Member Companies

Harlem Biospace is a hub for biotech innovators in NYC, and the core of this community are the companies that call Hb home. Through a competitive application cycle every six months we select some of the region’s most promising early stage ventures to work from the lab. Our inaugural batch of companies includes:

    Designing Gels for Precision Control of Cell Culture

Biogelx is an early stage biomaterials company which designs, develops and supplies peptide hydrogels for use in a variety of cell culture applications, including toxicology, drug development, 3D printing, cell therapy. The chemistry and physical properties of the hydrogels match the characteristics experienced by cells in the body, encouraging the study and manipulation of cells in a realistic 3D environment.

Team

SONY DSC Dr. David Lightbody (CEO) – David Lightbody has over twenty years senior experience building innovative, technology businesses both in Europe and the United States, where he was based for over ten years (Chicago and Washington DC).



SONY DSCDr. Rein Ulijn (CSO) – Rein is the founding director of the ASRC’s Nanoscience Initiative at CUNY and is also the Einstein Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College. He is a pioneer in an area of nanoscience that focuses on creating materials and systems that are inspired by biology and have unique “adaptive” properties..



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    Targeting the Neuronal Cytosol for Applications in Neuromuscular Medicine, and Drug Delivery.

CytoDel™, has developed patented compositions that enables Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, such as the BOTOX® product marketed by Allergan) to be bioengineered for improved performance in established pharmaceutical markets, and for drug delivery to the neuronal cytosol. Two products are being actively developed: Cyto-111, designed to deliver an antidote to BoNT poisoning (a biodefense need) to the cytosol of neurons using a “trojan horse” approach; and Cyto-012, developed as a “safer” BoNT for the treatment of spasticity disorders and for aesthetic medicine.

Team

SONY DSC Dr. Philip Band (Scientific Director) – Co-inventor of the CytoDel™ technology and a co-founder of CytoDel™. Dr. Band has extensive bench-to-bedside experience in biotechnology startups as former Research Vice President of Biomatrix, an NYSE company acquired by Sanofi/Genzyme. Dr. Band is currently Director of the Center for Clinical Research, NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases, and an Associate Research Professor in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.

SONY DSCDr. Edwin Vazquez-Cintron (Director of Research) – Co-inventor of the CytoDel™ technology and a co-founder of CytoDel™. Edwin holds a Master’s degree in Pathobiology and a Doctorate in Immunology from the Sackler Institute of Biomedical Science at NYU’s School of Medicine. Edwin has participated in all aspects of CytoDel’s™ birth and continues to co-manage its development. Edwin is also an Adjunct Research Professor at City College of New York and has served as a Science Advisor to the Editorial and Production team at TEDMED. Edwin is currently finishing his post-doctoral research focused in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU’s School of Medicine and transitioning into CytoDel™.

SONY DSCDr. Konstantin Ichtchenko (Senior Scientific Advisor) Dr. Ichtchenko is a widely acknowledged expert on protein engineering and neuronal trafficking. Past achievements of Dr. Ichtchenko include expression, purification and study of molecular mechanisms of complex proteins in their native state, done in collaboration with four Nobel laureates, Dr. Thomas Südhof, Dr. Johann Deisenhofer. Dr. Joseph Goldstein, and Dr. Michael Brown. The Ichtchenko lab currently concentrates on expressing recombinant derivatives of Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) that retains the native toxin’s unique trafficking properties. This creates translational opportunities for both therapeutic and biodefense applications, currently funded by $6.5 million NIH multi-center grant. Dr. Ichtchenko is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, NYU Langone Medical Center.

Catherine Banat (Co-founder and President) – Catherine has extensive experience in finance services with expertise in financing, structuring, strategy, business development, and capital raising. Currently with the New York City Retirement System, she has worked for Goldman, Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan, and Paloma Partners. She holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.S.E. from the Wharton School.

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    Developing diagnostic software aimed at detecting complex brain diseases before severe symptoms appear.

Darmiyan will offer a series of diagnostic tools aimed at early detection of complex brain diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. Darmiyan will get brain MRI data from human patients to elucidate the current condition, and which disease state the brain is progressing toward. The significance of Darmiyan’s innovation is invaluable potential to diagnose disease potential before severe symptoms develop. This novel insight originates with our technology to extract information not from the brain cells/ neurons, which exhibit abnormality only after extensive damage and cell death occurs, but from the immediate environment around them, which is called extracellular space (ECS). The ECS is often thought of as just intercellular “space,” but in reality it is the electrical and chemical pathway between all brain cells that plays an essential role in brain function and drug delivery.

Team

SONY DSC Padideh Kamali-Zare (CEO and Co-Founder) – Padideh is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the department of physiology and neuroscience, New York University, School of Medicine. She received her PhD (2010) in biological physics from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden. Her PhD thesis entitled “Biophysical mechanisms underlying cellular homeostasis” provided a non-classical explanation for the relationship between cell structure and function based on “diffusion limited spaces” formed in the extracellular space.

SONY DSCThomas Liebmann (CSO and Co-Founder) – Thomas is a postdoctoral associate at Rockefeller University in New York. He received his PhD in neuroscience from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden (2013). His PhD thesis entitled “Implications of localization and transport regulation of postsynaptic membrane proteins for synaptic function and psychiatric disorders” provided novel mechanisms for neuronal function and signal regulation in the brain.

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   Reducing complications resulting from blood transfusions.

Ex Vivo Dynamics is developing a non-invasive platform technology to reduce serious short and long term complications resulting from blood transfusions.

Team

Alan Perlstein (CEO) – Alan Perlstein M.S Is currently the founder and CEO of Ex Vivo Dynamics. He has over 10 years of extensive experience in biological and device engineering. He received his dual M.S from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department of NYU-POLY. He has won the company many awards and prizes through multiple venture competitions in New York State in 2013.

Dr. Xi Huang (CSO) – Dr. Xi Huang is currently the Chief Scientific Officer at Ex Vivo Dynamics. He was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Environmental Medicine at New York University School of Medicine for over 12 years.Dr. Huang received his Ph.D. in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology from University of Paris VII, France, and completed his post-doctoral training in Molecular Toxicology at New York University School of Medicine. He has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters and has received over $10 million in government grants.

Daisy Lobo (CAO) – Daisy Lobo M.S (2014) is currently the CAO of Ex Vivo Dynamics. She has 6 years of experience in Biotechnology.She is finishing her Masters at NYU-POLY.



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   Developing mitochondrial DNA based biomarkers for cancer and developmental disorders.

The mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) is the last frontier in this age of genomics. Mitochondria are implicated in developmental disorders and the development of resistance of cancer to chemotherapies. Girihlet will be developing kits, based on technology we have developed in an academic lab, to sequence the mtDNA efficiently, rapidly and inexpensively. We will also be developing the technique for research and clinical applications, in collaborations with academic labs.

Team

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Ravi Sachidanandam (Founder) – Ravi is a prolific researcher with over 85 published papers, spanning fields including small RNA biology, piRNAs in the germline, DNA methylation, mRNA splicing, bioinformatic tools, deep-sequencing techniques, cancer biology, human genetics and virology. At Mount Sinai, he also established the deep-sequencing core facility and developed several novel bioinformatic tools and wet-bench techniques for deep sequencing that have resulted in two patents. One on small RNA sequencing has been exclusively licensed and the other, on mtDNA sequencing, is the focus of Girihlet.

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   Transforming complex biology into practical solutions.

Gray Box Biology LLC was created to provide academic and commercial life science researchers with specialized teams of experts from various fields. The teams are formed from the large and diverse pool of highly trained scientists who live in New York City. We build these teams to meet the specific needs of our clients, which can range from simple validation of an ELISA assay or conducting preclinical animal studies.

Our latest project is the development of a prototype medical device which will operate in low resource areas (no electricity or running water) to diagnose the presence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in patients. The device, nicknamed the “Bronx Box 2.0”, was conceived by Dr. William R Jacobs of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and has the potential to reduce the mortality caused by the rapid emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Team

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Larry Leung (COO) – Dr. Leung graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering. From there, he shifted his focus from engineering to biology and obtained a PhD in biochemistry at The City University of New York. After work in the fields of cell biology (Weill Medical School of Cornell University) and viral immunology (Mt Sinai School of Medicine), Dr. Leung started Gray Box Biology LLC with the goal of tapping the immense scientific talent in New York to bring broad, yet detailed knowledge and expertise to private and academic research institutions.

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   Accelerating the pace of research through innovative small animal imaging and analysis.

Founded and directed by Drs. Alexander Klose and Neal Paragas in 2012, InVivo Analytics, is a small animal optical imaging innovation company with an exclusive patented software and hardware suite, InVivoPLOT. This sophisticated system transforms current small animal optical imaging platforms into devices that can acquire quantitative 3D images. InVivoPLOT is designed to seamlessly incorporate into current drug discovery and development systems. InVivo Analytics offers custom image analysis services and consulting for all small animal optical imaging projects.

Team

SONY DSC Neal Paragas, PhD (Founder) – Neal has over ten years experience in modeling human disease in small animals using bioluminescence, animal genetics, and surgical methods. He is the author of over 15 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. At InVivo Analytics, Dr. Paragas focuses on Preclinical Imaging Contract Research including consultation on animal models and experimental design. In 2010 he earned his Ph.D. in Metabolic Biology with Distinction from Columbia University and was the Dean’s Award Recipient for Excellence in Research. Currently Dr. Paragas has an appointment as an Instructor in Medical Sciences at Columbia University where he develops small animal models of human disease for molecular imaging. During his post-doctorate work at Columbia University he developed a bioluminescent reporter mouse which demonstrated the kinetics of a novel kidney biomarker which has been a highly cited publication in the journal Nature Medicine. Dr. Paragas’ work has earned him over a million dollars in grants and awards from the NIH and pharmaceutical industry.

SONY DSCAlexander Klose, PhD (Founder) – Alex earned a PhD in Physics in 2001 and has published over 30 journal articles and book chapters in radiation transport, inverse scattering problems, computational modeling, and molecular imaging. His efforts at InVivo Analytics focus on the development of image reconstruction software and hardware for bioluminescence imaging. Dr. Klose also serves as an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Columbia University and has been awarded research funding from the Ernst Schering Foundation, the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and the National Institutes of Health.
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   Formulating novel antimicrobial polymers.

IrOS is a chemical company that formulates novel antimicrobial polymers for incorporation into a variety of applications.

Team

Tyler Poore (Technical Director) – Tyler works on product formulations, product applications, patent strategies, as well as general research and development.

Tyler is a PhD student at Columbia University, studying organic chemistry and natural product synthesis. He obtained his M.S. in chemistry from Columbia in 2011. Tyler was also a participant of the inaugural Innovation and Entrepreneurship program offered from Columbia University’s business school. His team was one of twelve out of over 100 to be accepted, where he learned the fundamentals of business strategy and entrepreneurship. Prior to Columbia, Tyler graduated from RPI, summa cum laude where he studied carbohydrate synthesis, biochemistry, and drug discovery.


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   Inventing microfabricated devices for human health diagnostics.

Junco Labs was founded to translate microfabrication technologies to products that improve human health. The company is currently developing handheld “lab-on-a-chip” devices that can perform rapid and inexpensive diagnostic tests at the point of care.

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   Proving clients personalized services for the measurement of microRNA.

Mirna Analytics provides personalized service to researchers in medicine and veterinary medicine for the measurement of microRNA in body fluids, particularly plasma or sputum. MicroRNAs are small molecules made for short- and long-distance communication between cells. The concentration of these microRNAs in body fluids can indicate risk or protection from disease, and some microRNAs are also useful as disease markers. MicroRNAs are highly similar between species, including humans and many pet, agricultural and exotic animals.

Full service provided by Mirna Analytics includes: Advice for study design, Begin lab work by isolating microRNA, Continue lab work by measuring microRNA levels, Determine and interpret results.

We anticipate that our first clients will come from research laboratories in pulmonary medicine or microbiology. Mirna Analytics will be built stepwise based on customer demand. We are seeking funding from the STTR / SBIR NIH grant program and from the Bill Gates Foundation. The customers and partners of Mirna Analytics are anticipated to be based in New York City and also in and outside of the US. Mirna Analytic’s aim is to serve the research, medical and veterinary communities.

Team

Gabriele Grunig, DVM, PhD (President) – Dr. Grunig received a Veterinary Medicine degree (University of Zurich) and Ph.D. in Immunology (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY). She performed postdoctoral work in veterinary medicine at the University of Zurich and in the biomedical sciences at DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, and UCSF, San Francisco.

Dr. Grunig’s goal is to translate basic science findings to clinical applications. Mirna Analytics serves this goal by providing full service for the determination of biomarkers of risk for disease, progression of disease, or as disease marker. Mirna Analytics focuses on microRNA because they are stable molecules of cellular communication, and they are highly similar between species, including humans, and animals (e.g. dogs, cats, horses, cows).

Serhiy Pylawka, MS (Scientific Officer) – Mr. Pylawka received his Nursing degree from Lviv Medical College (Lviv, Ukraine) and Masters of Biological Sciences from University of Illinois in Chicago (Chicago, Illinois). His breadth of experience spreads from medicine to ciliate biology, immunology, and neuroscience. Mr. Pylawka is adept at working with a multitude of organisms from unicellular protists and mice to zebrafish and chickens. He has contributed greatly to a wide range of projects as an expert molecular biologist and microscopist. As Scientific Officer for Mirna Analytics, Mr. Pylawka has adapted his skills to transforming microRNAs into biomarkers for pulmonary hypertension.

Ian Ladran, (Business Development Officer) -Ian’s educational background includes BSc Biology, BSc Kinesiology, and studies in Economics. His professional experience includes life science investment and research lab rotations at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.



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   Predictive Physiology.

TARA Biosystems is a technology engine building physiologically predictive tissue models. Its initial focus is developing heart microtissues for rapid testing for the safety and efficacy of drugs.

Team

Misti Ushio, Ph.D. (CEO)






Blake Stevens, Ph.D. (Chief Operating Officer)





Prof. Gordana Vunjak-Novokovic, Columbia University (Scientific Founder)





Prof. Milica Radisic, University of Toronto (Scientific Founder)





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   Innovative Drug Development Services.

Translational Cell Science LLC (TCS) is a privately held contract research organization (CRO) founded in 2011. Its laboratory facilities are located at the Harlem Biospace, a biotech incubator the heart of three academic campuses in Manhattan and developed in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

TCS employs a team of highly trained staff with experience in primary human cell culture and tissue processing. By constantly adopting new technologies, TCS strives to stay at the forefront of cell culture and drug assay science.

Team

Chris Hansis, Ph.D. (CEO) – Trained as MD and PhD, Dr. Hansis served as Research Faculty and Principal Investigator at the University of Southern California and New York University Medical Schools for 11 years and as the inaugural Director of the New York University Stem Cell Core Facility for two years. He has extensive experience in cell culture, molecular biology, stem cell biology, and drug discovery. He has published with Nobel and Lasker Prize winner Prof. Robert Edwards of Cambridge University, the creator of the first IVF baby, and produced the first and only human embryonic stem cell lines at New York University.

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Alumni

   Grow Your Own Bone.

EpiBone is a Columbia University spin-out focused on producing fully functional, anatomically-precise, patient specific, living bone tissue from patients’ own stem cells. EpiBone’s engineered, living bone is suitable for anatomically challenging defects that severely debilitate the patient, functionally and psychologically, and limit quality of life. These defects, whether rendered by trauma, congenital abnormalities, cancer, or aesthetic reconstruction, require precise, functional, patient-specific bone. EpiBone employs breakthrough, proprietary methods, devices and systems for bone tissue engineering using bioreactors (i.e. custom designed advanced cell culture systems for 3-D tissues). EpiBone’s technology allows the configuration of complex 3-D grafts, as well as controlled perfusion and live imaging capabilities. These methods, devices and systems are protected by a suite of issued and pending patents. In addition, EpiBone employs substantial technical know-how, and is led by a team of world-class scientists and clinicians, and is advised by Columbia University Professors, Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic and Dr. Sidney Eisig.

Team

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Nina Tandon (CEO and Co-Founder) – Nina obtained her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering at MIT, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering along with an MBA at Columbia University, NY. She is a TED Senior Fellow, Staff Associate Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Columbia University, and adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union. Nina’s PhD research focused on studying electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, and has worked with cardiac, skin, bone and neural tissue. Nina spent her early career in telecom (Avaya Labs) and transitioned into biomedical engineering via a Fulbright scholarship in Italy. After completing her PhD at MIT and Columbia, she consulted at McKinsey and Company, but since 2010 has continued her work in tissue engineering. Nina has published 10 journal articles (cited >300 times, H=9), 6 book chapters and has 3 patents. She’s published in Nature Protocols and Lab on a Chip, spoken three times at TED, and Fast Company Magazine named her one of their 100 most creative people in business, 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, playing with puppies, running slowly, baking cookies, laughing with her niece, and avoiding folding the laundry.


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Sarindr Bhumiratana (CSO and Co-Founder) – Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Sarindr (Ick) moved to the US to pursued his education in Biomedical Engineering. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, Master’s at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Ph.D. and post-doc at columbia University. His Ph.D. research focused on bone and cartilage tissue engineering from adult mesenchymal stem cells. He is an author of more than 15 journal articles related to bone and cartilage tissue engineering (cited >270 times), 4 book chapters, and has 2 patents. He has been invited to speak at several special seminar at different Universities and at FDA Bone seminar workshop. In his spare time, he enjoys all sort of sports such as soccer, basketball, rock climbing, badminton, and snowboarding. He likes to try all type of food and enjoys live music.


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Michael Lamprecht – Mike completed his PhD in the Neurotrauma and Repair Laboratory at Columbia University in 2014 as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. His graduate work focused on the treatment of traumatic brain injury with a combination therapy of 17-beta-estradiol and memantine as well as the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. While at Columbia University, Michael was a graduate fellow at Columbia Technology Ventures where he assessed new technologies being developed across a broad spectrum of disciplines at the University. He previously worked at The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research developing the image analysis software CellProfiler and performing large scale RNAi experiments to investigate the role of mTOR in cancer biology. He completed his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2005. He has co-authored 6 journal articles (cited > 500 times, H=5) and 2 conference proceedings.


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   Re-inventing allergy diagnostics.

Immunovent, LLC is an allergy diagnostics company that is developing the Local Allergy Mucosal Brush (LAMB) test. LAMB-Dx is the first local allergy test that can accurately diagnose the significant number of both airborne and food allergies that are currently undetected by traditional allergy testing methods. Moreover, LAMB-Dx is projected to have particular utility as a companion diagnostic to antigen-specific immunotherapy (AIT), the only curative treatment modality for allergic disease. The rapid and minimally invasive LAMB-Dx does not involve needles, making it ideal for the pediatric population.

Team

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Kate Rochlin (Chief Science Officer) – Ms. Rochlin is a PhD candidate at Weill Cornell Graduate School in NYC. She has expertise in cell and molecular biology and has been working in early stage technology commercialization through the Entrepreneurship Lab program with the NYCEDC.



SONY DSCErick Berglund, PhD (CEO) – Dr. Berglund received his MS from B.U. School of Medicine, followed by a PhD in biochemistry from Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Dr. Berglund has held professional positions in business development, licensing, IP management, and marketing both within larger organizations as well as in start-up bioventure settings.



SONY DSCMichael Nelson, JD (CFO) – Michael graduated from Cornell University and received his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He is a managing director at Westwood Capital and previously was CFO of an early stage healthcare company, was an analyst at Barclays Capital and ING, and practiced law at Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Dewey Ballantine.



SONY DSCWilliam Reisacher, MD (Chief Medical Officer) – William received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is an Associate Professor and the Director of Allergy within the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.


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   Developing novel cancer therapies targeting currently unaddressed tumor drivers.

Oncostem Biotherapeutics is a drug discovery company dedicated to the health and welfare of individuals who are living with cancer. Bottom line, in the United States, one person dies from cancer every minute, over 500,000 individuals per year. Worldwide, one person dies every eight seconds, over 3,000,000 individuals per year. We can, and must do better in providing more efficacious treatment options for individuals with cancer.

Oncostem Biotherapeutics was established by Rudolph E. Willis, MD, a globally renowned oncologist, and Scott M. Kahn, Ph.D., an expert in oncology, translational biology, cellular signaling and a pioneer in the field of oncogene addiction. Our aim is to develop novel targeted therapies against proven oncogenic drivers that remain orphan to currently available therapies. Our lead targets fulfill a set of stringent requirements, and display all desired characteristics of being tumor drivers- they are the focus of causative genetic lesions in tumors, they have been demonstrated experimentally and biologically to fulfill the properties of tumor drivers, as opposed to being bystanders, and their inhibition suppresses cell growth and/or kills cancer cells that are otherwise driven by their presence.

The ultimate goal of Oncostem Biotherapeutics is to develop a panel of novel targeted therapies that will have a major positive impact on the treatment and survival of individuals with cancer.

Team

Rudolph E. Willis, M.D. (President and CEO) -Dr. Willis is a founding member of OncoStem Biotherapeutics. He is a theoretical biologist with over 28 years of experience in all aspects of cancer therapy and research. He is the author of the foundational theoretical biology work that serves as the basis for the development of a new class of targeted anti-cancer drugs.

He has served as the Director of the Clinical Trials Subunit at Washington University School of Medicine and participated in innumerable clinical trials. He is the author of several scientific and clinical papers in oncology and molecular biology. He is a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society for Cell Biology, and a member of the NIH Alumni Association. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Drexel College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and is earning a MS degree in Bioinformatics from John Hopkins University. He is on the editorial review board of Current Cancer Drug Targets. He belongs to MENSA.

Scott M. Kahn, Ph.D. (Chief Scientific Officer) – Dr. Scott M. Kahn brings over 30 years of expertise executing and directing top-level projects in academia and industry. Dr. Kahn combines a deep understanding of oncology, personalized medicine, translational research, biomarkers, and biomedical research, with a high technical acumen and an acute mind for business development. He has directed projects alongside global thought leaders, worldwide industry and academic research groups, and cross-functional teams.

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    Creating a more cost-effective, non-toxic liquid hydroponic fertilizer with safer, recycled ingredients.

Re-Nuble uses a proprietary process enabled by technology to convert food waste into a cheaper, highly sterile and stable, organic-based liquid fertilizer for the indoor agriculture industry. We are focused on the commercialization of formulas and technologies to turn food waste streams into biobased materials for indoor growing systems. In doing so, we aim to create completely sustainable, closed loop food and plant production systems.

Team

SONY DSC Tinia Pina (Founder and CEO) – Tinia received her B.S. in Business Information Technology from Virginia Tech and is a SWANA Certified Composting Systems Technical Associate. Her experiences related to food waste, food systems and sustainability have fueled her passion to increase our communities’ resilience, prosperity, and knowledge to help us live more conscious lives. Tinia’s pioneering business model has earned her a Huffington Post Millennial Impact Grant, the American Express Emerging Innovator award and a MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur grant, among other honors.

Priya Gandhi (Research Technician) – Priya graduated from Columbia University with a M.S. in Chemical Engineering. Prior to obtaining her Masters, Priya applied her research towards the reactor design and kinetic study of the catalytic reduction of CO2 by the production of methanol as a side product from an ammonia synthesis plant. Her experience and coursework includes sustainable water treatment and reuse, catalysis for emission control, chemical equipment design, biochemical engineering, process simulation and modeling, and solid waste management.

SONY DSC Andrew Carter (Hydroponics Specialist) – Andrew has industry experience as a Hydroponics Consultant and has worked with Brightfarms and Windowfarms, respectively, as a Head Grower and in Systems Design. He has domain expertise in using Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), flood tables, and vine crop systems within controlled agriculture environments and with profitable plant varieties. As Hydroponic Specialist and Product Manager, he manages end user requirements, and business and product development.

SONY DSC Steven Burnett, Ph.D. (VP of Research) – Steven holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a Minor in Microbiology from the University of Hawaii. In addition, he possesses a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Howard University. As Vice President of Research and Development, he is responsible for the development, assessment, and quality assurance of our products.


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   Finding a cure for Muscular Dystrophy.

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   Developing therapeutics to treat diseases caused by imbalances in the gut microbial ecosystem.

Symbiotic Health, Inc. is a team of clinicians and scientists dedicated to commercializing microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics. The microbiome, an ecosystem of symbiotic bacteria, is an integral part of the healthy human body. Antibiotic-induced injury to the gut microbiome can lead to dangerous infections, especially with Clostridium difficile. The Centers for Disease Control considers this infection, which can cause severe chronic diarrhea, as an “immediate public health threat that requires urgent and aggressive action” (www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013).

Our therapeutics re-balance the gut microbiome to treat Clostridium difficile infection. Building on this proof-of-concept indication, we will develop microbiome medicine to shift clinical paradigms with powerful, practical and cost-effective solutions to critical public health problems.

Team

Gerard Honig, PhD (Founder & Director of Operations) – Gerard is a research scientist with a passion for applying cutting-edge research to meet real-world problems. Gerard, a native New Yorker, received his BA in Biology from Columbia University and his PhD in Neuroscience (2009) from University of California San Francisco. He has trained in immunology, pathogenesis and microbiome research in the laboratories of Betty Diamond (Feinstein Institute) and Dan Littman (NYU). He has extensive experience in a wide range of scientific approaches and is very excited to apply this experience as part of the Harlem Biospace community. Gerard is a student of Japanese martial arts at the Kokushi Budo Institute and also enjoys building bikes, kayaking and DJing.

Bruce Hirsch, MD (Chief Medical Officer) – Bruce has been serving the community of the New York metropolitan area as a physician for over 30 years. Bruce received his MD from Cornell University and trained in geriatrics and infectious disease at North Shore University Hospital, Cornell and Albert Einstein. Currently, he is attending physician and assistant professor in the Infectious Disease Division of the North Shore LIJ Health System. Bruce worked through the HIV crisis from its earliest manifestations in New York and has maintained a strong interest in HIV. More recently, he has pioneered the use of bacterial replacement therapy for the treatment of gut infections within the North Shore LIJ Health System. He has a long-standing interest in innovative therapeutics, having chaired the North Shore LIJ Committee on Pharmacy and Therapeutics, and holds a patent for an infection control device.

Andrew Sczesnak (Director of Bioinformatics) – Andrew has several years of experience designing and implementing bioinformatics pipelines, especially for the analysis of microbial communities with genome and metagenome sequencing. At New York University, he sequenced and analyzed the genome of well-known segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), an immune-modulating commensal bacterium. He was also a lead author on a recent study demonstrating the strikingly high abundance of a single gut microbe in sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis. Andrew is currently a graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco where he is a National Science Foundation fellow studying Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.

At Symbiotic Health, Inc., he manages all bioinformatics work, designing computational experiments and interpreting results for our team of biomedical researchers.

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   Developing nanoparticles of omega-3 fatty acids for diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Theranostica is a biotechnology start-up aiming to develop novel approaches of using omega-3 fatty acids nanoparticles towards the diagnosis and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. This patented technology enables the rapid target delivery of polyunsaturated lipid compounds with anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving properties to organs or tissues in the body (i.e. an inflamed atherosclerotic plaque or a region of myocardial damage). Ongoing research seeks to refine this technology and to expand on its potential in detecting inflammation within the body. Ultimately, a “theranostic” tool is envisioned to detect, treat and monitor inflammatory diseases ranging from cardiovascular disorders to cancer.

Team

Henry Wu, MD (Founder and CEO) – Dr. Wu is a physician scientist who received his medical training at Weill Cornell Medical Center, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is an expert in non-invasive multi-modality cardiovascular imaging utilizing ultrasound, magnetic resonance and optical methods. He was previously on faculty at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons with research focus on the role of inflammation in chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. His research had received funding from the National Institutes of Health. In 2008, Dr. Wu left academia to develop a ultrasound delivery method of targeting omega-3 fatty acids to the heart as anti-inflammatory treatment. This novel technology has recently received approval from the United States Patent Office.

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