Addgene, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2004 as a hub for scientific sharing to promote biological and medical discoveries. Its team brings together the diverse set of backgrounds necessary to realize its goal.
Joanne Kamens, PhD, Executive Director
Joanne received her PhD in Genetics from Harvard University, where she studied signaling pathways. She spent 15 years in the Pharmaceutical industry at Abbott Research Center and moved into the biotechnology sector as Senior Director of Research Collaborations at RXi Pharmaceuticals. Joanne also has extensive experience with leadership of non-profit organizations. She founded the Massachusetts chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and is Director of Mentoring for the Boston chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). Additional information is available on Joanne's LinkedIn profile .
Kenneth Fan, Senior Director of Finance & Business
Mr. Fan is a co-founder of Addgene and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Tufts University and his Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, with a focus on international technology management, from the Fletcher School at Tufts. Prior to Addgene, Kenneth was an investment banking analyst at Credit Suisse’s Technology Group in Palo Alto, CA.
Melina Fan, PhD, Director of Scientific Outreach
Dr. Fan is a co-founder of Addgene and received her PhD in Cell Biology from Harvard University, where she studied diabetes and metabolism. Melina has worked at Genetics Institute in Cambridge, MA, and Sequana Therapeutics in San Diego, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from MIT.
Michael Gorman, Chief Technology Officer
Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Merrimack College and has been in professional software development for over 20 years. He has worked in various fields including Medical Software, Computational Linguistics, Natural Language Processing and Telephony. Additional information is available on Mike's LinkedIn profile.
Lianna Swanson, PhD, Director of Biology
Dr. Swanson joined Addgene as a Senior Scientist in 2008. She received her B.A. in Biology from Technion Israel Institute of Technology and her PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology from Northwestern University.
David E. Brook, JD
Mr. Brook is the founding principal in the intellectual property law firm Hamilton, Brook, Smith, and Reynolds, P.C., in Concord, Massachusetts. David has over 35 years of experience working with university and corporate clients on intellectual property matters.
Joanna Brownstein, MBA, MSW
Ms. Brownstein is the Principal of Brownstein Consulting specializing in operations and product management for companies in healthcare, technology and education. She received her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Previously she served as Director of Customer Operations and of Product Management at KYRUUS and was Associate Director of the eagle-i consortium at the Harvard Medical School Center for Biomedical Informatics.
Benjie Chen, PhD
Dr. Chen is a co-founder of Addgene and received his PhD in Computer Science from MIT. His research focused on computer systems and networks. Benjie was Addgene's Director of Technology for 7 years, and is now Chief Software Engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks. He also holds an SB and a Masters in Engineering from MIT, both in Computer Science.
Constance Cepko, PhD
Dr. Cepko is a Professor in the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Science. Connie received her PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Phillip Sharp on the assembly of the adenovirus capsid.
Kristin Darby, MBA, CPA, CFE
Ms. Darby is the Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Technology for the New England Region of Vanguard Health Systems. She received her MBA from Henley Business School in Oxfordshire, England and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner.
David Root, PhD
Dr. Root is the Director of the RNA Interference platform and project leader of The RNAi Consortium (TRC) at the Broad Institute. He oversees the development and production of RNAi libraries, the development of RNAi screening methodologies, and the execution of RNAi-based mammalian genetic screens. Dave received his PhD degree in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University.
Judy Tsai Chuk, PhD
Dr. Chuk is a Business Development Manager at AstraZeneca. Prior to AstraZeneca, Judy worked for Genzyme Corporation’s Biosurgery business unit, where she directed market research and market analytics efforts. She has also worked in the life sciences practice of L.E.K. consulting, a strategy consulting firm that advises executives in pharma and biotech industries. Judy received her PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University, where she studied mechanisms of obesity and diabetes.
Also on the board: Dr. Joanne Kamens, Dr. Melina Fan, and Kenneth Fan
Craig Alexander, JD
Mr. Alexander is Vice President and General Counsel of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He served as HHMI's deputy general counsel staring in 1994 and was promoted to his current position in 2006. Craig joined HHMI as an associate general counsel in 1992 from the Indianapolis law firm of Sommer & Barnard, P.C. Before that, he handled many matters involving HHMI while an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. A magna cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was editor of the law journal, Craig received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Butler University in Indianapolis.
Prior to retiring in 2005, Ms. Brinton was the Director of the Office for Technology and Trademark Licensing at Harvard University, and was the President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) (1995).
Eric Campeau, PhD
Dr. Campeau obtained his PhD from McGill University. He was a postdoctoral fellow and a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an instructor in the Program in Gene Function and Expression at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is now Head of in vitro Oncology at Resverlogix Corp. One of his research interests is to use lentiviral and RNAi strategies to decipher the roles of histone modifications and their regulation in the control of gene expression and genome stability. Eric is a long time contributor to the Addgene library with dozens of vectors in the most-requested category.
Tom Ellis, PhD
Dr. Ellis is a lead researcher at the Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation, Imperial College London and lectures synthetic biology for the Department of Bioengineering. He graduated from Oxford University and then obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge before spending time in biotech screening direct interactions between drugs and promoters of oncogenes. He returned to academic research in 2005 to investigate synthetic biology at Boston University, working in one of the founding groups of the field under the supervision of Prof Jim Collins and specialising in engineering gene regulation in yeast. Dr. Ellis is now one of the world's leading yeast researchers in the growing field of synthetic biology and is the UK lead of the yeast synthetic genome project. His team also investigates bacteria and extremophiles for biotechnology and have been directly involved in supervising many successful iGEM undergraduate projects.
Ira Mellman, PhD
Dr. Mellman is Vice President at Genentech and Founder at CGI Pharmaceuticals. He is a cell biologist-immunologist with a long standing interest in membrane traffic and signal transduction. His lab is responsible for key observations resulting in the initial discovery of endosomes, the mechanisms of epithelial cell polarity, and the cellular basis of dendritic cell function in the immune system. Until 2007, Ira was Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Scientific Director of the Cancer Center at Yale University School of Medicine. Ira has been Editor in Chief of the Journal of Cell Biology and a member of the editorial boards of Cell, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, EMBO Journal, and the Annual Reviews.
Bruce Spiegelman, PhD
Dr. Spiegelman is a Professor of Cell Biology and Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Bruce is best known for his studies of the regulation of adipose cells, the development of these cells and their role in diabetes and obesity. He has received numerous honors, and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization.
Man-Sun Sy, PhD
Dr. Sy is a Professor of Pathology and of Medical and Neurosciences at Case Western's School of Medicine. He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1973, continuing on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in 1979. From 1979 until 1992, he was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Pathology, as an Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor.
Robert Weinberg, PhD
Dr. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is an internationally recognized authority on the genetic basis of human cancer. Dr. Weinberg and his colleagues isolated the first human cancer-causing gene, the ras oncogene, and the first known tumor suppressor gene, Rb, the retinoblastoma gene. Dr. Weinberg is the author or editor of six books and more than 350 articles. He is an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received numerous awards and honors.
Siouxsie Wiles, PhD
Dr. Wiles has made a career of combining her twin passions of bioluminescence (think fireflies) and infectious diseases. Siouxsie studied medical microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a PhD in microbiology at CEH Oxford and Napier University, Edinburgh. She spent her postdoctoral years at Imperial College London, and currently heads the Bioluminescent Superbugs Group at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Siouxsie is committed to engaging with the public to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of science to society, and recently collaborated with a graphic artist to produce a short animation explaining why fireflies glow, and how she uses their light in her research.