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.
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.
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.
Amela is an Associate Scientist in the Disease Modeling team and she is working on developing iPSC-derived models for various liver diseases to generate data sets for insitro’s machine learning platform.
Prior to joining insitro, Amela worked on establishing iPSC-derived models for neurodegenerative diseases and testing small-molecule modulators of the autophagy-lysosomal pathways for therapeutic potential. Amela obtained her A.S. in Biotechnology from San Francisco City College, and her B.S in Cell and Molecular Biology from California State University East Bay.
In her spare time, Amela likes long distance running and exploring hiking trails in the Bay Area. When at home she enjoys crafting projects, playing board games, and spending time with friends and family.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President, Biomarker Sciences
Ellen Berg is Vice President of Biomarker Sciences at insitro. She and her team are developing tools and assays to support target validation and the progression of drug discovery programs.
Ellen is a scientific leader in translational human biology for drug discovery, consumer product and chemical safety applications. She has a background in biopharmaceutical drug discovery and experience in the development and commercialization of new technologies to support translational research and product development. She has collaborated with and consulted for research groups in the pharmaceutical industry, consumer products, academia and government working to understand mechanisms of drug efficacy and chemical safety.
Before joining insitro, Ellen was Chief Scientific Officer of Translational Biology for Eurofins Discovery, developing new scientific directions for the company’s in vitro pharmacology and phenotypic profiling data and analysis services. During her career, she worked in the biopharmaceutical industry and co-founded BioSeek, where she led the development of the BioMAP® human primary cell-based assay platform.
Ellen holds a PhD from Northwestern University and completed postdoctoral work at Stanford University in the Department of Pathology (Butcher lab). Her research interests include drug and toxicity mechanisms of action, phenotypic drug discovery, and predictive methods for product safety and efficacy testing.
Outside the company, Ellen is involved with organizations and industry consortia that promote the use of human-based alternatives to animals in drug discovery and product development.
In her free time, Ellen enjoys activities with her family and friends, spending time her dog, and indulging her love of art and design through data viz.
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.
Google scholarView articles
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.
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.
Martha Rook, Chief Technical Operations Officer
Chief Technical Operations Officer
Martha Rook, Chief Technical Operations Officer
Martha has more than 20 years of academic and industry experience in molecular biology, diagnostics development, biologics process development and cell and gene therapy manufacturing.
Prior to joining insitro, Martha was Chief Technical Operations Officer at Sigilon Therapeutics where she was responsible for the Analytics, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Quality organizations. Martha spent 13 years at MilliporeSigma where she held a variety of roles, ultimately serving as VP and Head of the Gene Editing & Novel Modalities Business where she led a team developing and providing tools and services for cell and gene therapies from discovery to manufacturing. Martha received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from MIT and holds a B.S. in chemistry from Texas A&M University. She pursued post-doctoral studies in neuroscience as a Lefler Fellow at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Neurologic Diseases.
In her spare time Martha enjoys kayaking, hiking and coaching her two son’s soccer teams.
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.
Tanaya is a biomedical engineer with wide-ranging expertise in fibrosis and wound healing across multiple tissue systems. As a part of the complex cellular systems team at insitro, she will focus on target validation as well as platform development in disease modeling.
Prior to insitro, Tanaya was a Scientist at Ambys Medicines, where she was heavily involved in conceptualizing and developing a biomaterials-based encapsulated cell therapy for the liver. Tanaya received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pune, after which she pursued her PhD at Purdue University in the department of biomedical engineering. Her thesis focused on developing extracellular matrix based therapies for fibrotic diseases as well as the development of 3D biomimetic in-vitro models for research purposes. Towards the end of her PhD, she interned at Symic Bio as a Biologist, where she established mechanism-of-action studies for their pipeline molecules in liver fibrosis and cardiovascular indications. She then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis, where she worked on developing targeted glycan-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases.
In her free time, Tanaya enjoys hiking, photography, reading, traveling, exploring new restaurants, and cooking.