The Catalysis management team is comprised of individuals who bring a depth of diagnostics industry experience, foundational scientific expertise and an understanding of global unmet healthcare needs to bear in developing solutions that employ diagnostic technologies to address gaps in global healthcare.


Mickey S. Urdea, Ph.D.,
Co-Founder and Chairman

Dr. Urdea has devoted his 30-year career to the study and development of human diagnostics in a variety of capacities. He has been involved in the discovery of new biomarkers, the development of new technologies for biomarker discovery, diagnostic test development, validation and commercialization approaches, manufacturing and marketing, and the management of companies involved in these activities. Prior to his current business activities, Dr. Urdea founded the Nucleic Acid Diagnostics group at Chiron and with colleagues invented the branched DNA methodology for amplification of signal in nucleic acid complexes. Application of this technology resulted in the first commercial products for quantification of human hepatitis B and C viruses and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Following the acquisition of Chiron Diagnostics by Bayer Diagnostics, Dr. Urdea then became business head of the Molecular Diagnostics group and Chief Scientific Officer at Bayer Diagnostics.

Dr. Urdea founded and is a Managing Partner for Halteres Associates, a biotechnology consulting firm. He also founded and is the Chief Executive Officer of Tethys Bioscience, which is a cardiometabolic diagnostics company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing technologies to predict imminent risk and enable targeted intervention of preventable, chronic cardiometabolic diseases. Tethys’ first product was the protein-based PreDx™ Diabetes Risk Score Test, which was introduced in 2008. Dr. Urdea also serves as a consultant and is on the scientific advisory boards and boards of directors of several firms; he was a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Diagnostic Forum. Dr. Urdea is an author on over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, nearly 300 abstracts and international scientific presentations, and more than 100 issued and pending patents. He received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Washington State University in Pullman, WA.

Richard M. Thayer, MBA,
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Thayer has more than 20 years of experience and serves as a business advisor in the biotechnology and life sciences sectors. In addition to his role at Catalysis, he is a Principal with Halteres Associates, a biotechnology consulting firm. Previously, Mr. Thayer was Vice President and Head of Business Development at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, which included responsibility for strategic planning, and Vice President, Head of their $260MM Global Blood Screening Business Unit. Prior to joining Roche, he co-founded and served as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of a medical diagnostics company called Praxsys Biosystems. While at Praxsys, Mr. Thayer oversaw finance, corporate and manufacturing operations and was an inventor on two issued and one pending patents. He was also Director of the Blood Screening and Infectious Disease Business Unit at Chiron Corporation where he managed product development and manufacturing programs involving over 60 products and 200 employees. Mr. Thayer started his career at Chiron in the DNA sequencing laboratory where he was a member of the hepatitis C virus discovery team. He has a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley.

Jill Winter, Ph.D.,
Program Director

Dr. Winter brings more than 16 years experience in the biotechnology industry to the Catalysis Foundation for Health. Her corporate experience extends from Monsanto Company, where she was a Post-doctoral Associate, to her position as Associate Director of Cancer Biology at Chiron Corporation. As a Molecular Biologist she has focused much of her time studying gene expression and practicing diversity based technologies to provide tools for these studies. She has experience simultaneously directing both research groups and service facilities. More recently, Dr. Winter gained clinical trial experience by working on a Neisseria meningitidis study at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. She currently remains a Biotechnology Consultant in addition to managing programs for Catalysis. She obtained her Ph.D from the University of Florida Department of Microbiology and Cell Science.