Mission Statement

The CHildren and Athletes Regenerative MEDicine (CHARMED) Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization, devoted to clinical research of regenerative medicine to improve and save children's lives and athletes’ careers.

The expected impact of the CHARMED Foundation is to transform the pediatric healthcare system and dramatically improve the availability of safe and effective regenerative medicine therapies for children and athletes within 10 years.

The CHARMED Foundation’s Overview and Vision: Although children represent 24% of the U.S. population and the future of society, the current healthcare system and most biomedical engineering research has focused on medical problems relevant to older adults.  As a result, there is a large gap in research and development for pediatric healthcare technologies, despite the potential for tremendous societal economic benefit and improvement in long-term quality of life.

Athletes are a relatively young patient population who sustain a disproportionately high rate of musculoskeletal and brain injuries due to the extreme biomechanical demands they place on their bodies.  For any professional or amateur athlete, injuries can significantly diminish performance, temporarily remove them from competition, and prematurely shorten careers.  Many athletic injuries also have long-term consequences in the form of accelerated post-traumatic osteoarthritis and neurodegenerative conditions.

Regenerative medicine is a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field that combines bioengineering, biomaterials, stem cell biology, and clinical expertise to develop new therapies that promote functional regeneration of damaged or diseased tissues. There are currently nearly 9,000 ongoing stem cell clinical trials worldwide and the regenerative medicine market is over $5 billion and growing rapidly.  Although these technologies have generally been proven to be safe, much work remains to test and optimize the therapeutic effectiveness of regenerative medicine treatment strategies. Too often, for example, patients are paying large out-of-pocket fees for unproven stem cell procedures frequently performed outside the United States where FDA approval is not required.

Our Board

MaryAnn R. O’Neill
President

MaryAnn O’Neill is one of America’s outstanding sports professionals under the age of 40 who demonstrates leadership, professional excellence and a commitment. She is also a gifted communicator who thinks deeply about – and can quickly assess – complex issues, then translate those thoughts into straightforward ideas and recommendations.

A successful entrepreneur in the medical field in her 20s, O’Neill introduced, structured, developed, and closed a multi-year, multi-million dollar title sponsorship deal for a PGA TOUR Champions golf tournament that was in dire-need of funding to continue to exist. In addition, she introduced and finalized an official licensing agreement with the PGA TOUR’s Championship Management division regarding security at their events across the country. Noted for her skills as a fund-raiser, O’Neill raised a multi-million dollar amount to form a new event security agency with an exclusive agreement with California-based Rapiscan Systems and S2 Global. 

She is a standout in a male-dominated business and her colleagues praise her ability to negotiate with competence, care, efficiency and effectiveness. 

Robert E. Guldberg, Ph.D
Scientific Advisory Chair

Robert E. Guldberg is the Parker H. Petit Chair in Bioengineering and Bioscience.  He is a Professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology's Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and Georgia Tech/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering.  Dr. Guldberg received all of his degrees from the University of Michigan in mechanical engineering and bioengineering and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology. His research program is focused on musculoskeletal growth and development, regeneration of limb function following traumatic injury, and degenerative diseases such as skeletal fragility and osteoarthritis.  Dr. Guldberg has advised 47 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students over the past 20 years and published over 190 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.  In 2009, Dr. Guldberg was appointed Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB) (http://www.ibb.gatech.edu/).  Under his leadership, the Petit Institute has grown to include over 180 faculty members from a broad range of science, engineering, and clinical disciplines, 17 interdisciplinary research centers, and three graduate programs in bioengineering, bioinformatics, and quantitative biosciences. 

Dr. Guldberg also co-directs the GT/Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Center for Pediatric Innovation (CPI), co-chairs the Extremity Trauma Focus Area of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) and is past co-director of the GT/Emory/UGA Center for Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM).  Dr. Guldberg serves on numerous advisory and editorial boards and has held several national leadership positions, including most recently President of the Americas Chapter of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS-AM).  He is a CHOA research scholar and has been elected a Fellow of both TERMIS and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Ajay Mehra
Director

Ajay Mehra joined OSI Systems Inc. as Controller in 1989 and served as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from November 1992 through 2002. Under his tenure as CFO, Mr. Mehra was involved with taking the company public in 1997. Mr. Mehra also has served as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the company’s major subsidiaries and as President of Rapiscan Systems. Currently he serves as Executive Vice President of OSI Systems, Inc. and President of OSI Solutions which is the fastest growing division of the company. This division encompasses providing customers with turnkey solutions utilizing Rapiscan, Spacelabs and third party technologies as well as training and integration. During his time with the company, OSI has grown from under 10 million dollars in revenue to close to a billion dollars with growth coming in various different product lines both domestically and internationally.

Prior to joining the company, Mr. Mehra held various financial positions with Thermador/Waste King, Presto Food Products and United Detector Technology. Mr. Mehra received his Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Business of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. Mr. Mehra has served as the Chairman of Find A Better Way USA since 2012 and has been affiliated with the U.K. branch for several years. Mr. Mehra is married and has two daughters.

Struan H. Coleman, MD, Ph.D
Director & Scientific Advisory Board Member

Struan Coleman holds a PhD in molecular biology from Oxford University, England and specializes in sports medicine with basic science research in the injury and repair of musculoskeletal tissues. Dr. Coleman is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation and sports medicine at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Coleman is a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he treats orthopedic conditions of the shoulder, hip and knee. Dr. Coleman focuses on the treatment and management of sports-related injuries of the hip, knee and shoulder, with a particular interest in hip arthroscopy and hip preservation. He treats young athletic patients with hip pathology. As a hip doctor, he has performed arthroscopic hip surgery on many high-level athletes, including NFL players from the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins. Dr. Coleman has served as a consulting physician to the PGA tour, Association of Tennis Professionals and has been the head team physician for the New York Mets Baseball team since 2003.  

 

Barry W. Plunkett, Esq.
Director

Barry Plunkett is a Boston based attorney and principal of The Plunkett Law Firm, a Massachusetts banking and corporate law practice established by the Hon. Judge Sears in 1902. On the institutional side, the firm represents and advises national banks, financial service companies and institutional clients on complex transactions, regulatory and compliance issues and many banking industry matters. The corporate practice represents numerous companies and entities related to corporate formation, capital structures, acquisitions, structured transactions, M&A, joint ventures and registered investment advisors or broker/dealers on fund formation and leveraged capital, private placements or equity investments.

Mr. Plunkett has a general transactional practice with an emphasis on real estate, construction, finance and energy industry matters. His practice focuses on the representation of investors, contractors and lenders in the acquisition, financing, development, leasing and disposition of commercial and industrial projects and properties.  He also advises and assists private equity, venture capital and hedge funds in deal structuring, negotiation and acquisitions or investment in early to mid-stage growth companies and roll-ups. Mr. Plunkett also has experience and conducted transactions in the fields of healthcare, telecom, biotech, clean energy and digital media, representing among others Bank of America, Longhorn Capital Advisors, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, EverBank, General Growth Properties, O’Neill Properties Group, Longhorn Capital Advisors, JM Santoyo & Co. and American Housing Group.

Mr. Plunkett received his Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University and a Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.  He is involved with the Home for Little Wanderers; Int’l. Red Cross; Humane Society of United States, Best Buddies International and a Sustaining Board Member, Catholic Charities North (Boston).

Gary Lourie, MD
Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Lourie is a graduate of the Duke University Medical School where he served as Resident and Chief Resident in Orthopedic Surgery. He completed a Fellowship in Hand and Microvascular Surgery at the Indiana Hand Center. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification for Surgery of the Hand. Dr. Lourie has served as President of the Georgia Society for Surgery of the Hand. He currently serves as Division Chief of Hand Surgery at the Atlanta Medical Center, where he was recently named "Clinical Instructor of the year" by the residency program. Dr. Lourie has also been named to the Atlanta Top Doctor list for Hand Surgery. He is very active in the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and has published many articles and book chapters. He has recently been honored by acceptance to the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) in recognition of his contributions to Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Lourie serves as the hand and upper extremity surgeon for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association and is a consultant for Auburn, Reinhardt, and Western Carolina University. He also serves as Head Orthopedic Surgeon for the Georgia Tech baseball team and Head Team Physician for the Atlanta Braves.