Executive Team

Doug Morton, Chief Executive Officer

Doug Morton is an information system professional with over 25 years of experience in a variety of industries. Doug has been with the San Diego Blood Bank since 2000 in roles ranging from Director of IT to Chief Operating Officer. Doug received a B.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University majoring in Computer Science. Prior to joining the blood bank, Doug held Information Technology positions with the US District Court, Hanson Aggregates, and Real Property Services. Volunteer activities include coaching youth sports and raising service dogs for the blind and disabled. As of March 14, 2022, Doug is the CEO of San Diego Blood Bank.

Nikhil Nayak, Chief Business Officer

Nikhil Nayak has over 25 years of relevant health and life sciences experience with significant focus on strategy, marketing & sales, business development, global product management, operations, finance, quality management, and corporate communications. He has demonstrated ability to build companies & departments and lead high-performing teams through a successful start-up exit, major product launches, management of blockbuster brands and profitable life-cycle management initiatives with a patient- and consumer-centric approach. In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer at Confirm BioSciences, he successfully navigated a sale and exit for the startup company. As COO, Nikhil led the Strategic Sales and Retail Consumer Business Units as well as the business and product development, operations, marketing, quality management, and IT departments. 

Prior to Confirm, Nikhil was the Chief Marketing Officer at Millennium Health, where he served as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. He led corporate strategy, product development, marketing, and corporate communications functions, reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board and CEO. After a successful crisis management and restructure in 2015, Nikhil created a strategic and cohesive product development and commercialization process at Millennium that delivered several successful product launches and profitable growth.  Nikhil began his life sciences career at Forest Laboratories (now AbbVie), where he held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing, and business development. In his final role at Forest, Nikhil served as Executive Director of Global Marketing & Commercialization, where he steered the successful approvals and launches of several products in Canada, Europe, and Latin America. He was the head of the Namenda franchise, accelerating growth to “Blockbuster Status” for this Alzheimer’s drug while overseeing future development programs. He was also instrumental in the successful launches of Bystolic, and blockbuster antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro, for which he was recognized as part of Medical Marketing & Media’s 2003 “Brand Team of the Year.”

Nikhil received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and his Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on Finance, Marketing & International Business from New York University, Stern School of Business. Nikhil joined the San Diego Blood Bank in April of 2022.

Bryan Eleazar, Chief Financial Officer

Bryan Eleazar has over 20 years of diversified finance experience, with the last 13 in private equity-backed multi-site healthcare services, including ophthalmology, hospice and home health, and medical labs. Bryan started in healthcare as Controller at Pathology, Inc., where he was part of the team that extended the company’s reach beyond anatomic pathology into clinical pathology, doubling revenue through a period of severe Medicare reimbursement cuts, shepherding its sale and integration into Laboratory Corporation of America. 

He has since held positions of increasing responsibility on the finance side of other medical specialties, most recently serving as Chief Financial Officer of American Eye Associates, expanding that company’s geographical footprint during its rebranding from California Retina into a full-service eyecare practice incorporating LASIK and ancillary services such as glaucoma and oculoplastics. 

Prior to healthcare services, Bryan had diversified technical accounting exposure working at top financial consulting firms, specializing in insolvency and restructuring as well as dispute analysis and investigations. He began his accounting and finance career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, San Diego, and Los Angeles, spanning both Audit and Advisory service lines. 

Bryan graduated with honors from Georgetown University, Washington, DC, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a minor in Classics and continues as an alumni interviewer after serving on the Admissions Committee as an undergraduate. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and Strategy from The Anderson School at UCLA. Bryan received his Certified Public Accountancy license from the State of New York in 1998. 

Bryan is a proud dad of 4 children and 2 rescue dogs. When he had free time, Bryan enjoyed playing beach volleyball, cooking, and reading, but nowadays shuttles his kids around swim, drum line, orchestra, gymnastics, ballet, soccer, basketball, and baseball (and the dogs to beaches and trails). Bryan joined the San Diego Blood Bank in September of 2022.


Mark Edmunds, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Edmunds received his Chemical Engineering and Medical Doctorate degrees from the University of New Mexico. Following medical school, he underwent a surgical internship at UCLA and completed residency in Clinical Pathology/Laboratory Medicine and fellowship in Blood Banking/Blood Transfusion Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He previously served as Associate Medical Director for Blood Centers of the Pacific (now Vitalant) in San Francisco and as North American Medical Director for Grifols Transfusion Medicine. Furthermore, he brings substantial experience in private practice, telemedicine, and health technology.  

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Edmunds is embracing his passion for blood banking and applying his industry knowledge in new ways to support San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB), our altruistic donor population, hospital providers, and all the communities we serve throughout Southern California. He is responsible for the medical and clinical activities of SDBB, providing medical oversight, expertise and leadership to ensure delivery, safety, and excellence of blood products and services, including those provided by our immunohematology reference laboratory.

His responsibilities include the strategy, development, and implementation of innovative blood collection and research programs that include collaboration with operational and strategic business partners. Current research projects include serving as principal investigator for a clinical trial to develop a non-invasive blood donor hemoglobin test and using next generation genetic sequencing for prediction of red blood cell antigens in donors and recipients to prevent transfusion complications and improve availability of rare blood for patients. He oversees SDBB’s source plasma collection program to develop a vaccine against currently untreatable blood-borne viral infections and seeks partnerships with industry leaders to further develop SDBB’s umbilical cord stem cell laboratory and new cellular therapies.

Helen Bixenman, Chief Quality, Regulatory Affairs and Risk Officer/Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer

Helen A. Bixenman, MBA/HCM, CHC, CG(ASCP)CMDLMCM, QLCCM is Chief Quality, Regulatory Affairs and Risk Officer/Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, with responsibility for quality and regulatory performance, oversight of quality systems and sustaining a culture of quality.  

Helen Bixenman has over 30 years of significant contribution within the biotech/healthcare arena. Through key strategic roles, Helen has acquired broad-based general management experience encompassing clinical operations for multi-site, multi-million dollar operations. Areas of professional expertise encompass compliance and regulatory affairs, quality assurance and quality control, clinical research, technical administration and operations and strategic planning and business development.

Before joining San Diego Blood Bank, she held positions of increasing responsibility with several clinical laboratories and healthcare systems including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Banner Health, Sun Health, Genzyme Genetics/Genetrix and the Genetics Center of the Southwest Biomedical Research Institute. Helen currently serves as Immediate Past-President of the Association of Genetic Technologists and as a member of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Government Affairs Committee.

Helen earned an MBA with an emphasis in healthcare management from University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Biology from Georgian Court University, Lakewood, N.J. Helen’s professional credentials include: Certification in Healthcare Compliance (Compliance Certification Board) and Technologist in Cytogenetics, Diplomate in Laboratory Management and Qualification in Laboratory Compliance (American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification).

Robert Simpson, Vice President, Hospital Services

Robert Simpson joined the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) team in 2012 with the mindset of improving the health system to best serve the people of the community.  A graduate from Eckerd College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Finance, Robert has used his experience and business acumen to better optimize the organization’s operational and financial infrastructure. 

Robert was quickly inspired by the SDBB’s mission to the community. He felt committed to strengthening his contribution by pursuing his Masters in Healthcare Administration with a specialization in Organizational Leadership and Change Management from Colorado State University, all while continuing his work and impact to the SDBB full-time.  A long-time basketball player growing up outside of Boston, Robert enjoys collaborative activities and promotes teamwork and relationship building as the foundation of organizational success. 

Leslie Eagan, Vice President, Donor Services

As Vice President of Donor Services, Leslie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her 18 years at the San Diego Blood Bank. One of Leslie’s many strengths is her ability to cultivate strong cross-functional relationships across the organization to leverage the expertise of others.

In this role, Leslie will lead the Donor Recruitment, Nursing and Community Wellness Blood Collections and Donor Experience teams to find opportunities for future improvements and identify workflow gaps for process improvement.

Leslie’s passion for customer service can be traced back to her six years as a business owner. “Our mission and how we service our donors, patients and hospital partners is crucial to me. I strive to ensure donors feel valued and appreciated by our organization. Without them we would not be able to meet the needs of our community.”

When she is not identifying and executing on solutions to challenges, Leslie enjoys traveling and adding to the list of 19 countries she has previously visited.

Javier Castillo, Vice President, Marketing

Javier Castillo has joined San Diego Blood Bank as Vice President of Marketing. Javier comes to the blood bank with over 15 years of experience in marketing, design, and development, as well as 7 years of leadership experience in health and life sciences. Javier earned his Executive MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology, focusing on Business, Management, and Marketing.

As a key member of the leadership team, Javier will oversee San Diego Blood Bank’s marketing and branding efforts and shape communications strategies that will amplify their efforts throughout Southern California.

Julien Brown, Chief of Staff

Julien Brown is an accomplished professional who joined the San Diego Blood Bank with over 15 years of experience in business operations, executive support, and performance management. Prior to joining the San Diego Blood Bank, Julien played a crucial role in driving key business initiatives and enhancing operational efficiencies as the Director of Operations at a local non-profit. Her dedication and strategic approach contributed significantly to the success of the organization during her tenure.

Julien's educational background includes studying Business Administration at Cuyamaca College, which provided her with a solid foundation in the principles of business management.

As Chief of Staff at the San Diego Blood Bank, Julien is responsible for driving strategic initiatives and supporting effective decision-making processes. Her extensive experience in project management and execution enables her to ensure that the organization's vision becomes a reality and organizational goals are successfully achieved.

Julien's primary focus lies in strategic planning and project implementation, which are vital elements for fostering the growth and overall success of the organization. Through her leadership and contributions, Julien plays an instrumental role in driving the San Diego Blood Bank forward, enabling it to continue making a positive impact on the community.

As a native San Diegan, Julien enjoys spending time at the beach and Zumba. Julien joined the San Diego Blood Bank in 2019.

Photo - Julien Brown