Meet the management team behind Vermillion, Aspira Labs and ASPIRA IVD.


Valerie Palmieri

President and CEO

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Ms. Palmieri was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2015. She joined Vermillion as Chief Operating Officer in October 2014. Ms. Palmieri brings to Vermillion more than 30 years of experience in the diagnostic laboratory industry, serving in numerous sales, operations, and executive leadership positions for both laboratory service and consulting organizations. Prior to Vermillion, Valerie was CEO/President of MOMENTUM Consulting. Prior to MOMENTUM, Ms. Palmieri served as CEO/President of two healthcare start-ups that resulted in a successful exit for one and won her recognition as one of the “Top 10 Entrepreneurs of Springboard Enterprises” for the other. She also spent six years as National Vice President of Anatomic Pathology Operations with LabCorp, the successor company to DIANON Systems where she served as Senior Vice President of Operations. She was a key leader in the sale of DIANON to LabCorp in 2003. Ms. Palmieri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from Western Connecticut State University.

Robert Beechey

Chief Financial Officer

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Bob Beechey was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Vermillion in December 2017. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Beechey served in numerous financial and operational leadership roles. Most recently, he was Vice President and General Manager of Q Squared Solutions Bioanalytical and ADME Laboratory Operations, and previously he served as Chief Financial Officer for Q Squared Solutions, a clinical trials laboratory joint venture between IQvia and Quest Diagnostics. Prior to the formation of the Q Squared Solutions joint venture, Mr. Beechey served as Quintiles Transnational’s Vice President of Internal Audit and Vice President Finance Global Laboratories. Prior to joining Quintiles, Mr. Beechey was Divisional Vice President Finance at ThermoFisher Scientific. He also held various financial leadership roles at Eastman Kodak Company. Mr. Beechey started his career at Arthur Andersen LLP where he was a Senior Manager. He attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and earned his MBA with Distinction from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

Fred Ferrara

Chief Operating Officer

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Mr. Ferrara joined Vermillion in April 2015. Mr. Ferrara has spent 24 years designing industry specific systems including application and database development in Information Technology; with the previous 19 years solely dedicated to diagnostics companies responsible for the creation of several state of the art products used across the industry. He has served in numerous leadership roles in Information Technology, Operations, and senior leadership capacities for diagnostic service organizations such as LabCorp and DIANON Systems. Prior to this, Mr. Ferrara served as an independent information systems consultant in the healthcare and mobile application markets. In his most recent senior leadership role, Mr. Ferrara served as Chief Information Officer and SVP of Aurora Diagnostics’ Anatomic Pathology Services Company.

Marra Francis, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

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Dr. Marra Francis is a board certified OB/Gyn with over 13 years of clinical experience in both Private Practice and Medical Consulting. Previous work experience includes being a National Speaker for Cord Blood Registries, an “Ask the Expert” at, a contributing physician to the “Mommy MD Guide” books and publications, a National Speaker for Myriad Genetics, Inc., a Key Opinion Leader for Myriad Genetics, Inc., and a consultant for Vermillion, Inc. before joining the team full time. Dr. Francis’ clinical practice over the years has gone from general Obstetrician/Gynecologist to Gynecology only with a specialized focus on high risk cancer patients. She still maintains a clinical practice in San Antonio with Women’s Health Consultant.

Dr. Francis has presented hundreds of education programs around the country teaching her peers about the importance of cord blood banking, hereditary cancer genetic testing, and best clinical work up of the adnexal mass, including CME Programs, Grand Rounds, National Society Meeting Programs, and Risk Management Conferences. She has published on the best clinical practice for evaluating cancer risks in the Ob/Gyn practice, and on the role of interleukins in both breast and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Francis served as both Vice Chair and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital.

Aspira Labs

Herbert A. Fritsche Jr, Ph.D

Lab Director

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ASPiRA LABS is led by medical director Herbert A. Fritsche Jr, Ph.D. Prior to his tenure at ASPiRA LABS, Dr. Fritsche was a professor of biochemistry and clinical chemistry section chief in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Fritsche holds doctorate and masters degrees in chemistry from Texas A&M University, and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Houston.

Dr. Fritsche serves as associate editor for the International Journal of Biological Markers and section editor for the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, among other numerous editorships currently and over the years. In addition he is a member of more than a half dozen industry editorial boards such as Cancer Molecular Biology, Tumor Biology and Diagnostic Oncology. He has been recognized by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry with its Presidential Citation; the Morton K. Schwartz Award for Research and Accomplishments in Cancer Diagnostics; and the Annual National Award for Outstanding Contributions in Education. In 1999, he received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Clinical Ligand Assay Society, where he also served as president.

Patrick Carpenter

General Manager of ASPiRA LABS

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Mr. Carpenter has over 30 years’ experience in clinical laboratory operations and management.  Most recently, he served as Vice President Operations/General Manager at Miraca Life Sciences where he directed an anatomic pathology laboratory with $60 million in annual revenue.  Prior to this he served as a senior operations consultant and in multiple operations and management-related positions at a number of leading clinical laboratories, including DIANON Systems, VCA/Antech Diagnostics and Quest Diagnostics. Mr. Carpenter is also currently a U.S. Air Force Reserve Colonel.  He received an M.S. in Biomedical Chemistry from Thomas Jefferson University, an M.A. in Health Services Management from Webster University, and a B.S. in Business and Management from the University of Maryland.  Mr. Carpenter has also received a number of industry-related certifications, including multiple awards from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.

Aspira IVD

Mary Lachman, M.D.

Laboratory Director/Principal Investigator, Aspira IVD

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Dr. Lachman received her medical degree from, and finished a residency in anatomic pathology at, the University of Toledo Medical School in Toledo, OH. She then completed fellowships in both surgical pathology and cytopathology at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT. Upon completion of her fellowships, Dr. Lachman became Director of Cytopathology at Yale University School of Medicine. In 1995, she joined DIANON Systems as Director of Gynecological Pathology and later assumed additional roles as Director of Cytopathology and Associate Laboratory Director at DIANON/LabCorp. Dr. Lachman is a member of the College of American Pathologists.

Board Of Directors

James S. Burns
Executive Chairman, AssureRX Health Inc.

James S. Burns became a Director of Vermillion in June 2005. Mr. Burns is currently Executive Chairman of AssureRx, Health, Inc., a personalized medicine company which specializes in pharmacogenetics for neuropsychiatric disorders. Prior to joining AssureRx, Health, Inc., Mr. Burns was the President and Chief Executive Officer of EntreMed, Inc. from June 2004 to December 2008, and a director from September 2004 to December 2008. Mr. Burns was a co-founder and, from 2001 to 2003, served as President and as Executive Vice President of MedPointe, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, markets and sells branded prescription pharmaceuticals. From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Burns served as a founder and Managing Director of MedPointe Capital Partners, a private equity firm that led a leveraged buyout to form MedPointe Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Mr. Burns was a founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., a biotech company developing therapeutic stem cell products for the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissue. Mr. Burns has also been Vice Chairman of HealthCare Investment Corporation and a founding General Partner of Healthcare Ventures L.P., a venture capital partnership specializing in forming companies building around new pharmaceutical and biotechnology products; Group President at Becton Dickinson and Company, a multidivisional biomedical products company; and Vice President and Partner at Booz & Company, Inc., a multinational consulting firm. Mr. Burns is a director of Symmetry Medical Inc. (NYSE: SMA), a supplier of products and services to orthopedic and other medical device companies, and a director of the International BioResources Group and the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Mr. Burns received his B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois, and M.B.A. from DePaul University.

David Schreiber

Mr. Schreiber became a Director of Vermillion in December 2014. He has held a variety of executive positions in the diagnostic laboratory industry for the past 25 years. For the last 12 years, Mr. Schreiber has and continues to consult for private equity firms to assist with their due diligence efforts and served in various interim operating roles for targeted or existing portfolio companies. From 1986 to 1996, Mr. Schreiber was at Quest Diagnostics, initially in a variety of financial roles, his last position being Vice President and General Manager of Quest’s Midwest Region, based in Chicago, Illinois. Following Quest, from 1996 to 2003, Mr. Schreiber was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dianon Systems, a publicly traded specialized pathology company, until Dianon was acquired by LabCorp. Mr. Schreiber was also a member of Dianon’s Board of Directors. Following Dianon, Mr. Schreiber joined the Board of Directors of Specialty Labs, a publicly traded lab company focused on serving the esoteric needs of hospitals. Mr. Schreiber helped lead the turnaround of Specialty Labs which led to its successful sale to Ameripath/Welsh Carson. At the same time, Mr. Schreiber joined and served on the Board of Nanogen, a publicly traded nanotechnology company and also began his consulting career. Mr. Schreiber received a B.S. in Finance and a M.B.A. from Northern Illinois University.

Mr. David R. Schreiber served as a Consultant of Specialty Laboratories, Inc., since July 2005. Mr. Schreiber served as Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President of Finance and Corporate Secretary at DIANON Systems, Inc. from November 1996 to July 2003. He joined DIANON Systems, Inc. in November 1996. Formerly, Mr. Schreiber was with Corning Clinical Laboratories, a provider of laboratory services, for 10 years, serving most recently as Vice President and General … Manager of the laboratory’s Midwest region. From May 1990 to May 1994, he served as Vice President, Finance & Administration at Unilab Corporation and from August 1986 to May 1990, he served as Regional Controller of the Midwest Region of Corning Clinical Laboratories. He served as Acting Chief Executive Officer and Acting president of Atherotech, Inc. since January 31, 2007. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Atherotech, Inc. He serves as Director Nominee of Response Genetics, Inc. He served as a Director of DIANON Systems, Inc. from October 1999 to January, 2003. He served as a Director of Nanogen, Inc. from June 2003 to August 2009. He served as a Director of Specialty Laboratories, Inc. since June 2004. In addition to his current consulting practice with private equity firms, Mr. Schreiber currently serves on the Board of Response Genetics(NASDAQ:RGDX).

Mr. Schreiber received his B.S. in Finance with a minor in Economics in 1982 and holds an MBA from Northern Illinois University in 1984.

For Providers

Understand Your OVA1 Test Results

For results that fall close to the cutoff ranges, physicians can now speak directly with the ASPiRA Labs’ Director, Dr. Fritsche. We hope this clinical discussion will help you better understand OVA1 scoring and assess the best treatment plan for your patients.