Derek Hei, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
Derek has deep expertise in the cell therapy space and over two decades of experience leading manufacturing teams at biotechnology companies. He previously served as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Preclinical and Clinical Manufacturing, Cell and Gene Therapies at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for leading chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) activities for multiple cell and gene therapy programs. Prior to his time at Vertex, Derek served as SVP of Manufacturing, Quality, and Regulatory at BlueRock Therapeutics as well as BlueRock’s Chief of Manufacturing and Technical Operations. In these roles, Derek managed the design and construction of a state-of-the art cleanroom facility to support the derivation of gene-edited induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines and the production of current good manufacturing practices (cGMP)-compliant cell therapies for clinical trials. He also previously served as SVP of Clinical Manufacture, Quality, and Regulatory at Cellular Dynamics International, and established and grew Waisman Biomanufacturing’s initial facility as the company’s Director. Derek earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.