Definiens Management Team

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas P. Heydler joined Definiens in 2004. He brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial expertise and in-depth knowledge of global software business to Definiens.

Mr. Heydler was President and CEO at Barcelona Design Inc. based in San Jose, USA. Before joining Barcelona, Mr. Heydler served as President and CEO for InterPro Business Solutions, Inc., USA. He was Vice President and Executive Officer at Documentum Inc., a  leading software and solutions  provider with specific focus on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

He built and drove Documentum’s European operations and assumed worldwide responsibility for Marketing and Documentum’s Application Business subsequently. Prior to this engagement, he served as Vice President and General Manager Europe for Cadence Design Systems and held senior leadership positions at Siemens AG.

Mr. Heydler holds a Diplom-Ingenieur degree in Electric Engineering and Computer Science from the Technical University in Munich.

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Markus Rinecker joined Definiens in 2009. He brings more than 10 years of entrepreneurial and finance experience as well as in-depth clinical expertise to the company.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Rinecker served as Managing Director at one of the leading surgical hospitals in Munich. While managing 350 employees with full P&L responsibility, he established a new department for open heart surgery and streamlined organizational processes to increase the organization’s profitabiligy.  For the hospital chain Humaine Kliniken GmbH he evaluated potential acquisition targets and participated in multiple share deal transactions. He was also actively involved in the start-up venture ProHealth AG, which opened Europe’s first full clinical proton radiation center for cancer therapy, in March 2009.

Dr. Rinecker holds a Doctoral Degree in Medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich as well as a Masters Degree in Business Administration of INSEAD, France and Singapore.

Chief Operating Officer

Christiaan Neeleman joined Definiens in 2013. He brings more than 25 years of general management experience, with a focus on healthcare imaging, to the company.

Prior to joining Definiens, Mr. Neeleman was the COO Product Group Lithography Applications for ASML. He also was responsible for the global X-Ray Systems Business and the Components Business of Philips Healthcare for 8 years.  During his tenure at ASML and Philips Healthcare, Mr. Neeleman transformed businesses towards profitable growth, focusing on new markets, new technologies, efficiency, and teamwork.  Mr. Neeleman has also held management roles in Philips’ mobile display businesses, and prior to that in Mettler Toledo.

In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Neeleman is responsible for leadership of research, development and professional services activities.

Mr. Neeleman has an MSc degree in Micro Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University Delft and an MBA from INSEAD.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Ralf Huss joined Definiens in 2013 and has more than 20 years of training and experience in histopathology and cancer research.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Huss served as Global Head of Histopathology and Tissue Biomarkers at Roche Diagnostics, where he was involved in identifying new tissue biomarkers to stratify cancer patients as part of a global Personalized Healthcare strategy.  Dr. Huss also co-founded the biotech company APCETH, for which he remains a member of the management team.  He has training and experience in immunology, transplantation biology and stem cell research, has published more than 100 papers, and has worked with the Nobel laureates Rolf Zinkernagel and E. Donnell Thomas.

In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Huss plays a key role in expanding Definiens’ image and data analysis into Tissue Diagnostics and Clinical Digital Pathology.

Dr. Huss holds global academic appointments at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA.

Chief Commercial Officer

Merrilyn Datta joined Definiens in 2013 and brings 15 years of commercialization experience within the life sciences and biotechnology industry.

Dr. Datta joined Definiens from Life Technologies, a 3.7 billion dollar company where she held a variety of roles in marketing leadership, strategy, and mergers/acquisitions. Her specialty is commercialization of technology and integrated cross-channel marketing. She has established and grown embryonic businesses, re-invented maturing businesses for growth, and integrated acquisitions.

In her role as Chief Commercial Officer, Dr. Datta is responsible for all aspects of global sales and marketing, including corporate brand and marketing communications.

Dr. Datta has a BS in Biology from Emory University, a PhD in Biochemistry from Harvard University and an MBA in Strategy from University of California.

Founder and Chief Technology Officer

In 1986, Dr. Binnig, along with his colleague Dr. Heinrich Rohrer, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in scanning tunneling microscopy. Dr. Binnig and Dr. Rohrer were recognized for developing the powerful microscopy technique, which can form an image of individual atoms on a metal or semiconductor surface by scanning the tip of a needle over the surface at a height of only a few atomic diameters.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Binnig studied at the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1973 and his doctorate degree in 1978.  After earning his doctorate, he joined a physics research group at IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory prior to being assigned to IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif. from 1985 to 1986.  He was also a visiting professor at Stanford University from 1987 to 1988.

Dr. Binnig developed the Cognition Network Technology®, which uniquely enables Definiens software to analyze large numbers of images automatically, just like the human eye and brain are capable of doing.  He started Definiens with the goal to transform the imaging industry by enabling more data to be extracted for better decisions.

Executive Vice President, Diagnostic Tests

Dr. Nifong joined Definiens in 2014.  He brings more than 15 years of experience in clinical diagnostics development and operations, laboratory medicine, and project engineering.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Nifong was Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations for Metamark Genetics, where he successfully led efforts to translate quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence research protocols into robust, reproducible laboratory developed tests (LDTs) for clinical use.  He spent 10 years as a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center where he gained extensive experience in molecular pathology, clinical laboratory medicine, and laboratory validation and management.

Dr. Nifong holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and an MD from the University of Rochester.  He completed his residency training in Clinical Pathology and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pathology and a Fellow of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the College of American Pathologists.

Vice President, Business Development Tissue Diagnostics

Thomas Colarusso joined Definiens in 2006 and brings more than 14 years of bio-analytical software sales and business development experience in the life sciences industry.  His prior role at Definiens was managing the North American Life Sciences sales and professional services organization where he established a large strategic account base within the pharmaceutical and medical research industry.

Prior to joining Definiens, Mr. Colarusso was Director of Strategic Pharmaceutical Accounts for Tripos in St. Louis, MO, a leading provider of Cheminformatics & Molecular Modeling software solutions used in BioPharma Drug Discovery Research and Development. He was also Regional Sales Account Manager for Nonlinear Dynamics Inc. in Durham, NC, a provider of analytical proteomics and genomics imaging-based software solutions for life sciences research, where he developed the company’s Eastern U.S. business. Mr. Colarusso has also co-authored several medical journal articles.

Mr. Colarusso is responsible for expanding Definiens' Tissue Diagnostics business.

Mr. Colarusso holds a BS degree in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Vice President Sales, EMEA & APAC

Oliver Lehner joined Definiens in 2009 and is recognized as an expert in the global Healthcare IT sector.

Prior to joining Definiens, Mr. Lehner served as Marketing Director for the global PACS division of Siemens Healthcare and was in marketing with Carestream Health, where he focused on the European market. Mr. Lehner worked for more than five years at Visage Imaging as Senior Director of Sales and Business Development, where he implemented growth strategies for the company’s EMEA region and oversaw its key accounts. Before that, he served for several years as Managing Director of Radin, a subsidiary of Visage Imaging.

In his role as Vice President Sales, Mr. Lehner is responsible for building and managing the sales organization for EMEA and APAC.

Mr. Lehner holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Esslingen University of Applied Sciences and a post-graduate degree from London Business School’s Senior Executive Program.