Head of External Innnovation
Adriana is the Head of External Innovation at insitro where she searches for technologies, collaborations, and expertise to accelerate and maximize insitro’s research and development efforts.
Prior to joining insitro, Adriana was a Principal at The Column Group (TCG), a life science venture capital firm. In her role, she focused on ideation, formation, and launch of several companies in the TCG portfolio, including Accent Therapeutics and A2 Biotherapeutics, and served as board director or observer of these and other companies.
Adriana was also previously Entrepreneurship Program Manager at QB3 (California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences) where she managed the Startup in a Box Program. In this role, she evaluated and guided over 200 teams of scientists from top institutions in California towards starting companies in the life sciences.
Adriana obtained her PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Douglas Melton at Harvard University where she studied mechanisms of self-renewal and survival in human embryonic stem cells. Previously, Adriana did research in the lab of Prof. Rudolf Jaenisch as an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In her free time, Adriana enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, visiting museums and exercising.
Ahmed Sandakli is an Associate Scientist in Process Engineering, focused on implementing automation solutions for workflows across multiple functions.
Prior to joining insitro, Ahmed worked on optimizing, automating, and processing samples across several genomic assays at Verily Life Sciences. Before then, he was a part of the Genomics Platform at The Broad Institute, working on high-throughput SNP microarrays and NGS processing.
In his spare time, Ahmed enjoys hiking, weightlifting, yoga, and cooking.
Ajamete “Aj” Kaykas, Chief Technology Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Ajamete “Aj” Kaykas, Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer, 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
Albert utilizes different automation technologies to ensure quality data generation from many of insitro’s scientific processes. This includes integrating specific assays onto automation, onboarding tools for efficient execution, and maintaining an environment for seamless research operations.
After graduating with his B.S. in Biochemistry and Philosophy from Wisconsin-Madison he started at Abbott Laboratories as an Associate Scientist focusing on instrument and assay validation for their diagnostics platform. After working in a big company environment, he joined Transcriptic, where he helped w/ assay integration and automation.
In his free time, Albert enjoys watching the NBA and trying out different banana bread recipes.
Alex is an immunologist with broad and long-standing experience in basic research, pre-clinical model development and translational research to understand the immune response and its associated inflammation in various pathological contexts (i.e. infectious diseases, cancer).
At insitro, Alex is a Sr. Scientist in the translational assay group helping guide the team with a focus on identifying and validating intermediate phenotypes of disease processes. She is working in close collaboration with the genetic, disease modeling, process engineering and machine learning modules of insitro to accelerate and scale-up the interpretation of the output.
Prior to joining insitro, Alex transitioned from academia to Biopharma in 2017 as a Senior Scientific Researcher at Genentech in the Cancer Immunology department. She implemented translational tools with the aim of accelerating biomarker discovery in the context of immune checkpoint interventions. Additionally, Alex was a biological lead for the development of small/biological molecules in the space of anti-tumor immunity.
Alex was born in Paris, France and received her Ph.D. in Immunology and Physiopathology from the University Pierre et Marie Curie at the Institut Pasteur where she developed a standardized and high-throughput workflow for transcriptomic analysis of a syringe-based whole blood stimulation system to support the population-based integrative approach of the “Milieu Interieur” consortium.
In her free time, Alex enjoys listening to music, dancing, trying out new cuisines and exploring the outside world with her kids.
Alice Starr is a software engineer, with experience designing and architecting scientific research applications. At insitro, Alice is focused on laboratory information and data architecture, making sure we make the most of our generated data. Prior to insitro, she was at Genentech, designing data solutions for the translational research and pathology organizations. She loves to tackle data challenges to advance science, which provides constant opportunities to learn.
Alice received a BS and MS in Mathematics and Computer Science from EPF, France and ITESM, Mexico.
When not working or playing with her two daughters, Alice likes to read and be outdoors as much as possible, walking or running on the beautiful California trails.
Alicia is a research associate focusing on developing and optimizing workflows to use on insitro’s automated systems.
Alicia was previously responsible for screening thousands of modified strains per week in a highly automated environment. She also spent time on a process quality management team where she worked with automation engineers, lab users, and software developers to build and test a paperless equipment management platform. Prior to her experience in process quality management, she worked with a small team creating one of the world’s largest induced pluripotent stem cell banks. The project was funded by a CIRM grant that resulted from the passing of proposition 71. Her focus was automating workflows on an integrated system and designing experiments focused on optimizing high throughput systems.
In her free time Alicia enjoys hiking, camping, reading, & museums.
Alicia is Senior Research Associate in High-Throughput Biology and she is working on differentiating iPSCs into appropriate cell types for disease modeling to produce data sets for insitro’s machine learning platform.
Prior to joining insitro, Alicia was working on cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases at Neurona Therapeutics. Before then she was at the Gladstone Institutes working on cellular models of neurodegenerative diseases. Alicia has a bioengineering background and obtained her B.S. and M. Eng. in Bioengineering from UCSD.
In her spare time, Alicia enjoys reading, hiking and traveling.
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.
Amanda is part of the Lab Operations team. She will support and help maintain the lab benches, restock and order lab supplies, and assist with implementing lab processes.
After obtaining her B.A. in Biology from San Francisco State University, Amanda worked at Genentech as a Quality Control Associate.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys photography, exploring new foods with her family, and spending time with her friends.
As a Lead Lab Operations Associate, Amien is a part of the Automation & Engineering team with focus on implementing and supporting automation solutions across multiple functions at insitro. Amien also helps maintain and implement operational excellence within insitro’s laboratories.
Prior to joining insitro, Amien spent the last few years as a Lab Manager, where he focused on streamlining processes, EH&S, supply chain management and implementing operational excellence.
Amien holds a Cell & Molecular Biology degree from San Francisco State University.
In his spare time, Amien enjoys going on road trips, weightlifting, and traveling.
Anna works with insitro’s Data Science and Machine Learning team, developing machine learning approaches to study the role of noncoding variation in disease. Her current work focuses on building deep learning capabilities to uncover additional candidate drug targets from imputed GWAS studies across several cohorts.
Anna recently completed her PhD in Biomedical Data Science from Stanford, where she was a BioX and NVIDIA Fellow. Her PhD work focused on developing deep learning models to study gene regulation and to functionally characterize non coding variation. She also worked on statistical analysis methods for wearable and mobile health data, such as accelerometry data. Prior to completing her PhD, Anna worked on metagenomic data analysis at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
In her free time, Anna likes to read science fiction and fantasy novels, spend time with her cat, and go hiking.
Anne is an automation engineer with experience developing methods and the tools needed to scale them. As a member of the Process Engineering team at Insitro, Anne works to enable the production of high quality biological data for downstream machine learning analysis and data science. She is frequently engaged in system development, process development, and developing the tools and methods that ensure the automated systems are producing the highest quality data.
Anne worked early in her career in GMP assay development for potency testing of antibody therapies, then scaled the assay development and testing through the use of automation. She transitioned into laboratory automation engineering full time when she became the lead system specialist in the nucleic acid sample management group in gRED at Genentech. There she managed many different integrated automated systems to transform, purify, store and deliver plasmids, proteins and other nucleic acid collections to the research organization. After that she transitioned to Synthego to lead their automation group to scale CRISPR oligo manufacturing and within 1 year built the integrated cell handling platforms to support nation scale cell line engineering services.
Anne holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Outside of work Anne enjoys long walks on the beach, sipping pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. She also enjoys cooking, baking, playing games and Dungeons and Dragons.
Ariel Kauss is a cell biologist with expertise in fibrosis and cardiac biology, utilizing both developmental and bioengineering approaches. At insitro, she will focus on validating potential targets for fibrosis and NASH.
Prior to insitro, Ariel was a Research Scientist in FibroGen’s Cell Biology department, and was heavily involved in early research with large and small molecules targeting fibrosis and cancer. Ariel received her Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University, and then worked at both City of Hope and Genentech researching gene therapy and cardiotoxicity before returning to graduate school. She received her PhD from UCSF, where she was co-advised by Todd McDevitt and Deepak Srivastava in the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. Her thesis focused on reproducing age-specific cardiac extracellular matrix in vitro to facilitate the identification of matrix proteins that impact cardiac regeneration.
In her free time, Ariel enjoys Zumba and beach days.
Atieh is a scientist with the translation science team where she focuses on designing and developing cellular and molecular assays to find relevant disease phenotypes.
Prior to insitro, she worked at IDEAYA Biosciences and had a role in developing and running high throughput cellular screening assays that helped with the discovery of the company’s first internal synthetic lethality clinical candidate.
Atieh has a background in Biotechnology and received her B.S. from the University of California, Davis followed by a Professional Science Masters degree in the same field from University of San Francisco.
While not working, Atieh enjoys tackling DIY projects, hiking different trails in the bay area, watching soccer tournaments, and spending time with her family and friends.
Avantika works with insitro’s Data Science and Machine Learning team, applying computational methods to analyze multidimensional genomic data and uncover disease biology.
Prior to insitro, Avantika was a senior scientist at NVIDIA, where she worked at the interface of deep learning, GPU computing, and genomics. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford, she developed machine learning approaches to analyze multi-modal genomic data from cancer cells.
Outside of work, she enjoys hacking on open-source projects, reading science fiction novels, and discovering new foods.
Ayla is working as an Associate Scientist ll or Research Associate, on disease models for neurological disorders using high-throughput screening. She is excited to be on a team of drug hunters.
She received her Bachelors of Science in Cell Biology from the University of California, Davis. There she researched signaling pathways in Arabidopsis to better understand integrated and external signals to determine the trade off between growth factors and secondary metabolites. Later she worked on high through-put antibody and TCR discovery platforms. A poly-clonal antibody platform to screen various targets across multiple epitopes. High-thoroughput screening of antigen-specific T cell receptors using immortalized TCR libraries, leading to novel TCR discovery (Nature Biotech).
When she is away from work, she enjoys hiking, tide pooling, kayaking, and baking.
Spindler, M. J., Nelson, A. L., Wagner, E. K., Oppermans, N., Bridgeman, J. S., Heather, J. M., … & Johnson, D. S. (2020). Massively parallel interrogation and mining of natively paired human TCRαβ repertoires. Nature biotechnology, 38(5), 609-619
Babacar Cedric Ndoye is a cell biologist with experience in the generation and applications of induced pluripotent stem cells. As an Associate Scientist in the Process Engineering team at Insitro, Babacar is combining his experience in cellular dynamics with automation processes for the development of multi-functional platforms.
Prior to joining Insitro Babacar received his BS in Biology from Stanford University, after which he spent several years at the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute working in iPSC research from patient consent to cardiomyocyte differentiation. He later joined Khloris Biosciences and helped set up and maintain a biobank, as well as develop novel therapeutics and assays for drug discovery.
When not in the lab, Babacar enjoys reading, cooking, and photography, as well as staying active by weight lifting, playing tennis, biking, and swimming.
Baris works within insitro’s Data Science and Machine learning team, where he applies his dual training in medicine and convex optimization to problems in bioinformatic modeling of disease states and scalable algorithmic approaches to interpreting petabyte-scale genomic and imaging datasets.
Baris grew up in the Bay Area. In a previous life, he studied Chemical Engineering at Princeton and worked in research and development at Gilead Sciences. He then spent the majority of the last decade in an MD-PhD program at Stanford, where he worked with Lei Xing and Stephen Boyd on large-scale computing problems in radiation therapy treatment planning. His research focus was on developing high-performance convex approximations to components of the massive, nonconvex problems arising in medicine and biomedicine.
Outside of work life interests include: the ocean, reading (mostly fiction), and seeing as much live music as possible.
Blake is an associate scientist on the process engineering team at insitro. His focus is on supporting and developing automation solutions to provide high quality data for research and machine learning.
Prior to joining insitro, Blake worked in lab operations at Emerald Cloud Lab where he gained experience working with a wide breadth of analytical methods and instrumentation.
Blake received his B.S. in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus on polymer science.
In his free time, Blake enjoys skiing and hiking with friends.
Bobby is a research associate that supports the development and integration of image-based assays to further insitro’s drug discovery.
Bobby got his B.S. in Biological Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA) and did some hands on research focusing on stem cell therapies. He became a double Dawg when he got his M.S. in Engineering at UGA with a focus on Cell Manufacturing Research using high content imaging in the Mortensen lab.
In his free time Bobby likes to spend time with his partner and two crazy kitties, hike, dance, gardening and practice jiu jitsu.
Bowen Liu is a computational chemist with experience working at the interface of chemistry, drug discovery, and machine learning.
Bowen grew up in New Zealand and received his dual BSc/BCom undergraduate degrees at The University of Auckland majoring in Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, Finance and Accounting. Afterwards, he moved to the Bay Area and completed his Ph.D in Chemistry at Stanford under the supervision of Jure Leskovec and Vijay Pande. At Stanford, Bowen focused on developing machine learning methods for problems in small molecule drug discovery and lead optimization, namely molecular property prediction, molecule generation, and chemical reaction prediction.
In his spare time, Bowen enjoys reading, playing video games, and going on staycations.
Brigham Jay Hartley is a Cell Engineer on the Functional Genomics team part of High Throughput Biology. His work utilizes start of the art gene and genome modification technologies to generate complex cellular models of disease and novel biological tools.
Following his PhD modeling cellular aspects of Parkinson’s disease using hIPSC-derived neurons at Monash University in Australia, Brigham completed a Post-Doc at Mount Sinai in New York functionalizing the genomics of neurodevelopmental disorders using hiPSCs, transcriptomics and screening technologies. Brigham was then recruited as a start-up member of Sana Biotechnology in Cambridge, MA where he led a team that developed novel engineered cellular-derived material. Brigham then gained a fascination and a love for the intersection of robotics and high throughput biology at the New York Stem Cell Foundation where he led the platforming of genome modification technologies, differentiation and phenotyping of hIPSC using liquid handling robotics.
When not in the lab, Brigham likes to shape the future of bonsai trees, watch F1 cars go round and round the track really fast and get out in nature on his mountain bike. He also enjoys thinking about what the cells are up to.
Britt Huber, VP of People
VP of People
Britt Huber, 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.
Carlota is a research associate developing in vitro disease models for neurological disorders to generate large-scale data for machine learning-enabled drug discovery.
Carlota previously worked on scaling high-throughput 3D models for neurodegenerative disorders using automation. She led drug discovery screens on the platform and performed target identification experiments with hit drug candidates. She also has experience setting up lab operations from the ground up and managing grants. Carlota received her B.S. with Honors in Biotechnology at Brown University, with research in cardiac tissue engineering and her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University with mechanical engineering research in medical device design and fabrication.
In her spare time, Carlota likes to spend time helping entrepreneurs, gardening and dancing to any type of music.
Chelcy serves as the Recruiting Coordinator at insitro where she combines her experience in recruiting with her passion for efficiency and organization.
Chelcy has always had an interest in health and science and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where she completed her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. Previous to insitro, she served as a Recruitment Consultant building strong relationships throughout the biotech industry.
Outside of work, Chelcy can be found befriending unwitting dogs and soaking up any sun she is given. She enjoys the outdoors, good food, good music, and good company.
As a Scientific Specialist, Chengyun contributes to iPSCs differentiation and disease modeling projects.
Chengyun received his B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Medical Biotechnology at the National Taiwan University, Taiwan and participated in a number of research in the stem cell biology field. He pursued his M.S. in Stem Cell Biology at the University of Minnesota.
After graduation, Chengyun joined Ben Barres’s lab at Stanford University as a Life Science Research Professional.
Prior to joining insitro, Chengyun worked at Neucyte where he performed compound screening and dosing experiments and participated in iPS-based neurological platform upgrade program and drug discovery efforts.
In his spare time, Chengyun enjoys reading and listening to audiobooks.
Chris has spent nearly two decades in research, mostly focused on infectious diseases, such as HIV. He began his career at the California Department of Public Health, looking at T cell responses to HIV in US and Ugandan patients. His PhD work was using SIV to model the consequences of HIV exposure on the development of the immune system, and later did postdoctoral work on the contributions of the immune system to preterm labor.
Prior to joining insitro, as Associate Director, Core Lab Operations, Chris worked as an immunologist and production cytometry lead at Verily Life Sciences, supporting the Immune Profiler Baseline, and various internal platforms across the company. Before that, Chris was the Technical Director for the Core Immunology Lab, developing, implementing, and executing immunology assays to support the research community at UCSF and various companies around the Bay Area. He also co-founded and taught the UCSF Flow Cytometry Training Program.
When he is not working, he loves spending time with his wife and kids, hiking, playing sports, and building in his woodworking shop.
Chris Probert is a computational biologist and computer scientist with extensive experience building deep learning models for genomic data. His current work at insitro is focused on enabling large-scale deep learning on functional genomic data produced by the high throughput biology platform.
Chris is a PhD candidate in Computational Biology (Genetics) at Stanford working with Anshul Kundaje and Christina Curtis where he was an NSF Fellow and an Accel Innovation Scholar. His PhD work focused on large-scale machine learning analysis of functional genomics datasets, including imputation and superresolution of genome-wide epigenomic signals, unsupervised methods for learning differentiation lineages in single-cell RNA-seq, and tissue of origin inference from cell-free DNA fragmentation patterns. He has extensive engineering experience building scalable infrastructure and data architectures to support distributed training of deep learning models from petabyte-scale functional genomic datasets. He also holds an MS and BS in Computer Science, and experience working in both research and product focused software engineering roles at Google, Illumina, and Counsyl.
Outside of work, Chris enjoys running, cycling, backpacking, and backcountry skiing.
Christoph is a scientist turned software engineer who loves bridging the gap between software and the life sciences. His current work focuses on developing the scientific pipelines that enable our biology and machine learning teams at insitro.
Previously at Myriad Genetics and Counsyl, Christoph led engineering teams charged with the clinical interpretation of variants detected in patients. These teams develop the pipelines that filter thousands of variants per sample down to the few that cause rare diseases, predispose you to elevated cancer risks or challenge the health of your pregnancy.
Christoph holds a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Vanderbilt where he studied tribology using molecular dynamics and built open source tools to enable large scale screening studies.
Outside of work, Christoph enjoys biking, surfing, reading and spending as much time outside as possible with his partner and his pupper, Oscar.
Associate Director of Functional Genomics
As the Director of Functional Genomics, Chu leads insitro’s genetic screening and phenotyping efforts.
Chu has over a decade of molecular phenotyping and profiling experiences in academia and industry. Before Insitro, Chu was the genomics tech lead for the Immune Profiler platform developed at Verily Life Sciences (an Alphabet company in healthcare). Verily and Gilead are employing this platform to understand inflammatory autoimmune diseases. During his postdoc, Chu set up a single cell RNAseq platform at Genome Institute of Singapore to map the human immune atlas. During his graduate training with Dr. Howard Chang at Stanford University, Chu invented an RNA-interactome analysis method, “ChIRP,” to study the mechanism of X-chromosome inactivation by the famous long noncoding RNA “Xist”, among many other projects, via genomics, imaging and protein mass spec assays.
In his spare time, Chu tests sneakers for Puma, and reads books to his two young kids.
As Scientific Specialist at Insitro, Craig will be working with the Disease Modeling group to help develop robust, scalable and highly reproducible in vitro models of human disease. Craig will also focus on integrating these models into high throughput, automated platforms to eliminate variability and provide large, trustworthy data sets to the Machine Learning team.
After graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara, Craig has supported various research and development efforts in Neuroscience, Stem Cell and Cancer Biology. Throughout his career, Craig has acquired an extensive research experience from institutions such as the Neuroscience Institute, UC San Diego, California Stem Cell Inc., and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Craig hopes to use his experience and ideas to help advance the exciting programs at Insitro to the next level of drug discovery.
Craig enjoys an occasional escape to the wilderness for fishing, camping, exploring and basically just having fun with family. Favorite author: Bertrand Russell.
Cynthia Hao is an Associate Scientist developing pooled screening and image analysis workflows to glean insight into complex disease phenotypes from insitro’s cell models. She is also building systems to collect and analyze high-quality microscopy data at scale.
Cynthia earned a B.S. in Bioengineering and an M.S. in Computer Science, both from Stanford University. She completed her honors thesis on pooled CRISPR screening methods for microscopy phenotypes in Professor Roger Kornberg’s lab, for which she optimized screening protocols, carried out high-throughput CRISPR screens, and implemented and parallelized a computational image analysis pipeline. During her time at Stanford, she also worked in various academic labs, on projects ranging from building a rationally designed cell to DNA synthesis in outer space.
In her free time, Cynthia enjoys trying new recipes, costume design sketching, and making music.
Daphne Koller, Founder & CEO, Board Member
Daphne Koller, Founder & CEO, Board Member
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.
David is an automation engineer on the Process Engineering team at insitro. David collaborates with scientists and engineers to design, develop, and implement automation solutions for high-throughput biology protocols and workflows, enabling machine learning applications in biology.
David’s experience spans across both cell biology and engineering. He started as a research associate at the Wyss Institute at Harvard where he collaborated with scientists to design novel microfluidic cell-based models. He quickly transitioned to a startup as a scientist at Emulate where he developed dynamic, three dimensional in vitro cell models of the lung and liver. He worked on designing, characterizing, and testing these models with primary human cells for disease modeling and toxicology applications in collaboration with major pharmas. He later transitioned into the engineering discovery arm of Emulate where he led liquid handling automation for platform expansion.
David holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and M.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
In his free time, David enjoys exploring new hikes, trying new restaurants, and relaxing on the beach on a hot sunny day.
As the Director of DNA-Encoded Libraries, Divya leads insitro’s DEL synthesis and screening programs in collaboration with her teammates.
Divya has seven years of experience in the construction and screening of evolvable DELs. Before joining insitro, Divya was a co-founder and COO of Haystack Sciences where she led R&D lab operations. She also constructed the equipment and devices required for synthesizing chemical libraries based on instructions encoded in DNA, and leading the synthesis of these programmed libraries. Her innovations have increased the speed and efficiency of construction of programmed, evolvable DELs.
Prior to Haystack, she worked at Impossible Foods building and screening DELs to discover ligands of interest in food science. In graduate school, Divya studied medicinal chemistry and discovered novel diazaborines with antibiotic properties with a particular focus in tuberculosis.
In her spare time Divya enjoys playing with her kids and dipping them in the Russian River.
Donald is a Senior Lead Engineer, primarily working on developing strategies for internal pipelines, data provenance, and cloud infrastructure. As part of the data engineering team, Donald is working with the other teams to scale and automate internal pipelines and improve the common infrastructure to support future analyses.
Previously, he was a principal engineer at Counsyl (acquired by Myriad) working across many teams helping to develop a new LIMS system, a platform for variant curation, bioinformatics pipelines, and moving to a cloud infrastructure from on premises.
Donald received a BS and MS in Computer Science from Drexel University.
In his free time, Donald enjoys backpacking, skiing, biking, and reading.
Duane Valz, General Counsel
Duane Valz, General Counsel
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.
Edward is a Staff Software Engineer at Insitro. He has diverse industry experience ranging from working horizontally across large cross-functional teams at companies like Google and Oracle, and also writing code across the entire tech stack at smaller startups.
When his wife was diagnosed with an intractable cancer, Edward learned first-hand the criticality of data-driven medical decisions and developed a custom immunotherapy based treatment plan at a time when the modality was not yet proven. Consequently, he has a passion for advancing human health through improved data-driven decisions and the leveraging of novel medical therapies and modalities.
Edward holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and B.A. in Business Economics from Brown University.
In his free time, Edward enjoys chess and improvising on the button accordion and piano.
Director of Data Science
As Director of Data Science, Eilon is leading the development of cutting edge machine learning, computational biology and statistical genetics approaches to improve drug development.
His team uses machine learning to integrate observations from large population-level studies with results from various high throughput in-vitro assays to identify potential drug targets.
Eilon has extensive experience in applying machine learning to decipher various biological questions. After completing a dual major B.Sc. in biology and computer science at Tel Aviv University, Eilon joined Rosetta genomics, where he worked on discovering miRNA genes in humans and predicting their targets. He then earned a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science under the supervision of Prof. Eran Segal. During his PhD, he developed synthetic biology Massively Parallel Reporter Assay (MPRA) and statistical and thermodynamic models, which he applied to decipher the encoding of transcriptional regulation in yeast. Following graduation, Eilon transitioned to a postdoc at Profs Jonathan Pritchard and Hunter Fraser labs in Stanford Medical school department of genetics. At stanford, Eilon worked on a diverse set of projects including: detection and fine mapping of genetic associations with T cell receptor V-genes expression; software for transplant health monitoring using cell-free DNA sequencing (which was commercialized by Stanford); and detection of functional genetic variants using a novel high throughput CRISPR editing. Eilon is the author of over 20 refereed publications appearing in venues such as Cell, Nature Biotechnology and Nature Genetics.
In his free time, Eilon enjoys hiking and camping outdoors with his family.
As a member of the Process Engineering team at insitro, Elaine is working to develop and scale high quality systems and processes to enable the production of high quality biological data for machine learning.
Elaine started her career as a Systems Engineer at Roche developing in vitro diagnostic instruments. At Roche, she was responsible for the design, integration, and lifecycle management of different complex systems. She later moved into the world of biotech startups at Synthego as an Automation Engineer, where she was involved in everything from system qualifications, new process development, to continuous improvement. Some of her projects included developing robust automated processes to enable new CRISPR oligo products and building an automated platform to allow for rapid iteration in scaling engineered cells. Elaine holds a B.S. and M.Eng in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University with a minor in Music.
In her free time, Elaine enjoys traveling to new places, playing the violin, and building cardboard forts for her two cats.
Head of Financial Operations
As Head of Financial Operations at instiro, Ellie brings over 15 years of progressive accounting and finance operations experience, including managing cross-functional projects and scaling teams for growth within the life science industry.
Prior to joining insitro, Ellie was an independent consultant for early-stage Bay Area life science companies and worked on various accounting projects, including the development of systems and infrastructure to support growing businesses. Before then, she was Controller at Invitae, a leading genetic testing company offering diagnostic testing for hereditary conditions. Ellie helped the Company prepare for IPO in 2015 and built the team to scale as a public company. Prior to Invitae, Ellie worked at Genomic Health, a publicly-traded global provider of genomic-based diagnostic tests, where she managed the US accounting operations and teams. Ellie also spent time at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals during phase III clinical trials of Linaclotide (FDA approval 2012). During her time at Ironwood Ellie supported the company’s 2010 IPO, ERP transformation and plans for commercialization.
Ellie is Certified Public Accountant and holds an active license in the state of California.
Ellie received a Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Management from City University in London where she focused on finance and delivery of healthcare services across UK and US healthcare systems. During her studies, she also worked at the University of Cambridge, Research Services Division, to support coordination of Medical School research contracts with industry sponsors, budgets and funding.
In her spare time, you can find Ellie mountain biking off the trails in Marin or sailing in the Bay with her husband.
VP, High-Throughput Chemistry
As Vice President of High Throughput Chemistry, Eray leads insitro’s efforts in collection of data correlating molecular structures with biological activities.
Eray is a scientist and inventor with a passion for DNA Encoded Libraries and other invitro evolution technologies. He joined insitro from Haystack Sciences where he was a co-founder, and CEO. His innovations in the DEL field include greatly expanding the synthetic diversity achievable with evolvable DELs, and devising the nDexer selection platform. Prior to Haystack, Eray built and screened DELs at Impossible Foods, and in the lab of Pehr Harbury at Stanford. He did a post-doc at Vanderbilt University in the pharmacology department, working with Anthony Forster, Craig Lindsley, and Borden Lacy. His graduate work in the lab of Chaitan Khosla focused on precursor-directed biosynthesis of novel polyketides, and also on the discovery of novel dihydroisoxazoles targeting TG2 for treatment of Celiac disease.
Eray’s hobbies include science fiction of all kinds, and spending summer Saturdays at the river.
VP, Disease Model Systems & Arrayed Screening
Eugeni Vaisberg, Ph.D., is Vice President, Disease Model Systems and Arrayed Screening at insitro.
Eugeni is a drug discovery scientist and inventor with 30 years of experience working in academia and industry. Before joining Insitro, Eugeni was a Staff Scientist at Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) where he led groups responsible for the development of cutting- edge cell biological technologies, drug delivery platforms, and the development of an extracellular vesicles-based diagnostic platform. In addition, Eugeni and his team collaborated with ML experts from Google to develop cutting-edge data driven platforms for stem stem cell differentiation and for high throughput image based screening.
Prior to joining Google[x] he worked as Principal Scientist, Therapeutic Innovation Unit at Amgen where he played a leading role in defining the approach and implementing key applications of stem cell biology for drug discovery.
Prior to Amgen Eugeni served as Director of Lead Discovery at iPierian where he was responsible for building one of the world’s first “disease in a dish” drug discovery platforms based on cellular reprogramming technology, advanced high throughput screens, and data analysis.
Before joining iPierian Eugeni worked at Cytokinetics where he was one of the founding scientists and held multiple positions of increasing responsibility. He established biochemistry and informatics departments and led development of a state of the art system for quantitative cell biological assays – Cytometrix™. This work transformed all stages of drug discovery at Cytokinetics and made the company one of the leaders in high content assays and screening.
Dr. Vaisberg is an inventor with over 25 patent applications and multiple scientific publications. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Institute of Protein Research, USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, USSR.
In his free time he enjoys traveling, SCUBA diving, exploring microbrews, and photography.
Eva-Maria joined insitro from the Silicon Valley Innovation Hub of EMD Serono (an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany), where she worked as a technology scout and helped identify the next big innovative disruptors. Prior to this role she worked as a medicinal chemist first in the headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany and then in Boston, MA pushing a small molecule drug candidate from concept to clinical development.
Before joining EMD, Eva-Maria was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Keisuke Susuki’s lab at Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. Eva-Maria received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the ETH Zurich, CH in the group of Prof. Ryan Gilmour and a Diploma in Chemistry from the Julius-Maximilians University in Würzburg, Germany.
In her spare time, Eva-Maria loves to box, cook /eat good food and spend time with her family outdoors.
Fio is a cheminformatics scientist in the drug discovery team focusing on supporting the design and generation of massive datasets to enable machine learning driven drug discovery.
She obtained her Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry at the laboratory of cheminformatics in Strasbourg. Afterwards, she joined the Computer-Aided Drug Design team at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research as a postdoctoral scholar. Following that, she worked at DiCE Molecules, a DNA-encoded library start-up.
Fio enjoys running and hiking in the beautiful redwood forests and is passionate about arts and crafts.
Flora is an Associate Scientist in the Functional Genomic team and she is working on building the CRISPR-based genomic discovery platform, focusing on developing novel CRISPR screening technologies and assays.
Prior to joining insitro, Flora was working on high-throughput genomic engineering in various microbes using automation at a biotech startup. Before then she was working on epigenetic studies on Arabidopsis thaliana with focus on DNA repair and environmental stress response at Salk Institute. She also gained her experience in studying the mechanisms controlling the early steps in organogenesis in the vertebrate embryo at Gail Martin Lab, UCSF. Flora has a background in molecular biology and obtained her B.Sc. in Human Biology from UC San Diego.
In her spare time, Flora enjoys swimming, traveling internationally, and trying new cuisines.
Francesco Paolo Casale
Francesco Paolo Casale
At Insitro, Paolo works within the Data Science and Machine Learning Team, where he applies his academic training in statistical genetics, computational biology and machine learning to identify and characterize functional mechanisms in human disease.
Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England, working on automated machine learning and on deep learning models for imagining genetics. Before that, he obtained a PhD in statistical genetics from the University of Cambridge and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, where he developed new methods for genetic association studies and contributed to international projects such as the last phase of the 1000 Genomes Project and the Blueprint initiative. Previously, he obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics from the University of Naples, Italy.
In his spare time, Paolo enjoys playing soccer, powerlifting, motorcycling and travelling.
Gabriel grew up in Boulder, Colorado. He received his BS in Biological Engineering from Cornell University, and his MSc in Machine Learning from University College London. He completed his master’s thesis at Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Drug Discovery Institute where he studied applications of ML to High Throughput Screening.
In his free time, Gabriel competes in triathlons in addition to skiing and climbing. He also enjoys cooking and backpacking.
Gina Farrugia Ortega
Gina Farrugia Ortega
As Executive Assistant, Gina provides administrative and organizational support to insitro’s senior leadership team and collaborates with everyone in aligning and executing on top priorities across the rapidly growing organization.
Gina brings with her over 27 years of experience as an Executive Assistant. Prior to insitro, Gina served as Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO and all C-suite executives at Electronics For Imaging, a global company specializing in digital printing technology, based in Silicon Valley. Furthermore, Gina is fluent in Spanish and an active member of the Administrative Center of Excellence, and she won the Silicon Valley Admins Loyalty Award in 2016, in recognition of her many achievements.
When she is not working, Gina plays percussion musical instruments, enjoys fishing, running, traveling and cooking.
Haoyang Zeng is a computational biologist with extensive experience in building machine learning models for functional genomics and therapeutic design.
Haoyang grew up in Sichuan, China, home to most of the panda bears in the world. He earned his BE in Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University, and his MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of David Gifford. His Ph.D. research focused on developing statistical and deep learning methods for learning the regulatory function of DNA sequences, predicting the binding affinity of peptides to the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) for effective neo-antigen vaccine formulation, and designing novel antibody sequences with improved binding affinity and specificity. Haoyang has co-authored 16 publications appearing in venues such as Nature Biotechnology, Nature Genetics, Cell Systems, Genome Research, and Nucleic Acid Research.
During his free time, Haoyang enjoys playing acoustic guitar, drone photography and traveling.
Hari Somineni is a human geneticist by training interested in utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that combines the new tools of statistical genetics and genomics with classic population science and molecular biology to impact human health.
Prior to joining insitro, Hari was a statistical geneticist at Goldfinch Bio, leveraging whole-genome sequencing data to understand disease pathogenesis and identify novel targets for kidney diseases. Before that, he obtained a PhD in human genetics and molecular biology from Emory University, where he worked on genetics and genomics of inflammatory bowel disease. He obtained a master’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Wright State University, and then worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on genetics and genomics of asthma.
In his spare time, Hari enjoys hiking, long walks across the Charles River, and playing cricket.
Hervé is a very enthusiastic applied mathematician with strong research interests in molecular and cell biology. His current work at insitro is focused on the development of new computational methods to generate and extract valuable insight from imaging experiments.
Hervé earned a Master of Machine Learning, Computer Vision and applied mathematics from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris before pursuing a PhD at the Pasteur Institute, where he spearheaded the development of FISH-Quant, a software to quantify 3D microscopy images of single RNA molecules, and GRAAL, a Bayesian genome assembler using HiC data. As a postdoc in Robert Tjian’s lab at UC Berkeley, he developed computational methods to improve the quantification of high resolution microscopy data for insight into transcription regulation and spatial genomic organization.
During his free time, Hervé enjoys hiking and giving autographs pretending he is a famous NBA player.
Jacob is an associate scientist on the high-throughput chemistry team. He received his BS in molecular synthesis from UC San Diego and has experience in medicinal chemistry.
Prior to Insitro he worked at Crinetics Pharmaceuticals synthesizing small molecule drug candidates for rare endocrine diseases.
In his free time Jacob enjoys going to the beach and hiking with his dog, cooking and eating all sorts of things, and watching any professional sport he can find
James is a Senior Lead Data Engineer, primarily working with distributed systems and big data applications. As part of the Data Engineering team, his goal is to facilitate the development of machine learning pipelines, focusing on scalability, efficiency and repeatability.
James was previously a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, where he devised robot motion strategies for the Honda Asimo and Mars rover prototypes. He holds a M.Sc. in Scientific Computing from Stanford and a B.Sc. in Mathematics From Texas A&M University. Prior to joining Insitro, James worked on creating bioinformatics tools at Roche and Helix, and he co-authored a book on big data architectures.
In his free time, he chases after his dog and three cats, enjoys playing board games, travels internationally, and hacks on open-source software projects.
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.
Jeevaa is a Computer Science masters student from University of Toronto. At insitro, Jeevaa focuses on building machine/deep learning models to improve the effectiveness of our high-resolution cellular microscopy platform.
He completed a BSc. in Applied Physics at the University of Toronto before continuing MSc. in Applied Computing at the same institution. He developed an interest in ML during his bachelors which motivated him to pursue it further. During his masters, he worked on various deep learning projects ranging from biomedical image quality enhancement to accent style transfer.
Jeevaa enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and spending time with friends.
Jenny is a Talent Acquisition Coordinator, and at insitro she will be working closely with the People Operations team. Her work will be primarily focused on scheduling a high volume of candidate interviews, supporting new employee onboarding and collaborating closely with everyone to continue to build the insitro team.
Prior to joining insitro, Jenny was a Talent Acquisition Coordinator contractor at Cytokinetics where she handled scheduling interviews, improving the hiring process, including the new hire orientation and worked closely with hiring managers on successfully onboarding new employees. Before Cytokinetics, Jenny was a Recruiting Coordinator at Principia Biopharma where she focused mainly on candidate interview scheduling and also partnering with hiring managers to ensure a coherent recruiting process for everyone. She also assisted with event planning and acted as a point of contact for many employee HR related inquiries.
In her spare time, Jenny enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, biking, swimming, and finding new and fun things to do with her family.
KeywordsFinance and Operations,
John Bisognano is a software engineer with a background in building platforms for clinical and genomic data analyses. He looks to improve health care accessibility through technological innovation.
Previously, John was an engineer at Myriad Women’s Health working on distributed pipelines for variant classification. He also worked on data health at Cerner and as a researcher at Washington University’s Institute for Informatics, focusing on clinical informatics infrastructure and public health initiatives. John received a BS in computer science and bioinformatics from Washington University in St. Louis.
In his free time, John enjoys running, surfing and improving on his cooking skills with occasional new recipes.
Director of Process Engineering
As the Director 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.
Joe Marrama is a software engineer with background in heathcare data and distributed systems. At Insitro, Joe is focused on ensuring that the large amount of data we generate is effectively processed and stored.
Joe is a native of Oakland. He attended Stanford where he graduated with a BS in Symbolic Systems and a MS in Computer Science. Prior to Insitro, Joe worked at Nuna Health, where he worked with the federal Medicare program to build a system that evaluated healthcare providers on quality of service and cost-effectiveness. He loves to tackle complex engineering problems in the service of helping others.
Outside of work, Joe enjoys surfing, skiing, mountain biking, cooking, and reading.
Joyce Yang is a scientist with extensive experience developing novel technologies at the intersection of CRISPR genome engineering, stem cells, and in situ sequencing. To enable machine-learning based drug discovery, her current work at insitro is focused on building CRISPR perturbation platforms in relevant cellular model systems to produce high-quality data from functional genomic screens and disease modeling.
Joyce earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley majoring in Molecular Cell Biology and minoring in Music. She then pursued her passion for science and earned her Ph.D. from Harvard in Biological & Biomedical Sciences. Her graduate work with Dr. George Church focused on developing a novel in situ RNA sequencing technology as well as CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering strategies to improve efficiency in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Next, she dived into the exciting world of biotech startups at Synthego, contributing to the growth and commercialization of the new Cell Engineering division as one of the foundational scientists.
Joyce loves to sing and experiment on the piano, traveling, backpacking, taking long walks, and trying all things chewy.
Kara Liu is a computer scientist with an interest in applying machine learning methods towards biology and healthcare systems. At insitro, her research focuses on generalizable modeling and uncertainty estimation.
She obtained her BA in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, where she conducted research at Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Laboratory under Professor Pieter Abbeel. Her prior research experience was in robotic manipulation using visual planning, data generalization, and deep generative models.
When she’s not coding, Kara enjoys going on runs, exploring the outdoors, reading, and learning to play the guitar.
As the Office Manager/Administrative Assistant at insitro, Kate brings with her extensive knowledge and experience in Office Management and Executive Assistant roles in the finance and life sciences industries in the Bay Area. She is passionate about supporting and motivating mission-driven team members in a culture based on integrity and optimism.
Prior to joining insitro, Kate was a Sr. Executive Assistant at Immune Design, a small late stage immunotherapy company, acquired by Merck in 2019, where she helped with daily operations and workflow along with vendor and investor relations. Before then, Kate was an Office Manager at Northwestern Mutual, an investment services company, where she held roles of increasing responsibility, while supporting the organization’s tripling in size and creating an amazing culture and environment.
Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in Law, Transportation and Mobility Management from Romania and completed multiple Fred Pryor courses for Management, Supervision & Leadership.
In her free time, Kate enjoys and participates in all kinds of activities that keep her active. She loves to travel with a preference to exotic and tropical destinations. She speaks English, Hungarian, Romanian (born and raised in Transylvania) and is conversational in Spanish and Italian.
Kathryn is a Senior Software Engineer with a background in the microbiome and cloud computing. At insitro Kathryn is working with the data engineering, and data science and machine learning teams to build and scale data analysis pipelines in the cloud.
Before joining insitro, Kathryn worked at Second Genome building metagenomics pipelines and analyzing microbiome data. Kathryn received her Master’s in Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan and worked in Pat Schloss’ lab on projects in microbial ecology, clostridium difficile, and colorectal cancer.
In her free time, Kathryn enjoys playing and watching hockey, traveling, and scuba diving.
Keith James, SVP of Drug Discovery
SVP of Drug Discovery
Keith James, 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.
__Kelly Haston is a stem cell biologist with broad experience in human stem cell-based models of development and disease. She is a Sr. Scientist in the biology and translational genetics group helping guide the team as they build biological model systems that will interface with the genetic, data science and machine learning modules of insitro’s unique approach to discover novel human therapeutics.
Kelly was born in Ottawa and grew up in central British Columbia and Toronto, Canada. She did her undergraduate and masters work at the UC Berkeley studying the effects of pesticides on frog gonad development. She then began working in the stem cell field during her Ph.D. with Dr. Renee Rejio Pera at UC San Francisco and Stanford University. Kelly performed postdoctoral positions briefly with Dr. Lee Rubin at Harvard and then with Dr. Steven Finkbeiner at UCSF’s Gladstone Institutes where she focused on building stem cell based models of neurodegeneration. She transitioned to industry in 2017, taking a position with a small start up, Scaled Biolabs, as Lead Scientist where she used the company’s novel discovery platform to optimize the production of many different cell types from human stem cells.
Kelly uses her spare time to be outside as much as possible, mainly trail running or fastpacking. She also loves reading, traveling to new places and attending live music and performances.
Kirill is an organic chemist with a special interest in design and synthesis of DNA encoded libraries and development of novel chemical transformations of DNA conjugates.
He received his PhD in Mendeleev university in Moscow (Russia) with a focus on stereoselectivity of reactions of indole derivatives. Afterwards, he spent more than 10 years at different projects in medicinal and synthetic chemistry before joining Haystack, the DEL startup, where he was working on chemical aspects of DNA encoded libraries.
In his spare time, Kirill enjoys riding his motorcycle, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Lauren is part of the Automation & Process Engineering team. She helps develop and implement lab processes, oversees the purchasing and inventory management of lab supplies, and manages shipping and receiving.
After obtaining her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from UC Davis, Lauren decided to explore the operations side of science and worked at Calico Life Sciences, an Alphabet company, as a member of the lab operations team.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys doing puzzles, playing volleyball, baking, and spending time with her border collie who doesn’t know what sleep is.
As a Scientist, Lauren’s career extends across cross-functional teams that encompass research biology, engineering, and data science. Her expertise ranges across biological and software technology toolchains including designing experiments, creating novel engineering tools, building induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models at scale and developing large disease-relevant biological datasets using high-throughput automation platforms. Her work focuses on key aspects of iPSC technology including generation, engineering, differentiation, and phenotyping.
Prior to joining insitro, Lauren was a Cellular Biology Research Consultant at Google, in which she developed a high-throughput target-binder assay. Additionally, she was the biological lead focused on developing diagnostic tools assisted by machine learning.
Lauren received her B.S. from the University of Michigan followed by her M.S. from the University of Sydney in the field of human genetics. Lauren received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the lab of Dr. Timothy Blenkinsop in which she focused on stem cell biology and human disease models.
In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking with her dog, Penny and trying out any and every new ramen restaurant.
Lin Gan is a cell biologist with extensive experience in using cell-based high-throughput screens, functional genomics and imaging to understand signal transduction and identify novel therapeutic targets. As a Sr. Scientist in Arrayed Screening, Lin helps to build and operate a high-throughput screening platform and collaborates closely with the machine learning, process engineering, and genetic and disease modeling teams to generate high-quality datasets for model building.
Lin received a B.A. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and decided to pursue basic science research after working on C. elegans aging in Dr. Gary Ruvkun’s lab. She did her graduate work with Dr. Tobias Meyer at Stanford University, where she conducted a microscopy-based, genome-wide siRNA screen that led to the discovery of a family of novel GPCRs that regulate mTOR. Lin gained drug discovery experience developing therapeutics for selective mTORC1 inhibition as a SPARK scholar during her postdoctoral studies at Stanford.
Prior to joining insitro, Lin worked at Rigel Pharmaceuticals focusing on small molecule screens and mechanism of action studies for immunological diseases.
In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with her family, and dancing.
Liyuan is an associate scientist working within insitro’s disease modeling team.
She obtained her master degree in biological engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and worked on cell biology and molecular biology. After graduation, Liyuan worked as a research technologist at Northwestern University, where her work was mostly with ipsc generation and cell isolation, characterization and differentiation. Later she became a biologist at Novo Nordisk and worked on their process development team on human embryonic stem cell derivation and upscaling.
In her free time, Liyuan enjoys traveling, hiking, watching movies and spending time with her dog.
—Lorn Kategaya is a cell biologist with small molecule drug discovery experience. At insitro, Lorn will develop relevant disease assays and utilize genetic/chemical screens to identify key biological players that modulate disease outcomes.
Lorn has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Washington, a post-doc from UCSF and industry experience at Genentech and IDEAYA Biosciences.
Away from the bench, Lorn follows politics and enjoys live music, theatrical performances, and french fries.
Werner Syndrome Helicase is Required for the Survival of Cancer Cells with Microsatellite Instabilityhttps://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(19)30040-9
USP7 small-molecule inhibitors interfere with ubiquitin bindinghttps://www.nature.com/articles/nature24006
Mary Rozenman, CFO / CBO
Mary Rozenman, CFO / CBO
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.
Matthew Albert, SVP of Biology & Translational Genetics
SVP, Biology & Translational Genetics
Matthew Albert, SVP of Biology & Translational Genetics
Matthew Albert is Senior Vice President, Biology & Translational Genetics 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
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.
As Disease Modeling Scientist, Max is focused on using pluripotent stem cells, CRISPR, and a range of differentiation and transcriptomics approaches to model human diseases in in vitro platforms. Max and his team will model devastating human diseases using the relevant cell types, and will produce high-throughput / high-quality imaging and transcriptomic datasets for insitro’s machine learning platform to mine for phenotypes.
Max is an engineer by training, gaining a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. from the Materials Science Program of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. By combining dry lab engineering with wet lab disease modeling, Max has frequently used the newest technologies to gain insights into the mechanisms by which various genetic diseases affect human health. Max spent his time in graduate school developing micropatterned differentiation techniques and computational analysis tools to improve stem-cell-based heart modeling methods. Prior to joining insitro, Max spent 4 years as a postdoc in the Novartis Neuroscience department, where he developed single cell characterization platforms to discover disease mechanisms of tuberous sclerosis, uncovered novel mechanisms of disease progression in certain dementias, and conducted genome-wide screens to elucidate potential Zika virus receptors.
Max’s free time is spent with his border collie, Coda, along with playing piano/guitar, and poorly-but-enthusiastically playing various sports.
Genetic ablation of AXL does not protect human neural progenitor cells and cerebral organoids from Zika virus infectionhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27912091
Micropattern width dependent sarcomere development in human ESC-derived cardiomyocyteshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24582552
p53 inhibits CRISPR-Cas9 engineering in human pluripotent stem cellshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29892062/
Mei is a Research Associate in High-Throughput Biology and her work primarily focuses on differentiate human pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) into desired cell types for in vitro human disease modeling and generate datasets for insitro’s machine learning platform.
Prior to joining insitro, Mei was a CIRM (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine) Scholar at the Gladstone Institute working on iPSC neurodegenerative diseases modeling. Mei obtained her B.Sc. in Biology with an emphasis on cellular/molecular biology and a minor in chemistry from Humboldt State University.
In her spare time, Mei enjoys photography, visit art exhibits, live music and performances, reading, hiking, exploring new places and try different cuisines.
Michael is a computer scientist with a strong interest in the development and application of computational techniques for scientific discovery. His current work at insitro is focused on deriving insights from patient data to help guide disease modeling efforts.
Michael studied computer science at Stanford University, where he had the opportunity to contribute to research across machine learning and medicine.
In his free time, Michael loves to dance, run, learn new things, and joke around with friends.
Mohammad "Muneeb" Sultan
Mohammad "Muneeb" Sultan
Mohammad “Muneeb” Sultan is a computational chemist with experience working at the interface of computational biophysics, free-energy methods, machine learning, and statistical mechanics. His current work at insitro is focused on building up the machine learning platform, and designing novel methods for analyzing the outputs of various high throughput assays.
Muneeb is a native of Pakistan and grew up in the city of Rawalpindi. He got his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Yale, and his PhD in Physical Chemistry at Stanford under Vijay Pande. At Stanford, Muneeb focused on studying oncogenic kinases using the Folding@home distributed computing platform, collecting and analysing some of the largest simulation datasets of their kind. Simultaneously, he also worked on developing new Machine learning algorithms for accelerating free-energy calculations and molecular simulations. Muneeb has co-authored 17 publications appearing in venues such as PRE, PNAS, Nature Scientific Reports, and Nature Chemistry.
During his free time, Muneeb likes to powerlift, do yoga, explore the bay area, create digital art, cook, and listen to music.
Nav has extensive experience working at the intersection of next generation sequencing, microfluidics, and single cell technologies. His focus at insitro involves designing and analyzing high throughput sequencing experiments in order to support indication specific drug discovery pipelines and the functional genomics team.
Nav acquired his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley followed by a PhD in Biological Engineering at MIT. His graduate research focused on developing novel targeted sequencing technologies to make single cell genomic experimental more feasible and to understand patterns of DNA damage. While completing his PhD, Nav also served as a Communication Fellow at the Broad Institute where he mentored scientists through the process of written, verbal, and visual presentations of science.
In his free time, Nav is an avid proponent of indoor and outdoor sports ranging from lounging on a couch to climbing up and skiing down mountains.
Nikhil is a biochemist with experience in membrane protein expression, purification, structural biology. During his PhD from IIT Kanpur in India, Nikhil worked on biochemical structural and functional aspects of small GTPases.
He has experience in working in diverse biomedical fields including Microbial genetics, structural biology and Biochemistry. As a postdoctoral scientist in Michigan State University and Baylor College of Medicine, Nikhil worked on the structural basis of ribosome assembly using Bacillus subtilis as a model system. As a staff-scientist in Baylor College of Medicine, Nikhil worked on structural and biochemical aspects of membrane protein of Norovirus. Before joining insitro, he was working on biochemistry of Human NADPH Oxidase as a staff-scientist in St. Judes children’s research hospital.
In his free time, Nikhil enjoys playing with his kids and outdoor photography.
Owen spent four and a half years as a member of Dr. Jonathan Weissman’s Lab at UCSF, where he supported the development RNAi-based and CRISPR-based mammalian genome-scale functional genomics screening platforms, successfully identifying new targets for grants and publications. He cloned and maintained ultracomplex shRNA/sgRNA screening libraries as well as generated stable cell lines with gene repression or activation. Additionally, he conducted numerous functional genomic screens in cancer cell lines challenged by various toxins, drugs, and chemicals.
After his time at UCSF, he spent two and a half years at Driver, where he developed NGS assays and validated tumor-normal and cfDNA manual assays under CAP and CLIA guidelines. He also had fun acquiring a new set of skills in converting these manual assays into fully automated processes.
Panagiotis "Panos" Stanitsas
Panagiotis "Panos" Stanitsas
Panagiotis “Panos” Stanitsas is a computer scientist with experience in developing and deploying computer vision models in diverse application domains. At insitro, Panos focuses on the research and development of inference schemes for imaging data.
Prior to insitro, Panos worked at 3M as a Senior Data Scientist, where he focused his research and development efforts at the intersection of material science with computer vision for problems and products spanning the transportation safety space. Panos received his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota, advised by Nikos Papanikolopoulos and Vassilios Morellas at the Center of Distributed Robotics. During his PhD, Panos derived amalgamations of deep learning models with uncertainty sampling schemes and metric learning methodologies, with emphasis on the problem of cancerous tissue recognition from hematoxylin and eosin stained tissue slides.
In his free time, Panos enjoys playing basketball, cooking, weightlifting, and feverishly trying to find the best food spots in the Bay Area.
Patrick is a chemical biologist with experience in DNA encoded library synthesis, selection and assay development.
He obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University in the Spiegel lab. His graduate research focused on using chemistry to influence the immune system and led to the development of a fully synthetic antibody mimetic. For his postdoctoral work in the Kodadek lab at Scripps Florida he focused on solid-phase DNA encoded library development, synthesis and selections through fluorescent activated cell sorting. He joined Haystack Sciences in 2018 and has developed and optimized the nDexer selection platform.
Patrick uses most of his spare time to read good science fiction books, watch bad science fiction movies, collect paintings and visit national parks.
Senior Director Corporate Development & Strategy
Perry is the Senior Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at insitro. He supports the executive team on initiatives at the intersection of machine learning and corporate strategy, including business development and the formulation of machine learning problems relevant to drug discovery and development.
Perry completed his Ph.D. in the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics program at Harvard Medical School where his research focused on using statistical models to predict protein structure from sequence variation. Prior to graduate school he spent five years working in finance for Morgan Stanley and BMGI, the investment office of Bill and Melinda Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He majored in physics at Princeton University where his senior thesis focused on modeling viral gene regulatory circuits.
Having grown up in Sun Valley, ID, Perry is excited to be back west and enjoys spending as much time as possible outside, whether on foot, bike, or skis.
Pooja is an Associate Scientist for the Process Engineering team and she is working on developing and scaling various genomics assays and QC protocols.
Prior to joining insitro, Pooja worked on developing a robust, high-throughput NGS library preparation protocol for engineered strain genotyping at a biotech startup. Before then she was a graduate student researcher at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, where she worked on developing a protocol for generating three-dimensional retinal organoids using mouse embryonic stem cells. Pooja has a background in molecular biology and obtained her B.S. and M.S. from Dominican University of California.
In her free time, Pooja enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her dog.
Prateek grew up and spent most of his time in India before coming to the United States for his masters in biomedical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Before his masters he worked as a software developer at an IT firm in India. He has a mix of different backgrounds including electronics, biomedical and computer science. His research interests include stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, stem cell derived cardiomyocytes and study integration of biomedical and computer science.
In his spare time, he enjoys nature and spending time outdoors, loves to ride motorcycles and go on road trips and recently developed an interest towards baking and cooking.
Rahul is a biomedical engineer, with advanced expertise in the design and execution of complex phenotypic cell-based assays, directly supporting the development of cutting-edge screening paradigms for novel target discovery for neurodegenerative disorders. As a scientist in the Department of Biology and Translational Genetics, Rahul supports insitro’s therapeutic strategies in neuroscience-related indications in collaboration with company leaders.
Prior to joining insitro, Rahul was part of a Stealth Biotech startup in the Bay area and led cell-based screening efforts as the lead assay development scientist in the oncology space.
Rahul received his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Southeast Missouri State University. He received his PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Texas at Dallas, under the tutelage of Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, where he developed a DRG sensory neuron-based phenotypic screening assay to discover non-opioid therapeutics for the treatment of chronic pain to support the NIH HEAL initiative, an aggressive, trans agency effort to mitigate the national opioid health crisis.
In his free time, Rahul enjoys going on walks with a friend, playing with his Bichon Frise Nova, and not finishing jigsaw puzzles.
Adaptation of robust Z’factor for assay quality assessment in microelectrode array based screening using adult dorsal root ganglion neurons.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165027020301229
Adult mouse sensory neurons on microelectrode arrays exhibit increased spontaneous and stimulus-evoked activity in the presence of interleukin-6.https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jn.00158.2018
Conserved expression of Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 contribute to the spontaneous and thermally evoked excitability in IL-6 and NGF-sensitized adult dorsal root ganglion neurons in vitro.https://www.mdpi.com/2306-5354/7/2/44
KeywordsBiology and Translational Genetics,
Ralph Ma is a software engineer experienced in developing, maintaining and serving machine learning models. His current work at insitro is focused on improving experimentation and serving platforms to better accommodate the scale and uniqueness of the biological data collected.
After graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford, Ralph worked at Google using machine learning to improve labeling of places with low impressions. Also at Google, he constructed embedding models to assist efforts in automating web actions by better understanding semantics of UI elements.
In his free time, Ralph enjoys rock climbing, fishing, and winning his fantasy football league.
Rob is a Scientist I, Flow Cytometry Specialist whose primary responsibilities is to lead projects focused on flow-based phenotyping and cell sorting within a high-throughput drug screening platform. He defines the needs for cross-functional workflows to establish and execute processes that will enable insitro’s iPSCs platform to operate successfully with regard to cell management and screening. This role is highly collaborative with a talented multidisciplinary team to develop cutting-edge activities in a state-of-the-art environment with the aim to accelerate machine learning based drug discoveries. Additional responsibilities include close partnership with our data and process engineering teams to drive the integration of cytometry-based protocols into semi-automated pipelines.
Prior to joining Insitro Rob was a flow cytometry application scientist with Miltenyi Biotec and prior to that he was at John’s Hopkins University where he earned a M.S. in Biotechnology. He expanded his time at John’s Hopkins University to work as a researcher in an infectious disease laboratory focused on bacterial infections primarily within the skin and bones under the supervision of Lloyd Miller M.D., Ph.D.
In his free time Rob enjoys outdoor activities that includes biking, surfing, snowboarding, camping and cooking for friends and family.
Robin is passionate about working at the interface of biological and computational problems. She studied Bioinformatics as an undergraduate at UC San Diego, and recently completed her doctorate in Biophysics from Stanford, where she was a NSF and NVIDIA Fellow. Her PhD work focused on molecular dynamics simulation of protein-ligand binding, integrating computational methods development with interesting discoveries about specific proteins and drugs. During the course of her research, Robin worked on parallel algorithms, online analysis of large datasets, visualization methods, and contributed to the development of multiple related software packages, including AMBER and VMD.
In her free time, Robin likes to race bicycles, contribute to open source software, and scuba dive.
Roey Baror is a neuroscientist and glial biologist with expertise in developing primary adult mammalian cell cultures and transcriptomics analysis. As a Scientist in the Disease Modeling group at insitro, Roey focuses on building robust in vitro platforms to reliably model human diseases.
Roey earned his B.Sc. in Biology and Psychology (neuroscience pathway) at the University of Tel Aviv (Israel). He then worked at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (Boston, MA) where he used TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) as an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Roey received his PhD in Clinical Neurosciences from the University of Cambridge (UK). His research focused on methods to enhance regeneration of myelin in the central nervous system, with emphasis on the effects of aging. His work uncovered new mechanisms by which aging processes alter the activity of stem cells and immune cells in the brain, allowing the development of new therapeutic interventions. Following his PhD, he continued to a postdoc at UCSF (San Francisco, CA), where he studied metabolic pathways in adult CNS stem cells in search for new ways to promote the activation of these cells in pathological settings and promote regeneration of myelin.
In his free time, Roey enjoys rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, cooking and discovering new craft beers and breweries.
Metformin Restores CNS Remyelination Capacity by Rejuvenating Aged Stem Cellshttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1934590919303509
Transforming growth factor‐beta renders ageing microglia inhibitory to oligodendrocyte generation by CNS progenitorshttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/glia.23612
As a Scientist specializing in neuroscience, Sam is working to couple clinical and genetic data to functional human stem cell models. At the cross-section of high throughput biology and high-fidelity neurological modeling, his focus is on developing scalable assays of cellular disease states involved in neurological indications for therapy development that enable machine learning assisted target discovery.
Prior to insitro, Sam was a Scientist at the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he led an NIH-funded team to develop next-generation tissue chip models of sporadic ALS and PD. He utilized induced pluripotent stem cells to incorporate blood vessel cells, neurons and microglia into perfuseable micro-engineered 3D environments to model human brain function, blood brain barrier physiology and uncover novel biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases. These efforts led to a predictive test of early onset sporadic PD in vitro (Nature Medicine) and created new platforms to study opioid addiction and sporadic ALS pathophysiology. Before Cedars, Sam was a CIRM fellow at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute where he developed a platform to screen neurogenic compounds using human dopamine neurons in vitro.
Outside of the lab, Sam enjoys life at the ocean shore, travel to remote destinations, mountain trips, aerospace, and hiking with his son.
iPSC modeling of young-onset Parkinson’s disease reveals a molecular signature of disease and novel therapeutic candidates
AH Laperle, S Sances, N Yucer, VJ Dardov, VJ Garcia, R Ho, AN Fulton, …
Nature Medicine 26 (2), 289-299
Modeling ALS with motor neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells
S Sances, LI Bruijn, S Chandran, K Eggan, R Ho, JR Klim, MR Livesey, …
Nature Neuroscience 19 (4), 542-553
Santiago is passionate about developing computational methods to enable science. He holds a Doctorate degree in Computational Mathematical Engineering from Stanford University, where he worked with Michael Saunders and Yinyu Ye. His PhD work focused on extending interior-point methods to efficiently solve new convex problems, and was awarded the Gene Golub dissertation award for his innovations.
Before joining Insitro Santiago was a senior machine learning researcher at Apple Inc. Where, amongst other things, worked on methods to accelerate DNN training.
In his free time Santiago enjoys spending time with his family, running, trying out different cuisines and flying around in a small plane.
Shahin is passionate about the challenges and promises of interdisciplinary research. He is a firm believer in collaborative research and teamwork, and he advocates for the open-science/open-source movement. His primary interest is to build robust, reproducible, and interpretable models inspired by, grounded in, and driven by core biological knowledge. He develops computational models and methods, mathematical formulations, and rigorous statistical techniques for problems at the intersection of computational, biological, and clinical sciences, including single-cell analysis.
Shahin is an LGBTQIA right activist and works hard to educate himself and others on gender expression, identity, and equality. Additionally, he seeks to challenge the current, unfair, view(s) on mental health issues and improve support and understanding for affected individuals.
Sheetal’s work at insitro blends project and product management to support cross-functional projects spanning internal technology development and therapeutic discovery.
Before joining insitro, Sheetal helped other early stage companies deliver on their scientific projects and scale operations for industrial biotech and health tech applications. Sheetal did her postdoctoral work at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and received her PhD from Boston University in Biomedical Engineering where she studied how bacteria adapt to stress. Upon leaving academia, Sheetal was motivated to apply her experimental and computational learnings to analyze industrially relevant dynamic and high-throughput data sets to garner novel biological insights.
In her spare time, Sheetal is actively interested in scientific engagements for non-scientific audiences and also enjoys consuming as much pizza as possible.
Shengjiang is a biochemist with interests in stem cell biology, transcription regulation, epigenetics, and CRISPR technologies. At insitro, he works on the functional genomics and phenotyping team to help build the CRISPR-based genomic discovery platform, focusing on developing novel CRISPR screening technologies and assays.
As a chemist by training, Shengjiang obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Ohio State University. While working in Dr. Ming-Daw Tsai’s lab, his graduate studies focused on de novo chromatin modifying enzyme discovery and enzyme targeting on the genome. During that process, he appreciated the power of chemistry, yeast genetics, and proteomics. Afterwards Shengjiang conducted his postdoc with Dr. Danny Reinberg at Howard Hughes Medical Institute / New York University School of Medicine on chromatin biology, where he combined proteomics, genomics, as well as CRISPR knock-in, knock-out, and genetic screen techniques in cells and mice to tackle exciting stem cell and germ cell biology questions. In 2017, he joined a regenerative medicine startup Surrozen, where he worked on adult stem cells differentiation and function assays related to Wnt signaling, as well as bi-specific antibody engineering.
In his spare time, Shengjiang enjoys hiking with his family, watching football with his son and following NFL and NCAA football news.
Srinivasan is an MSc in Applied Computing candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. His research interests are machine learning and image processing for computer vision and healthcare applications. His work at insitro involves developing learning models for the efficient analysis of our high-throughput microscopy platform.
During his Master’s program at the University of Toronto, he has worked on various machine learning projects, such as early prediction of sepsis onset and adversarial imitation learning by planning. Prior to this, he was a Lead Engineer in the Medical Imaging team at Samsung Research, India working on ultrasound imaging applications. Srinivasan holds a dual degree (Bachelors + Masters) in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
In his free time, Srinivasan enjoys singing, hiking and reading books.
As Executive Assistant to the CEO, Steve performs an extensive array of administrative tasks and sets a foundation for the smooth business operations of the company, making the entire team more effective and successful.
Steve spent his first nine years in Bay Area biotech at Amyris, moving from receptionist to executive support roles for the CEO and the President of R&D. He then moved to Calico to support Daphne Koller in her role as Chief Computing Officer. Steve has an M.A. in French from the University of Louisville and a B.A. in Foreign Languages/International Studies from Bellarmine University.
Steve used to have many hobbies but now has three young daughters.
Sumit is an applied machine learning researcher with academic training in computational biology. At Insitro, Sumit works in the statistical genetics team as a Senior Machine Learning Engineer.
Sumit’s expertise spans a broad range of topics in machine learning for healthcare, including computational method development for biological assays, multi-modal data integration, and development of methods for privacy preserving generative modeling.
Prior to Insitro, Sumit was a Senior Applied Scientist in the AI for Good Research Lab at Microsoft. Sumit did his PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Washington, focusing on algorithm development for single cell RNA-Seq data.
Outside of work, Sumit enjoys hiking, improv, and spending time with family.
Thomas "Tom" Soare
Thomas "Tom" Soare
Tom is a statistical geneticist and data scientist excited about integrating genomic and deep
phenotypic data to impact human health.
Prior to joining insitro, Tom was a statistical geneticist and computational biologist at Goldfinch
Bio, conducting genetic association studies in large-scale sequencing cohorts to identify
common and rare variants that associate with a rare kidney disease, focal segmental
glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). To enable target identification and validation at Goldfinch, he also
analyzed scRNAseq data of human organoids and tissues, and analyzed image data for cellular
assays. Before that, he examined the effect of early-life adversity on psychopathology and DNA
methylation, as well as conducted genetic association studies of depression and cortical
thickness at the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Tom
holds a PhD in Psychology with a focus on Population Genetics from the University of
Washington where he studied the effect of satellite image-derived landscape features on
dispersal of an ant species.
In his spare time, Tom enjoys hiking, camping, sailing, and traveling with his family.
Tima is a biomedical engineer with wide-ranging expertise in inflammation, vascular dysfunction, fibrosis, and drug development. As a Scientist on the fibrosis team, she develops cellular and molecular assays to identify and validate disease phenotypes and therapeutic targets for chronic fibrotic diseases.
Tima graduated with her B.S. in Physiological Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles before working in a plastic surgery research lab at the UC Davis Medical Center, where she studied the oncogenic risk of stem cell-enriched fat grafting during breast augmentation in post-mastectomy patients. She received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis, where she developed targeted macromolecules to protect the vasculature from acute inflammatory damage.
Outside of the lab, Tima enjoys hiking, ski touring and downhill skiing, and trying out different coffee shops.
KeywordsBiology and Translational Genetics,
VP of Product
As VP of Product, Tom is responsible for product strategy, planning, and user experience for our data systems and software tools.
Previously, Tom was a technology fellow at Denali Therapeutics, where he helped expand the use of machine learning techniques to support their discovery work, and helped further develop their digital strategy for engaging with patients.
Tom has built technology products for more than 15 years. As VP of Search at Facebook, he grew the service to more than 2 billion searches per day across the community’s more than 3 trillion posts. He also led teams responsible for profile, entity graph, and language technology. At Google, he helped start the developer products team and was part of the founding team for Google App Engine, which laid the foundation for Google’s Cloud Platform. He later led teams working on Google search, commerce, and travel products. As Head of Learning Platform at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, he oversaw the engineering, product, and design teams for their education technology efforts.
In addition to his work at insitro, Tom serves on the board of directors for the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation and on the scientific advisory board for Denali Therapeutics. He holds an MEng and BS in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
In his free time, Tom enjoys puzzle/escape rooms, anything baseball or softball, and going on adventures with his family.
Tommaso Dreossi is a computer scientist with a strong passion for applied machine learning and theoretical computer science.
Prior to joining insitro, Tommaso was an Applied Scientist at Amazon Search building machine learning models for Amazon’s search engine and a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley working on reliable computer vision systems for autonomous vehicles.
He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science in joint supervision from the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France and the University of Udine, Italy with a thesis on the analysis of dynamical systems.
In his free time, Tommaso enjoys rock climbing, sailing, riding bicycles and motorcycles.
Victor Galievsky is a spectroscopist with experience in studying kinetic reactions, including biomolecular affinity interactions. At insitro, Victor designs kinetic electrophoresis techniques for the ‘smart’ separation of small molecules and proteins.
Before insitro, Victor worked with Prof. Sergey Krylov (York University, Toronto) and Prof. Janusz Pawliszyn (University of Waterloo, Waterloo) in Canada. His research focused on developing capillary electrophoresis and microfluidic devices to obtain exceptional analyte detectability. Victor coupled a solid-phase microextraction (SPME) sampling with optical detection and created a new in vivo SPME point-of-care analysis approach.
Victor obtained his Ph.D. in laser physics and spectroscopy from the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (Minsk, Belarus). He also worked as a visiting scientist at the Institute of Physical Chemistry (Warsaw, Poland) and the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen, Germany). Victor’s initial work focused on developing time-resolved spectrometers and their implementation to investigate the specific interactions between porphyrins and nucleic acids, the energy and charge transfer reactions in donor/acceptor molecules, and the photosensitized singlet oxygen generation.
In his free time, Victor enjoys hiking, traveling and photography.
Xueya is a computational biologist with particular interests in making sense out of human genetic variations and linking them to diseases. At insitro, Xueya applies his expertise in human genetics to guide the in vitro disease model development and drug targets discovery.
Prior to joining insitro, he was a postdoc in Columbia University, developing computational approaches and bioinformatics workflows to analyze large cohorts of developmental disorders. Before that, he worked on applying quantitative approaches to study complex traits in the University of Hong Kong. Xueya received a BS in engineering and PhD in bioinformatics from Tsinghua University, China.
During his free time, Xueya enjoys outdoor activities with his family and friends.
Yuchin is a cell biologist with small molecule and biologic drug development experience. At insitro, she will contribute to the building of 2D and 3D cell models of disease and causal processes.
She received her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley and her industry experience focused on assay development, target validation, and mechanism of action studies.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, gardening, eating, and doing arts and crafts.
Zachary is a biostatistician whose research interests include statistical genetics, ML-phenotyping, and clinical trials. At Insitro, he works with the Data Science and Machine Learning Team.
He completed his Ph.D. in Biostatistics with Professor Xihong Lin at Harvard. His dissertation developed “Transformation and Multivariate Methods for Improving Power in Genome-Wide Association Studies.” He has conducted research with Professor Hilary Finucane at the Broad Institute on cross-population fine-mapping, with Professor Lee-Jen Wei at Harvard on clinical trials, and with Professor Steven Kleeberger at the NIEHS on respiratory genetics. Prior to joining Insitro, he spent 2 years as a Data Scientist at Google, where he worked on causal inference and genomic discovery for ML-derived phenotypes.
In his free time, Zachary enjoys running, biking, swimming, and playing volleyball.
Zack is an energetic imaging system builder, with expertise spanning mechanical engineering, optical system design, and inverse problems for computational imaging. His current work at Insitro focuses on creating programmable hardware which allows dynamic high-content imaging of the cellular microenvironment, and leveraging these to maximize performance of ML pipelines.
Zack earned his BS with Honors in Applied Science (Biomedical Engineering) at UNC Chapel Hill before pursuing a PhD in Applied Science with Laura Waller at UC Berkeley. Working closely with Lei Tian and other collaborators, Zack’s imaging research has spanned smartphone microscopy (Computational CellScope), high-throughput fluorescence imaging using motion deblurring, super-resolution microscopy (Fourier Ptychography), and quantitative phase microscopy in 2D and 3D (Differential Phase Contrast). He prides himself on creating harmonious computational models and physical hardware, which drives rapid development and deployment of novel imaging systems. Prior to joining Insitro, Zack worked as an optical engineer in Apple’s Exploratory Design group where he contributed to several exploratory projects, and co-founded SCI Microscopy as a PhD Student.
In his free time, Zack enjoys surfing, traveling, and woodworking.