Board of Directors

Chad Mirkin
Dr. Mirkin has served on the board since founding the Company in 2011. Dr. Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University, as well as the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Medicine.

As one of the most cited chemists and nanomedicine researchers in the world, Dr. Mirkin is one of very few scientists who are members of all three National Academies (NAS NAE, and NAM). He also currently serves as an advisor to President Obama on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Dr. Mirkin is known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs), the development of nanoparticle-based biodetection schemes, the invention of Dip-Pen Nanolithography, and many contributions to drug development. He is the author of over 650 manuscripts and over 1000 patents and applications (285 issued), and a founder of two other companies, Nanosphere (recently acquired by Luminex) and TERA-print, LLC. These companies have generated hundreds of products in the semiconductor and medical diagnostics arena, which are now sold and utilized worldwide.

Dr. Mirkin has been recognized for his accomplishments with over 100 national and international awards, including the Dan David Prize, the NAS Sackler Prize in Convergence Science, and the $500,000 Lemelson MIT Prize. He is the founding editor of the journal Small, one of the premier international nanotechnology journals, has co-edited two bestselling books on nanobiotechnology, and has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of over twenty scholarly journals.

Dr. Mirkin holds a B.S. from Dickinson College (1986, elected into Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University (1989). He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prior to becoming a chemistry professor at Northwestern University in 1991.
Shad Thaxton
Dr. Thaxton has served on the board since founding of the Company in 2011. Dr. Thaxton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Thaxton performed his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Chad A. Mirkin where he developed biosensors and therapeutic technologies based upon the SNA™ constructs. Thaxton Lab research is focused on the synthesis of bioinspired nanomaterials and translational nanomedicine. Dr. Thaxton has been recognized for his accomplishments with 13 awards, including being named the Bioscience Technology Researcher of the Year (2009), the MIT Technology Review's TR35 Award, as one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35, and the Presedential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Obama. He has contributed to over 50 manuscripts and 50 patents and applications.

Dr. Thaxton holds a B.A. in environmental biology (1998, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa), from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his M.D. (2004, Alpha Omega Alpha) and Ph.D. (2007) from the Feinberg School of Medicine and Interdepartmental Biological Sciences programs, respectively, at Northwestern University. He is a member of the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology and Medicine and the International Institute of Nanotechnology at Northwestern.
David Walt
Dr. Walt, joined our board in February 2013. Since July 2017, Dr. Walt is a professor in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. Walt is also a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Prior to that, Dr. Walt was University Professor, Professor of Genetics, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Neuroscience, and Professor of Oral Medicine at Tufts University. He was also the Founding Director of the Tufts Institute for Innovation. He is co-chair of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology. Dr. Walt is the Scientific Founder of both Illumina Inc. and Quanterix Corp. Dr. Walt is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Walt has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and has over 75 issued US patents. He has received numerous national and international awards and honors for his fundamental and applied work in the field of optical arrays and single molecules. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in chemical biology from SUNY at Stony Brook, and did postdoctoral studies at MIT.
David A. Giljohann
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Giljohann has served as our CEO since November 2013 and been on our board of directors since March 2014. From July 2012 to October 2013, Dr. Giljohann was our Chief Operating Officer. From 2011 until June 2012, Dr. Giljohann served as our principal scientist. Dr. Giljohann was our founding scientist in 2011. Prior to that, Dr. Giljohann was the founding scientist of AuraSense, LLC, our largest stockholder, in 2009. Dr. Giljohann completed his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Chad A. Mirkin where he developed oligonucleotide-modified nanoparticles, including NanoFlare™, and Spherical Nucleic Acid (SNA™) constructs. Dr. Giljohann has been recognized for his work with a Materials Research Society Gold Award, Baxter Innovation Award, Rappaport Award for Research Excellence, NSEC Outstanding Research Award, and as a finalist in the National Inventors Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors Competition. He was also named to the Analytical Scientist's "Top 40 Under 40 Power List" in 2014. Dr. Giljohann has contributed to over 25 manuscripts and over 100 patents and applications. Dr. Giljohann obtained his Ph.D. in 2009 from Northwestern University.
Jay Venkatesan
Dr. Venkatesan has served on our board since March 2014. Dr. Venkatesan was the Founder, Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of Ayer Capital Management, a global healthcare long-short equity fund. Prior to Ayer Capital, he was a Director at Brookside Capital Partners, the hedge fund group affiliated with Bain Capital, where he participated in overseeing the portfolio's healthcare investments and was involved in evaluating public and private investments in all healthcare subsectors.

Dr. Venkatesan founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Varro Technologies, a knowledge management software company focused on the life sciences and was involved in healthcare venture investing at Patricof & Co., Ventures and consulting at McKinsey & Company. Dr. Venkatesan has served on the boards of Targanta Therapeutics, and REVA Medical.

He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Williams College where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Helen Kim
Ms. Kim has served on our board since July 2014 and brings a proven track record of successes in the biotech industry. Ms. Kim has performed numerous leadership roles with public and private companies managing research and drug development from preclinical to commercialization.

Ms. Kim has over 25 years of experience in leadership roles in biotechnology. Ms. Kim has been the Executive Vice President of Business Development at Kite Pharma, Inc since 2014 and a Director of Forsight VISION 4 since September 2012. Ms. Kim served as Chief Business Officer of NGM Biopharmaceuticals Inc. from August 2009 to January 2012. Ms. Kim was on the board of directors of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. from August 2011 to September 2014. Prior to NGM, she was the Chief Executive Officer and President of Kosan Biosciences Incorporated prior to the sale of the company to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2008. Ms. Kim's additional industry experience includes executive positions at Affymax, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Protein Design Labs and Chiron Corporation. In addition to her industry experience, Ms. Kim also recently served as Chief Program Officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Ms. Kim received a B.S. in chemical engineering from NU and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.