Marc S. Penn, MD, PhD, FACC, serves as Director of Research and Development at Okyanos. In this role Dr. Penn directs and implements research and development policies, objectives and initiatives which aim to expand and improve upon the technology and treatment protocols used at Okyanos.
Dr. Penn completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 1989 and Doctor of Medicine in 1994 at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Penn is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine, having completed his training and fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland (1994-7) and Cleveland Clinic (1997-2000) respectively. During this time Dr. Penn was awarded the 2000 Joseph Cash Memorial Prize for Clinical Outcomes Research and the 1999 Irvine H. Page Young Investigator award for Atherosclerosis Research presented by the National American Heart Association, among others. His group pioneered the concept of activating the patient’s endogenous stem cells to induce the body to heal itself. His findings led to the development of drugs that have been used in patients world-wide to treat heart failure, critical limb ischemia and improve the cosmesis of surgical wounds. SDF-1 (one of two key molecules that regulate the endogenous stem cells) was chosen as a Top Advanced Therapy to Watch (November 2013, Boston).
Previously Dr. Penn served in numerous cardiology positions with the Cleveland Clinic (2000-11) including as Director of the Coronary Intensive Care Unit, Director of the Experimental Animal Laboratory, Director of the Bakken Heart-Brain Institute and Founding Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Cell Therapy. He maintains his work as a practicing cardiologist and Director of the Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship at the Summa Health Heart and Vascular Institute in Akron, OH and is Professor of Medicine and Integrative Medical Sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University where he leads the Skirball Laboratory for Cardiovascular Cellular Therapeutics. Dr. Penn has adjunct appointments at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Bioengineering Center at Cleveland State University.
Dr. Penn’s extensive research background has led to key discoveries in cardiovascular medicine as well as findings in diagnostics and drug delivery systems for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, including strategies to optimize gene and stem cell therapy for regeneration of myocardial tissue. He is an active inventor, serial entrepreneur and is internationally recognized as an expert in the translation of scientific research to clinical populations to impact patient outcomes.
In addition to his role at Okyanos, Dr. Penn serves as CEO and Chief Medical Officer for Black Beret Life Sciences, providing oversight and management of the life sciences investments of the Bosarge Family Office and the executive teams of the portfolio companies in the areas of regenerative medicine, anti-aging and immune therapies.
Dr. Penn was recognized as one of the Top 50 Doctors in the History of the Cleveland Clinic (MedCity News, Dec. 2011). He has organized and lectured at international symposia and conferences, and is author or co-author of hundreds of published articles, abstracts, book chapters and books on a wide range of topics in basic and translational science, and clinical medicine.