The Affymetrix Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Xconomy San Francisco — 

[Updated: 3:55 pm PT, 5/3/12Affymetrix changed the way researchers thought about genetics in the mid-‘90s when it developed the original DNA microarrays, which it trademarked as “GeneChips.” The Santa Clara company (NASDAQ: AFFX) attracted bright minds from all over the world to test their skills in biology and semiconductor technology.

Now in its 20th anniversary year, Affymetrix doesn’t have the market valuation it once did, but it still has 900 employees around the world. It’s also clear that Affy provided a formative experience for many talented people who have moved on to play key roles in different genomic and diagnostic companies across the Bay Area. The mission, to get genomic data on a microchip, drew people with skills in biology, chemistry, semiconductors, materials science, and marketing—all who were hungry for a big challenge.

“I can remember in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when we were in a very rapid growth phase, everybody had a sense we were working with a unique group of people with amazing talents,” says Thane Kreiner, a former senior vice president at Affymetrix who’s now the executive director of the Center for Science, Technology & Society at Santa Clara University. “There was a ton of energy.”

To track down the Affymetrix alumni, I’ve put together an online directory based largely on company biographies and LinkedIn bio pages. This list includes not just mover-shaker types, but also the rank-and-file in scientific and business roles. The group, in alphabetical order, includes more than 200 names at last count, and I expect it to grow over time.

The Affymetrix Alumni: Sue Siegel, former Affymetrix president, now a general partner with Mohr Davidow Ventures

You can see the Affymetrix impact on the genomics industry, and the Bay Area, when you look at who its alumni are and where they work. There are four venture capitalists in the group (John Diekman of 5AM Ventures, Sue Siegel of Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Ed Hurwitz and David Mack of Alta Partners), seven people who founded or co-founded new companies, and nine CEOs. And that’s not a comprehensive analysis.

My hope is that this list will grow with your help. If you see any information below that’s out of date or incorrect, please let me know and I’ll fix it. If you’re an alumnus and would like to be added to the list, let me know. If you have any questions, comments, or new information, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article or send me a note at Enjoy!

Josie Adao Adalim, senior supervisor, Abbott Nutrition

Lisa Alvis, key account manager, Illumina

Rolfe Anderson, senior director of advanced development, IntegenX

Tarif Awad, director of global market development, Sequenom

Connie (Van Lieu) Alarcon, program manager, Advantage Technical Resourcing

Dione Bailey, director of field marketing, Complete Genomics

David Balaban, vice president of R&D informatics, Amgen

Tony Bartlett, managing director/principal consultant, Tacit Bio Innovation Limited

John Batty, advisory board, RidePal

Jody Beecher, vice president of operations at Fluxion Biosciences

Nancy Benson, quality systems consultant

Anna Berdine, senior director of genetic analysis and qPCR, Life Technologies

Dennis Bishop, director of finance, Olympus Corp of the Americas

Rebecca Bishop, clinical market development director, Complete Genomics

Bob Blalock, sales director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Illumina

John Blume, chief science officer, Applied Proteomics

Andrew Boudreau, senior product manager, DNAnexus

Anne Bowdidge (Curry), senior director of investor relations, Medivation

Meri Bozzini, director of product management, Life Technologies

James Brayer, global manager, market development, RainDance Technologies

Pat Brooks, vice president of international sales, Ion Torrent

Tommy Broudy, chief scientific officer, Molecular Response

Laisha Bruckner-Kaufman, payroll/HR manager, LiveWorld

Alicia Burt, senior product manager, Agilent Technologies

Kathy Cannon, executive assistant, Juniper Networks

Wei William Cao, president, China Biotech Group

Yan Cao, associate director of program management, Ion Torrent Systems

Michele Cargill, chief scientific officer, Locus Development

Bob Carroll, operations consultant and contractor

Niv Caviar, owner at OC Life Science Partners

Simon Cawley, senior director of analysis software, Ion Torrent Systems

Lauretta Cesario, vice president of human resources, FivePrime Therapeutics

Moses Cesario, chief operations officer, MogoTXT

Paul Chapman, vice president of information technology, VMware

Susanna Chau, investor relations manager, Astex Pharmaceuticals

Ramin Chaybani, founding partner, Novoptim

Mark Chee, CEO, PrognoSys Biosciences [Added: 3:05 pm PT, 5/2/12]

Yuhua Ashley Chen, founder, Beijing Define Technology

Steve Chervitz (Trutane), senior computational biologist, Omicia

Lori Ciano, executive coach and consultant

Paul Ciccolella, director of SMRT cell manufacturing engineering, PacBio

Paco Cifuentes, director of product applications, Ion Torrent Systems

Jane Clarke, director of US sales at m2p-Labs

Francois Collin, senior statistician, Genomic Health

Jim Collins, biotechnology R&D leader

Grace Colon, president of industrial products division, senior vice president, Intrexon

Wes Conard, communications director, Ion Torrent Systems (part of Life Technologies)

Karen Considine, senior manager, market development, Life Technologies

Beth Concaugh, regional opportunity manager, The Jackson Laboratory

Patrick Cooke, director, FAS, PacBio

Trena Cormier, product marketing manager, NuGEN Technologies

Philippe Cotrel, commercial director, Abcam

Brady Cowden, director, Computime Equity Ventures

Dave Craford, chief of commercial operations, Pathwork Diagnostics

Maureen Cronin, senior vice president of R&D, Foundation Medicine

Dennise Dalma Weiszhausz, founder, Accurine

Mark Daly, account manager, west coast, Complete Genomics

Alan Dance, vice president of marketing, NuGEN Technologies

Steven Daniel, senior director of sales and business development, AltheaDx

Pete Dansky, president of molecular and cell biology, Life Technologies

James Davies, senior manager, HR systems strategy, LinkedIn

Jonathan Day, director of sales in North America, NextGen qPCR technical sales specialists, Life Technologies

Eric De Biasi, senior field service engineer, Leica Microsystems

Gianfranco DeFeo, senior director of marketing, Sequenom

Emmanuel Demillecamps, sales director RAS France, Roche Diagnostics

Tarangini (Gini) Deshpande, co-founder, NuMedii

John Diekman, managing partner, 5AM Ventures

Cindy Dolan, senior sales representative, Ion Torrent Systems

Kurt Donner, protein specialist, ProteinSimple

Paul Doran, strategic alliance manager, Cellular Dynamics

James Drees, sales enablement manager, Seagate Technology

Jorg Drenkow, research associate, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Mark Dronsfield, European sales director, RainDance Technologies

Kevin Dunne, clinical and pharma specialist, Complete Genomics

Ann Edwards, senior human resources manager, Takeda San Francisco

Nancy Ellington, senior director of compensation, benefits and HRIS, Intellectual Ventures

Robert Ellis, consultant [Added: 11:50 am PT, 5/2/12]

Nicole Ellis Ovadia, senior product manager, global commercial platforms, BD Biosciences

Malek Faham, chief scientific officer, Sequenta

Hossein Fakhrai-Rad, founder and CEO, Genophen

Mat Falkowski, director, Skukuru

Patrizia Fazeli, senior marcom specialist, Agilent Technologies

Gregg Fergus, president and COO, Ion Torrent Systems (part of Life Technologies)

Jacqueline Fidanza, senior manager of manufacturing, Ion Torrent Systems

Curtis Fideler, director sales manager, Illumina

Sandra Finley, vice president of strategic marketing, Aviir

Jeff Fitzgerald, director of business development, Expression Analysis

Stephen Fodor, chairman of the board, Affymetrix [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

David Fullerton, senior R&D engineering technician, RainDance Technologies

Hana Gage, commercial director, Pacific Asia & Latin America, Fluidigm

Amy Gannaway, senior director, WW HRIS, VMware

Matthew Garrett, chief financial officer, Navigenics

Erik Gentalen, director of product support, ProteinSimple

Srinka Ghosh, senior bioinformatics applications manager, Complete Genomics

Martin Goldberg, chief operating officer, Gen9 [Added: 11:50 am PT, 5/2/12]

Stu Grabar, director of manufacturing, T2 Biosystems

Anthony Green, senior translational genomics specialist, Illumina

Jeff Gruszynski, principal, director of R&D, Core Wafer Systems

Cyrus Harmon, CEO, Olema Pharmaceuticals

Richard Henfrey, associate director of marketing in Europe, Illumina

Christian Henry, chief financial officer, Illumina

Lucas Hickey, associate director of sales and market development, PacBio

Steve Holmes, counsel, Kaye Scholer [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

Mike Hoerres, CEO, Cernostics

Jing-Shan “Jennifer” Hu, vice president and head of innovation center China, global drug discovery, Bayer Healthcare

Earl Hubbell, principal statistician, Ion Torrent Systems

Ed Hurwitz, director, Alta Partners [Added: 10:45 am, 5/3/12]

Elizabeth Hutt, CEO, NuGEN Technologies

Lee Jacobek, director of product management, Thomson Reuters

Maneesh Jain, vice president of business development and marketing, Ion Torrent Systems

Hywel Jones, healthcare consultant

Steve Karas, independent biotechnology professional (says he’s “retired and enjoying life”)

George Karlin-Neumann, senior director of diagnostics assay development, QuantaLife

Debbie Keenan, manager, service and support, Illumina

Chris Kendrick-Parker, chief commercial officer, Cellular Dynamics International

Guilia Kennedy, chief scientific officer, Veracyte

Mitchell Kennedy, vice president and general manager, LSR-Genomics, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Neil Kennedy, vice president of sales, DVS Sciences

Elizabeth Kerr, senior director of qPCR strategy and portfolio/program management, Life Technologies

David King, interactive producer, iTunes, Apple

Lutz Kirchrath, managing director of Europe and Asia Pacific, NuGEN Technologies

Karen Kirk, owner, KLK Consulting

Jamie Kole, vice president of finance and administration, Ion Torrent Systems

Thane Kreiner, executive director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society, Santa Clara University.

Lori Lai, senior scientific affairs manager, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics

Pamela Lambert, vice president of program, quality and compliance management, Pathwork Diagnostics

Dirk Lammerts, managing director, digital health, Burrill & Co. [Added: 3:55 pm, 5/3/12]

Trace Lane, business development manager, Sequenom

Janet Lankard, vice president of commercial operations, North America, BioScale

Griffen Lauer, western district sales manager, Fluidigm

Jennifer Leib, partner, HealthFutures

Mike Lelivelt, director of bioinformatics, Ion Torrent Systems

Jake Leschly, CEO, Ingenuity Systems

Chip Leveille, chief operating officer, BioScale

Chunmei Liu, staff scientist, Life Technologies

David Lockhart, chief scientific officer, Amicus Therapeutics [Added: 10:45 am, 5/3/12]

Steve Lombardi, CEO, Real Time Genomics

Gregory Loney, senior director of instrumentation, Ventana Medical Systems

David Mack, director, Alta Partners [Added: 10:45 am, 5/3/12]

Mike Malecek, partner, Kaye Scholer [Added:10:30 am PT, 5/3/12]

Barbara Maloney, director of comm sales & marketing services, Genomic Health

Elaine Mansfield, genomics professional

Elizabeth Mansfield, director of personalized medicine, FDA

Christopher Mapel, director of sales, North America, RainDance Technologies

Greg Marcus, writer, genomics business consultant

Linda McAllister, chief medical officer, vice president of R&D, PharmaJet

Phil McGarrigle, general counsel, Nodality

Bill McGrath, quality of engineering, Keurig

Greg McGuiness, vice president of business development, pharmacogenomics, DNA Electronics

Jody Courtney McIntyre, senior training specialist, sequencing, Life Technologies

Lianne McLean, IVD marketing consultant

Rui Mei, vice president of R&D, Centrillion Biosciences

Garry Miyada, vice president of product development, NuGEN Technologies

Stephen Moore, general counsel, Navigenics

Tom Morris, vice president of clinical development, Navigenics

Jim Neesen, partner and CFO, Connor Group

Trevor Nicholls, CEO, CABI

Vern Norviel, partner, Wilson Sonsini, adjunct professor, UC Berkeley

Ken Nussbacher, archangel advisory board, Mission Bay Capital/QB3

John Palma, director of clinical research, Roche Molecular Systems

Myra Pasek, head of communications, Europe and Middle East, Tesla Motors [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

Ann Pierson, chief business officer, Optim Sciences

Raji Pillai, senior director of product development and clinical affairs, Pathwork Diagnostics

Fred Pollock, vice president of corporate development-research, High Throughput Genomics

Dan Puckett, vice president of finance and administration, Ariosa Diagnostics

Bob Ragusa, senior vice president of global operations, Accuray

Gabrielle Raia, clinical and applied market development lead, Ion Torrent Systems

Carl Raimond, vice president of sales and field operations, Americas Life Science, Agilent Technologies

Mark Rakic, senior vice president of human resources, Coherent

Pratima Rao, co-founder and vice president of marketing, Genia Technologies

Richard Rava, president, Verinata Health

Dan Reed, director of litigation, [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

Peter Root, partner, Kaye Scholer [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

Carsten Rosenow, associate director of market development and sales, genotyping, Illumina

Iain Russell, senior product manager, Life Technologies

Michael Ryan, president, Accelerate

Greg Schiffman, chief financial officer, Dendreon

Victor Sementchenko, senior data analysis scientist, NuGEN Technologies

Mamatha Shekar, director of scientific curation, NextBio

Alan Sherr, vice president and chief IP counsel, RainDance Technologies

Sejal Sheth, vice president of product marketing, PacBio

Sue Siegel, general partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Deepak Singh, vice president/Europe, PacBio

Elise Schuller, litigation paralegal, Zynga [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

Nigel Skinner, director of business development in Europe, Agilent Technologies

David Smith, senior director, laboratory operations, Complete Genomics

Jeff Smith, regional account manager, Ion Torrent Systems

Patrick Smith, sales, Mettler Toledo

Mark Solakian, senior vice president and general counsel, Joule Unlimited

John Sowatsky, technology assessment and instrument development, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Eric Spence, senior engineer, Agilent Technologies

John Stark, vice president of clinical and applied markets, Life Technologies

Rachel Steger, marketing director, Second Genome

Sadashi Suzuki, president, Bio-Rad Laboratories-Japan

Alex Szabo, principal, Golden Gate Life Sciences Partners

Patrice Tanti, senior program manager of operations, Life Technologies

Jean-Marc Terral, general manager for Korea, Singapore, South East Asia, Life Technologies

Janeen Thompson, project supervisor, professional education, SI-BONE

Katie Tillman Buck, director of marketing and public engagement, Center for Science Technology and Society, Santa Clara University

Jessica Tonani, co-founder, Delphi Bio Consulting

Martha Trela, vice president of marketing, PacBio [Added: 11:50 am PT, 5/2/12]

Mike Troutman, global product scientist/trainer, Agilent Technologies

Jennifer Tye, marketing, Genentech

Sean Walsh, vice president of product development, Veracyte

Eric Wang, senior statistical geneticist, Aria Diagnostics

Ian Walton, director, engineering, Life Technologies

Eva Wang, senior director, information sciences and biostatistics, XDx

Lin Wang, director customer insights, Glu Mobile

Janet Warrington, co-founder and senior vice president of operations, Second Genome

Armin Winands, vice president of sales and support in Europe, Ion Torrent Systems

Frank Witney, CEO, Affymetrix (he had an earlier stint at Affymetrix before returning as CEO in 2011). [Added: 10:30 am, 5/3/12]

Kai Wu, senior researcher, Intel

Greg Yap, lifecycle leader (SVP), Advanced Assays, Roche Diagnostics

Jean Yee, director of finance, Ariosa Diagnostics

Suzanne Yokota, VP of marketing and commercial operations, Verinata Health

Ted Young, sales, DVS Sciences

George Yu, counsel, Schiff Hardin

Yan Zhang, vice president of market development, Asia, Ion Torrent Systems

Wei Zhou, CEO, Centrillion Biosciences

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3 responses to “The Affymetrix Alumni: Where Are They Now?”

  1. vectramind says:

    This list includes not just mover-shaker types, but also the rank-and-file in scientific and business roles. The group, in alphabetical order, includes more than 200 names at last count, and I expect it to grow over time.

  2. The silent majority says:

    What an elitist attitude. There are several folks on this list that literally ruined companies to the ground when they left Affy and tried to be useful elsewhere