste water. In addition to her work at DES, Melissa teaches a 100-level biology course at Northern Arizona University.
Aaron Tabor completed his Ph.D. in biological sciences at Northern Arizona University under the training of Dr. Robert S. Kellar. His prior education includes a Bachelor’s of Science, pre-health emphasis from Northern Arizona University, Masters of Science certificate in clinical pathology from The University of Massachusetts- Lowell and a Masters of Science in Biology from Northern Arizona University. In addition to his academic workload he is an adjunct faculty for the local community college, Coconino Community College (CCC) and full-time faculty at Northern Arizona University (NAU), teaching courses that range from the 100 to 700 level. His most recent academic accomplishments include part-time faculty of the year at CCC and the “Positive Experience” instructor which is recognized by The Office of the Vice President at Northern Arizona University. His research interest includes the use of autologous blood products for acute and chronic wound healing. He has worked on numerous industry driven projects that dealt with cosmetic procedures, wound healing, cardiovascular projects, strokes and catheter re-designs. He has worked closely with many clinicians at Flagstaff Medical Center, Physical Therapy offices and beyond. Aaron aspires for his research to one day translate to the bedside to improve the quality of care for all patients. For more information please contact Aaron Tabor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Diller is a research scientist for Development Engineering Sciences, LLC as well as a PH.D. candidate in biological sciences at Northern Arizona University. His prior education includes a B.S. in Biomedical Science and an M.S. in Biology. His previous work experience includes Lab Manager at Flagship Biosciences a company that specializes in digital pathology. Robert has also done research in computational biology, helping to build a computational model of the cell cycle, specifically dealing with the protein interactions between epidermal growth factors and p53 and their specific cascades. His master’s research focused on developing and implementing digital analysis to evaluate biocompatibility of medical devices. His research interests include using novel proteins to create medical devices which could be used to regenerate cardiac tissues post myocardial infarction. Robert also teaches the anatomy and physiology labs as well as the gross anatomy lab at Northern Arizona University.
Bronson Ikaika Pinto is a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at Northern Arizona University (NAU). He is currently under the mentorship of Dr. Robert S. Kellar. His prior education includes a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Northern Arizona University and a high school diploma from Kailua High in Kailua, Hawai’i. He was awarded a presidential tuition scholarship as well as a native Hawaiian scholarship upon graduating from high school to attend NAU. As an undergraduate student, Bronson was awarded fellowship in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Program (IMSD), which encourages underrepresented minorities to further their research in the STEM fields and also provides funding for research supplies and travel. Upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree, Bronson was admitted into the Bioengineering Ph.D. program at NAU where he is currently studying the effects of environmental contaminants on wound healing and potential strategies for minimizing harm from these contaminants through delivery of a chelation therapy via biomimetic tissue scaffolds. In addition to his research, Bronson holds a graduate teaching assistantship in an introductory anatomy and physiology lab. His most recent academic accomplishments include the acquisition of a Health Research Initiative Grant for his doctorate research, an intellectual property patent disclosure and two peer reviewed manuscripts highlighting his graduate research to-date. Upon receiving his doctorate degree from NAU, Bronson plans to acquire a full-time position in the biomedical engineering industry. For more information, please contact Bronson at email@example.com.
Ryan Patrick Geier earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2015, and he is currently working towards earning an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with expected graduation in May of 2017. As an undergraduate, Ryan served as the Vice President and, subsequently, President of the Bioengineering Club while generating a mechanical template for ongoing development of bioengineered dermal wound healing devices. Currently, he is serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant within the Mechanical Engineering department and is working part time as an engineer in town. Ryan’s research involves the development of Silicon Carbide (SiC) as an advanced bioceramic for joint replacement bearing applications, and current work focuses on the quantification of the biological response of cells exposed to SiC before and after simulated use, in order to assess the effects of various processing additives on the resulting biocompatibility of the implant material. For more information, please contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martha Fowler completed her Bachelor’s of Biomedical Science with a minor in Chemistry at Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Biology at NAU. Martha became a DES intern in the summer of 2015 and worked with Dr. Aaron Tabor on wound healing applications such as Platelet Rich Plasma along with histological and data analysis. Then moved into an independent research study regarding the isolation and extraction of adipose-derived stem cells from murine tissue as a therapeutic application. Martha was also the President of the Bioengineering Club and was a recepient of the Deans List award as an undergraduate at NAU and aspires to attend an M.D./Ph.D program.
Jordan R. Muller is an undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University perusing degrees in Microbiology and Chemistry with an emphasis in Biotechnology. Jordan is a recipient and student of the NIH funded Initiative Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) program, which grants students from underrepresented groups in biomedical and behavioral sciences opportunities to gain first hand research experience. His research interests lay in the creation of biomimetic implantable devices for cardiac implications. Currently, Jordan is investigating parameter effects on customized electrospun scaffolds for tissue engineering applications under the mentorship of both Robert Diller and Robert Kellar. He has gained academic and educational experience through being a Teacher’s Assistant for courses such as Human Biology and Anatomy and Physiology as well as being president of the BioEngineering Club on campus. Steadfast in perusing a career in biomedical research, Jordan aspires to continue his education to the highest degree and contribute his efforts in finding remedies for health disparities seen throughout the world.
Tatum Bardsley is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both biomedical science and Spanish, with a minor in chemistry. Tatum began working in the lab in December of 2015, and is beginning her research activities on the incorporation of ionic liquids into scaffolds for wound healing with an antimicrobial benefit. She enjoys study abroad and has spent a summer in Costa Rica as well as will be pursuing a program in England, in the hope to continue her education abroad to widen her overall outlook on different parts of the world. As of now, Tatum volunteers at Flagstaff Medical Center and plans to pursue medical school following her time at Northern Arizona University, where she will strive to become a specialized surgeon.
Oscar Ramon Lujan is an undergraduate student who is currently pursuing a degree in Biomedical Science with minor in Chemistry. Oscar continues his studies at Northern Arizona University as a recipient of the Lumberjack scholarship. Oscar is a member of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Program (IMSD) (NIH IMSD Grant #R25 GM056931), which is an NIH Grant Program that helps encourage underrepresented minorities to join the field of science and aids the funding of student research. Oscar is currently under the mentorship of Bronson Pinto, who is teaching Oscar how to fully understand the scratch wound assay. Oscar will soon begin research on his own project that deals with the effects of arsenic on wound healing. As a current Sophomore, Oscar hopes to one day create publications and continue on with more projects as time passes.
Alumni of DES
Robert G. Audet
Robert G. Audet was a research scientist and laboratory manager for Development Engineering Sciences, LLC and Protein Genomics, Inc. He has 19 years of experience in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, protein chemistry, developmental biology, and cell culture research, including 7 years managing and training staff, graduate and undergraduate students. His research interests are focused on translating biomedical research into innovative products and services that will improve the lives of other people. Robert’s education includes a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and 2 years graduate studies in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In addition, Robert managed the e-GIRLS (e-tools for Girls Investigating Real Life Sciences) program and was a partner in the Northern Arizona University Nexus Math/Science Project, created to increase awareness and competency in science, technology, math and engineering fields for middles and high school students.
Krystal Burchinal completed her Bachelor’s degree in biology at Northern Arizona in May 2014. During this time she also completed a minor in chemistry and received a certificate in biotechnology. Her research focused on the decellularization of integument using osmotic solutions, and she received first place at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for presenting on this project. She has played numerous educational roles at Northern Arizona University, including teacher’s assistant and supplemental instructor for various chemistry and biology courses.
Andrew Robinson is a current undergraduate student at Arizona State University-Barrett Honors College. He joined the DES team in the summer of 2013 and immediately began working on wound healing with Aaron Tabor. He is seeking a degree in biochemistry and working on his honors thesis using Platelet Rich Gels as a wound healing agent. He has consistently made the ASU Deans list and earned the Honors Tuition Scholarship. Once he completes his undergraduate studies he plans on attending graduate school for biochemistry.
Kristina Galbreath was an undergraduate intern at DES and is current seeking her Biomedical Science degree at Northern Arizona University. She is an Arizona native resident and graduate in the top 10% of her high school class in 2012. She was awarded the AIMS scholarship for academic accomplishments. She currently volunteers at Flagstaff Medical Center in the Emergency Department. She aspires to be a cardiac specialist and is hoping to attend University of Washington’s medical school. Her research at DES was in the area of wound healing.
Kyle graduated magna cum laude from Northern Arizona University with his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Science and minors in Chemistry and
Spanish a semester early in December of 2015. During his time at NAU he served as the President of the oSTEM club, the Vice President of the BioEngineering club, held multiple executive positions within the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and is still a volunteer in the Emergency Department at Flagstaff Medical Center. He recently obtained his Emergency Medical Technician certification and is planning to work as an EMT as well as the teaching assistant for the Gross Anatomy cadaver lab on NAU’s campus before attending medical school. His research focus at DES revolved around evaluating the biocompatibility of customized electrospun scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.
Hans Machula completed his Master’s degree in biology at Northern Arizona University (NAU) under Dr. Robert Kellar. His research focused on full thickness dermal wound healing using human adult derived stem cells and novel stem cell delivery methods. He previously earned an extended B.S. degree in chemistry from NAU, pre-med emphasis, with a minor in biology. In addition to his academic pursuits, he has worked as a part-time emergency medical technician (EMT) in the Flagstaff area for over eight years. He is currently in Medical School at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado.