With more than 10 years of experience in running biology teams in academia, she brings with her realistic optimism and strong communication skills. Her strong technical expertise is a huge strength in running a biotech operation. With a PhD in Biomedical genetics from Icahn School of medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, she built a suite of novel deep sequencing assays (13 papers, 5 patents).
“My work in Genomics led me to the belief that sequencing the genome, on its own, is not going to be very useful in resolving complex disorders. Additional measures, such as the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and the immune system are very important in identifying the role of interactions between genetics and the environment. Big data and machine learning are effective only when they are based on reliable, large-scale measurements. Co-Founding Girihlet to achieve this mission has been the best decision of my life”.
Ravi has unparalleled expertise in genomics data, having co-authored more than 100 papers and 5 patents. Trained as a theoretical physicist with a PhD from UPenn, he was enamored with the human genome and joined Cold spring harbor in 2000. There, he created the first map of human genome variations, and since then has built extremely advanced bioinformatics tools which led to the discovery of ping-pong mechanism used by piRNA’s. He has also developed multiple innovative technologies always with an aim of data reflecting the processes in a cell accurately.
“Advances in sequencing have not translated to profound changes in the practice of medicine. We aim to harness these advances to develop novel biomarkers and enable them to be used inexpensively, affording greater diagnostic accuracy”
Google Scholar / Publications
Erwin Estigarribia has 20 years of experience working on hard to solve problems in healthcare. From supercritical fluid applications, HIV and HCV vaccines and diagnostics at Chiron/Novartis, first in human embryonic stem cell therapies and personalized cancer vaccines, cGMP and ISO sequencing reagents and tools and recently, CLIA regulated cardiac diagnostics and best in class colorectal cancer blood based clinical diagnostics. Erwin graduated from Swinburne Unjversity of Technology, Melbourne Australia with a Bachelors in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering with honors.
Molecular biologist by training, Saboor has extensive experience working with next generation sequencing. For 4 years he worked at Icahn School of medicine where he learnt the ropes of management and production of day-to-day operations in a genomics facility.
“Working at Girihlet is a great experience in not only enhancing and applying my knowledge of NGS platform but allows me to broaden my horizons. Spearheading the operations of a young startup is a dream come true”.
He has a PhD from Rockefeller University and prior to Girihlet worked at Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) for 6 years. Lots of experience with gene delivery systems and isolating specific immune cell subsets from whole blood, Kevin worked extensively to understand molecular biology and function of the HIV-1 integrase protein.
“I am a former HIV molecular biologist, eager and excited to apply my skills in the burgeoning field of genomics and sequencing at Girihlet Inc”.
Guy has bachelors in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Guelph, Canada. Prior to working at Girihlet, Guy explored many other scientific avenues through internships in France and The Netherlands. Following an unorthodox path, he decided not to pursue a PhD and instead gain knowledge through work and more esoteric methods.
“I had worked in a few labs and did my degree, but I feel I never truly started until Anitha and Ravi mentored me. With their help, I did my final year thesis on mitochondrial DNA sequencing and became immersed in the world of genomics that is now an integral part of my scientific journey. Girihlet is a special place that challenges you to do a different kind of science, a pragmatic science. There's a great feeling you get when you really get to apply your knowledge, and Girihlet is the place to do it. “
With honors in Business Administration, Aldo has also co-authored more than 23 peer-reviewed scientific articles. For 15 years, he was a senior assistant researcher at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His meticulous detailed approach is a huge asset for automation.
“Having worked in academic settings for many years, in basic sciences and in molecular biology, I was attracted by the innovative ideas behind the founding premise of the company and its culture. It is exciting to be working in the forefront of biotechnology and to help Girihlet reach its potential”.
He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service, the AACR Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award, and the Paul Erhlich Prize from Germany. He is the author of over 550 publications, an inventor on more than 40 patents. Past discoveries include ErbB2, initially identified by his lab as an amplified erbB related gene in a primary human breast cancer. The lab has also discovered and characterized genes for a number of other growth factor signaling molecules activated as oncogenes in human malignancies. This research has contributed to novel cancer drugs including Herceptin, which targets ERBB2, and KGF/FGF7, which became Kepivance, for treatment of cancer therapy associated mucositis. Other discoveries including erbB3, PDGFR alpha, and HGF as the ligand for MET, have also led to agents currently in clinical development as cancer therapeutics.
An extremely accomplished immunologist, he pioneered the use of genetic approaches to study the function of chemokines. His early studies were the first to show that chemokines played a major role on leukocyte trafficking to the brain, the lung and the thymus. Other contributions include studies on the mechanisms of lymphoid neogenesis and on the biological function of molecules encoded by viruses that mimic chemokines, including the discovery that the chemokine receptor encoded by herpesvirus 8 is an oncogene, a discovery that led to important insights into the mechanisms leading to the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Lira’s lab has also made important contributions to the study of IL-23, a cytokine that affects development of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Benner and his colleagues were the first to synthesize a gene, beginning the field of synthetic biology. He was instrumental in establishing the field of paleogenetics. He is interested in the origin of life and the chemical conditions and processes needed to produce RNA. In 1984, Benner's laboratory at Harvard was the first to report the chemical synthesis of a gene encoding an enzyme, following Khorana's synthesis of a shorter gene for tRNA in 1970. This was the first designed gene of any kind, a pioneering achievement that laid the groundwork for protein engineering. The design strategies introduced in this synthesis are now widely used to support protein engineering. Benner and his colleagues have since developed a six-letter artificially expanded genetic information system called Artificially Expanded Genetic Information System (AEGIS) which includes two additional nonstandard nucleotides (Z and P) in addition to the four standard nucleotides (G, A, C, and T).
Santhosh is a patient advocate at heart
with a passion to translate science into meaningful clinical products. He has held several cross-functional senior leadership roles during the start-up formation, corporate development, business strategy of several portfolio companies at Canaan Partners, and in transformative drug development programs at Cleveland Clinic and NHLBI/NCAI center. EpiDestiny’s first product EPI01 is a Gene Control Therapy under clinical investigation to improve hemoglobin in Sickle Cell Disease. Leading just a 5 member team at Epidestiny, EPI01 secured a $400 million licensing deal with a Danish drugmaking giant Novo Nordisk who is moving into the sickle cell disease
In the past he was at Canaan Partners where he was the Scientific Associate with Healthcare investment team. Santhosh held several cross-functional senior leadership roles at startup companies in the bay area including Vice President and Business Development Strategist. Prior to Canaan, Santhosh held roles as a Biochemical Scientist and a patent agent at a US law firm. Santhosh obtained his Doctorate and Post Doctoral research at the Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.
Mat Falkowski is a serial entrepreneur who has been at 5 biotech start-ups over the past 15 years. Recently he was a founder at Invitae, which went IPO in Feb 2015 and is now processing over 70,000 clinical patient samples per year for a range of genetic tests. Over the past 15 years he has been actively involved in developing lab tests, running service labs, product rollout, marketing, grant writing, and fund raising.