The Lexitas leadership team offer our customers decades of ophthalmology experience.
Our vision is to be the best ophthalmology solutions provider in the industry, from the perspective of both our clients and our employees. We are keenly focused on building and maintaining collaborative, long-term relationships with clients, investigators, vendors, partners and employees.
The Lexitas Founders have a common desire to build a company that focuses on ophthalmology and wants to partner with companies that have a vision of improving eye care.
Lexitas Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. George Magrath is CEO and a board-certified Ophthalmologist. He has worked in the clinical research industry for 5 years. George worked previously worked at Hovione, LLC Edison Investment Research Limited Medical University of South Carolina prior to joining Lexitas in August 2020. He received a Bachelor of Science in biological chemistry from Clemson University and his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He then stayed on at the Medical University of South Carolina to complete an internship in General Surgery and a residency in Ophthalmology. Finally, he completed a fellowship in ocular oncology at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. Upon completion of fellowship he returned to the Medical University where he served as the Chief of the University’s Ocular Trauma Service. He has 24 peer reviewed publications and has presented at multiple national and regional conferences. In addition to his medical degree he holds an MBA from The Citadel and a Masters in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University. He worked as an equity analyst at Edison Investments Research prior to transitioning to drug development as the Medical Director at Hovione. At Hovione for the past 5 years, Dr. Magrath managed the clinical development of assets in dermatology, ophthalmology, and inhalation. When he is not working, George enjoys hanging out with his wife and kids.
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Joanna has over 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry. She began her career in clinical research as a clinical site coordinator and then joined a small CRO in their data management and clinical technology group. In early 2000, she co-founded a clinical technology company providing IRT systems which was later acquired by ICON Clinical Research. In her nearly 14 year tenure with ICON, Joanna was responsible for growing the IRT service offering for ICON from the ground up as well as held leadership positions within clinical operations leading clinical technology teams. Since joining Lexitas in 2014, Joanna has been focused on operational delivery, business growth and service expansion. She is passionate about helping her teams find creative solutions and deliver exceptional quality and service to our customers.
Senior Vice President, Sales
Melissa is a Senior Vice President of Sales and has been working in the Clinical Research industry for 14 years. Before joining Lexitas Melissa worked for PRA Health Sciences, PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development), and Scout Clinical. Melissa has a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a Masters of Adult Education with an emphasis in health professions. In her free time, Melissa likes to read, hike, take long walks, spend time with friends and family, and travel.
Vice President, Clinical Operations
Nicole Derthick has worked in the clinical research industry since 2007. She started her career at Parexel International and also worked at IQVIA before joining Lexitas in March 2019. Nicole has successfully led large, global teams across various therapeutic areas. Her project management experience ranges from Phase II-IV, including interventional and observational research. Nicole received a BS in Psychology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
VP of Human Resources
Vickie is the VP of Human Resources who has led HR organizations for global companies in the areas of healthcare and technology for more than 20 years, with 7 years in HR Consulting and 5 years in the CRO industry. Before joining Lexitas, Vickie worked with J&M Family Enterprises, Labcorp, IQVIA, Medfusion, HomeChoice Partners, Motricity, Atstaff, and Nortel Networks. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education. In her free time, Vickie enjoys power walking, biking, going to the beach, cooking, and planning family events and parties.
Senior Vice President, Offering and Market Development
Malia is a Senior Vice President for Offering and Market Development and has been working in the life sciences field for over 20 years. In the past, she has held executive leadership positions with Teckro, QbDVision, Veeva, Rivermark, (an IQVIA company), Ascension Health, and the International Psoriasis Council. Malia has a Juris Doctor degree and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Women’s Studies. Outside of work Malia likes to cook, travel, read, and spend time with her husband and family.
Senior Director of Quality Assurance
Lisa is a Senior Director of Quality Assurance and has been working in clinical research for 20 years. In the past, Lisa had a long career at PPD serving in both the Clinical Operations and Quality and Compliance settings. Prior to that, she worked as a nurse at hospitals in North Carolina and Illinois. She has a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Illinois and is a registered nurse in the state of North Carolina. In her spare time, Lisa likes to build Legos, do crossword puzzles, watch true crime documentaries, read, and spend time with her family and friends.
Chief Financial Officer
Tony brings more than 25 years of financial experience across diverse industries with over 10 of those in the clinical research industry. Tony held executive leadership positions with Parexel, Syneos, CREE and Tekelec. During his tenure with these companies, Tony was involved in deploying multiple financial/operational systems, globalizing operations, and building international teams. He was instrumental in the successfully launching several Initial Public Offerings and multiple M&A transactions. Tony was a catalyst for driving significant growth while optimizing revenue and profitability in the clinical research industry. Tony has an MBA, Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Tony is licensed in North Carolina as a Certified Public Accountant. Outside of work Tony likes to participate in road races, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Director, Business Development & Site Relations
He has worked in the biopharmaceutical and clinical research industry for 20 years. Fifteen of those years have been in the research and development of eye health products. Mike has been with Lexitas from the beginning as a consultant; however, recently joined the company as a permanent employee in August 2016. Mike started his career at PPD Development, and then moved onto Inspire Pharmaceuticals, followed by 5 years as an Independent Clinical Research Consultant before joining Lexitas. Mike has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from North Carolina State University and Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. On his days off, you can find Mike spending time with his family, cycling, kayaking or out on the golf course.
Vice President, Clinical Development
Silke is the Vice President of Clinical Development. Silke has been working in the clinical research industry for 17 years. Silke previously worked with ViaLase, Inc., Advanced Bionics, LLC, Glaukos Corporation, Aptiv Solutions and Integrium, LLC. She has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Cologne. Outside of work Silke likes to travel, hike and practice photography.
Senior Director, Clinical Data Management
Vice President, Biostatistics and Statistical Programming
Dr. Richard C. Zink joined Lexitas as Vice President, Biostatistics and Statistical Programming in September 2020. Prior to Lexitas, Richard spent 17 years in and around medical product development at a real-world data company (Target RWE) where he led data management and statistics in the analysis and reporting of data derived from electronic medical records; a software company (SAS Institute) where he developed and supported platforms to analyze and visualize safety and data quality outcomes from clinical trials; and pharmaceutical companies (Inspire Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb) where he served as lead statistician for numerous clinical trials and provided statistical consulting and support to other departments. He is author, editor, and contributor to 9 books on statistical topics in clinical trials and clinical research. Richard has served as adjunct assistant or full professor of biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2014 and has served as Associate Editor for the DIA journal Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science since 2012. Richard has a PhD and MS in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS in mathematics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He was awarded the distinction of Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2020. Outside of work, Richard enjoys playing board and card games with his family and performing improvisational comedy with various teams in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Board of Directors
Jeanne Taylor Hecht, CEO of JTH Consulting, LLC, commands broad knowledge and deep expertise in the Life Sciences arena. She has dedicated much of her career to guiding international companies through healthy growth—thoughtfully, strategically, and with unyielding integrity. Jeanne builds and empowers successful teams in mature and emerging markets, and across numerous product and service sectors.
Jeanne serves as a Non-Executive Director on five Board of Directors, across private equity and venture backed organizations. She enjoys supporting these companies as they drive breakthrough growth and scale their businesses internationally.
Jeanne’s industry career spanned over twenty years. In 2018, she joined Ora as a member of the Board of Directors and was later named Chief Executive Officer supporting her teams’ excellent delivery of full-service pre-clinical and clinical ophthalmic drug and device development, motivated, as always, by the relief Ora can bring to patients. Under Jeanne’s guidance, Ora expanded its international presence, introduced new lines of businesses, and furthered its goals along numerous strategic paths.
Before joining Ora, Jeanne was responsible for launching and expanding a Life Sciences consulting practice that supported companies with sales, marketing, and market growth strategies as well as advisory and board work. Prior to that, Jeanne was a member of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of Median Technologies, where she was responsible for leading, implementing, and driving the company’s global strategy.
Earlier in her career, Jeanne held many senior roles at Iqvia (formerly Quintiles IMS Holdings, Inc.), an international company that provides biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services. She was a Member of the Quintiles Executive Committee, and President of the Quintiles WIN (Women in Networking) group. Prior to this, she held several leadership positions of increasing responsibility with the company. She also was Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Decision Biomarkers, Inc. and Regulatory Affairs Officer for the UNC Oncology Protocol Office.
Jeanne is an active Advisory Board Member for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler’s Business School Industry Health Council and lecturer at the business school. She contributed to the creation of Wake Forest University’s master’s in clinical research program and remains an active industry advisor to the school.
She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from that university’s Ross School of Business. She earned a Certificate of Project Management from the Project Management Institute.
Dr. Joseph Boorady is currently the Global CEO of Euclid Vision Corporation based in Northern Virginia. Dr. Boorady was the Vice President, Ocular Surface Disease at Johnson and Johnson Vision. Prior to Johnson and Johnson Vision he was the President and CEO of TearScience, which was acquired by Johnson and Johnson Vision. Prior he was Senior Vice President of Sales, Service and Marketing at Zeiss Meditec, Inc. where he oversaw Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, ENT, Spine and Breast Cancer devices in North America. Dr. Boorady has spent over 25 years in the ophthalmic industry as an eye care professional, educational leader, entrepreneur and corporate executive. Dr. Boorady graduated with honors as a Doctor of Optometry from the SUNY-College of Optometry Class of 1993 and in 2010 he became an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.
Terry Kim, MD, is Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine and serves as Chief of the Cornea and External Disease Division and Director of the Refractive Surgery Service at Duke University Eye Center. Dr. Kim’s clinical and surgical expertise has resulted in continual annual listings by America’s Best Eye Doctors (Newsweek), Best Doctors in America, Best Doctors in North Carolina, America’s Top Ophthalmologists, and The Ophthalmologist Power List as well as featured stories on the Discovery Channel, The Wall Street Journal, and Sports Illustrated.
Dr. Kim’s academic accomplishments include over 400 peer-reviewed journal articles, textbook chapters, and scientific abstracts, over 400 invited lectureships, and 5 well-respected textbooks on corneal diseases, corneal transplantation, and cataract surgery. His clinical and research accomplishments have earned him honors and grants from the AAO, ASCRS, National Institutes of Health, the Fight for Sight/Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation, and the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation.
Dr. Kim serves on the Executive Committee of ASCRS as Past President, the Annual Program Committee of the AAO, and the Board of Directors of the Cornea Society. He also sits on the Editorial Board for several peer-reviewed journals and trade publications, including Cornea, Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Ocular Surgery News, Eyeworld, EyeNet, Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. Dr. Kim serves as Consultant to the Ophthalmic Devices Panel of the FDA, Consultant Ophthalmologist for the Duke Men's Basketball Team, and Consultant to numerous ophthalmic companies.
Vern is responsible for transaction origination and execution, portfolio company value creation initiatives, and investment policy. Mr. Davenport is a member of the Private Equity investment committee.
Before joining QHP Capital, Mr. Davenport was CEO and Board Member at Medfusion. He was instrumental in the carve-out of the company from Intuit and returning its core portal solution to a market leadership position. Prior to Medfusion, Mr. Davenport was Chairman and CEO of Medquist, a leader in transcription services before and after the privatization of the company. Mr. Davenport facilitated a transformation of the business through the acquisition of a speech technology company, rebranding the company M*Modal and leading the take-private process.
Mr. Davenport’s previous experience also includes his time as President, Allscripts; CEO, Misys Healthcare; GM & EVP, Kodak Health Group (now Carestream Health), and executive leadership roles at Siemens and Shared Medical Systems. Mr. Davenport started his career at IBM where he spent 11 years in sales, sales leadership, and executive management positions.
Jeff is responsible for transaction origination and execution, portfolio company value creation initiatives, investment policy, and investor relations. Mr. Edwards is a member of the Private Equity investment committee.
Prior to joining QHP Capital, Mr. Edwards co-managed the Principal Investment Private Equity program at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, leading the efforts in the healthcare and industrial sectors across a variety of geographies. In that role, he was responsible for making investment decisions, deal origination, portfolio construction and portfolio management.
Mr. Edwards’ previous experience also includes M&A advisory work for Raymond James Capital Markets focusing on middle-market companies. Mr. Edwards also worked as a consultant for State Street Global Advisors. Consulting in Boston and Austin, his efforts were focused on the private equity industry including fund formation, portfolio management, and investment due diligence. Before moving back to the Capital Markets sector, Mr. Edwards worked in finance and administrative roles in the healthcare industry with Carolinas HealthCare Systems and HCA, Inc. He started his career with the middle market investment bank RW Baird.
Matt is responsible for transaction origination and execution, portfolio company value creation initiatives, investment policy, and investor relations.
Prior to joining QHP Capital, Mr. Jenkins established and led the private equity investment portfolio at RTI International where he focused on precision medicine, clinical research, real world evidence, genomics, population healthcare, and consumer-oriented diagnostics. Matt led and managed investments including BioIQ (acquired by Let’s Get Checked), PierianDx, Seven Bridges Genomics, Clinical Ink, and SPH Analytics (acquired by Press Gainey).
Matt served as SVP, Strategy & Corporate Development and General Manager at M*Modal a healthcare technology firm (acquired by 3M) and was a Corporate Vice President at Allscripts (MDRX), a digital healthcare technology organization serving providers, payers, and biopharma clients with annual revenues exceeding $1.4 billion where Matt led corporate development (M&A) and held executive roles in strategic planning, product marketing, and business development.
Prior to Allscripts, Mr. Jenkins was one of the three founding members of Cellective Therapeutics (acquired by Medimmune), a biopharmaceutical firm focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that target B-cell antigens to treat autoimmune diseases and lymphomas. Matt also worked at one of the most active venture capital firms in the Southeast where he focused on technology and life science equity investments.
Matt began his career at Ernst & Young, where as a Consulting Manager he helped grow the Washington, DC practice by leading and delivering performance improvement and strategic advisory engagements for technology sector clients.