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About

Trailhead Biosystems

The pioneer of HD-DoE™ (High-Dimensional Design of Experiments) Technology

Meet Trailhead

We are a biotechnology company headquartered just outside Cleveland, Ohio. We develop industrial-grade human cells from induced stem cells at a faster rate, dramatically lower cost, and with less R&D risk than current industry norms.

Our proprietary HD-DoE™ platform merges developmental biology with computerized experimental design, cutting-edge robotics, and thorough statistical analyses to perform process-specific parameter optimization,rapidly developing protocols for the development of any human cell type. These cells are ideal for use in the drug discovery process, or for therapeutic purposes. These protocols minimize the use of proteins in favor of far more stable and dramatically less expensive small molecules. Bioreactor-produced human cells have multiple uses, including drug discovery, 3D-organ printing, human disease modeling, and cell-based therapy.

Our current programs are focused on developing several types of human cells at large volume, for research use in order to accelerate the drug discovery, and to develop human cells for therapeutic purposes.

Meet Our Leadership Team

Chief Executive Officer & Chief Science Officer, Founder

Jan Jensen

Jan is an internationally renowned molecular developmental biologist and bioinformatician. He held the Eddie J. Brandon endowed professorship at Cleveland Clinic in Diabetes research. Jan is the founder of Trailhead Biosystems, and has led numerous technology advances related to control of many types of stem cells. He is cited among the top 1% globally for his scientific contributions.

In addition to his work on our HD-DOE platform and our analytical technologies applied to mapping cellular fate spaces, Jan’s discoveries include the identification of the fourth major autoantigen in diabetes, ZnT8; and the discovery of the mechanism of how insulin producing cells develop in the organism. His broad interest in the fundamental principles in cellular differentiation has provided him a basis for his integrative approaches to complex living systems.

Jan covers multiple biological specialties through this work, such as precision medicine in cancer combinatorial drug development, anti-viral combinatorial drug development, stem cell differentiation of human cells, and methods development for regenerative medicine and cell-based therapy. Jan has leadership experience within multinational research collaboratives, and more than 25 years of experience in research coordination.

In his approach to his work, Jan constantly challenges the limitations of the scientific process as it is currently applied believing that system-level interrogations emerge as vastly superior to human-centered hypothesis-driven exploration.

Chief Operating Officer

Div Trivedi

Div oversees all operations and finances for Trailhead Biosystems. He also works on development and execution of long-term as well as short-term strategies for the growth and sustainability of Trailhead.

Div graduated as an Electrical Engineer and gained experience in engineering and manufacturing prior to joining Case Western Reserve University for an M.Sc. in Operations Research. He has also earned Six Sigma Certification and broad knowledge of Process Improvement across various industries.

Div also oversees development and continual optimization of Trailhead’s core analytic engine.

Senior Advisor

Sven Riethmueller

Sven is a Clinical Associate Professor at Yale Law School and the inaugural Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic at Yale Law School.

Sven was previously a partner at Pepper Hamilton (as of July 1, Troutman Pepper) and at Foley & Lardner. Sven’s private practice focused on domestic and cross-border finance, technology and business transactions for clients in the life sciences and other innovative industries, including the commercialization of intellectual property.

Sven has practiced law for more than 25 years, including in Boston, New York, London, and Frankfurt. Sven has also served as Vice President & Global General Counsel and member of the senior management of a publicly-traded life sciences company with a $1+ billion market capitalization.

Scientific and Business Leadership

Mesoderm Cell Therapy Projects

Angelica M. Gomes Ueltschy

Angelica M. Gomes Ueltschy heads Trailhead Biosystems’ Mesoderm Cell Therapy Projects, which are currently focused on developing human red blood cells (erythrocytes), platelets (thrombocytes), and long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs). Angelica has worked in oncology, immunology, cardiovascular diseases, metabolism, development, and inflammatory reactions in three different countries.

Angelica hold a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Federal University Rio de Janeiro.

Ectoderm Cell Therapy Projects

Nooshin Amini

Nooshin Amini heads Trailhead Biosystems’ Ectoderm Cell Therapy Projects, which are currently focused on developing different types of human neuronal cells, including midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons, forebrain parvalbumin-expressing interneurons, and oligodendrocytes of the human central nervous system (CNS) as well as striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), NPY-expressing neurons, and GLP-expressing neurons.

Nooshin hold a Ph.D. in Nanobiosciences from SUNY Polytechnic Institute and a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology from Sharif University of Technology.

Endoderm Cell Therapy Projects

Michael Bukys

Michael Bukys heads Trailhead Biosystems’ Endoderm Cell Therapy Projects, which are currently focused on developing functional human pancreatic islet cells (beta cells). Michael previously worked as a Research Fellow at Cleveland Clinic for many years where he investigated the molecular signals responsible for the developmental generation of pancreatic beta cells and used this knowledge to direct the differentiation of hESC towards endocrine fates.

Michael hold a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cleveland State University.

Bioinformatics

Babu Roshan Padmanabhan

Roshan heads the Bioinformatics Projects at Trailhead Biosystems. Roshan is an experienced bioinformatics scientist focused on in applying and developing computational tools to solve complex biological problems. Roshan has more than 15+years of research experience in a wide range of computational biology projects related to breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, pediatric oncology, infectious diseases and neurological diseases.

Roshan holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Microbial Genomics from Aix-Marseille University, an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Bioinformatics from Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi, and a Master’s degree in Marine Biotechnology from Goa University.

Bioinformatics

Katie Sears

Our Scientific Advisory Board

José Oberholzer

José Oberholzer is the Director of the Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center at the University of Virginia. He is also the Founder and President of CellTrans, a faculty start-up company launched out of Dr. José’s scientific research group at the University of Illinois.

José has led the Islet Transplant Program at the University of Illinois since August of 2003 and his team has completed over 600 islet isolations as well as successful Phase I, II, and III clinical trials for islet transplantation. CellTrans aims to bring cell-based therapies including isolated islets, encapsulated islets, and human derived stem-cells to clinical application to combat the global epidemic of diabetes and other endocrine disorders.

José has performed over 1,000 transplant-related surgeries and is an expert in liver, kidney, pancreas and small bowel transplants, as well as organ transplants in patients with diabetes. In addition to his clinical practice, José specializes in islet transplantation and parathyroid transplantation, as well as vascular access for hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis catheter placements. Additionally, he practices minimal invasive, robotic assisted surgery, including robotic kidney and pancreas transplantation, living donor nephrectomy, adrenalectomy, liver and pancreas surgery and hernia surgery

Jose holds a Masters in Science degree in Health Care Management from Harvard University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Zurich Medical School.

Junhyong Kim

Junhyong is the Patricia M. Williams Term Endowed Professor of Biology and the Chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. Junhyong is a Quantitative Biologist and Genomicist, who works at the interface of mathematical and computational biology, genomics, and evolutionary biology with a focus on Single Cell Biology. He uses quantitative models, statistical analyses, and collect genome-scale data to ask questions about mechanisms of cell function and their evolution. A key technological expertise in his lab is single cell analysis, including RNA sequencing from single cells and bio-photonic techniques.

Junhyong holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University.

Niels Lynge Agerbæk

Niels is Vice President of Research and Development Operations at Zymergen, a publicly traded biofacturing company headquartered in Emersyville, CA. Niels has extensive experience in leading biotech/pharmaceutical/medical device organizations in the USA, China, and Europe. He has served in managerial roles at Novo Nordisk, Xellia Pharmaceutical, and Zymergen, including as General Manager (USA), Head of Operation, Finished Product Director (China), Business Support Director responsible for Finance, Logistic, Sourcing and Planning, Director of Strategy & Project Execution, and Project Lead of a major new drug-delivering system.

Niels holds a Masters of Science degree in Engineering/Industrial Management from Aalborg University and completed Executive Education in Leadership and Strategy in Pharma and Biotech at Harvard Business School.

Our Board Of Directors

Chairman of the Board

Magnus Persson

Magnus is Chairman and Founding Partner of Eir Ventures Partners AB, a life sciences venture capital fund investing in private companies with stellar entrepreneurs developing transformative therapeutic approaches.

Magnus brings 25 years of international experience from leadership in life science innovation, development and financing and having been a partner in two life sciences venture capital firms, one with its base in Sweden and with global reach and one in The Bay Area in California. Magnus has extensive experience from medicine, life sciences and biotech financing, including leading development teams of Phase II and III programs in the pharmaceutical industry. Magnus has extensive board experience, serving on the boards of privately held and publicly-traded companies in the life sciences. Magnus has been actively involved in over a dozen stock market listings.

Magnus is also a pediatric physician and a lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Member of the Board

Houman David Hemmati

Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of aesthetic medicine company Levation Pharma. He was previously Vice President of Medical and Clinical Development for New Therapies at Capricor Therapeutics, where he helped drive promising new therapies including the exosome platform toward clinical development.

He previously served as Director, Clinical Development at Allergan, as Clinical Scientist in the Ophthalmology Therapeutic Area on several Phase 1, 2, and 3 studies.

Houman is a Board-Certified ophthalmologist, and is also presently Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at USC Keck School of Medicine, where he serves as Attending Physician at LA County USC Medical Center.

Previously, Houman served as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Vermont School of Medicine, and was a clinical/scientific consultant to Noveome, Access BridgeGap Ventures, Boston Consulting Group, Griffen Rose, Kaplan, and DJF ePlanet Ventures, and also co-founded Avicenna Pharma, focused on cancer stem cell-targeted therapeutics. In his scientific career,

Houman has co-discovered fetal blood-forming stem cells with Dr. Irv Weissman at Stanford, discovered cancer stem cells in the brain at Caltech, and invented a hydrogel for sustained-release topical drug delivery to the eye with Dr. Robert Langer at MIT.

Houman earned an B.S. in Biological Sciences at Stanford, an M.D. from UCLA, a Ph.D. in Biology from Caltech, and completed an Internal Medicine internship at Stanford Hospital, an ophthalmology residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a postdoctoral fellowship in Chemical Engineering and Drug Delivery at MIT, and a clinical fellowship in Cornea and Refractive Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School.

Houman has received numerous awards and honors including The Alcon Research Scholar Award, and the Everhart Presidential Distinguished Lectureship from Caltech.

Member of the Board

Jan Jensen

Jan is an internationally renowned molecular developmental biologist and bioinformatician. He held the Eddie J. Brandon endowed professorship at Cleveland Clinic in Diabetes research. Jan is the founder of Trailhead Biosystems, and has led numerous technology advances related to control of many types of stem cells. He is cited among the top 1% globally for his scientific contributions.

In addition to his work on our HD-DOE platform and our analytical technologies applied to mapping cellular fate spaces, Jan’s discoveries include the identification of the fourth major autoantigen in diabetes, ZnT8; and the discovery of the mechanism of how insulin producing cells develop in the organism. His broad interest in the fundamental principles in cellular differentiation has provided him a basis for his integrative approaches to complex living systems.

Jan covers multiple biological specialties through this work, such as precision medicine in cancer combinatorial drug development, anti-viral combinatorial drug development, stem cell differentiation of human cells, and methods development for regenerative medicine and cell-based therapy. Jan has leadership experience within multinational research collaboratives, and more than 25 years of experience in research coordination.

In his approach to his work, Jan constantly challenges the limitations of the scientific process as it is currently applied believing that system-level interrogations emerge as vastly superior to human-centered hypothesis-driven exploration.

Member of the Board

Mike Kaufman

Michael is the founder and CEO of MAK Capital which he established in 2002. MAK Capital is a multi-strategy investment manager with primary exposure to distressed debt, public equities, and various macro-oriented investments. He also serves on the boards of several corporations across a variety of industries.

Michael holds a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Chicago, where he also received his M.B.A. He also earned a law degree from Yale Law School.

Join Us

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