The Founders


Catherine Rells

Chief Executive Officer

Catherine Rells is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partners of Gene Tox Laboratory Solutions, Inc.  Catherine has a vast amount of experience in leading organizations to new levels of revenue and production in the health care arena. Her previous position was Senior Manager of Special Projects for Vista Community Clinic where she led the efforts to build new revenue streams and develop relationships with specialists, hospitals, and payors.  Prior to Vista Community Clinic, Catherine served as the Chief Administrative Officer for Operation Samahan.  She was successful in leading a project to implement a new Electronic Health Record as well as one of several executives who prepared the organization for the first federal audit as a new FQHC. Her talent for developing relationships allowed the organization to create new collaborative arrangements with community partners. Catherine’s diverse background includes other positions in various industries including: Director  of Human Resources, Sr. Director of Business Development, and Director of New Customer Relations.

She has served the business community through her involvement with World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) Membership Committee and Internal Business Leadership Awards Judging Panel Chair and as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for San Diego Health Information Association (SDHIA).

Catherine’s desire to continuously improve as a leader has led her to study and facilitate CEO groups that focused on Servant Leadership principles, with the focus of positively impacting others within their organizations and community. Her ability to establish lasting relationships with clients, employees, and board members while modeling servant leadership values are characteristics that that will be demonstrated individually as a leader and collectively as an organization make her very qualified to lead Gene Tox Lab Solutions.


Dr.James Padilla

Managing Partner

Dr. Padilla is Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Partner at Gene Tox Lab Solutions. Dr. Padilla has been in private practice for 25 years and has built 2 successful practices in San Diego. He was one of the first practitioners to introduce integrative therapies into his clinic. He was the first integrative practitioner brought on by Scripps Clinic which he is still a provider today.

Dr. Padilla is a graduate of Southern California University of Health Sciences and has done advanced studies in integrative and functional medicine and Interprofessional Collaboration to Improve Health Care. He is a qualified medical evaluator for the State of California and was practitioner of the year in 2001 for the Master’s Circle Group.

Dr. Padilla has served as chairman for the Institute for Integrative Medicine and The Advanced Med Academy. He has been on numerous talk shows and has spoken across the US on patient communication. He is the author of the "Quick Start Guide to Integrative Medicine" and was co-host for "The Integrated Medicine Hour Radio Show."

Dr. Padilla's has a passion for personalized medicine and making a difference in today's chaotic medical environment. His goal is to create tailored health recovery programs that involves patient's taking an active role in their own healthcare. His strengths lie in patient communication, leadership, organization and disruption of the norm.

The Executive Team

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Dr.Heath Gross

Chief Security Officer

Heath Gross is a US NAVY Veteran with over 25 years’ experience in the Information Technology and Cyber Security space.  As a  Cyber Analytics Lead and CIO (Chief Information Officer), Heath takes a holistic approach to manage cybersecurity across multiple platforms from cyber engineering, HITECH testing, and evaluation. Also, Mr. Gross is an Information System Security Officer for the Department of Defense; establishes and maintains long-range automation vision; direct planning, implementation, and support of information systems with keen analytical abilities and a proven team-based work dynamic IT organizational structure. 

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Derek Carrillo

Director of Quality Assurance

Derek Carrillo is Director of Quality Assurance for Gene Tox Lab Solutions. Derek has climbed the ladder of administrative healthcare from an entry level role in a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center to his current position. An advocate for patients, he enjoys helping others; assisting organizations achieve their strategic goals by analyzing operations, minimizing waste and creating innovative processes. Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State University San Marcos. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma yellow belt and has extensive training in Design Learning and Human Centered Design through the Center for Care Innovation. Derek lives in San Diego with his wife and three daughters and enjoys playing the guitar in a band with his family and friends.


Educational background: BA History.  Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt.  Training in Design Learning and Human Centered Design through the Center for Care Innovation

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Charles Clark

Chief Operating Officer

Charles Clark is a seasoned, forward thinking leader, experienced in strategic planning, and in portfolio project management of large to small-scale organizations . He is adept at critically analyzing client needs to implement the appropriate governance system for the organization. 

During his 20+ years of technology experience, Charles has served in various roles as: CAD/CAM Designer, Software Developer, Software Development Manager, and Director/Sr. Director of Program Management Organizations, managing project portfolios ranging from 24mil to 1 billion dollars in annual revenue. He has worked for fortune 100 information management companies such as: AT&T Bell Laboratories, Motorola; European Aeronautics Defense and Space Company (EADS), and Johnson Controls. Charles’s depth of knowledge in various technology industries ranging from Telephony, Public Safety, Biometrics, Retail, Healthcare, and Biometrics is well known globally.

Charles has a passion for servant leadership; where he currently serves as a bible college teacher, as well as mentor/coach for many associates and friends. Charles has also been asked to be a keynote speaker at various events hosted by Amplify Roundtables on leadership and organization dynamics. Charles is also a VFR pilot, and loves the thrill of flight. 

Education Background: BS in Computer science; North Central College, MBA: Concentration in Project Management; Keller Graduate School of Management. Certifications: Graduate Certification in Project Management (GCPM), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Certification in Product Marketing (PMC-III) 

Ernie Sasis

Business Analyst

Ernie Sasis is a well rounded individual who has succeeded in several industries including Information Technology, Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Healthcare, Data, and most recently Health Information Management. His diverse background allows him to play several roles in any business he is placed in successfully.

In his spare time he enjoys reading, playing video games, hiking, and photography.

The Board of Directors


Anette Asher

Anette is a seasoned healthcare leader whose contributions to using technology to improve healthcare are well-known in California. Anette is devoted to improving the lives of seniors and family caregivers. During her time as CEO of George G. Glenner Alzheimer's Family Centers, she experienced firsthand the importance of supporting caregivers. She was inspired to create a new program called Care to Caregiver, that will use technology and other resources to help mitigate caregiver burn-out and prevent caregivers from overloading an already overburdened healthcare system. Prior to Glenner, Anette was CEO of the Life Science Information Technology Global Institute (LSIT). She later served as director of life sciences information technology through the merger with Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and led the LSIT Committee in the development of Good Informatics Practices (GIP)- addressing: compliance, regulatory, policy and procedures and best practices for healthcare

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Tony Baron, PhD

Over the past 25 years, Tony Baron—an internationally recognized speaker, writer, and consultant on the subject of creating servant leaders and transforming churches and corporations—has successfully started two consulting firms based on the concept of servant leadership. Baron is also founding president of Servant Leadership Institute, a resource think tank on leadership development and transformation, and has shared his expertise with churches and denominations, and many of the Fortune 100 companies. Dr.  Baron is the author of six books, and most recently completed a workbook manual with noted author and business leader Ken Blanchard. His research led to the publication of Violence in the Workplace: A Prevention and Management Guide (1993), and When Work Equals Life: The Next Stage of Workplace Violence (2000).

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Padma Kodukula, PhD, MBA

Dr. Kodukula is VP, Business Development and part of the executive team at Precision NanoSystems. At Precision NanoSystems, Padma is responsible for global business development activities, including strategic commercial deals, licensing, collaborations and partnerships. Padma has worked in the diagnostic, pharmaceutical and research industries with success in closing strategic partnerships, leading the development and launch of multiple technology platforms and therapeutics. From 2014-2018, Padma worked within the business development team at Human Longevity Inc. where she fostered collaborative partnerships with pharma, academia and health systems to deliver on the promise of genomics and data analytics to revolutionize healthcare. From 2010 to 2014, Padma worked within the licensing and OEM team at Life Technologies managing the qPCR and capillary electrophoresis platforms and enabling collaborative partnerships with molecular diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to that Padma held various program management and alliance management roles at Prometheus Laboratories, Biosite, Pfizer and BD Biosciences. Padma received her PhD in viral immunology from University of Illinois at Chicago and MBA from San Diego State University.

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Damian McKinney

Damian has been the Founder & CEO of his own commercial real estate company over the last 40 years through multiple names through the years, which is now known as McKinney Capital & Advisory. Damian was past Board Member of The Modern Honolulu, The American Cancer Society, San Diego North EDC, and was the President of the Board for Kids Included Together.

 What sets Damian apart in the commercial real estate industry is his focus on the triple bottom line and his personal mission to live to serve others. He views McKinney as an extension of his family, and the team values his ability to calm the waters when they’re rough and be a guiding light. Whether he is serving his clients, his family, or the community, Damian’s goal is to empower others to become better versions of who they are. Though the numbers are the backbone of our industry and company’s success, our purpose and “why” behind what we do is as well. Damian’s greatest success over the last 40 years has been creating a culture of Servant Leadership within his entities and organizations across commercial real estate, hospitality, investment portfolios, and in the community.

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Michael Catania, PhD

Dr. Catania is an R&D leader with over 17 years of experience in diagnostic product development from research phase through FDA clearance in both small and large company environments. Experienced in design control process, FDA QSR/ISO13485, and project management. Demonstrated capability building and leading high-performing teams. Dr. Catania successfully developed and commercialized the first FDA-approved blood test for the brain, to help physicians determine the need for a CT-scan following mild brain injury/concussion. He also developed FDA cleared and CE marked products in the areas of women's health, pharmacogenomics, and blood coagulation disorder susceptibility. Dr. Cantania has contributed to the success of several IVD companies including Gen-Probe and Nanosphere (the latter directly resulting in a successful IPO). He has also created and implemented systems and processes to deliver quality products that met Quality and Regulatory requirements as well as strategic business plans. Dr. Catania has led diagnostic product commercialization on both novel and established platforms for US and EU markets at both large and small companies.


Dr.Steven Ross

Dr. Ross is Chief Medical Officer and Managing Partner of Gene Tox Lab Solutions, Inc. Dr. Ross comes from over 36 years of private practice, as well as building multiple successful companies. He has a strong background in the sciences, health care, and building successful health care facilities. He has passion in Genetics and Genomics and the possibilities of how it is changing the landscape of health care today.

Dr. Ross successfully built two multidiscipline clinics in Minneapolis, Minnesota starting in 1982 before moving to San Diego in 2004. With 25+ employees, including multispecialty physicians, his clinics received numerous recognitions for being one of the first multidiscipline clinics in the Midwest, generating over USD 1.9M in yearly revenues between both facilities.

Upon arriving in San Diego in 2004, Dr. Ross began lecturing on multiple health related subjects, and shortly became a much sought after speaker on health care. In 2007, he published his first book entitled “Curing the Cause and Preventing Disease, A New Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease and Aging with Functional Diagnostic Medicine”. Concurrently, Dr. Ross created and produced “Body Talk Radio” and “The Integrated Medicine Hours Radio Show,” listened to by thousands every week, and has appeared on both local and national television.

Dr. Ross’s unique qualifications include, but are not limited to: business development, Genetic Medicine, Laboratory Workflows, Precision and Integrative Medicine. He is a very passionate speaker and educator on Genetics, Genomics, Precision Medicine and the future of health care to a diverse group of professionals, and is very qualified to create and teach providers, patients and the lay population.