Management Team

Management Team

Mesoblast has a highly experienced management team made up of individuals who have held senior positions in international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. This team is responsible for the strategic direction, operations and success of our company.


Silviu Itescu, MBBS, FRACP

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director

Dr Itescu has served on Mesoblast's Board of Directors since the Company's founding in 2004, was Executive Director from 2007, and became Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director in 2011. Prior to founding Mesoblast in 2004, he established an international reputation as a physician scientist in the fields of stem cell biology, autoimmune diseases, organ transplantation, and heart failure. Dr Itescu has been a faculty member of Columbia University in New York, and the University of Melbourne and Monash University in Australia. In 2013, Dr Itescu received the inaugural Key Innovator Award from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture for his leadership in translational science and clinical medicine in relation to adult stem cell therapy. In 2011, he was named BioSpectrum Asia Person of the Year. He has consulted for various international pharmaceutical companies, has been an adviser to biotechnology and health care investor groups, and has served on the Board of Directors of several publicly listed life sciences companies.

Andrew Chaponnel

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Mr Chaponnel has around 25 years of experience in finance roles including 9 years with Mesoblast, initially as the Group Financial Controller (6 years) and for the past 3 years as Head of Finance.  As part of Mesoblast Group finance leadership he has been integral to the implementation and maintenance of our borrowing arrangements, various strategic partnerships, equity placements, the NASDAQ IPO and leads both ASX and NASDAQ financial reporting.  Previously Mr Chaponnel has held management roles in chartered accountancy, logistics, retail and a CFO role within construction before moving into Healthcare.  He is a member of the Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand.

Eric Rose, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Rose is a highly respected physician scientist with focus on clinical investigation, drug discovery, biodefense, and health policy. As a world-renowned heart surgeon and scientist, Dr. Rose led the Columbia Presbyterian heart transplantation program from 1982 through 1992 and made history in 1984 when he performed the first successful pediatric heart transplant. From 1994 through 2007, he served as Chairman of Columbia University’s Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. During this time his leadership of the NIH supported program Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Circulatory Support in Heart Failure (REMATCH) resulted in the first FDA approval of an implantable left ventricular assist device for long term circulatory support, spawning an entire new industry. From 2007-2011, Dr. Rose served on the National Biodefense Scientific Board which advises the United States Health and Human Services Secretary on biodefense, influenza, and emerging diseases. In 2007 he was appointed Chairman and CEO of SIGA Technologies where he oversaw development of the first antipoxviral drug approved in the United States, TPOXX for the treatment of smallpox. Dr. Rose played a key role in obtaining FDA approval of the drug in 2019, and he was responsible for securing contracts with BARDA under which the US Government has procured 1.7 million courses of TPOXX for more than US$1billion into the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Dr Rose continues to be a non-executive director of leading implantable cardiovascular device company, ABIOMED.

Roger D. Brown, BA

Spinal Orthopedic Disorders

Prior to joining Mesoblast in 2009, Mr Brown served as the Divisional Vice President, Clinical, Regulatory and Quality for Abbott Laboratories’ Spine Division. He has over 20 years of regulatory, clinical, product development, quality and reimbursement experience dealing with a variety of technologies from physiological monitoring equipment to implantable and biological products. Mr Brown has also held clinical and regulatory roles at Axiomed Spine Corporation, Wright Medical Technology, CryoLife and Nellcor Puritan Bennett. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Missouri’s William Jewell College and completed coursework at Oxford University in England.

Justin Horst, BS


Justin Horst has 18 years of experience in clinical cell therapy manufacturing and industry development. During the past eight years, he has been Mesoblast’s Deputy Head of Manufacturing, with accountability for chemistry, manufacturing and control of the manufacturing processes. Before joining Mesoblast, Mr Horst was at Lonza Walkersville Inc. for 10 years, holding numerous senior level positions within the manufacturing, project management, and business development groups.  At Lonza, he was instrumental in the establishment of the contract manufacturing business, and managed multiple manufacturing teams supporting numerous custom supply processes.  Mr Horst obtained his B.S. in Biology from Towson University in Maryland.

Peter Howard, BSc, LLB (Hons)

Corporate Executive & General Counsel

Mr Howard has been integrally involved with Mesoblast since its inception in 2004, when he played a critical role in the corporate structuring and listing of Mesoblast on the ASX. More generally, he has extensive experience with many biopharmaceutical firms and major research institutions, covering public listings, private financings, strategic, licensing, intellectual property and mergers and acquisition activities. Mr Howard has done so in several roles, including as a partner at a major law firm, entrepreneur, director and senior executive. 

Michael Schuster, MS, MBA

Pharma Partnering

Mr Schuster, who joined Mesoblast in 2004, leads the Company's partnering discussions. Previously he was the head of the Company's investor relations outreach program and was part of the founding executive team at both Mesoblast Limited and Angioblast Systems, Inc. Mr Schuster was Executive Vice President of Global Therapeutic Programs from 2010 to 2013 and was the Director of Business Development and Vice President of Operations from 2004 to 2010. He holds an undergraduate degree in science from Tufts University, a Master's degree in Immunology & Microbiology from New York Medical College, and a MBA from Fordham University in New York. 

Paul Simmons, PhD

Research & New Product Development

Prior to joining Mesoblast in 2011, Dr Simmons had nearly 30 years of experience in stem cell research, especially research in basic hematopoiesis and in precursor cells for the stromal system of the bone marrow. He served as President of the International Society of Stem Cell Research from 2006 to 2007. Dr Simmons held the C. Harold and Lorine G. Wallace Distinguished University Chair at the University of Texas Health from 2008 to 2011 and served as the inaugural Professor and Director of the Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine from 2006 to 2011. He is, or has served as, an associate editor, a member of the editorial board, or a reviewer on multiple scientific and medical journals including Experimental Hematology, Cytotherapy and Stem Cell Research, Cell Stem Cell, Stem Reports, Science and Nature

Geraldine Storton, BSc, MMS, MBA

Head of Regulatory Affairs & Quality Management

Ms Storton is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with more than 24 years’ experience across the full value chain of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Research and Development, production and commercialization worldwide. She has an extensive background in regulatory affairs and quality, most recently as a consultant to cell therapy companies. Prior to this, Ms Storton held executive roles at Hospira, and its predecessor companies in both regulatory affairs and quality, with a focus on major program management. As Vice President, Program Management, Quality, at Hospira headquarters in Chicago, she led a company-wide quality remediation program to improve compliance in manufacturing across 15 facilities worldwide. As Regional Director, Commercial Quality ANZ, Asia and Japan, Ms Storton was responsible for quality oversight and management of all products sold in Asia Pacific countries. Her responsibilities included regulatory compliance, batch release, field actions, complaints management, change control, due diligence and new product launch. As director of global regulatory operations, Ms Storton managed development and registration of new products and on-market management of the existing product portfolio for all Hospira’s products developed or manufactured within Asia Pacific for global distribution. She joined Mesoblast in December 2015.