Chris is a drug hunter with 25 plus years of experience in large pharma and biotech. He received his PhD in molecular and cellular pharmacology and spent 20 years at Eli Lilly and Co. where he helped bring over 10 molecules into the clinic across multiple therapeutic areas and across both small and large molecule modalities.
Prior to leaving Eli Lilly in 2019, Chris was Vice President of Quantitative Biology.
Most recently Chris was CSO at Fulcrum Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotech focused on rare diseases, where he was responsible for the full range of drug discovery, translational science and early development activities including building and advancing the company’s preclinical portfolio through Phase 1 clinical trials. He was the scientific lead for FTX-6058 that is currently in phase 1 clinical testing for Sickle Cell Disease.
Chris was instrumental in creating multiple business development partnerships and with engaging the investment community to achieve multiple rounds of financing for the company.
Nicole started her career as an academic scientist, getting her PhD in Biology at the University of Washington and continuing on as a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton, Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute in Germany. She made the switch to industry about six years ago, leading a Customer Operations team at Science Exchange where she worked closely with pharma and biotech scientists and CROs to manage outsourced R&D programs.
Nicole experienced firsthand the uncertainty of diagnosis and treatment options when a family member was diagnosed with a rare disease (GPA, granulomatosis with polyangiitis). At Rarebase, she hopes to draw on her commitment to patient advocacy, her scientific training, and her operational know-how to help families and foundations generate the data and materials they need to find the fastest path to effective treatments.
Natalie is a board certified genetic counselor with specific interests in pediatric and cardiac genetics, precision medicine, and project management. After graduating from Stanford with a Master's in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling, Natalie served the last 3 years as a clinical genetic counselor in cardiology at the University of California San Francisco. While at UCSF, she provided personalized medicine and research opportunities to patients with hereditary cardiac disorders, as well as started a pediatric cardiogenetic service.
Through her clinical work, Natalie knows all too well that even after a diagnostic odyssey ends, treatment and management of genetic conditions remain ongoing challenges for families and providers. She's excited to join Rarebase in their research efforts to help patients with rare disease thrive after diagnosis.
When she's not coordinating genetic care, Natalie is an avid kiteboarder, houseboater, and vanlifer, splitting her time between the San Francisco and Tampa Bay areas.
Sabine started her career as a research scientist, getting a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Bonn in Germany. She moved forward with her postdoctoral studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Here, at the Clinical Genetics Research lab she set up the infrastructure and pipeline to perform functional genetics research. She later took on the role of Associate Director of Laboratory Operations and Head of Functional Genomics in MSK’s Niehaus Center for Inherited Cancer Genomics where she focused on leading functional genomics studies to characterize novel candidate genes for cancer susceptibility. Following her passion for translational research, she also initiated a therapeutics discovery pipeline based on genetic biomarkers which forms the basis for a recent spin off company.
Sabine is excited to apply her scientific expertise and her dedication to helping patients through personalized medicine to support the development of novel therapies for rare genetic disorders at Rarebase.
Riley studied Bioengineering at Santa Clara University and began his career working as a data scientist at Roche Diagnostics on a system engineering team. While at Roche, he worked on building custom web applications for his team to better visualize and understand data during development of a next generation sequencing instrument. He then moved on to Ionpath, a digital pathology start-up based in Menlo Park, California. There, he worked as a full-stack software engineer developing a web-based instrument control application.
As Rarebase's first full-time software engineer, he is building software solutions to streamline rare disease research. He looks forward to leveraging his background in bioengineering and software to make a significant impact in rare disease drug discovery.
Clayton is an engineer passionate about developing impactful applications of machine learning and computer vision. He received his BS in Symbolic Systems and MS in Computer Science from Stanford. After graduating, he spent several years in a startup and then at Yahoo where he worked on billions-scale image search and deep learning applications for Flickr. Most recently before joining Rarebase, Clayton developed industrial computer vision applications such as automated visual inspection for manufacturing at Google Cloud.
Shortly before graduating, Clayton was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called NF2 which causes tumors to grow from his nerves. He believes that breakthrough technologies in machine learning and high throughput biology applied in a patient-first approach will drive a revolution in human health.
Deanna Wong is a seasoned operations leader, previously managing all subspecialties in the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology. She went on to help Pacific Vision Foundation successfully launch a single specialty surgery center and open a low vision clinical practice in downtown San Francisco. Her previous experience as Executive Director of Loving Eyes Foundation brings the skill sets to create sustainability and structure in early-stage organizations.
Deanna brings high-performance management to keep Rarebase’s operations efficient and productive.
Arun is an engineer with a passion for fundamental biological research. He earned a PhD in Bioengineering at Rice University, where he developed high-content imaging experiments to analyze the transformation of human neural stem cells into neurons. Here, he experienced first-hand the power of cell-based experiments in capturing features of normal human neural development as well as features of aberrant development in neurological disorders. He went on to complete postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on systems neuroscience approaches applied to clinical neuroimaging data.
Arun is excited to apply his broad scientific expertise in neuroscience and cell-based experimental design to aid the development of therapies for rare genetic disorders at Rarebase.
Alex got her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. Her thesis focused on studying the effect of temperature on protein folding in living systems. During her PhD she worked at the intersection of data analysis and cell biology and so discovered her passion for data.
Post PhD she worked at Synthego Corporation as a software engineer and data scientist developing image analysis pipelines to characterize gene edited cell lines using CRISPR. After Synthego, she worked as a computational biologist for Upside Foods, a cell-based meat company, supporting the research and development of cell lines optimized to form tissues in labs using data.
Alex is passionate about using data to make a difference in the life of people. At Rarebase, she hopes to bring together her experience in cell biology, software development and bioinformatics to help discover drug candidates for rare diseases.
Ursula is an experienced neuroscientist with a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. Her professional focus is on understanding how genetic mutations alter the formation and communication of neurons in the brain. She began her career by introducing genetic mutations into mouse models to improve neurogenesis and cognition. She later moved on to modeling human diseases in a dish by differentiating patient-derived induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) into brain-specific cells, including neurons, astrocytes, and microglia. iPSCs have recently gained prominence in disease modeling by recapitulating identical genetic and phenotypic aberrations, enabling the demonstration of personalized medicine.
Ursula looks forward to establishing iPSC-based cellular platforms at Rarebase to model rare diseases in vitro. She will apply her broad scientific expertise in cell-based drug screening to rapidly advance therapeutic discovery for rare diseases.
Amanda began her career in clinical research at the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Maternal Fetal Precision Medicine. While at UCSF, she managed several studies researching the clinical utility of exome sequencing in pregnancies with non-immune hydrops fetalis as well as other severe anomalies. Amanda was an integral part of the development of the Hydrops Center of Excellence and the expansion of exome sequencing as standard of care in prenatal clinics at UCSF.
She is very passionate about providing access to personalized healthcare and is excited to support Rarebase in the development of individualized treatment plans for the rare disease community.
Gabriel Rivera Del Toro is an experienced Research Associate. Driven by his passion for science, he takes pride in providing an engaging attitude with an eagerness to learn all roles in the lab. His extraordinary commitment to maintaining our lab’s success allows Rarebase to continue its mission in the rare disease space.
Christian started his scientific career in 2006 at the University of Bonn as an undergraduate student in molecular Genetics, where he purified and characterized Gap Junctions hemi-channels in mouse Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) and also studied rare human diseases using mouse models. He obtained his Ph.D. in the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Bonn in 2017, where he studied the activities of microRNAs in cerebellar granule cell development. After his Ph.D., Christian joined Ali Brivanlou’s Lab at The Rockefeller University in NY as a postdoctoral researcher where he now went on to study human disease using human ESCs. He generated novel human stem cell reporter lines using CRISPR/Cas9 technologies and used them to identify signaling dynamics changes in cellular models of Huntington’s disease. In his most recent role at the RUSH Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago Christian switched to Alzheimer’s Disease research. In his role there as part of the Human Cell Modeling Group he focused on developing novel AD-relevant cellular assays, stem cell models, and gene perturbation platforms to investigate the effects of AD-related genes and genetic variants.
Christian is bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team, including stem cell culture, differentiation, genome engineering, confocal microscopy, and molecular biology. In his new role, Christian will focus on developing cutting-edge methods to identify changes in disease relevant genes in real time.
Following her passion for drug research, Long obtained a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Kansas with a thesis focused on understanding the risk mechanisms and perturbed energy metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease.
She finished her postdoctoral studies at UCSF, where she expanded her research of neurodegenerative diseases (including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s). She began working on genomic editing in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for disease modeling. She is excited to bring her scientific expertise and training to continue iPSC-based drug-screening platform at Rarebase for the treatment of rare diseases.
Eric is an accomplished professional with a successful career spanning various areas of expertise, including construction, equipment service, and facilities management. Over the years, he has gained extensive experience working with residential, health care, and biotech facilities, among others.
Eric's passion for making a positive impact and contributing to a good cause has led him to join Rarebase, where he plays a crucial role in ensuring the company's operational efficiency and compliance with relevant regulations. His exceptional skills in project management, problem-solving, and communication, coupled with his profound knowledge of facilities management, have enabled him to provide valuable insights and support to the Rarebase team.With a strong commitment to his work and a passion for excellence, Eric is constantly seeking ways to improve the Rarebase operation and enhance its impact. He is an asset to the organization and a testament to his dedication and professionalism.
Jackie is a research associate with extensive industrial experience in stem cell research and neuroscience. After getting her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from UC Berkeley, she worked for a stem-cell based therapy company where she specialized in developing a high-throughput cortical organoid model for drug testing, and optimized glial differentiation protocols.
At Rarebase, she looks forward to working on iPSC models in order to find treatments for rare diseases. She has a passion for developing better in vitro models to be used for biological research.
Daniel is an accomplished individual with a strong background in biology, biotechnology, and business. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Utah and has demonstrated exceptional skills in the field, as evidenced by his membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. With a passion for biotechnology and business, Daniel has excelled as a Venture Development Specialist at the University of Utah's PIVOT Center, a Commercial Strategy Intern at Myriad Genetics, and a Sourcing Intern at Sorenson Capital. Daniel's meticulous approach and dedication to quality enhances opportunity recognition, shareholder confidence, and overall investment effectiveness. He also has extensive experience in biotechnology consulting, providing valuable guidance on mergers, market analysis, and commercialization strategies. With his exceptional academic background, professional achievements, and dedication to the intersection of science and entrepreneurship, Daniel brings a unique perspective to the world of biotechnology and venture development.
Michael started his scientific journey at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as Master’s student in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, where he investigated the impact of Fabry disease-causing single-nucleotide mutations on GLA pre-mRNA splicing. His work laid the foundation to establish an undergraduate research laboratory focused on characterizing the effects of other disease-causing mutations on pre-mRNA splicing. After earning his degree, he joined the Department of Biochemical Cellular Pharmacology atGenentech, where his strong foundation in cell culture and molecular biology techniques proved instrumental in driving his team’s research.
In his previous role at Stanford University, Michael skillfully led a team specializing in single-cell RNA sequencing, incorporating cutting-edge technologies to construct multimodal scRNA-seq libraries. He expertly integrated next-generation sequencing products and collaborated with Stanford scientists to generate impactful datasets. Michael’s tenure at Stanford also reflects his aptitude for streamlining workflows to enhance throughput and efficiency. Michael is eager to apply his scientific expertise at Rarebase in the pursuit of novel therapies for rare genetic disease.
Elizabeth started her career as a research scientist, getting a PhD in Cancer Biology at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and continuing on as a postdoctoral researcher and Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. In 2011 Elizabeth left academic research to found Science Exchange, a research outsourcing platform used by the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Elizabeth has since served as the CEO of Science Exchange and joined Rarebase as a Scientific Advisor in 2020.
Through her work at Science Exchange, Elizabeth has seen breakthrough technology amplify and accelerate biotech and pharmaceutical companies' development pipelines. She is most excited to help Rarebase bring these technologies to bear on therapeutic discovery for rare disorders in partnership with patient advocacy-led non-profit organizations.
Carrie Rich is the co-founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of social entrepreneurs. Carrie is also the Managing Director of the Global Impact Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in socially impactful businesses. Fundamentally, Carrie’s message is about accessibility, how everyday people can empower themselves and others. That’s why Carrie is attracted to Rarebase’s mission. Carrie’s family is also touched by rare disease; it’s personal.
Carrie serves on the Board of Directors of Trinity Health System, Cabinet Health, and the Atlas Health Foundation. She is on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Health at Lehigh University. Carrie is the author of books, including Health Entrepreneurship: A Practical Guide, and two editions of Sustainability for Healthcare Management: A Leadership Imperative, which became a top 5 business book in Handelsblatt (Germany). Carrie serves as an adjunct faculty instructor and is the recipient of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award and POLITICO Women Who Rule award.
Mo's research career began in the Misono lab modeling membrane-bound receptors using X-ray crystallography, giving him a taste for in silico methods. He spent over two years at Novartis focused on characterizing liposome based nanostructures.
After that he started Genedrop, a company developing software for scientists to make computational biology more broadly accessible. The products include a native app to visualize and interact with genomic data, an AI trainable variant caller, a collaborative molecule editor and pipelines for pathway analysis.
After surviving cancer as a young teen Michael has dedicated his life to drug discovery. He has been fortunate to learn from exceptional mentors and be part of efforts leading to marketed products and a compound that has recently been designated fast track by the FDA.
Michael has extensive experience building and leading teams/departments locally and internationally in autoimmune, cardiovascular, diabetes, metabolic and infectious disease areas.
Matt is a clinical geneticist and molecular biologist who spent 15 years at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia investigating the genetic and cell biological basis of a number of rare disorders of syndromic intellectual disability. He is currently the Director of Personalized Care at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where he is passionate about applying genomic medicine to pediatric care and increasing therapeutic options for children with rare disorders.
Matt Might has been the Director of the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) since 2017. At UAB, Matt is the Hugh Kaul Endowed Chair of Personalized Medicine, a Professor of Internal Medicine and a Professor of Computer Science.
From 2016 to 2018, Matt was a Strategist in the Executive Office of the President in The White House. In 2015, Matt joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the Harvard Medical School, first as Visiting Professor and since 2017 as Senior Lecturer.
Matt is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of NGLY1.org, and he was a co-founder and Scientific Advisor to Pairnomix. Q State Biosciences acquired Pairnomix in October 2018 and Matt remains a Scientific Advisor and Board Member.
Prior to medicine, Matt spent nearly a decade as a professor of computer science at the University of Utah. In 2014, he was named one of University of Utah's first six Presidential Scholars.
Carolina Garcia Rizo has been a leader of cross-functional teams worldwide with an extensive network across VC’s, Biotech, Big Pharma, Providers, Payers, and Regulatory Agencies.
She has a passion for leveraging Machine Learning to improve the efficiency and speed of drug discovery and development and has made significant contributions to the field of precision medicine by developing data-driven business models and bioinformatic strategy.