The Bioinformatics CRO Podcast

On The Bioinformatics CRO Podcast, we chat with scientists and others in biotech to discuss interesting topics across biomedical research and to explore what made them who they are today.

Our guests include biotech CEOs, science communicators, academic researchers, and more.

Recent Guests

Amar Gajjar

amar gajjar

Amar is Chair of Department of Pediatric Medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is principle investigator on several clinical trials aiming to treat brain cancers like medulloblastoma and improve the quality of life for patients in recovery. 

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Jon Heal

Jon is Head of In Silico design at RxCelerate. After completing a PhD at Imperial College London, he founded a computational biology-based drug development company Prosarix, which was acquired by RxCelerate in 2019. 

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Jill Reckless

Jill is co-founder and CEO of RxCelerate, an outsourced drug development platform. Having completed her PhD at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, Jill was an academic at the University of Cambridge until December 2011 before founding RxCelerate.

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Adam Siepel

Adam is Professor of quantitative biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where his lab studies molecular evolution and transcriptional regulation in the context of cancer, infectious disease, anthropology, and agriculture.

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Erich Jarvis

Erich is professor at The Rockefeller University and investigator at HHMI, where he studies the mechanisms of vocal learning in songbirds and other animals. He has earned numerous honors for this research, including the Alan T. Waterman Award.

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Mauro Calabrese

Mauro is Associate Professor at UNC Chapel Hill and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Pharmacology. His lab studies how long noncoding RNAs control transcription in the mammalian genome and influence oncogenesis. 

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Damian Kao

Damian is Chief Operating Officer and Head of Science at Basepaws, a pet health company that offers genetic and microbiome testing for cats. Trained as a bioinformatician, he has previously worked at Oxford and HHMI. 

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Nicholas Heaton

Nick is Assistant Professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University School of Medicine. His lab usually studies influenza viruses; however, when the pandemic started, they shifted focus to SARS-CoV-2.

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Becca Chodroff Foran

Becca is Head of R&D at Wisdom Panel, which offers genetic testing for dogs and cats to identify breed, health risks, and traits. She is also using this data to guide research in both veterinary medicine and human health. 

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Stacy Horner

Stacy is an Associate Professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and Co-Director of the Duke University Center for RNA Biology. Her lab studies the molecular mechanisms that regulate flavivirus-host interactions.

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Jason Arnold

Jason is Technical Director of the Microbiome Core at UNC Chapel Hill. Aside from consulting on a variety of projects in the core facility, his research aims to determine how the intestinal microbiota influences aging. 

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Bettina Hein

Bettina is founder and CEO of juli, an AI based symptom tracker for people with chronic illness. A serial tech entrepreneur, she is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and was Massachusetts’ Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018. 

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Bharath Ramsundar

Bharath is the founder and CEO of Deep Forest Sciences, which builds AI for deep technology applications, and is the lead developer of the DeepChem open source project. He has founded multiple companies and authored 2 books.

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Saroja Voruganti

Saroja is Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where her lab studies the interplay between nutritional and genetic factors influencing disease risk in ethnically diverse populations.

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Jon Chee

Jon is co-founder and CEO of Excedr. For the last decade he has been helping life science researchers reduce R&D costs through equipment leasing. He founded Excedr after observing high equipment costs impeding research at UC Berkeley.

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Ian Carroll

Ian is assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His lab studies the mechanisms through which the intestinal microbiota influences gastrointestinal physiology, behavior, and weight regulation in eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa.

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Mark Kotter

Mark is co-founder and CEO of Bit Bio and neurosurgeon at the University of Cambridge. His team has developed a benchmark technology for the efficient and consistent production of human cells from stem cells for use in research, drug development, and cell therapy.

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Matthias Gromeier

Matthias is professor of neurosurgery at Duke University and co-founder of Istari Oncology. His lab is using poliovirus to kill brain tumors and other cancers. This therapy received a breakthrough designation and is in phase 2 clinical trials to treat recurrent glioblastoma. 

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Carolyn Coyne

Carolyn is professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute. Her lab studies how cellular barriers in the intestines and placenta prevent infection and how microbes have evolved to evade these barriers.

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Bryan Cullen

Bryan is the Founding Director of the Duke University Center for Virology. His lab studies the regulation of viral mRNA expression by epitranscriptomic modifications and the use of CRISPR/Cas to treat virus-induced chronic diseases.

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Micah Luftig

Micah is associate professor and vice-chair of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University. His lab focuses on the interaction of Epstein-Barr virus and the immune system in the development of virus-induced cancer.

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Jim Ray

Jim is head of the Neurodegeneration Consortium at MD Anderson. He has experience working in biotech, pharma, and academia. His research aims to find therapies that promote the resilience and healthy aging of the brain.

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Fernando Martinez

Fernando is a senior scientist at Fountain Therapeutics, building a pipeline of therapeutics to treat age-related diseases by reversing cellular age. He earned his PhD from UC San Diego and has 7 years of experience working in biotech. 

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Jeremy Kamil

Jeremy is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at LSU Health Shreveport. Usually his lab uses molecular genetic and pharmacological approaches to study human cytomegalovirus, but since the pandemic started, they’ve shifted to SARS-CoV-2.

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Adam Robertson

Adam is Chief Scientific Officer, at Hemispherian, where his team is working to develop broad-spectrum anti-cancer therapeutics. After receiving his PhD from UNC Chapel Hill, he moved to Norway and established his own lab at Oslo University Hospital.

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Brett Abrahams

Brett is the Vice-President of Research & Development at Magnolia Neurosciences, which is developing therapies for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and other neurological disorders.  Previously he was head of pre-clinical biology at Ovid Therapeutics.

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Noor Siddiqui

Noor is the Founder and CEO of Orchid, a reproductive technology company. Prior to Orchid, Noor was an AI researcher at Stanford where she worked on applications of deep learning to genomics. She was also formerly a Thiel Fellow, working at Remedy.

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Matthew Holt

Matthew is a group leader at VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, where his lab studies the molecular mechanisms that control development and function of astrocytes in vivo, and how they interact with neurons.

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Jimmy Qian

Jimmy is co-founder and COO of Osmind, which has developed an electronic health records system tailored to people with treatment-resistant mental illness. He is currently on leave from Stanford’s MD program, and has previously founded multiple successful non-profits.

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Lucia Huang

Lucia is co-founder and CEO of Osmind, which has developed an electronic health records system tailored to people with treatment-resistant mental illness. She received her MBA from Stanford and, previously, worked to help find cures for ALS and Parkinson’s at Verge Genomics.

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COVID-19 Chat

Deepti Gurdasani

Deepti is a clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer in machine learning at Queen Mary University of London. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she uses machine learning to understand prominent clusters of patients’ symptoms and how people are likely to progress over time.

Christina Pagel

Christina is director of the Clinical Operational Research Unit and a Professor of Operational Research at University College London. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she works closely with clinicians and public health professionals to communicate research to the public.

Nisreen Alwan

Nisreen is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Southampton, researching maternal and child health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alwan uses social media to communicate public health messages and to call for long COVID to be counted and measured.

Grant Belgard

Grant is founder and CEO of The Bioinformatics CRO as well as head of bioinformatics at bit.bio. He previously earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, with joint training at the NIH, and worked as a research scientist in biotech. 

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Ambika Bumb

Ambika is the health science and technology advisor for the department of state’s crisis management and strategy.  Previously she studied nanodiamonds as a NIH-Marshall Scholar and subsequently founded Bikanta applying nanodiamond technology to diagnostics.

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Lucas Steuber

Lucas is clinical product and marketing director at Cognixion. A renowned linguist and speech pathologist, he has helped develop a brain-computer interface with augmented reality to help people with speech disabilities communicate.

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Trevor Martin

Trevor is co-founder and CEO of Mammoth Biosciences, discovering novel CRISPR systems that enable new possibilities for expanding biology. For example, using CRISPR as a COVID-19 diagnostic test. He has previously been honored as Forbes 40-under-40. 

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Dan Geschwind

Dan is a professor and associate vice chancellor at UCLA. His group has pioneered the application of systems biology methods in neurologic and psychiatric disease, with a focus on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and neurodegenerative conditions.

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Delian Asparouhov

Delian is the co-founder of Varda Space Industries and principal at Founders Fund.  He was awarded the Thiel Fellowship in undergrad and moved from MIT to Silicon Valley.  His company Varda is working to manufacture products such as human organs in a microgravity environment.

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Vania Cao

Vay is a neuroscience Ph.D. who made the transition from academic postdoc to business professional at a biotech startup. She founded Free the PhD to provide career counseling and a peer support system to current students looking to move out of academia. 

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Mark DePristo

Mark is the founder and CEO of BigHat Biosciences, using AI to design antibodies and other therapeutic proteins. He has a wide range of experience, having previously worked at the Broad Institute, Google and a biotech startup.

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Shaan Gandhi

Shaan is a Director at Northpond Ventures and leads its Boston office, investing in life sciences companies and collaborating to build new ventures. He earned a DPhil at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and an MBA and MD from Harvard University.

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Peter Joyce

Peter is cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Grey Wolf Therapeutics and has over 13 years of experience in biomedical research leading drug discovery projects in immuno-oncology, rare genetic diseases and neurodegeneration.

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Adam Marblestone

Adam is a Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow, working to roadmap and launch science and technology moonshot projects that call for novel organizational and funding models. Previously, he worked at DeepMind, Kernel, and George Church’s lab. 

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Tony Altar

Dr. C. Anthony Altar has 35 years experience in discovering and developing pharmaceutical- and gene-based therapies. He is currently President and COO of Splice Therapeutics, using RNA trans-splicing molecules (RTMs) to correct inherited or acquired mutations that cause disease.

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Quin Wills

Quin is an MD and computational biologist. He co-founded Ochre Bio, a liver drug company 15 years ago, co-steered Oxford’s single-cell genomics consortium, and founded the Cellular and Systems Genomics department for a leading biopharma.

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Jason Stein

Jason is an Assistant Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His lab explores how variations in the genome change the structure and development of the brain, and in doing so, create risk for neuropsychiatric illness. 

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Ben Logsdon

Ben Logsdon - Sage Bionetworks

Ben is the director of computational biology at Cajal Neuroscience, a biotech company focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Formerly he was Director of Neurodegenerative Research at Sage Bionetworks. 

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Chris Ponting

Chris is Chair of Medical Bioinformatics at The University of Edinburgh and principal investigator at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, where he uses computational biology to study myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CSF) among other questions. 

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Razib Khan

Razib is a geneticist, science communicator and director of science at the Insitome Institute. He frequently writes about evolution, genetics, religion, politics and philosophy on his blogs: Gene Expression and Brown Pundits

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