Addgene, a nonprofit 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 nonprofit 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.
Melina Fan, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
Melina is a co-founder of Addgene. Melina 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.
Lianna Swanson, PhD, Senior Director of Biology
Lianna 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.
Andy Baltus, PhD, Director of Business Development
Andy joined Addgene as an Outreach Scientist in 2011 after a postdoc studying cerebral cortex development at Harvard Medical School. He holds a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a PhD in Biology from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Caroline LaManna, PhD, Associate Director of Marketing & Scientific Outreach
Caroline joined Addgene in 2012. In her time at Addgene, she has worked as an Outreach Scientist and the Marketing and Communications Manager. Caroline received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, where she developed novel lipid vectors for gene delivery applications. She received her BE in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University.
Michael Lohnes, MBA, Director of Finance
Michael received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Boston College and his MBA and Masters of Arts in Economics from Boston University. Prior to Addgene, Michael was the Financial Systems Manager at Partners In Health. Before that, he worked for 10 years in the Financial Services Industry at State Street, with much of his time spent working internationally.
Board of Directors
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.
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.
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 a SB and a Masters in Engineering from MIT, both in Computer Science.
Kristin Darby, MBA, CPA, CFE, CHCIO
Ms. Darby is the Chief Information Officer of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. She received her MBA from Henley Business School in Oxfordshire, England and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. Kristin is also a Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer.
Kenneth Fan, MA
Mr. Fan is a co-founder of Addgene. Kenneth 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. From 2004 to 2015, Kenneth led business efforts at Addgene as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Addgene, Kenneth was an investment banking analyst at Credit Suisse’s Technology Group in Palo Alto, CA.
Michael Koeris, PhD
Dr. Koeris co-founded Sample6 and has been its Vice President of Business Development since 2015. He helped invent the Sample6 technology while in Jim Collins' lab at Boston University. Mike previously worked at KPMG Consulting and McKinsey & Company in Germany, as well as Flagship Ventures in Cambridge, MA. He is a visiting scholar with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Boston University as well as at MIT.
Darrell Kotton, MD
Dr. Kotton is the David C. Seldin Professor of Medicine and the founding Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Boston University and Boston Medical Center. His laboratory research is focused on developing new treatments for lung diseases through an improved understanding of lung stem cell biology. Dr. Kotton’s laboratory and Center have pioneered approaches for deriving lung lineages in vitro from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and correcting disease-causing mutations through gene editing these patient-specific cells. His Center champions an Open Source Biology approach to sharing the large, NIH-sponsored national lung disease-specific iPSC repository housed in his Center. In addition to his research and Center Director roles, Dr. Kotton is also an attending physician in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, the Pulmonary Consultation Service, the Alpha-1 Center, and the Pulmonary outpatient clinic, all at Boston Medical Center.
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.
Also on the board: Dr. Joanne Kamens and Dr. Melina Fan
Board of Directors Alumni
Addgene would like to thank the alumni of its Board of Directors for their years of dedicated service.
David Brook, JD served on the Addgene board from 2007-2015.
Judy Tsai Chuk, PhD served on the Addgene board from 2007-2015.
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.
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.
Alejandro (Alex) Chavez, MD, PhD
Alejandro (Alex) Chavez is a board-eligible clinical pathologist, a Clinical Fellow in Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Church and Collins labs at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Alex received his MD PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. In his research, Alex employs Cas9-based tools for the programmable control of DNA and RNA on genome-wide scales. His work has generated methods that endow Cas9 with single nucleotide specificity and enable facile genome modification, activation, or repression, in any desired combination.
John G. Doench, PhD
Dr. Doench is the Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform at the Broad Institute. He develops and applies the latest approaches in functional genomics, including RNAi, ORF, and CRISPR technologies, to understand the function of genes and how gene dysfunction leads to disease. Prior to joining the Broad in 2009, John did his postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School, received his PhD from the biology department at MIT, and majored in history at Hamilton College.
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.
Hodaka Fujii, MD, PhD
Dr. Fujii is a Professor of Biochemistry and Genome Biology in Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine. His laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms of genome functions including epigenetic regulation and chromatin biology by using the chromatin capture technologies consisting of insertional chromatin immunoprecipitation (iChIP) and engineered DNA-binding molecule-mediated chromatin immunoprecipitation (enChIP) developed in his lab. The enChIP technology utilizes CRISPR and other systems for locus tagging. He received his MD and PhD from the University of Tokyo and led his research group as a PI at the Basel Institute for Immunology, Assistant Professor at New York University, and Associate Professor at Osaka University.
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.
Advisory Board Alumni
Addgene would like to thank the alumni of its Advisory Board for their years of dedicated service.
Joyce Brinton served on the Addgene advisory board from 2015-2016.