The Cardea Team

Executive leadership Team

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Michael Heltzen

Chief Executive Officer

Michael spearheads Digital Biology leadership and strategy at Cardea. Michael has an extensive background in tech business development in Bioinformatics, Next-Gen Sequencing, Genomics, and Intercellular communication. He has held leadership positions at CLC bio, BGI, EXO Incubator, Nanosens, and BlueSEQ before heading up the leadership team at Cardea Bio Inc.

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Dr. Brett Goldsmith
Chief Technology Officer
 
Brett’s passion is applying nanoelectronics technology to products that change people’s lives. Brett was a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania, from one of the world's leading graphene labs. Brett was an Intelligence Community Fellow and is the lead researcher on landmark Field Effect Biosensing papers in Science and Nature Nanotechnology.
 
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Dr. Kiana Aran

Chief Scientific Officer

Kiana is a pioneer of combining CRISPR with modern electronics. She received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University and continued her postdoctoral studies in bioengineering at UC Berkeley. She is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health postdoctoral training fellowship at the Buck Institute for Age Research and is a consultant for the Gates Foundation. Her efforts have been recognized within the scientific community by the Clinical OMICs 10 under 40 Award, Athena Pinnacle Award in Life Sciences, and Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science: Scientific Achievement Category’s Overall Winner. Dr. Aran is also the recipient of numerous government grants to develop the next generation of electronic biosensors.

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Ross Bundy

Chief Entrepreneur

Ross is responsible for new expansions and key projects at Cardea including scaling up the chip production for Cardea and help setting up partnerships. With an MBA from San Diego State University, Ross has held positions in supply chain, operations, and finance from companies such as General Dynamics and UBC Financial Services. Ross brings precision execution and implementation to the company.

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Janine Taylor
SVP of People & Culture
 
Janine Taylor leads all of Cardea’s Finance and Operational activities, leveraging her expertise and leadership experience in building and growing multiple San Diego Life Science and Biotech companies.
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Rob Lozuk
Chief Business Officer
 
Rob and his team are responsible for Cardea's partner programs. In the past decade alone, Rob served as Thermo Fisher’s Director of Business Development and Americas Marketing, as well as Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Sequenom, a groundbreaker in genomic testing in the now rapidly growing noninvasive prenatal testing market. In 2016, Sequenom was successfully transacted to LabCorp. Most recently, Rob was President of Specific Diagnostics, a private Silicon Valley based company focused on microbiology.
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Dr. Kelly Huang
Chief Operating Officer
 
Dr. Huang brings more than 25 years of diverse executive and operational experience in medical devices, services, health IT, and consumer health to Cardea and oversees business operations. Prior to Cardea, Dr. Huang held the positions of COO and President of Nutri-Therapeutic at L-Nutra, CEO, President, and Board Director for Obalon Therapeutics, and executive roles leading development of multiple new technologies and commercial launches at Nestle Skin Health, Endo Health Solutions, and the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

Board Members

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Dr. Paul Grint
Executive Chairman
 
Chairman of the Innovation Council and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cardea. Dr. Grint has served on the Boards of Illumina, AmpliPhi Biosciences, and as the CEO of several companies. Dr. Grint’s ability to see the early potential in technology served Illumina well when Next Generation Sequencing was in its infancy as it will Cardea with its Biology-gated Transistors.
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Tim Hoerr
Board Member
 
Tim Hoerr is the CEO & Managing Partner of Serra Ventures, the lead investor of Cardea's A round. Before starting the VC fund, Tim was the co-founder and CEO of iCyt Mission Technology, a bio-instrument company, which was sold to Sony in 2009.
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Dr. Biao He
Board Member
 
Dr. Biao He is a Cardea Board Member representing Tsingyuan Ventures and Lifespan Investments. He has a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Virginia, and has a Bachelor's degree and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Tsinghua University. He has held previous roles as Co-founder & CTO of ACCB Biotech and Oncology Professor at UCSF. With a devotion to interdisciplinary research in translational medicine, cancer diagnosis and therapeutics, his studies have resulted in over 100 publications in academic journals, such as The Lancet, PNAS, Cancer Cell, and Clinical Cancer Research.
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Seth Lowry

Board Member

Seth Lowry is a partner at JDP Capital Management. JDP is a private investment fund based out of New York and Amsterdam. At JDP, Seth co-chairs the investment committee for public and private technology investments. Prior to his current role, Seth was an analyst for Tech Coast Angels, which is one of the largest active angel investment syndicates in the world. Seth began his career in investment banking on Wall St. and spent a decade in working in various advisory roles for Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.

 
 
 
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Dawn Barry

Board Member

Early in her career, Barry worked at Genaissance Pharmaceuticals  after which she spent 12 years helping build Illumina, where she ultimately served as the Vice President of Applied Genomics and led pioneering teams in precision medicine, translational genomics, population genomics, and clinical screening applications, among others. Barry was a 2016 TEDx San Diego speaker, San Diego Business Journal’s Business Woman of the Year in 2017 and a Girl Scouts San Diego Cool Women recipient in 2019. Barry's current company, LunaPBC, has received numerous awards from notable institutions including the Word Economic Forum and Fast Company.

Innovation Council

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Dr. Paul Grint

Executive Chairman

Chairman of the Innovation Council and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cardea. Dr. Grint has served on the Boards of Illumina, AmpliPhi Biosciences, and as the CEO of several companies. Dr. Grint’s ability to see the early potential in technology served Illumina well when Next Generation Sequencing was in its infancy as it will Cardea with its Biology-gated Transistors.

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Dr. Sue Wessler
Council Member
 
Dr. Wessler is the distinguished Professor of Genetics and the Neil and Rochelle Campbell Chair for Innovation in Science Education at the University of California Riverside. In 2011 she was elected Home Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the first woman to hold this position in its 150-year history. She is a plant molecular geneticist known for her contributions to the field of transposon biology and plant genome evolution.
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Dr. Virginijus Siksnys
Council Member
 
Virginijus was among the very first to discover and characterize the CRISPR-Cas9 complex and recognize its editing potential for “DNA surgery” in many life science applications. His pioneer work was recognized with several international awards including the Kavli Prize. Since CRISPR-Chip is an important chipset type for Cardea, his expertise regarding CRISPR is important in improving fast and precise (amplification-free) DNA and RNA detection.
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Dr. Kurt Petersen
Council Member
 
Founder and CTO of numerous MEMS (Micro-ElectroMechanical System) companies, including NovaSensor, Verreon, and molecular testing company Cepheid. Kurt was recently awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor for his contribution to the field of MEMS. Cardean Transistors are very similar to MEMS in many regards and Kurt’s experience with MEMS as it applies to biotechnology will elevate Cardea’s chip designs, scalability and capabilities.
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Dr. Lauge Farnaes, MD
Council Member
 
As Head of Medical Affairs at IDbyDNA, and Medical Doctor & Researcher formally at Rady Children’s Genomic Institute with expertise in genetic disorders, infectious disease detection, and nucleic acid-based diagnostics, Dr. Farnaes has among other things helped pioneer the use of Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing to diagnose rare genetic disorders in children.
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Dr. Phil Cotter
Council Member
 
Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics as well as founder and Principal of ResearchDx. Dr. Cotter has been a leader in developing sequencing as a clinical diagnostics tool as the Director of Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory, and through ResearchDx, a leader in development of companion diagnostics based on DNA, RNA, and protein biomarkers.
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Dr. Elia Stupka

Council Member

A visionary Key Opinion Leader in bringing the most advanced forms of big data and analytics to healthcare. Dr. Stupka’s work has contributed to the understanding of the human genome, transcriptome, and the development of gene-therapeutics. His understanding of data and its role in enhancing the value of new technology will help steer Cardea’s data management capabilities and add value to every Innovation Partner application.

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