Altis Leadership Team


Ben Scruggs, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

Ben Scruggs, Ph.D. is the Chief Executive Officer at Altis Biosystems. He is an experienced leader in the biotechnology industry and has been involved with building transformative healthcare companies in a wide range of areas, including inflammation, oncology, neurodegeneration, ophthalmology, cell therapy, and gene therapy. Ben also serves as a principal at Hatteras Venture Partners. He previously led strategic initiatives at Tune Therapeutics. Ben completed his postdoctoral training in the Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory at NIH/NIEHS, earned his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, and holds a BE in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University.


Jimmy Smedley, Ph.D. Chief Operating Officer

Jimmy Smedley, Ph.D. is the COO of Altis Biosystems. Prior to joining Altis, Jimmy served in various roles at KBI Biopharma. In his tenure at KBI, he built and grew the company’s Analytical Development department from 8 to over 65 employees. Additionally, he helped develop and lead a limited cell-based assay function into a full-service, 10-person GMP laboratory, including supporting over 25 cell lines and biological potency test methods. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology & Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and a M.S., Biology from Duquesne University.


Bill Thelin, Ph.D
Chief Scientific Officer

Bill Thelin, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer at Altis Biosystems. He has more than 15 years of drug development experience, overseeing preclinical from discovery to IND-filing. Prior to joining Altis, Bill served as the Vice President of Research at Parion Sciences. In his tenure at Parion, he helped to build a portfolio of novel, first-in-class therapeutic programs for pulmonary and ophthalmic diseases, which collectively raised >$150M in non-dilutive funding through NIH grants and corporate partnerships. He received a Ph.D. in Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina and was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Richard Boucher at the UNC Cystic Fibrosis Center. Prior to Altis, his scientific expertise focused on epithelial ion channel and receptor pharmacology, mucosal disease, and targeted drug discovery.


Niki Heinz
Director of Business Development

Niki Heinz is the Business Development Director at Altis Biosystems and has been successfully selling into the pharmaceutical and biotechnology research space for over 10 years. Niki formerly worked for Asterand Bioscience and BioIVT and has also worked as a QC and R&D chemist in the detergent industry, as well as with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a Naturalist. Niki has a BS in Biology and is an active member of the Henry Ford College Biotechnology Advisory Board.


Maureen Bunger, Ph.D, M.B.A.
Senior Director Marketing and Product Management

Maureen Bunger is Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management and has held prior positions in business development, product development, and product management over the last 12 years following 5 years as a basic research scientist. She comes to Altis after 6 years at Lonza where she was global product manager of a portfolio of >200 human primary cell and media products and successfully launched several new products into the primary cell market. Maureen earned a PhD from University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA from Cameron School of Business at University of North Carolina- Wilmington.