Hesaam is the Founder and CEO of GenapSys Inc. He is an inventor of electronic DNA sequencing, a technology he developed during his PhD work at Stanford. Hesaam has dedicated the past decade of his life to the development of this novel DNA sequencing technology, which has at its core the convergence of multiple fields of science, engineering, chemistry, biology, and computing.
Hesaam started to work on developing this electronic DNA sequencing at the Stanford Genome Technology Center for a period of nearly six years before securing licenses to the IP and incorporating GenapSys in January of 2010. He has grown GenapSys from just a handful of employees working out of Menlo Labs incubator space to a dynamic team of employees across eight functional teams currently headquartered in Redwood City. In 2012, Hesaam partnered GenapSys with StartX, an accelerator for the development of Stanford’s top entrepreneurs. He has raised approximately $50M for GenapSys in Seed, Series A, and Series B rounds of financing.
Hesaam holds a PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering, and MSc Management degree, all from Stanford University. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering with Honors from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.
When he is not at GenapSys HQ (which is rare!) you can find Hesaam spending time outdoors, hiking or spending time with family and friends. He is also a great lover of poetry, his favorites of which are poems by the Persian poet Saa’di.
Dr. Frank Witney is the Executive Board Member at GenapSys. He most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Affymetrix, Inc. (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), which specializes in microarray technology and cellular analysis.
Previously, Dr. Witney was President and Chief Executive Officer of Dionex Corp., a market leading ion and high performance liquid chromatography company. Prior to that, Dr. Witney first joined Affymetrix when it acquired Panomics Inc., a quantitative biology company, which he led as President and Chief Executive Officer. He previously held executive roles at Bio-Rad, Packard Bioscience and PerkinElmer.
Dr. Witney was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health from 1980 to 1983 and holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Indiana University. Dr. Witney is also currently Chairman of the Board for Gyros Protein Technologies AB and holds Board positions for PerkinElmer, Cerus Corporation, Exagen Diagnostics and RareCyte.
Dr. Sankar is VP of Product Development at GenapSys. He is a technical and strategic leader with broad functional experience in start-up and established organizations. He has over two decades of engineering, R&D, and product development expertise in life sciences, semiconductor, energy, and high technology instrumentation markets. As Senior Director of Engineering at Illumina, Dr. Sankar led instrument development and consumable engineering activities related to next generation DNA sequencers including the Genome Analyzer, HiSeq, HiScanSQ, MiSeq, Cluster Station, and cBot. Dr. Sankar’s work at Illumina enabled the company to dominate the high throughput DNA sequencing market and revolutionize genomics research and clinical diagnostics. Prior to joining GenapSys, Dr. Sankar was the VP of Engineering and Development at LumaSense where he drove the technical strategy, product roadmap, and engineering execution of IR-based temperature and gas sensors. As VP of Engineering at Picarro, Dr. Sankar had responsibility for the development of ultra-sensitive spectroscopic instruments for trace gas and isotopic analysis. Dr. Sankar has also held senior operations and engineering positions at Artium Technologies, KLA-Tencor, Schlumberger, and TSI.
Dr. Sankar holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
Hamid is VP Engineering at GenapSys, joining back in 2012. Hamid has had a successful career developing a wide range of products, from RFICs to adaptive equalizers for optical communication and Mixed-Signal Memory interface products. Prior to joining GenapSys, Hamid was Senior Director of Engineering at Inphi, who acquired his team and product from Scintera Networks. Hamid also cofounded and served as VP of Engineering of Tavanza which was later acquired by Celeritek in 2002 and subsequently by Anadigics in 2003.
Hamid holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.
Hamid is an avid skier and tries to get to the mountains with his family whenever the snow is calling! When he is not skiing or working with his team, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
Rob leads the Marketing Team at GenapSys, leveraging more than a decade of experience commercializing NGS technologies. At Illumina, Rob led the marketing effort for the MiSeq System, from concept phase through launch. The MiSeq System is the most widely adopted NGS platform to date. Earlier responsibilities at Illumina, saw the launch of several versions of instrumentation and numerous product improvements to the Genome Analyzer product line, which enabled Illumina to firmly establish SBS technology in the NGS market. At Life Technologies, Rob led a team focused on applications marketing to support the Ion Torrent sequencing portfolio. At Applied Biosystems, Rob managed various products and applications for Sanger sequencers and was part of the initial marketing team that launched the SOLiD System. Prior to GenapSys, Rob led the marketing efforts of novel NGS sample preparation instruments at Berkeley Lights and 10x Genomics.
Rob holds an MBA from Arizona State University and a BS in Chemistry from UC Davis.
Xavier is the Director of Sequencing at GenapSys. Xavier comes with fourteen years of product development experience at 454LifeSciences, where he started as a pioneering member of the team that led to successful launch of the ground breaking 1st next generation sequencing technology – the GS20 Sequencer. When 454 was acquired by Roche, Xavier went on to become Director of Sequencing, leading the development efforts to successfully launch numerous 454-based NGS instruments such as GS FLX, GS FLX+, and GS Junior sequencing systems.
Xavier holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and an MS in Biochemistry from University of Mumbai.
Xavier enjoys reading, cooking, and walking the dog.
Aldrich is the Director of Chemistry at GenapSys. He joined GenapSys with over thirty years of experience in industrial R&D. Prior to joining GenapSys, Aldrich was a Senior Fellow at New Venture Strategies (Menlo Park, CA), focusing on surface chemistry to develop microarrays on plastic substrates for molecular diagnostic applications. Prior to that, Aldrich was a Fellow at Applied Biosystems/Life Technologies (Thermo Fisher) focusing on polymer chemistry and surface modifications in general to support DNA sequencing products. He was the inventor/co-inventor of multiple commercialized products, including thermally crosslinked fluoropolymer dielectrics FLARE™, EZBead™ emulsion PCR, BigDye XTerminator® for the purification of PCR products, and POP-7™ polymer for DNA sequencing by capillary electrophoresis. Before joining Applied Biosystems, Aldrich was a Principal Scientist at Raychem Corp (Menlo Park, CA).
Aldrich holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. He was the first one to succeed in using microelectrodes and electrochemically active polymers to mimic neural synapses. Aldrich is a holder of 52 issued US and European patents, and an inventor/co-inventor of 75 published US patent applications. His research interests include electrochemical sensors, adhesives, emulsion encapsulation, surface modification of polymer substrates, microfluidics, and synthesis of specialty polymers to support DNA sequencing and molecular diagnostics.
Aldrich and his family enjoy cruising. He spends his leisure time gardening and reading.
Jeff is the VP of Operations at GenapSys. He has over 25 years of hands-on operations and supply chain management experience with small start-up to large-scale organizations in life science, medical device, and wireless industries. He was most recently Director of Operations at Myoscience from 2012 until joining our team. At Myoscience, Jeff led the manufacturing launch of a medical device from prototype phase through commercial release, from zero to thousands of units per month. Among other positions, Jeff served as Senior Manager, Supply Chain at Illumina (formerly Solexa), Director of Operations at Cutera, and various Materials Management positions at Beckman.
In his spare time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, outdoor activities and martial arts.
Howie leads Strategic Initiatives at GenapSys, having distinguished himself with more than thirty years of experience in commercializing life sciences technologies. He has been responsible for building and directing marketing, engineering, and sales teams that have created more than ten key product categories in the research marketplace. He has held senior level positions for Amnis Corporation, Molecular Devices Corporation, Molecular Dynamics, Inc., and Applied Biosystems, Inc. Howie was founder, president, and CEO of the eBioinformatics unit of Entigen Corporation, SVP at Incyte Genomics, and SVP at Synteni Corporation, which was acquired by Incyte. Most recently, Howie was Executive Vice President of IntegenX where he was responsible for the re-positioning of the company’s flagship products as well as building a worldwide distribution organization.
Howie holds an MBA in Organizational Development from Temple University, a MS in Biochemistry from University of Dayton, and a BS in Biology from Bucknell University.
Howie loves the outdoors and camps from Arizona to Washington. He enjoys cooking breakfast for his six grandchildren, “full tackle” Scrabble, and wine tasting in Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, and Paso Robles Valleys.
Ashok is the Director of Product & Test Engineering at GenapSys. Prior to joining the GenapSys team, Ashok was at Fairchild Semiconductor productizing mobile power products. He brings a depth of experience in bringing SOC’s, Crossbar switches, Transceivers, Microprocessors, and ASIC products right from NPI through production release. Ashok bring thirty years of industry experience having worked at several companies including IDT Inc., MindSpeed Technologies, Conexant Systems, Sun Microsystems, and Cirrus Logic in similar roles. He has had extensive background in business negotiation and vendor and supplier management, working with offshore fab, assembly, and test facilities in bringing products into volume production.
Ashok holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University and a BS from University of Madras, India. When he has some free time, he likes to travel and listen to classical music.
Kosar is the Director of Nanofabrication at GenapSys. She has been part of GenapSys’ founding team after completing her graduate work at Stanford University. Kosar has focused her academic career on developing novel nano-biosensors and ultra-sensitive DNA detection devices. During her time at Stanford, she worked on collaborative efforts between Stanford and Berkeley on finding the analytical model of shot noise in lithography. Kosar is the inventor or co-inventor of more than ten patents and pending patents related to biosensors, DNA detection, DNA sequencing, and protein detection technologies.
Kosar holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering as well as an MS from Stanford University and earned her BS in Physics with Honors from Sharif University of Technology. She won the Bronze Meal in the National Physics Olympiad in Iran, and was ranked 12th in the competitive Stanford PhD Qualification Exam in 2006 among more than 180 PhD applicants.
When Kosar isn’t in the office or the fabrication house, she enjoys cooking and designing clothing.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
Ronald W. Davis is a Professor of Biochemistry and Genetics and Director of the Stanford Genome Technology Center. He is a world leader in the development of biotechnology, especially the development and application of recombinant DNA and genomic methodologies to biological systems. Early in his career, Davis developed the quantitative analysis of DNA by electron microscopy as well as the R-loop technique for mapping coding RNAs by electron microscopy. Davis was instrumental in developing phage lambda-based cloning vectors and showed how they could be used for large capacity cloning with both bacterial and eukaryotic DNA. He is a pioneer in the area of genomics and high throughput biochemical techniques, pioneering many of the early techniques developed using recombinant DNA and genetic linkage analysis. In addition to his work in academia, Professor Davis has been involved in the spin-off of multiple start-up companies in the area of genomics from his laboratory at Stanford. Davis is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genome Research Review Committee and as chairman of the World Health Organization Strategic Research Steering Committee.
George M. Church is a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Computational Genetics. With degrees from Duke University in Chemistry and Zoology, he co-authored research on 3D-software & RNA structure with Sung-Hou Kim. His PhD from Harvard in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with Wally Gilbert included the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984. He then initiated the Human Genome Project as a Research Scientist at newly formed Biogen Inc. and a Monsanto Life Sciences Research Fellow at UCSF. He invented the broadly applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. Technology transfer of automated sequencing & software to Genome Therapeutics Corp. resulted in the first commercial genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori, 1994). In 2005 he initiated the Personal Genome Project. Some of the current research interests of his group include synthesizing bacterial genomes with new genetic codes and new protein types, thereby immune to all existing viruses. He has served in advisory roles for 12 journals, 5 granting agencies, and 22 biotech companies. Current research focuses on integrating biosystems-modeling with personal genomics & synthetic biology.
Michael Snyder is the Stanford Ascherman Professor and Chair of Genetics and the Director of the Center of Genomics and Personalized Medicine. Dr. Snyder received his PhD training at the California Institute of Technology and carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He is a leader in the field of functional genomics and proteomics. His laboratory study was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism and currently carries out a variety of projects in the areas of genomics and proteomics both in yeast and humans. These include the large-scale analysis of proteins using protein microarrays and the global mapping of the binding sites of chromosomal proteins. His laboratory built the first proteome chip for any organism and the first high resolution tiling array for the entire human genome. Dr. Snyder has published over 200 manuscripts and is editor of a number of journals including Functional and Integrative Genomics, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, Proteimics, Drug Discovery Today, PloS Genetics, and Genes and Development. He sits on many international advisory boards and was a co-founder of Protometrix, Inc., a protein microarray company that was purchased by Invitrogen in 2004, and a new company, Affomix, Inc.
Juan G. Santiago is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He specializes in microscale transport phenomena and electrokinetics. He received his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UIUC. He was a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at the Aerospace Corporation (’95 – ’97), won a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (’97), and worked as a Research Scientist at UIUC’s Beckman Institute (’97 – ’98). His research includes the development of microsystems for on-chip electrophoresis, drug delivery, sample concentration methods, and miniature fuel cells. Applications of this work include genetic analysis, drug discovery, chemical weapon detection, and power generation. He has received a Frederick Emmons Terman Faculty Fellowship (’98-’01); won the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors Competition (’01); was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Academia Award by the GEM Foundation (’06); and was awarded a National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (’03-’08). He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, an Associated Editor of the journal Lab on a Chip, co-founder of Cooligy, Inc., co-inventor of micron-resolution particle image velocimetry (Micro-PIV), and director of the Stanford Microfluidics Laboratory. He has also authored and co-authored 80 archival publications, authored and co-authored 170 conference papers, and been awarded 25 patents.
Luke P. Lee is a 2010 Ho-Am Laureate. He is an Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley, the Director of the Biomedical Institute of Global Healthcare Research & Technology (BIGHEART), and a Co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center. He was Chair Professor in Systems Nanobiology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zurich). He received his B.A. in Biophysics and PhD in Applied Science & Technology: Applied Physics (major) / Bioengineering (minor) from UC Berkeley. He has more than ten years of industrial experience in integrated optoelectronics, Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs), and biomagnetic assays. His current research interests are bionanoscience, nanomedicine for global healthcare and personalized medicine, and Bioinspired Photonics-Optofluidics-Electronics Technology and Science (BioPOETS) for green building with living skin. Prof. Lee has authored and co-authored over 250 papers on bionanophotonics, microfluidics, single cell biology, quantitative biomedicine, molecular diagnostics, optofluidics, BioMEMS, biosensors, SQUIDs, and SERS.
Dr. Topol, a world-renowned geneticist, cardiologist, and researcher, is the Director of Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California. He also serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health, a Professor of Translational Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute, and was recently named The Gary and Mary West Chair of Innovative Medicine. Prior to joining Scripps, Dr. Topol spent much of his career at the Cleveland Clinic, where he served as chairman of cardiovascular medicine. He believes that, “we are about to enter a new era of medicine – in which every aspect will eventually be individualized, including prevention and therapy. Genetic associations have had a major impact on the treatment of cancer. Now we’re looking at genetics as a way to better treat heart disease and other medical conditions.” Dr. Topol was named the most influential physician executive in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine in 2012.
Ali Mani is an Assistant Professor at the Flow Physics and Computation division of the Mechanical Engineering Department of Stanford University. His current research is in the area of fluid mechanics. His thesis work involved investigation of optical effects by compressible turbulence. Through his PhD, he investigated fluidic transport regimes in hybrid microchannel/nanochannel networks. His publications span across different disciplines in fluid mechanics including aero-optics, microfluidics, and aero-acoustics. He received his MS and PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University (2004, 2009 respectively) and his BS from Sharif University of Technology in Iran (2002).
David Tse received a BASc. degree in Systems Design Engineering from University of Waterloo in 1989 and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and 1994, respectively. From 1994 to 1995, he was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at A.T. & T. Bell Laboratories. From 1995 to 2014, he was on the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a professor at Stanford University. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory from 2001 to 2003, the Technical Program co-chair in 2004, and the General co-chair of the International Symposium on Information Theory in 2015. His research interests are in information theory and its applications in various fields, including wireless communication, energy, and computational biology.