Our team has pioneer advancements in the microbiome field, including in building leading microbial identification software, developing novel clinical applications, and mapping microbes in environments ranging from the NYC subway, to hospitals and ambulances, to working with NASA on aerospace microbiome research.
Niamh O’Hara, PhD, Co-founder and CEO
Dr. O'Hara has developed cutting edge next-gen sequencing-based technology for hospitals and spent four years commercializing this technology. She has led an unprecedented, large-scale metagenomics study characterizing the microbiome of ambulances across the US, an important transmission route of infectious diseases. She completed a postdoc in health tech business at Cornell Tech (2018), a postdoc at Fordham University in Bioinformatics (2015), a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Stony Brook University (2014), and a BA at NYU (2005).
Dr. O'Hara has published peer-reviewed articles in the fields of metagenomics, genomics, evolutionary biology and ecology in top ranked journals such as Molecular Ecology, Microbiome, and Evolution. Her work has been featured in GenomeWeb, Popular Science, the Huffington Post, and WIRED.
Christopher Mason, PhD, Co-founder of Biotia, and Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine
The Mason lab develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics, and metagenomics. The group also works closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards. These methods are also being integrated for longitudinal multi-omic profiling of NASA astronauts and for genetic and epigenetic diagnostics on the International Space Station. Dr. Mason has won awards from the NIH, the CDC and the WorldQuant Foundation. He was named as one of the “Brilliant Ten” Scientists by Popular Science, and featured as a TEDMED speaker. His work represents 150+ peer-reviewed articles and has been featured on the covers of Nature, Science or Nature Biotechnology.
Dr. Mason completed his dual post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School in genetics and a fellowship at Yale Law School. He obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University, and his dual B.S. in Genetics and Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rachid Ounit, PhD, Co-founder and CTO
At Biotia, Dr. Ounit leads the conception of new technologies aiming to track infectious diseases in hospital settings, using a scalable, secure, comprehensive and user-friendly solution. He develops new methods and systems for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence-based platforms, privacy of genomics, database management, and blockchain-based communication protocols. His expertise includes metagenomics, bioinformatics, computer security and artificial intelligence after a PhD and a “Diplôme d’Ingénieur” in computer science, and experiences in the industry.
During his PhD, he built CLARK, a popular system used by the scientific community for sequences identification (200+ Google Scholar citations). His publications appeared in journals like Nature, Genome Biology, Microbiome or Bioinformatics. His research work was featured in top scientific blogs (Homolog.us, Microbe Digest, The Molecular Ecologist, etc.) and leading news medias tracking innovations in genomics (WIRED, EurekAlert!, Technology.Org, Genomeweb, etc.).
Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, MD PhD, Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Nagy-Szakal earned her MD and PhD in clinical medicine from Semmelweis University of Medicine in Hungary. Holding postdoctoral fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital and Columbia University, she has 10+ years of experience in translational medicine, pediatrics, gastroenterology and microbiology.
As a medical doctor with extensive international clinical and basic science experience focused on clinical metagenomics, she gained experience in human and mammalian microbiome studies using novel next-generation sequencing-based technologies. She led cutting-edge clinical trials on fecal microbiota transplantation and developed a multicenter research program to understand the role of the gut-brain axis in the integrative neuroscience field with the ultimate goal of improving diagnostics and developing novel therapies. She has 25+ publications in highly respected peer-reviewed scientific journals and two book chapters.
Justin Townsend, Chief Business Officer
Justin is a seasoned startup executive that has spent over 20 years in international leadership roles including UK, Germany and the USA. Prior to joining Biotia as Chief Business Office he served as Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Mount Sinai Health System in NYC. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries including Healthcare, Digital Health, Precision Medicine, Big Data, Advertising, Marketing and Digital Media
He is an accomplished, award winning entrepreneur with experience building companies from the ground up to profitability both in Europe and the USA.
Joel Dudley, PhD, Executive VP Precision Medicine Mount Sinai Health System
Dr. Dudley is currently Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and founding Director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He also serves as Executive Vice President for Precision Health for the Mount Sinai Health System. Prior to Mount Sinai, he held positions as Co-founder and Director of Informatics at NuMedii, Inc. and Consulting Professor of Systems Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. His work is focused at the nexus of -omics, digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), scientific wellness, and healthcare delivery.
His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, MIT Technology Review, CNBC, and other popular media outlets. He was named in 2014 as one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company magazine. He is co-author of the book Exploring Personal Genomics from Oxford University Press. Dr. Dudley received a BS in Microbiology from Arizona State University and an MS and PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Salzberg is also Director of the Center for Computational Biology and a member of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine. His group’s research focuses on the development of new computational methods for analysis of DNA from the latest sequencing technologies. Over the years they have developed and applied software to many problems in gene finding, genome assembly, comparative genomics, evolutionary genomics, and sequencing technology itself.
His current work emphasizes analysis of DNA and RNA sequenced with next-generation technology. His blogs and other writing cover topics on the impact of science on society including the effects of pseudoscience, the problems of alternative medicine, the anti-vaccination movement, gene patents, and the influence of sports on higher education.
Sari Miller, Serial Startup and Impact Investor, and CEO, Sarjay, Inc.
Sari Miller has been a lead investor, partner and president in numerous start-ups, funds, companies, and social ventures. In the last decade, she has focused on impact-for-profit ventures. She is the founding angel investor in LeapFrog Investments, with committed capital of $1.5 billion. She has been an angel investor and is a board/advisory member in companies ranging from private equity funds, medical devices, renewable energy, vertical farming to computational software.
She is a member of the Council of Advisors for Sarona Asset Management, which manages $200+ million targeted in frontier and emerging markets. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Digital Divide Data, a non-profit, which trains and employs 900 impoverished young adults in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya.
Sari earned a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MBA from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.
John Hui, Healthcare entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Twiage
John Hui is the Co-founder and CEO of Twiage, a healthcare IT company based in New York City that provides a novel mobile communication technology enabling hospitals and ambulances to accelerate life-saving emergency care. As a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, John's more than 20 years of sales, business development and entrepreneurial experiences cover a wide range of industry sectors in healthcare in both the U.S. and China. John holds an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
Shay David, PhD, scholar, serial entrepreneur, co-founder and General Manager of Media and Telecom at Kaltura
Dr. Shay David is an investor, scholar, and serial entrepreneur, specializing in collaborative and open-source information and communication systems. Shay is the co-founder of Kaltura ( www.kaltura.com ), where, as the General Manager of the Media and Telecom division he oversees all aspects of strategy, product development, marketing, sales, and partnerships. Prior to Kaltura, Shay was a co-founder of Destinator Technologies, a leader in mobile-GPS-navigation software, and consulted on open systems to Global 500 companies like Toyota. Shay holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, from Tel-Aviv University, and an M.A. from New York University where his interdisciplinary research thesis focused on the political economy of free and open source software and file-sharing networks. Shay wrote his PhD dissertation on “Participatory Information Networks” at Cornell University and he is also an alum fellow at The Information Society Project at the Yale Law School ( https://law.yale.edu/isp/ ) where he has done his Post-doc work on issues of access to knowledge. Shay has published extensively in leading academic and industry journals and has presented his work all over the world. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.