About Us


Vitalea Science is a leading contract research organization that provides ultra-sensitive detection strategies for drugs and drug candidates at microdose levels. Situated in Davis, California, the company was formed in 2003 by chemists and physicists from the University of California. Vitalea's scientists include the original developers and world's experts in AMS technology for applied bioscience as well as individuals with extensive backgrounds in the regulated CRO pharmaceutical industry. This unique blend of industry innovators and experienced bioanalytical scientists provides you the customer with data of the highest integrity under strict compliance with an understanding of the urgency of your timelines.

Leadership Team

Scientific Advisory Board


Frank Yeager

Eckert & Ziegler Isotope Products acquired Vitalea Science on August 31, 2012, and its President and CEO, Frank Yeager, was appointed at that time to serve as the President and CEO of Vitalea Science. Mr. Yeager joined Eckert & Ziegler Isotope Products as the President and CEO in December of 2001. Prior to that Mr. Yeager was the Managing Director of SGL Technic Ltd. (formerly RK Carbon Ltd.) in Inverness, Scotland from 1999 to 2001. Mr. Yeager had worked at various organizations within SGL Carbon AG, having initially joined the Hitco Carbon Composites subsidiary of SGL Carbon in 1993. At Hitco he served in the positions of Program and Engineering Manager and Factory Manager. He then accepted an assignment as the Vice President of Operations for SGL Technic, Inc. in Valencia, California. In early 1999 Mr. Yeager was assigned as Project Manager for the Muir of Ord Expansion Project in Scotland. Mr. Yeager began his career at Fox Technology in Dayton Ohio as a Model Maker assuming the position of Model Shop & Tool Room Manager in 1984. In 1987, Mr. Yeager joined Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company as a Manufacturing Engineer. There he was responsible for the start-up of the Machine Shop C-17 Wing Program. Later he was the Project Engineer for the relocation of Lockheed's machine shops from California to Georgia. Mr. Yeager joined ABB Composites as a Senior Production Engineer in 1990. There he was responsible for the successful design and production of the JAVELIN Anti-Tank Missile Launch Tube. In 1992, Mr. Yeager was promoted to the position of Manager for Commercial and Development Products. In March of 1993, ABB Composites was sold and became CCDI Composites; Mr. Yeager was promoted to Vice President of Manufacturing.

Frank Yeager received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and his Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. Mr. Yeager has received his Certification in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) from the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) and has a Certification in Tool & Die Technology. Mr. Yeager also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council of Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals; he served as Chairman from 2007-2010.

Stephen R. Dueker, Ph.D.

Dr. Dueker is a co-founder of Vitalea Science and served as President and CEO since 2003. In 2010 he was appointed as Chief Scientific Officer with the transfer of CEO duties to former CEO Bob Bethem. He also chairs the Vitalea Scientific Advisory Board. A trained bioanalytical chemist, he received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis (UCD) in comparative metabolism of natural products. He joined the UCD Human Nutrition Department in 1993 as an isotope chemist and forged collaborative projects with Dr. John Vogel at Lawrence Livermore National Lab to develop Accelerator Mass Spectrometry for clinical biokinetic studies of micronutrients and phytochemicals. There he managed all aspects of these studies, from radiosynthesis to the clinical design, regulatory approvals and analytical methodology. These seminal studies laid the foundation for pharmaceutical microdosing and microtracing while the methodology continues to be the basis for AMS best practices today. In 2007 he led the transfer of the next generation of AMS technology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to Vitalea. With over 50 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and review articles Dr. Dueker is a frequent speaker on drug metabolism/quantification topics as well as on advances in AMS technology and its application to pharmaceutical science. He has been active in organizing workshops on metabolite quantification (CPSA 2009) and regulated bioanalysis (CPSA 2010) and is a participating member of the Global Bioanalysis Consortium group.

Jason Giacomo, Ph.D.

Dr. Giacomo joined Vitalea in early 2008 to serve as director of AMS laboratory operations. He oversees the management, maintenance, and improvement of the BioMICADAS™ AMS instrument and the advancement of AMS technology for bioanalytic applications. He is focused on the continued development of Vitalea's Quality Systems and leads equipment validation projects. Dr. Giacomo is an experimental physicist by training, having obtained a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. During his graduate studies he worked with many state-of-the-art instruments including the Spin Spectroscopy Facility on Undulator Beamline 7.0 and the Photo Emission Electron Microscopy Facility on Bend Magnet Beamline 7.3.1 at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He has designed and constructed various high value scientific equipment and electronics to meet ever more demanding scientific goals. Dr. Giacomo has trained under the guidance of the Paul Scherrer Institute/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (PSI/ETH) Ion Beam Physics Group in the theory and operation of AMS. He continues to collaborate with the Ion Beam Physics Group in Switzerland and with scientists at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He has continued to train under the direction of Dr. John Vogel (from Lawrence Livermore National Lab) and has emerged as a leading AMS technologist. He has eight peer-reviewed publications with three recent publications on biological AMS.

Jannel Teshera

Ms. Teshera is an experienced lab manager focusing on achievement/advancement of regulatory compliance and conformance, internal and external auditing, quality systems development, supplier management program development, and employee training. She brings to Vitalea over 15 years of experience in quality assurance. Prior to joining Vitalea, she has managed QA/QC/RA operations in a variety of regulated industries ranging from nutraceuticals to immunochemical production. Jannel has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology from Mills College and a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. She is a current member of SQA.

Daisie Chiuu

Ms. Chiuu joined Vitalea in 2010 with over 7 years of bioanalytical CRO experience. Through a combination of practical laboratory skill and over five years of experience in project management, she possesses valuable knowledge of efficiencies and scheduling within the laboratory. She has experience with client interactions and communication. As Project Leader, Daisie manages all internal study execution activities including preparation, oversight, timelines and documentation. She coordinates with administrative, scientific and quality assurance staff to meet Sponsor needs. She has a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from UC Davis.

Megan Patterson

Ms. Patterson brings to Vitalea over 15 years of managing cross-functional teams from a wide range of sales and manufacturing environments varying from 10-300 employees. In addition to her personnel management background, Megan brings to Vitalea over 10 years of executive level management of corporate administration, management of domestic and import/export supply chains, as well as corporate compliance of County, State and Federal codes and regulations. As Vitalea's Operations Manager, Megan ensures our company resources are continuously allocated and prioritized to best offer our sponsors unparalleled customer service and on-time completion of deliverables.

Ann Hoffman

Ms. Hoffman has over 20 years of experience in the bioanalytical CRO industry from both the scientific and business perspectives. In her current position she serves as primary interface between Vitalea's AMS services and our Sponsors with the goal of developing loyalties that encourage repeat business. Prior to joining Vitalea Ann was the strategic account manager at Tandem Labs responsible for the company's largest accounts worldwide. She was Tandem's first Director of Business Development and was instrumental in growing the company from start up to a major Bioanalytical CRO with a reputation for quality and personalized service. Ann has been involved in product launches of early commercial ion trap systems at Torion Technologies, Finnigan Corporation (Thermo Fischer Scientific) and time-of-flight mass spectrometers at Perseptive Biosystems (Applied Biosystems) directed to early adopters of new technologies. She started mass spectrometry user groups in the greater Salt Lake City, Denver and Seattle areas bringing scientists together across a broad spectrum of applications to engage in open exchange of ideas. She is a member of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and CACO Pharmaceutical and Bioscience Society.

John Vogel, Ph.D.

Dr. Vogel is widely viewed as a key founder of biological Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. He received a PhD from Case Western University in 1977 in Physics. After positions at Washington University (Physics) and Simon Fraser University (Archeology) he was recruited as a principal Research Scientist at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL). At Livermore he lead the development of biological Accelerator Mass Spectrometry as applied to questions in toxicology, nutrition, biochemistry, drug development, and animal science. He has published many fundamental reference articles and tutorials for the application of AMS to biomedical research. In total Dr. Vogel has published over 160 research articles that address both AMS technology and its applications to biomedical sciences. Starting in the mid 1990s he was a highly sought out speaker on the use of AMS to solve pharmaceutical research problems. This included metabolite quantification, human ADME, and low dose microdosing. In collaboration with Merck he published the first in vivo microdosing studies to address the issue of dose linearity in anti-retrovirals.

Dr. Vogel holds five (5) key patents in AMS application for bioanalysis and sample definition methods. In 2005 he was appointed at Vitalea Science as its Chief Science Advisor. Since joining Vitalea, Dr. Vogel has led numerous workshops/seminars on AMS and metabolism and is an active plenary level speaker at national meetings including the American Association of Pharmaceutical Science, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, American Chemical Society, Applied Pharmaceutical Analysis and the International Isotope society. He is lead author on the book chapter "Quantitative drug metabolism with accelerator mass spectrometry", published in Mass spectrometry in drug metabolism and disposition: basic principles and applications (2011). He currently is directing several internal research projects at Vitalea while also providing PBPK modeling and bioanalytical expertise to Vitalea's sponsors.

Robert Ings, Ph.D.

Dr. Ings graduated in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK with a B.Sc. (Hons.) then obtained a Ph.D. while working in industry in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researching the mode of action of metronidazole in the parasite and host. He joined Vitalea's Scientific Advisory board in 2008 and since has been working closely with Vitalea in developing PK solutions for microdosing and absolute bioavailability studies. He has an extensive industrial career covering over 30 years, initially with several European pharmaceutical companies in the UK plus assignments in Italy, Sweden and ultimately the US, most recently as Vice President DMPK, Roche, Palo Alto, CA. He has directed pharmacokinetics and metabolism laboratories of approximately 100 staff supporting both small and large molecule discovery and development in many therapeutic areas include oncology, CNS, metabolic disease, inflammation, cardiovascular and anti-infectives, including anti-viral. He has contributed to 11 global/US and 13 European successful registrations of new medicines. Dr. Ings has authored over 80 publications, including several book chapters, and given over 120 presentations/training courses throughout the world.

Pete Lohstroh, Ph.D.

Dr. Lohstroh joined Vitalea in 2008 as its director of bioanalytical operations. His primary responsibilities included the management of daily group operations, development of the VS Quality Systems to Good Laboratory Practices (21CFR part 58), project leadership for GLP studies, development and validation for bioanalytic AMS methods, and the research and development of novel intellectual properties. In addition to his industry experience, Pete has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology and completed postdoctoral research at the NCI-affiliated UC Davis Cancer Center. He has managed laboratories and conducted original, sponsored research for over 20 years in the areas of biomarker development, multi-platform bioanalytical immunoassay development, targeted nanoparticle drug-delivery, and reproductive toxicology at UC Davis. He has over 25 peer-reviewed publications in areas that include bioanalytic method development and validation with AMS.
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