Bridge to Life was founded with the mission of improving organ transplants through licensing and developing new preservation solutions and technologies and providing the highest quality of service to organ procurement organizations and transplant centers.
We licensed the Belzer UW® trademark from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and began supplying quality organ preservation solutions. Bridge to Life established its European operation, Bridge to Life (Europe) Ltd. in 2012. Its Belzer UW® solutions are now sold, worldwide, in 34 countries. Through a strong focus on COLLABORATION with surgeons and transplant professionals, we continue to explore emerging science and preservation technologies.
Stevan F. Schweighardt
Stevan F. Schweighardt has been Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the US parent company, Bridge to Life Ltd., since inception. He has been Managing Director of Bridge to Life (Europe) Ltd since its founding in April 2012. From 1993 to the present Mr. Schweighardt has been Executive Vice President and a Partner with Cole & Associates, an international biotechnology and pharmaceutical business development consulting firm in Northbrook, Illinois. From 1991 to 1993 he was a partner in a two-man consulting firm. From 1988 to 1991 Mr. Schweighardt served as Director of Acquisitions and Marketing for Central Diagnostic Laboratory. From 1967 to 1987, he served in a number of sales and marketing management positions with Searle Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Schweighardt was awarded his MBA from Lake Forest School of Management in 1983 and his BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1967. Mr. Schweighardt is a member of the Licensing Executives Society.
Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D.
Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D. has been the President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Company and a director since its inception. Dr. Holick is Professor of Medicine and Physiology at Boston University School of Medicine and Chief of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition; since 1987, he has also been the Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center.He has extensive experience on national review committees and study sections and in reviewing research applications.
After earning a PhD in biochemistry and a medical degree, and after completing a research postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison with Dr. Hector DeLuca, Dr. Holick completed his residency in medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Holick has served on a number of national committees and editorial boards and has organized and/or co-chaired several international symposia. He has authored more than 230 peer-reviewed publications and written more than 200 review articles as well as numerous book chapters. He has acted as editor and/or co-editor on eight books, and has recently written a book entitled The UV Advantage. He is the recipient of the GCRC 2006 Excellence in Clinical Research Award.
Dr. Holick is also the Chairman of BTL’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Thomas H. Keller, Jr.
Thomas H. Keller, Jr. has been Chief Operating Officer and a director of the Company since inception. Mr. Keller is currently Senior Vice President of Cole & Associates, an international biotechnology and pharmaceutical business development consulting firm in Northbrook Illinois, where he has served from 1997 to present. From 1993 to the present, he has served as the Principal of Tom Keller & Associates, a marketing and marketing research consulting firm. From 1967 to 1993 he was employed by G. D. Searle & Co., a pharmaceutical company in Skokie, Illinois, serving in various positions including Director, Marketing Research and Senior Marketing Director. In the latter position, he was responsible for marketing management for all cardiovascular, women’s health care, and CNS products, products that accounted for 80% of Searle’s sales volume. In early 1993, he managed the launch of Ambien®.
He was awarded his B.S. in pharmacy by the University of Maryland in 1963 and his M.B.A. degree by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1967. In 1988 he was voted “Pharmaceutical Marketer of the Year” in a poll of pharmaceutical marketing and advertising directors conducted by Medical Advertising News magazine.
Aaron Gilchrist is Global Sales Director. Since 2009, he has been responsible for strategic business development efforts of Bridge to Life, acting as the lead point of contact with Organ Procurement Organizations and Transplant Centers in the US and abroad.
Mr. Gilchrist has a wide range of international project development and medical device experience. Immediately prior to joining Bridge to Life, he worked under the Secretary of Commerce of South Carolina as Project Manager, where he led large industrial relocation and expansion projects for South Carolina, resulting in thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to the State. Prior to that, at Zeus, Mr. Gilchrist was responsible for building and managing a vast portfolio of medical device, aerospace, and specialty manufacturing clients in over 70 countries worldwide. Working with advanced polymer tubing, he directed an increase in annual sales from $6M to over $20M, resulting in a European manufacturing expansion in 2005.
Mr. Gilchrist is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and is fluent in German.
Richard L. Birch
Richard L. Birch has been a Director of Bridge to Life, Ltd since inception, and has become directly involved in Operations since 2014, focusing on the development of new products, including new organ preservation solutions/additives, cell preservation, cryopreservation and various organ perfusion devices. Ric’s background has focused on electronic media and technical publications that included the health field, scientific instruments, and computer sciences. He also was President and founder of Argosy Interactive, a producer of electronic media and technical publications.