Team

Meet our team of passionate problem solvers

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Jay West, PhD

CEO / Co-Founder

Jay is an inventor of several technologies in the molecular biology, microfluidic and diagnostic arena. He has created numerous commercial products and led the development of commercial operations as a company founder.

Jay cofounded Arcxis Biotechnologies in 2005 which was eventually sold in 2010. As the Sr. Director of R&D, he lead the group who developed transformative innovations at Fluidigm, including C1, and Polaris systems, enabling a variety of novel single cell and genomic base workflows. Jay has an extensive publication record which includes, Nature Biotechnology, Cell, Nature Neuroscience and Science.

He has a BS from UMass Amherst, a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UC Davis, and performed post-doctoral studies at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories.

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Charles Gawad, MD, PhD

Director / Co-Founder

Chuck is an Assistant Member in the departments of Oncology and Computational Biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is the inventor of the PTA technology.

Chuck received his medical degree from the University of Arizona in 2006, followed by clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric oncology at UCLA and Stanford University, respectively.

He then received a PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford in the laboratory of Patrick O. Brown, followed by postdoctoral training in the department of Bioengineering in Stephen Quake’s lab. His is a recipient of the Scholar Award from the American Society of Hematology, Special Fellow Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

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Chad Locklear

Chief Commercial Officer

Chad is a 20-year veteran of the genomic services industry. He played an integral role serving genome sequencing initiatives, including the Human Genome Project and managing DNA sequencing operations at contract sequencing organizations. Chad’s expertise lies in developing and commercializing products in the next generation sequencing market and he was the founding member of Integrated DNA Technologies’ NGS business unit.

Chad facilitated the generation of several best-in-class NGS products and services at Integrated DNA Technologies spanning target capture, fixed content panels and library preparation solutions. Chad has a BS in Chemistry and Biology with a Biomedical Emphasis from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a MS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Rob Carter

Associate Director of Bioinfomatics

Rob is originally from Ottawa, Canada, where he did his undergraduate degree at Carleton University and earned his PhD in Biology from the University of Ottawa. He worked as a computational biologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tn, for 10 years, where he was involved in disparate areas of genomic analysis and data visualization. He was involved in the analysis of early PTA data in Charles Gawad’s lab.

Rob loves spending all of his free time with his wife and daughter, whether it's taking their dog for a walk around the neighborhood or just watching movies together.

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Sarah Coppola

Office Manager

A North Carolina native, Sarah got her BFA in studio art and BA in anthropology from UNC Chapel Hill. She has been involved in the Triangle area small business and startup world for around 15 years.

Sarah's artistic mindset, love of all things science, and startup management experience brings a unique view to the analytical side of BioSkryb. In her free time she enjoys running her own art business, gardening, and being active outdoors.

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Jon Zawistowski

Senior Scientist

Originally from Colorado, Jon received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He completed his doctoral work in the Department of Genetics at Duke University Medical Center and his postdoctoral training at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Prior to entering the biotechnology sector, Jon was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine with an emphasis on epigenetic adaptation to targeted therapies in breast cancer.

Outside of the lab he enjoys beach and mountain getaways with his wife and two daughters, playing guitar, and commercial aviation trivia.

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Yazhong "Mike" Tao

Senior Scientist

Mike received his Ph.D. degree from the China (Beijing) Agricultural University in Genetics. After moving to the US from China, he completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California at Riverside and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Prior to joining BioSkryb Inc., Mike was a Research Specialist in the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Translational Genomics Lab (TGL) with an emphasis on 10X genomics single cell sequencing.

Outside of the work, he enjoys soccer, movie and beach activities with his wife and two sons, who are competitive swimmers in the NC Aquatics Club.

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Gail Joseph

Research Associate

Gail is originally from India and from a very young age she was drawn towards the concept of biology. She received her Bachelors and Masters degree in Life Sciences-Biotechnology from University of Mumbai. After working for a few years in India in the Pharmaceutical and Environmental biotechnology field, she moved to the United States in 2015.

She earned her doctorate degree from North Carolina A&T State university. She is not only a scientist but also a trained Indian classical dancer and enjoys solving jigsaw puzzles.

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Lavanya Turlapati

Research Associate

Lavanya holds a double Masters from India, in Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology. She worked with Dr. T.F.C Mackay and Dr. Anholt at North Carolina State University prior to joining BioSkryb. She joined the team of BioSkryb in October, 2019 with a plethora of experience in Next Generation sequencing and lab management and is very involved in the production team.

During her spare time, she likes to cook, listen to music, and spend her time with her son, family and friends.

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Sydney West

Production Technician

Syd is a recent high school graduate who is currently pursuing a gap year before attending college next fall. She began interning as the fourth employee of BioSkryb after her graduation in June 2019. Her internship has since developed into a part time position as a Lab Technician, where she is excited to see science and entrepreneurship collide firsthand.

In her free time, Syd is also developing her own app, playing volleyball, and writing and performing her own music.

Board Members

 

jay-photo

Jay West, PhD

CEO / Co-Founder

Jay is an inventor of several technologies in the molecular biology, microfluidic and diagnostic arena. He has created numerous commercial products and led the development of commercial operations as a company founder.

Jay cofounded Arcxis Biotechnologies in 2005 which was eventually sold in 2010. As the Sr. Director of R&D, he lead the group who developed transformative innovations at Fluidigm, including C1, and Polaris systems, enabling a variety of novel single cell and genomic base workflows. Jay has an extensive publication record which includes, Nature Biotechnology, Cell, Nature Neuroscience and Science.

He has a BS from UMass Amherst, a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UC Davis, and performed post-doctoral studies at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories.

chuck-photo

Charles Gawad, MD, PhD

Director / Co-Founder

Chuck is an Assistant Member in the departments of Oncology and Computational Biology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is the inventor of the PTA technology.

Chuck received his medical degree from the University of Arizona in 2006, followed by clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric oncology at UCLA and Stanford University, respectively.

He then received a PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford in the laboratory of Patrick O. Brown, followed by postdoctoral training in the department of Bioengineering in Stephen Quake’s lab. His is a recipient of the Scholar Award from the American Society of Hematology, Special Fellow Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

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David Michael

Managing Partner

David Michael is an investor and advisor with nearly 30 years of international business experience. He co-founded Anzu Partners and developed the firm’s focus on breakthrough industrial technologies. He has pioneered the financing and growth of several relevant companies, including Nuburu, whose breakthrough blue wavelength high power laser is transforming additive manufacturing and metals processing.

Prior to his work at Anzu, Mr. Michael spent 24 years at The Boston Consulting Group, where he was a Senior Partner and served in numerous leadership roles. He founded the firm’s Beijing office and led the firm’s Greater China practice, and then subsequently established the firm’s overall emerging markets practice.