Management Team


The AmbioPharm management team has more than two hundred years of cumulative experience in the manufacturing Pharmaceutical-grade peptide projects.

Chris J. Bai, Ph.D.

Juncai (Chris) Bai, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Founder, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer

As Executive Director, Founder, Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer of Ambio Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Bai oversees Ambio, Inc. and AmbioPharm, Inc., covering both USA and China operations. Before joining AmbioPharm, he was the President and CEO of American Peptide Company where built the cGMP Manufacturing business during his tenure.

He was responsible for peptide process development, scale up, and cGMP manufacturing standards. He was involved in numerous peptide process development during his tenure, including the process development and manufacture of a 22-amino acid peptide on a 40kg scale by solution phase chemistry.

Steve Kiel

Stephen John Kiel

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Kiel is the Chief Financial Officer of Ambio Pharmaceuticals, the parent company of AmbioPharm and Ambio. He was previously a Partner at Deloitte Consulting, one of the nation’s Big Four accounting firms. He holds an MBA from The Ohio State University and was awarded a CPA (now inactive) and Series 7 license.

Mr. Kiel is responsible for the financial health of the organization, including financial reporting, cash management, banking and investor relations, and as a government liaison.

Tim Nieters, MBA

Tim Nieters, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

As COO, Mr. Nieters is responsible for managing operations for AmbioPharm in the USA and China. He has more than two decades of experience in the development, manufacturing, and business management of both clinical development and commercialization of peptide-based therapeutics. He has been involved in the successful commercialization of multiple peptide products from gram scale to kilogram scale.

Prior to AmbioPharm, he was at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. In addition to the Peptide division, he also managed other small molecule commercial generic products and excipients. Mr. Nieters has an MBA from Maryville University.

Mike Pennington, Ph.D.

Mike Pennington, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Pennington serves as AmbioPharm’s Chief Scientific Officer. He is responsible for technical advice for the contract manufacturing of synthetic peptides, pegylated peptides and peptide protein conjugates to be manufactured as either non-GMP or cGMP including generic peptide APIs and APIs for human clinical trials.

His career has centered around the research and development of peptides. He has participated in numerous programs that have evolved into core requirements of cGMP grade peptides at scales from grams to kilograms. Dr. Pennington was part of the management team with a 20+ year career at Bachem Bioscience followed by more than 7 years as President & CEO at Peptides International.

He has a publication record of more than 130 peer-reviewed papers on the synthesis and development of complex peptides for the treatment of human disease.

Robert Geiger, Ph.D., MBA

Robert Geiger, Ph.D., MBA

Sr. Vice President of Business Development

Robert Geiger, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President of Business Development and is responsible for the business development of the company’s generic API business unit. Dr. Geiger has 13+ years of experience in Quality Assurance, Generic API development, and Quality Systems management. Prior to AmbioPharm, Dr. Geiger was employed by American Peptide Company and UCB Bioproducts in the area of Business Development and Quality Control.

Simrat Singh, Ph.D.

Simrat Singh, Ph.D.

President, Ambio, Inc.

As President of Ambio, Inc. Dr. Singh is responsible for the company’s global operations in North America, Europe, Japan, and China. He has nearly 15 years’ experience in Analytical R&D and management. He has been a key player in taking multiple complex generic projects from R&D to commercial stage.

He also plays a key role in strategic partnerships with various large generic pharmaceutical companies and CDO/CMO/CRO’s globally.

Brant Zell, MS, MBA

Brant Zell, MS, MBA

Senior Vice President of Quality

Brant Zell has over 40 years of Quality experience with over 8 years of Peptide experience. He has dedicated his career in ensuring patient safety and health through setting and demanding appropriate current good manufacturing practices. Brant has Masters’ degrees in Chemistry, Masters in Business Administration, and Technology Management.

Guoqing Zhang, BS, MS

Guoqing Zhang, BS, MS

Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development

As Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development, Mr. Zhang is responsible for manufacturing and process development in AmbioPharm’s China facilities. He has more than 19 years’ experience in peptide synthesis and production.

Mukesh Patel

Mukesh Patel

Vice President of Manufacturing

As VP of Manufacturing, Mukesh is responsible for the day to day operations and long-term outlook of manufacturing at Ambiopharm, North Augusta. He has worked as a Senior Director, Production for 19+ years at Bachem, Torrance California followed by 9+ years as Senior Management in Manufacturing at Polypeptide Group at Torrance, California. He has managed API projects from Development to Commercial scale through project life-cycle, including various regulatory approval (i.e. FDA, PMDA, EMA), successfully bringing APIs to commercial (Multi-Kilo) scale. He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from SP University, India.

Mark DaFonseca, EVP

Mark DaFonseca

Executive Vice President, Sales & Business Development

As EVP, Sales & Business Development, Mr. DaFonseca is responsible for managing the commercial organization for AmbioPharm.  He has more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical services sector, with the past 18 spent in various sales & marketing positions.  His experience spans across multiple segments of the industry, including CMC, preclinical and clinical services.

Prior to Ambiopharm, he was at CoreRx,Inc., where he was Chief Business Officer, and led commercial efforts for that organization.  Prior to CoreRx, he held commercial leadership positions at organizations such CRMG, Catalent and Aptuit.  Mr. DaFonseca has an MBA and BS in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.