Executive Management Team

Executive Management

Thomas Heydler Photo

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas Heydler

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

Markus Schunk Photo

Chief Operating Officer

Markus Schunk

Markus Schunk joined Definiens in September 2018 with more than 10 years’ experience in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as investment and portfolio management.

In his previous role as CEO of Holtzbrinck Digital, he was responsible for the global digital and technology portfolio of the Holtzbrinck Group. During that time, he gained a broad sector experience in the direct-to-consumer internet market establishing market leaders in Germany as well as in SaaS business with a focus on the science, medicine, and education segments operating globally. 

Under his leadership, successful exits like Parship dating app had a vital contribution to the shareholder value of the Holtzbrinck Group. Furthermore, the Digital Science portfolio - a carve out of the Nature Publishing Group –  became one of the fastest growing activities under his responsibility. 

During his career, Markus held several senior positions in general management in the role as CFO and served as a member of the Board for more than 30 companies.

Markus holds a Masters of Business Administration (Diplom-Kaufmann) from the University of Tübingen (DE).

Ralf Huss, MD Photo

Chief Medical Officer

Ralf Huss, MD

Dr. Ralf Huss MD, Ph.D. joined Definiens in 2015 as Chief Medical Officer with further responsibilities in Science & Innovation following founder and Nobel laureate Gerd Binning’s role.

Dr. Huss is a board-certified surgical and molecular pathologist and obtained his medical doctorate from the Universität Erlangen (DE) in 1991. He is specialized in internal medicine (Universitätsspital Zürich (CH)) and immunology (Institut für Pathologie under Nobel Laureate Rolf M. Zinkernagel), Universität Zürich (CH). Also, Huss is an Associate Professor at Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München (DE), a lecturer at the Technische Universität München, and honorary professor at the School of Medicine, University College Dublin (IE).

Dr. Huss spent his early career during the 1990s as a Research Associate in Nobel laureate Edward D. Thomas’ Laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Washington (US). Later, he returned to Europe to become an immunology researcher at the Institut für Immunologie, Universitätsklinikum Essen (DE) and completed his pathology training at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University München (Institut für Pathologie) between 1995 and 2005. 

In 2005, he joined Roche Diagnostics as Global Head of Pathology and Tissue Biomarkers and later headed the Cell Therapy Initiative at Roche Penzberg (DE). In 2011, he joined apceth GmbH, a stem-cell and gene-therapy company which he co-founded in München, as Chief Scientific Officer, where he worked until starting at Definiens in 2015.  

Scientific Advisory Board

Scientific Advisory Board

Gerd Binnig Photo

Gerd Binnig

Dr. Gerd Binnig founded Definiens with the goal to transform the image analysis industry by enabling more data to be extracted for better decisions. Dr. Binnig, along with his colleague Dr. Heinrich Rohrer, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1986.

Manfred Dietel, MD Photo

Manfred Dietel, MD

Dr. Manfred Dietel is Director, Institute of Pathology, Campus Charitè-Mitte. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Association of German University Hospitals and a Member of the Board of Directors of the German Society of Pathology.

Bernard Fox, PhD Photo

Bernard Fox, PhD

Dr. Fox is the Harder Family Chair for Cancer Research, Member and Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Robert W. Franz Cancer Center and Providence Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is also the CEO of UbiVac, a company he founded to move disruptive immunotherapies to the clinic. A past President of SITC and Chair of WIC, he is active in the international immunotherapy community.

Ben Glocker, PhD Photo

Ben Glocker, PhD

Ben Glocker is Senior Lecturer in Medical Image Computing at Imperial College London and one of three academics leading the Biomedical Image Analysis Group. He holds a PhD from TU Munich, and was a post-doc at Microsoft and a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence for medical imaging with various clinical applications including trauma, oncology and population health.

James L. Gulley, MD, PhD, F.A.C.P. Photo

James L. Gulley, MD, PhD, F.A.C.P.

Dr. Gulley is Director of the Medical Oncology Service, Chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch and Head of the Immunotherapy Section at NCI. He is an internationally recognized expert in cancer immunotherapy with a strong interest in prostate cancer. He serves as the principal investigator on several international clinical trials, among which for a prostate cancer vaccine and several trials using immune checkpoint inhibitors.

David Harrison, MD Photo

David Harrison, MD

David Harrison is Professor of Pathology, and Director of Research, in the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, Scotland. He holds honorary positions in Universities of Edinburgh and Florida. He is also Director of Development for Laboratory Medicine for the Edinburgh University Hospitals. He chairs the UK government Committee on Carcinogenicity.

Ronald Herbst, PhD Photo

Ronald Herbst, PhD

Dr. Ronald Herbst is a research scientist who has held various senior roles developing overall oncology research strategy and pre-clinical development of novel drug candidates.

Dirk Jäger, MD Photo

Dirk Jäger, MD

Dr. Jäger is the Director Medical Oncology, National Center for Tumor Diseases and University Medical Center Heidelberg.

Walter Kolch, MD, FRSE, MRIA Photo

Walter Kolch, MD, FRSE, MRIA

Walter Kolch is Director of Systems Biology Ireland, which was rated amongst the top 5 Systems Biology Institutes worldwide focussing on human disease in 2014.

Holger Moch, MD  Photo

Holger Moch, MD

Dr. Holger Moch is the Director, Medical Division Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. He is also a Full Professor of Pathology at the University of Zurich and Chairman, Institute for Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.

Elfriede Nößner, PhD Photo

Elfriede Nößner, PhD

Dr. Elfriede Nößner is a professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU) in Munich, Germany, and employed by the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, where she is Head of the Immunoanalytics Research Group Tissue Control of Immunocytes and Core Facility. She also serves on the scientific advisory boards of Roche AG and AstraZeneca GmbH.

Dr. Wilko Weichert Photo

Dr. Wilko Weichert

Dr. Wilko Weichert is Chairman of the Institute of Pathology at the Technical University Munich as well as Member of the Executive Council of the German Society of Pathology. He is an internationally renowned expert in molecular pathology and biomarker development.

Dr. Jan Baumbach Photo

Dr. Jan Baumbach

Dr. Jan Baumbach is Professor at the Technical University of Munich where he chairs the Experimental Bioinformatics and is Director of the eScience Hub in Weihenstephan. He also holds a part-time Professorship position at the University of Southern Denmark in Odens and is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal: Systems Medicine. Baumbach is known for his work on unsupervised machine learning and big data analytics in biomedicine.

Dr. Gunnar Carlsson Photo

Dr. Gunnar Carlsson

Gunnar Carlsson is Professor of Mathematics (Emeritus) at Stanford University.  He has taught at the University of Chicago, University of California (San Diego), Princeton University, and Stanford University.  His work is in topology, the mathematical discipline that studies shape, and over the last twenty years has been one of the central contributors to the development of topological data analysis, which leverages topological ideas for the study of large and complex data sets. 


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