Leadership

Chief Executive Officer
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Nitin Sood

Chief Executive Officer

With extensive experience in technology development and commercilaization of market leading life-science products, Nitin is leading NuGEN’s next phase of growth and development.  Prior to NuGEN, Nitin served as Vice President and General Manager for PerkinElmer’s broadly diverse life science instruments business, where he successfully commercialized products for imaging, detection, tissue pathology, automation and NGS sample prep. Nitin also held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Boreal Genomics, transforming the startup into a viable liquid biopsy company. Earlier in his career, Nitin was General Manager of the Automation and Electrophoresis business units at Agilent Technologies and also held positions at Applied Biosystems. Nitin holds MS degrees in both computer science and molecular biology and enjoys playing soccer, mountain biking and exploring national parks around the world.

Chief Financial Officer
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Naresh Nemali

Chief Financial Officer

 

With years of diverse business experience as a senior finance executive, Naresh oversees all financial aspects of the company and provides guidance to senior leadership.  Naresh’s background spans the software, mobile, SaaS, and networking industries and includes hands-on management of finance, legal, human resources, analytics, sales operations and information technology.  Prior to NuGEN, Naresh held key roles at Console, Vuclip and Kanexa. Naresh is a chartered accountant who earned his MS in accounting information systems at Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business. He enjoys traveling the world and is also a baseball and tennis enthusiast.

Chief Scientific Officer
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Doug Amorese, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

 

Doug serves as Chief Scientific Officer for NuGEN and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role as an accomplished leader in the development and commercialization of complex systems for nucleic acid analysis. He has extensive experience with microarray and DNA sequencing technologies, and has successfully directed a robust expansion of NuGEN’s product portfolio, including the introduction of novel sample preparation technologies for next-gen sequencing applications.  Prior to NuGEN, Doug led the research and development organization for Agilent Genomics. He has also held positions with DuPont and Life Technologies. Doug earned a PhD in biochemistry at Colorado State University, and served post-doctoral fellowships at the Salk Institute and at the University of Texas Health Science Center.  He is an avid bicyclist, and has used his bicycle as his primary mode of commuting for over 30 years.  Doug also volunteers at the local high school and enjoys woodworking in his spare time.

Vice President of Marketing and Technical Support
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Richard Fekete, PhD

Vice President of Marketing and Technical Support

 

Richard is leading the marketing and technical support efforts at NuGEN, drawing on his considerable experience in identifying new product opportunities, developing business cases and building relationships with technical thought leaders. Prior to NuGEN, Richard led the reagents development group at Fluidigm. Richard has successfully developed and executed on strategy and business plans for the sample preparation portfolio and corporate single cell analysis initiatives at Life Technologies. During this time, he also led the launch of many successful products, in addition to championing the development of products for NGS and qPCR. Early in his career, Richard held technical roles at Applied Biosystems, Ambion and the National Cancer Institute.  Richard holds a PhD in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Alberta and enjoys car racing and scuba diving as hobbies.

Vice President of Technology Transfer, Quality and Operations
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C. Garrett (Garry) Miyada, PhD

Vice President of Technology Transfer, Quality and Operations

 

Garry has been at NuGEN since 2006 and has held executive positions in Development and more recently, Operations. In these roles, Garry has made significant contributions to the company’s internal systems and reagent product portfolio. He presently oversees the manufacturing, technology transfer, quality systems, facilities and project management functions for the company.  Prior to joining NuGEN, Garry held R&D positions with Affymetrix and Syva Company.  Garry holds a BA in biochemistry and molecular biology with high honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  He earned his PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Beckman Research Institute in the City of Hope.  Garry enjoys playing tennis and mountain biking in his spare time.

Vice President of Research and Development
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Lin Pham, MD

Vice President of Research and Development

 

Lin provides strategic and operational leadership for all research and development efforts at NuGEN. With a long career history in genome technology development and commercialization, Lin’s diverse work experience has encompassed positions in research, product development, product marketing and market development. At NuGEN, Lin has built a high performing team and directed development of novel Next Generation Sequencing technologies and products. Prior to NuGEN, Lin held a variety of leadership positions during her more than 15 years at Applied Biosystems as well as major scientific and/or management roles at several genome startup companies including RainDance, Shanghai Genecore Biotechnologies, and Sequana Therapeutics. Lin holds an MD degree from Beijing Medical University and served post-doctoral fellowships at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and Genentech. She enjoys reading and hiking and is a fixture at the local gym. Lin also serves as scientific advisor for a high school biotechnology program and mentors college students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Vice President of Market Development
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Joe Don (JD) Heath, PhD

Vice President of Market Development

Joe Don has been a scientific leader and customer advocate at NuGEN since 2003, in which time he has worn a number of hats, including leadership roles in technical service, training, collaborations, and marketing, to name a few. He presently is responsible for market development in diagnostics and emerging markets and still enjoys a hands-on role in developing and deploying assays on customer robotics systems.  Prior to joining NuGEN, JD worked at Incyte Genomics in Palo Alto where he was scientific lead for the PathoSeq microbial database and LifeTools analysis platforms as well as head of the Field Application Science team. JD earned his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in plant-microbe interactions at the University of Washington in Seattle.  JD’s calling outside of work is to bring joy to the lives of his friends, family, church community and friends he has yet to meet through the creation of good music and the brewing of good beer.

Vice President of International Sales
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Lutz Kirchrath, PhD

Vice President of International Sales

Lutz leads the international sales efforts at NuGEN focusing on growing business in Europe and Asia Pacific.  Lutz played a key role in setting a direct sales and support team in 2009.  He also spearheaded the successful transition of a mainly microarray focused business to one where NuGEN is a leading supplier of NGS sample preparation solutions in Europe.  He is currently working on deploying a similar strategy in major markets such as Japan, China, Korea, Australia and Singapore.  Prior to NuGEN, Lutz served in various sales and sales management positions at Affymetrix, Pharmacia Biotech and Amersham.  Lutz holds a PhD in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Dusseldorf in Germany.  He spends his free time running, hiking in the mountains and exploring cultures and countries around the world.

Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board
Jeff Bird, MD, PhD

Chairman of the Board

Jeff is Managing Director at Sutter Hill Ventures where he invests in and works with early stage, rapidly growing companies in the healthcare, biotechnology and medical device markets. Recent Series A investments include Forty Seven Inc. (monoclonal antibody immuno-oncology therapies) and XIOS Therapeutics (small molecular immuno-oncology). In the genomics space, Jeff is a co-investor with Illumina in Helix (consumer genomics marketplace) and GRAIL (cancer screening test). Jeff was CEO and an investor at Verinata Health. After their acquisition by Illumina in early 2013, he served as their GM for a year.  He is currently a board member at Drais Pharmaceuticals, Merganser Biotech, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Restoration Robotics and Threshold Pharmaceuticals.  He also represents Sutter Hill’s investments in Acceleron Pharmaceuticals, Ameritox and Pacific Biosciences. Jeff was a founding member of Gilead Sciences and responsible for directing sales in the U.S. and Europe, managing several key alliances with major pharmaceutical companies and helping in the acquisition of NeXstar. He received a degree in biological sciences from Stanford University, a PhD in cancer biology, and an MD from Stanford Medical School.

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Director
Nitin Sood

Director

With extensive experience in technology development and commercilaization of market leading life-science products, Nitin is leading NuGEN’s next phase of growth and development.  Prior to NuGEN, Nitin served as Vice President and General Manager for PerkinElmer’s broadly diverse life science instruments business, where he successfully commercialized products for imaging, detection, tissue pathology, automation and NGS sample prep. Nitin also held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Boreal Genomics, transforming the startup into a viable liquid biopsy company. Earlier in his career, Nitin was General Manager of the Automation and Electrophoresis business units at Agilent Technologies and also held positions at Applied Biosystems. Nitin holds MS degrees in both computer science and molecular biology and enjoys playing soccer, mountain biking and exploring national parks around the world.

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James N. Wilson

Director

 

Jim has served as Chairman of the Board for Corcept Therapeutics since 1999, a company focused on the discovery and development of drugs that regulate the effects of cortisol From 2002 to 2009, he served as the lead independent director of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, and from 1996 to 2001 Jim was Chairman of the Board of Amira Medical, Inc., which was acquired by Hoffmann-La Roche A.G. From 1991 to 1994, he was Chief Operating Officer of Syntex Corporation, which was acquired by Roche Holding, Ltd. From 1989 to 1990, Jim was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neurex Corporation, which was acquired by Elan Corporation plc, and from 1982 to 1988, Jim was Chief Executive Officer of LifeScan, Inc., which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson Company. Jim received his BA and MBA from the University of Arizona.

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Elizabeth (Liz) Dávila, MS, MBA

Director

Liz is the former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of VISX, Inc., which was acquired by AMO on May 31, 2005. Prior to joining VISX, Liz worked for the Syntex Corporation, where she held several senior management positions in its medical device, medical diagnostics and pharmaceutical divisions. Liz serves on the board of directors at Accuray, Inc., Afaxys, Inc., and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Community Board. She holds a MS in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and MBA from Stanford University.

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Michael Hunkapiller, PhD

Director

Mike has been General Partner at Alloy Ventures since 2004.  He is currently President and CEO of Pacific Biosciences and a Director at RainDance Technologies.  Mike spent 21 years at Applied Biosystems (ABI), which he helped grow from startup to a market leader in the life sciences industry. At ABI, he held President and General Manager positions, was a founder of ABI's sister company, Celera Genomics, and a Senior Vice President of Applera Corporation, the parent company. Prior to joining ABI, Mike was a senior research fellow in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He received a BS in chemistry from Oklahoma Baptist University and a PhD in chemical biology from the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at California Institute of Technology. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications, is an inventor on more than two dozen patents, has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, and has received several awards for his contributions to life science research.

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Andrew I. Brooks, PhD

Director

Andy serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository “RUCDR Infinite Biologics”.  He oversees the operations of all laboratories within RUCDR, ensuring consistent and superior quality standards for all services.  Since joining RUCDR, he has worked to automate and develop the service infrastructure to provide high throughput sample management and analysis for DNA, RNA and protein-based technologies for hundreds of labs globally. His methodologies focus on extending the use of valuable samples by extracting and renewing limited quantities of biomaterial with newly developed technologies. Andy is a molecular neuroscientist whose research focuses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms that underlie memory and learning. These studies investigate gene-environment interactions in the context of aging, neurodegenerative disease and neurotoxicant exposure. He is a well-recognized genomicist and has been involved in the development and implementation of cutting edge molecular based technologies for nucleic acid and protein analyses.   Andy also serves as the Director of the Bionomics Research and Technology Center (BRTC) at the Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and as Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine and Genetics at UMDNJ/Rutgers. He received his PhD from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine.

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Director and Scientific Founder
Nurith Kurn, PhD

Director and Scientific Founder

Nurith is the scientific founder of NuGEN and is responsible for the creation of the Company’s foundational amplification technology, Single Primer Isothermal Amplification (SPIA).  She is also a former Research Director of Dade-Behring Diagnostics and The Syva Company, where she directed research in the areas of nucleic acid technologies, novel disease markers, assay detection technologies and novel instrumentation systems. Nurith earned her PhD in biophysics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and has numerous scientific publications and issued patents in the field of nucleic acid amplification and detection.

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