Ajamete “Aj” Kaykas
VP of High-throughput Biology
Ajamete “Aj” Kaykas
As Vice President of High-throughput Biology, Aj is responsible for producing high-quality data sets to use in for machine learning-based target and drug discovery. He leads insitro’s wet lab activities which consists of functional genomics, disease modeling, phenotyping, automation, and process engineering.
Ajamete has spent over 28 years in both industry and academia, working in the areas of proteomics, genomics, and stem cell biology. Before joining insitro, Aj led the early target discovery team at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in the Neuroscience unit. His team efforts have led to the discovery of multiple new disease targets and the development of better predictive preclinical models. He conducted his postdoc with Dr. Randy Moon at the University of Washington/Howard Hughes Medical Institute on Wnt-signaling. While in Randy’s lab, he conducted one of the first ever genome-wide RNAi screens and studied the role of Wnt-signaling in human disease and stem cell biology. He did his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Dr. Bill Sugden’s lab where he studied virology, immunology, and oncology.
In his free time, Aj enjoys traveling, kayaking, sailing, biking, making whiskey and most of all his family.
DRUG-seq: A Miniaturized High-Throughput Transcriptome Profiling Platform for Drug Discovery. Ye C, Ho DJ, Neri M, Yang C, Kulkarni T, Randhawa R, Henault M, Mostacci N, Farmer P, Renner S, Ihry R, Mansur L, Gubser Keller C, McAllister G, Hild M, Jenkins J, and Kaykas A. In Press, Sept; 2018 Nat. Comm.https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-06500-x
p53 inhibits CRISPR-Cas9 engineering in human pluripotent stem cells. Ihry RJ, Worringer KA, Salick MR, Frias E, Ho D, Theriault K, Kommineni S, Chen J, Sondey M, Ye C, Randhawa R, Kulkarni T, Yang Z, McAllister G, Russ C, Reece-Hoyes J, Forrester W, Hoffman GR, Dolmetsch R, Kaykas A. Nat Med. 2018 Jul;24(7):939-946.https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-018-0050-6
A Single-Cell Roadmap of Lineage Bifurcation in Human ESC Models of Embryonic Brain Development. Yao Z, Mich JK, Ku S, Menon V, Krostag AR, Martinez RA, Furchtgott L, Mulholland H, Bort S, Fuqua MA, Gregor BW, Hodge RD, Jayabalu A, May RC, Melton S, Nelson AM, Ngo NK, Shapovalova NV, Shehata SI, Smith MW, Tait LJ, Thompson CL, Thomsen ER, Ye C, Glass IA, Kaykas A, Yao S, Phillips JW, Grimley JS, Levi BP, Wang Y, Ramanathan S. Cell Stem Cell. 2017 Jan 5;20(1)https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(16)30340-X?code=cell-site
Genetic Ablation of AXL Does Not Protect Human Neural Progenitor Cells and Cerebral Organoids from Zika Virus Infection. Wells MF, Salick MR, Wiskow O, Ho DJ, Worringer KA, Ihry RJ, Kommineni S, Bilican B, Klim JR, Hill EJ, Kane LT, Ye C, Kaykas A*, Eggan K.* Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Dec 1;19(6):703-708. *Co-corresponding authorhttps://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(16)30407-6
Functional genomic analysis of the Wnt-wingless signaling pathway. DasGupta R*, Kaykas A*, Moon RT, Perrimon N. Science. 2005 May 6;308(5723):826-33. *Co-first authorshttps://science.sciencemag.org/content/308/5723/826
Controller, VP of Finance
Allison Lai is the Controller / VP, Finance at insitro. She brings with her 18 years of experience in accounting and finance operations with most of her experience in the life sciences industry.
Prior to joining insitro, Allison served as VP, Finance & Controller at Adicet Bio, a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company engaged in the design and development of immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases, where she helped build and scale the accounting team. Before then, Allison was at Genomic Health, a global provider of genomic-based diagnostic tests, where she was most recently the Senior Director of Accounting and supported the organization’s increasing headcount and international growth. Allison has also held increasing roles at Affymax, a publicly-traded biotechnology company, and she started her career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP in their audit and assurance practice.
Allison received her BA in Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and she is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.
Outside of the office, Allison is constantly chasing after her two sons and cheering on the Golden State Warriors.
KeywordsFinance and Operations,
VP of People
Britt Huber is the Vice President of People at insitro. She brings with her over 15 years of experience in People Operations / Human Resources, Organizational Development and business management leadership roles, in
the life sciences and technology industries, both in California and in Switzerland. Britt is passionate about developing mission-driven companies and coaching its people to evoke excellence.
Prior to joining insitro, Britt served as VP, People & Organizational Development at PaxVax, Inc., a fully-integrated specialty vaccines company, which she helped build and scale from start-up to a global, commercial stage company that was acquired by Emergent BioSolutions in 2018. Before then, Britt was the VP of People at Kiva, the world’s first personal micro-lending platform, where she supported the organization’s doubling in size, internationalization, and creation of an awesome culture.
Britt holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)-Certification. She’s also a Certified Professional Coach from New Ventures West, San Francisco, California. She speaks English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
When Britt is not cheer-leading the people she serves, she loves to explore the world traveling, enjoys the great outdoors while running, biking, hiking, swimming, skating,painting or striking a yoga pose somewhere.
Daphne Koller is the CEO and Founder of insitro.
Daphne was the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where she served on the faculty for 18 years. She was the co-founder, co-CEO and President of Coursera for 5 years, and the Chief Computing Officer of Calico, an Alphabet company in the healthcare space. She is the author of over 200 refereed publications appearing in venues such as Science, Cell, and Nature Genetics, and has an h-index of 130. Daphne was one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people and is a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Society of Computational Biology.
In her spare time, Daphne enjoys spending time with her family, especially while traveling to exotic destinations (62 countries so far and counting), where they enjoy hiking, sailing, scuba diving, and eating fresh local food.
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As General Counsel, Duane is responsible for managing risk and structuring opportunities for insitro.
Duane has led the legal and IP functions at prominent Silicon Valley companies operating at a variety of scales and growth stages. He joins insitro from Zymergen, a company applying laboratory automation and machine learning to engineer microbial strains for industrial fermentation applications and new product development, where he served as the company’s first in-house lawyer and general counsel. Prior to Zymergen, Duane was a senior member of the patent team at Google, where he led strategic IP initiatives bearing on mobile, cloud, web and open source technologies. Before that, he served as associate general counsel in charge of patent development at Yahoo!
Mr. Valz began his career at Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin (now combined with Arnold & Porter LLP). Over his career, Duane has been named multiple times to the IAM Strategy 300, recognizing the world’s leading IP strategists. He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and serves on the boards of directors for the Level Playing Field Institute and the Berkeley Law Alumni Association.
In his free time, Duane enjoys cooking, traveling, live jazz, yoga, the outdoors and quality time with his family.
VP of Research Operations
Jason is responsible for building and optimizing insitro’s Research Operations function. He also manages insitro’s internal discovery programs as well as partnered programs with external collaborators.
Prior to joining insitro, Jason spent 15 years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in both Oncology and Infectious Diseases groups. His roles spanned portfolio strategy, program management, and scientific operations. During his time in Oncology, Jason helped lead the team that discovered and developed Encorafenib, approved as BRAFTOVI for the treatment of B-Raf mutant melanoma. Prior to NIBR, Jason worked for McKinsey & Company serving primarily Boston area biotech companies. He earned his PhD in Oncology from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Jason enjoys the balance of Art with Science and TIG welds steel sculptures.
Head of Process Engineering
As the Head of Process Engineering, John is responsible for leading the development and deployment of lab automation for high-throughput, effective production of high-quality data sets to use in machine learning. John’s team also will focus on building out the tools and capabilities for implementing operational excellence across all of insitro’s laboratories.
Prior to joining insitro, John spent the last 20 years designing, building and managing automation solutions across biotech and pharmaceutical industries. He has significant expertise with early-stage startups, helping to develop, implement and support automation technologies as they scale. John has an M.Eng. in Systems Engineering from Penn State University.
He is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys backpacking, road biking, landscape photography, and travel.
SVP of Drug Discovery
As Senior Vice-President of Drug Discovery, Keith is responsible for machine learning-enabled drug discovery programs at insitro. Keith and his team are both establishing new drug design capabilities, exploiting the power of machine learning models, and undertaking drug discovery programs on molecular targets derived via the insitro-human (ISH) target discovery platform.
Keith has over three decades of drug discovery experience, building and leading research enterprises ranging from handfuls to hundreds of scientists, tackling programs across a wide range of therapeutic areas, and employing a panoply of therapeutic modalities. During his career, Keith, and the organizations he has led, have delivered over thirty clinical candidates, across fifteen therapeutic areas, many of which have reached Phase 2, and two of which are in the hands of physicians treating patients today – eletriptan (Relpax®) for migraines and maraviroc (Selzentry®) for HIV infections.
Before joining insitro, Keith was President of the Ferring Research Institute in San Diego, engaged in the discovery of peptide therapeutics. Before joining Ferring, Keith had a long career at Pfizer, leading discovery research at three different sites across the US and UK, heading the company’s R&D strategy team, and running a laboratory as a visiting investigator at The Scripps Research Institute.
Keith completed his academic and postdoctoral studies at Imperial College London, The University of Cambridge (Raphael lab), Stanford University (Johnson lab), and Columbia University (Stork lab).
In his free time, Keith enjoys cycling, jogging, reading, writing and mechanical watches.
Dr. Mary Rozenman is insitro’s CFO/CBO and maintains responsibility for a number of strategic and operational functions at insitro including strategic and operational finance and accounting, strategy, business development, investor relations and corporate communications as well as project and portfolio management.
Mary brings to insitro more than 15 years of scientific expertise, company building and transactions leadership in the biotechnology industry.
Prior to joining the insitro team, she served as the senior vice president of corporate development and strategy at Aimmune Therapeutics, leading business development and partnerships with companies such as Regeneron/Sanofi and Nestlé Health Science, and supporting the company’s strategic finance and investor relations efforts. In her time at Aimmune, she raised more than $650 million in capital through a range of private and public transactions including leadership of the company’s 2015 IPO.
Before Aimmune, Mary was a vice president at Longitude Capital, where she focused on biotechnology investments and participated in multiple therapeutics investments and boards of directors, including observing on Aimmune’s board. Mary was also previously a junior partner at McKinsey & Company, focused on pharmaceuticals and corporate finance. Her scientific work has been published in premier scientific journals, and she is a named inventor on several patents.
Mary holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University and a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and Russian literature from Columbia University.
In her spare time, Mary likes to cook, enjoys hiking, going to the theater and hanging out with family — including her husband and young son and daughter.
VP of Immunology & Infectious Diseases
Matthew Albert is Vice President of Immunology & Infectious Diseases at insitro.
Prior to joining insitro, Matthew worked as Principal Scientist in the Department of Cancer Immunology at Genentech (2015 – 2019); and served as Professor (2003 – 2015), Founder and Director of the Center for Human Immunology (2007 – 2015) and Director of the Immunology Department at Institut Pasteur, Paris France (2010 – 2015).
Matthew is an immunologist and clinical pathologist, with a long-standing interest in immune regulation and tumor immunity. His research embraces the power of a “human-first” approach to scientific discovery, driven by a commitment to understand how to achieve effective response to cancer immunotherapy, autoimmunity and chronic infection while limiting adverse effects of treatment. As this requires a deep insight into health and disease pathogenesis, he has developed several areas of investigation over the last two decades, which has included a deep commitment to bladder diseases (incl. cancer and UTI); and liver diseases (incl. HCV, HBV, HCC and NASH). He has also been a leader in the Milieu Intérieur Consortium, a 30-team academic / industrial partnership that aims to define the genetic, microbiome and environmental determinants of variable immune responses in healthy persons.
Matthew trained at The Rockefeller University, Cornell University Medical College and did his residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has made major contributions to the understanding of antigen cross-priming and the impact of post-translational modification of chemokines as determinants of effective tumor immunity. In his spare time, he and his family enjoy cooking together, traveling and exploring the world’s ecology under the sea (marvelling at Ostracod mating practices in the Carribean), in jungles (visits to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre in Borneo), and in ecology parks (riding dolphins in Tunisia). The have traveled together to over 35 countries, with a strong belief that knowing and engaging with diverse communities and cultures help them be better contributors to the world.
Germline genetic polymorphisms influence tumor gene expression and immune cell infiltration. Lim YW, Chen-Harris H, Mayba O, Lianoglou S, Wuster A, Bhangale T, Khan Z, Mariathasan S, Daemen A, Reeder J, Haverty PM, Forrest WF, Brauer M, Mellman I, Albert ML. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Dec 11;115(50):E11701-E11710. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804506115. Epub 2018 Nov 21
Natural variation in the parameters of innate immune cells is preferentially driven by genetic factors. Patin E, Hasan M, Bergstedt J, Rouilly V, Libri V, Urrutia A, Alanio C, Scepanovic P, Hammer C, Jönsson F, Beitz B, Quach H, Lim YW, Hunkapiller J, Zepeda M, Green C, Piasecka B, Leloup C, Rogge L, Huetz F, Peguillet I, Lantz O, Fontes M, Di Santo JP, Thomas S, Fellay J, Duffy D, Quintana-Murci L, Albert ML; Milieu Intérieur Consortium. Nat Immunol. 2018 Mar;19(3):302-314. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0049-7. Epub 2018 Feb 23
Genetic Adaptation and Neandertal Admixture Shaped the Immune System of Human Populations. Quach H, Rotival M, Pothlichet J, Loh YE, Dannemann M, Zidane N, Laval G, Patin E, Harmant C, Lopez M, Deschamps M, Naffakh N, Duffy D, Coen A, Leroux-Roels G, Clément F, Boland A, Deleuze JF, Kelso J, Albert ML, Quintana-Murci L. Cell. 2016 Oct 20;167(3):643-656.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.024
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VP of Data Engineering
As VP of Data Engineering, Matt is responsible for leading the development of data pipelines, data storage systems, provenance tracking, and engineering infrastructure to support the high-throughput biology and Machine Learning teams at insitro.
Previously, as VP of Engineering for Myriad Genetics, Matt led engineering teams focused on software automation and genomic data pipelines to make high complexity genetic testing routine in clinical practice. During his time at Counsyl, Matt developed and scaled the software behind several successful prenatal genetic testing products.
Matt holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from MIT, where he developed efficient bioinformatic algorithms with applications in evolutionary genomics and population genetics.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys running, drawing, programming for fun and playing with his kids.
Chief Data Officer
Dr. Serafim Batzoglou is insitro’s Chief Data Officer (CDO).
Serafim joins insitro from Illumina, where he recently served as the company’s Vice President of Applied and Computational Biology. There, he led research and technology development of AI and molecular assays to make genomic data more interpretable in human health. His computational team developed deep learning methods for image processing across sequencing instruments, as well as for classification of patient genomic variants according to their molecular cellular effects and pathogenicity, facilitating diagnostic ability for genetic disease patients.
During his tenure at Stanford from 2001 to 2016, Serafim focused on the application of algorithms and machine learning, the study of large scale genomic and biomedical data, and the development of widely used tools in genomics. His research has spanned sequence assembly, genome alignment, identification of functional elements including gene coding regions, splice sites and transcription factor binding sites, folding of RNA structures, population genomics, cancer genomics, sequencing technologies and their use in personal genome and metagenome reconstruction, and single cell transcriptomics, among other topics.
Serafim is also the co-founder of DNAnexus, a secure cloud platform and global network for scientific collaboration and accelerated discovery, and previously served on the company’s board of directors. He has served on many scientific advisory boards, including at 23andMe, Moleculo and NextBio. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including being named one of the top 100 young innovators by MIT Technology Review, The International Society of Computational Biology’s inaugural Innovator Award and one of the top 25 voices in Precision Medicine by Insight Monk. Dr. Batzoglou holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, a Master’s in Electrical Engineering, and a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT. In his Ph.D. work, he focused on computational biology and was involved in the assembly and comparative analysis of the first mammalian and human genomes.