James is the Executive Director and co-founder of OpenBiome. James has previously worked in roles implementing technology development and transfer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GE Energy. Prior to that, he spent several years as a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he developed and implemented growth strategy programs for large corporate clients. James' career has been focused on building organizations to drive high-impact technology adoption, whether launching clean energy programs in Brazil, implementing molecular agricultural survey tools in Ethiopia, or driving access to FMT and next-generation microbial therapeutics. James is extremely optimistic about harnessing the microbiome to enable a new category of medicine, and sees OpenBiome as critical enabler for the field to do so. James has a BA in Mathematics from Princeton University and is a proud business school drop-out.
Mark Smith, PhD
Mark has led much of the seminal work on fecal transplantation and the human microbiome, publishing in leading journals such as Nature and NEJM. He translated fecal transplantation from a topic of research into clinical practice by founding OpenBiome, where he pioneered the universal donor model as a safe, effective and cost-efficient solution to the C. difficile epidemic. Under Mark's leadership, OpenBiome has treated more than 20,000 patients through a network of over 800 hospitals. He co-founded Finch Therapeutics to develop defined microbial therapies that treat diseases beyond C.difficile.
Mark graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a BA in Biology and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from MIT.
Zain Kassam, MD MPH FRCPC
Dr. Zain Kassam is the Chief Medical Officer at OpenBiome. He is a gastroenterologist, internal medicine physician and epidemiologist.
Zain was named a Top 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovator by MedTech and is a Scientific Advisory Board member for the American Gastroenterological Association Center for Gut Microbiome Research & Education. Dr. Kassam's research focuses on innovative microbiome-directed therapies that deeply impact human health and disease. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed abstracts, publications and book chapters and holds grants from the CDC, CCFA and private foundations.
Dr. Kassam received his MPH degree with a focus on Clinical Trials at Harvard University on a Frank Knox Fellowship and completed his post-doctoral training in microbiome engineering at MIT. He completed both his Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at McMaster University, where he was the Chief Medical and Chief Gastroenterology Resident and was awarded the National Resident Leadership Award by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Carolyn Edelstein, MPA
Carolyn is the Director of Outreach and Public Affairs at OpenBiome, where she oversees OpenBiome's efforts to expand the availability of FMT, present its work to the public, and contribute to the discourse on the regulation of fecal microbiota. Her work on the subject has appeared in Nature Biotechnology, the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, and Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs. Previously, Carolyn worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and helped launch the Global Innovation Fund, a $200 million platform to test and support low-cost, high-impact interventions to improve global health and prosperity. She holds a Master in Public Affairs degree and a BA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Robert Rosenbaum, MPA
Robert is the Director of Research Operations at OpenBiome, where he oversees OpenBiome’s research partnerships, clinical trials and internal bio-banking processes. He previously worked at the Center for International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Program Manager, where he oversaw a broad range of research projects, including field-based RCTs and a pool of funding for exploratory researcher-policymaker engagements. He is a co-founder of the Philani Family Fund, which provides emergency housing and scholarships for impoverished women in the informal settlements around Cape Town, South Africa, and formerly served as the Regional Director for Children of South Africa (CHOSA, Inc), a US-based non-profit organization that helps community-based organizations better serve orphans and vulnerable children. He holds a Master in Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a BA in history from Colby College.
Shrish Budree, MD MBChB DCH FCPeds
Shrish is a pediatrician and pediatric gastroenterologist from South Africa and is currently pursuing his PhD. His research is focused on the role of the intestinal microbiome in childhood disease. He completed his medical, pediatric and pediatric gastroenterology training at the University of Cape Town and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa. He worked as a research fellow for a year on a large Gates Foundation funded pediatric cohort study based in Cape Town, South Africa. He was then awarded the Discovery Foundation research fellowship with the aim to learn how to conduct computational analysis of the intestinal microbiome and spent a year in the Xavier microbiome laboratory at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Boston. His interest in fecal microbiome transplantation stems from both his clinical gastroenterology background and his current microbiome research and he is enthusiastic to pursue further research in this exciting field.
Pratik Panchal, MD, MPH
Pratik is a physician and a public health professional with an expertise in epidemiology, statistical and geospatial modeling and has recently moved from South Africa where he held a research position at the University of Witwatersrand School of Public Health and worked alongside the National Department of Health for impact evaluation of the Community Health Worker program. He received his Master's in Public Health and a post-doctoral fellowship from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health where he currently holds a research scientist position leading the health systems modeling initiative. His research at the Global Newborn Health Lab at Harvard Medical School focused on developing a low-cost icterometer for community-based management of neonatal jaundice and was funded by the Saving Lives at Birth grant of the Gates Foundation. Over the years, Pratik has worked with OpenBiome on multiple projects including the geospatial analysis showing that over 97% of the US population lives within a 2-hour drive to one of our FMT providers. Pratik's core passion lies in the intersection of biostatistics and data science techniques and translational microbiome research.
Majdi Osman, MD MPH
Majdi is the Clinical Program Director at OpenBiome. He is an Internal Medicine physician who trained at University College London. He previously worked at the World Health Organization and completed his Master's in Public Health at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health on a Frank Knox Fellowship. He was trained in tropical medicine and infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and has taught and practiced medicine throughout Africa. He co-founded YBank, a non-profit dedicated to adolescent health. His research focuses on infectious diseases, quality improvement and clinical safety. He is excited to be part of OpenBiome in its mission to deliver safe access to FMT.
Alex Scheeler, MTS
Alex is the Regulatory Affairs Manager at OpenBiome, helping to push forward OpenBiome’s policy efforts and overseas partnerships. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School, where she received a master’s degree in Religion, Ethics, and Politics. Between her undergraduate studies at Princeton and arriving in Boston, Alex worked in education policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. She is excited to fuse academic, professional, and personal interests to help OpenBiome expand clinical access to this critical treatment.
Meg Muckenhoupt is OpenBiome's External Affairs Manager, helping researchers, clinicians, patients, stool donors, and journalists get the information they need about OpenBiome's work.
A nonprofit communications professional with more than a decade of experience creating web, print, and social media, Meg comes to OpenBiome after working in internal communications at the Broad Institute. She earned an Sc. M. in Experimental Psychology at Brown University and an A.B. in psychology from Harvard University.
Natalia is an Accounting Manager at OpenBiome. She holds degrees in Economics and Finance, and brings a variety of work experience. Originally from Russia, she was a Manager of the Registration Department in Russia’s IRS service, and worked in banking and accounting for mid-size international corporations in the U.S. Afterwards, she spent four years at PWC as a Demand Manager. Natalia found her true passion is working with small, dynamic organizations. She is very excited to join OpenBiome and leverage her accounting background to help streamline its financial systems. This is her first experience working at a nonprofit organization, and she is very proud to be a part of OpenBiome’s mission and team.
Michael is the Clinical Outreach Manager at OpenBiome. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Human Resource Management. Michael has vast experience managing major hospital and pharmaceutical accounts, and is excited to help grow existing and future relationships OpenBiome partners!
Deberly is the Senior Business Operations Associate at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University, with a concentration in anthropology. Her past research focused on non-profit marketing in classical music based on specific cultural values, but she is excited to explore another obscure anthropological interest, traditions and standards within the medical system, while at OpenBiome. Deberly loves non-profits, helping others whenever possible, and organization, so she’s especially delighted to support the OpenBiome team in any and all things administrative.
Eduardo attended MIT, where he studied a mixture of Physics and Mechanical Engineering while spending his spare time focusing on his true passion, software development. He is building applications to improve efficiency and security at OpenBiome. Eduardo is thrilled to be able to use his expertise in developing scalable, secure web applications to support the OpenBiome team and its partner organizations.
Geri is a Clinical Outreach Associate. She studied linguistic anthropology at Marlboro College, and has previously worked in the non-profit world, mostly with organizations involved in experiential summer abroad and art programs for high school students. Most recently, Geri worked for a medical company assisting patients that are obtaining in-depth medical second opinions. The experience sparked her interest in learning more about public health work, which is why she is excited to be a part of the OpenBiome team's efforts to provide this critical treatment to patients.
Mary is a Senior Clinical Research Associate at OpenBiome. She is a recent Boston University graduate where she earned her B.S in Biomedical Laboratory and Clinical Research. After working as a nurse’s assistant for many years, she’s beyond excited to be a part of the laboratory team where she hopes to improve production procedures and coordinate research fulfillment.
Caroline is a Senior Research Associate at Open Biome. She is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she obtained a Bachelors of Science degree with Honors in Research in Microbiology, and Global Health. Before joining Open Biome, Caroline spent a year as a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted emerging infectious disease research using microbial genomics. Caroline is excited to contribute to Open Biome’s mission of understanding more about the microbiome through translational research.
Meridith is an Accounts Receivable Administrator at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she earned her B.A. in Political Science. Her primary interest is in tracking the historical relationship between the liberal state and healthcare institutions. Meridith is excited to bring the accounting skills that she learned in the for-profit sector to a non-profit organization focused on expanding safe access to FMT.
Susie is delighted to join OpenBiome in its exciting research and mission to help others. Her work and volunteer experiences has always revolved around the dedication to helping others-from teaching to mental health counseling. She is a graduate from Bentley University with a major in accounting. She is looking forward to utilizing her business and organization skills combined with her passion for humanity at OpenBiome.
Jim has served as Chairman of the OpenBiome Board of Directors since the organization's founding in 2012. Jim built a long career in business and software at several software startups, IBM, and Lotus Development, where he held several positions in sales and marketing before becoming the General Manager of the Desktop Software division when the company was acquired by IBM. Jim supported OpenBiome's incorporation and its efforts to build a governance model for this unique non-profit, with dual public health and research missions. Jim earned a BA in History from Yale University.
Eric Alm, PhD
Eric is an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He holds degrees in Mathematics/Computer Science, Biology, and Biochemistry, and his current research covers diverse topics ranging from biofuels to human disease. He is passionate about using scientific discoveries and new technologies to solve real-world problems, and thrilled that OpenBiome provides an opportunity to translate human microbiome research into therapies that improve patients' lives.
Jim Bildner, JD
Jim is the CEO of the DRK Foundation, and he brings more than 30 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership and Hauser Center Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. Jim serves on the boards of numerous foundations and organizations, has served as CEO of two public companies, and is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Neil Rasmussen, M.Eng
Neil is a Senior VP of Innovation for Schneider Electric. He establishes the technology direction for the world’s largest R&D budget devoted to power, cooling, and rack infrastructure for data centers. Neil holds 28 patents related to high-efficiency and high-density data center power and cooling infrastructure, and has published over 60 papers related to power and cooling systems, many published in more than 10 languages, most recently with a focus on the improvement of energy efficiency. He is an internationally recognized keynote speaker on the subject of high-efficiency data centers. Neil is currently working to advance the science of high-efficiency, high-density, scalable data center infrastructure solutions and is a principal architect of the APC InfraStruXure system. After founding APC in 1981, Neil served as Senior VP of Engineering and CTO for 26 years, assuming his current role after APC joined Schneider Electric in 2007. He received his bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering from MIT.
Jane Williams, MD MPH
Jane has recently joined the Health and Medical Management team as a Medical Director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts working with the Alternate Quality Contract Support team and supporting contracting, credentialing and corporate peer review committees. She practiced family medicine for 14 years in the Merrimack Valley. Most recently, Jane worked as a medical director at Parexel International providing scientific and strategic guidance to clients as well as supporting protocol development, regulatory submissions, evaluation of new technologies and safety monitoring. Jane earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, her doctor of medicine at Albany Medical College of Union University and a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Jessica Allegretti, MD MPH
Dr. Allegretti is a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital with both clinical and research interests in Clostridium difficile infection and inflammatory bowel disease. She founded and coordinates the fecal transplant program for recurrent Clostridium difficile infections at BWH. She completed her internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and her fellowship in gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also completed her Master’s in Public Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Robyn is a Senior Clinical Research Associate at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of Harvard College, where she earned a degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and a minor in African Studies. Her studies focused on stem cell biology and its role in disease pathogenesis. Robyn is excited to learn more about the microbiome as she works on the clinical team at OpenBiome.
Tom is a Clinical Research Associate II at OpenBiome. He is a recent graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Astrophysics, having focused much of his research on topics related to planet formation, and a language citation in Modern Standard Arabic. Tom has been an EMT since 2011, and helped establish Harvard's volunteer EMS service, CrimsonEMS. He is excited to pursue research into FMT, expanding access to a treatment which could help many of his past recurring patients.
Serena is a Clinical Research Associate II. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in Molecular Biology and minored in Global Health and Health Policy. Her research focused on multiple sclerosis, including its potential relationship with the microbiome. Serena is excited to join the clinical research team and contribute to research and access to FMT!
Dinara is a Clinical Outreach Associate and a Project 55 fellow at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures and minored in Global Health. Passionate about people and health care, Dinara interned at a human rights and global health organization in Madrid, where she researched the framework and the debates existing around current biomedical R&D practices, as well as ways to improve them. Independent of the internship, she also conducted research on Spain’s health care reforms in the light of the 2008 financial crisis and wrote a senior thesis based on her findings. Having mostly focused on public health abroad, Dinara is excited to transition into learning about the field at home. She is thrilled to join OpenBiome and is looking forward to helping maintain and develop the organization’s relationships with clinical partners.
Dave is the newest Human Capital Manager at OpenBiome. He has extensive HR experience working for companies in various industries, including distribution, specialty construction engineering,and non-profit. His particular interests lie in employee relations, engagement, and talent management. Born and raised in the Greater Boston area, Dave attended Suffolk University where he studied Social Psychology.
Audrey is a Clinical Research Associate at OpenBiome. A recent graduate of Princeton University, Audrey majored in molecular biology and wrote her thesis on the potential antimicrobial potency of a novel lipopeptide from a marine bacteria species. Audrey is looking forward to working at the crossroads of clinical and research-based application of FMT, in such an exciting new field, before pursuing her medical degree."
Dea Hunsicker, Ph.D
Dea is the new Research Partnerships Manager at OpenBiome, and is excited to get the Triad Program up and running. She earned her Ph.D in developmental psychology at the University of Chicago where she focused on language development and often found her research spanning disciplines into education and linguistics.
As the Director of Research and Evaluation at Horizons for Homeless Children she instituted new procedures for consistent and reliable data collection practices and integrated data reporting at all levels of the organization. She also dabbles in market research and is particularly fond of designing surveys.
Des is looking forward to drawing on these disparate skills to help further OpenBiome’s research partnerships.
Monica is a Clinical Outreach Associate and a Project 55 Fellow. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minored in Global Health and Health Policy. Her thesis research concentrated on mapping the social networks of two different zebra species in central Kenya. Monica is excited to join the team to help foster relationships with OpenBiome’s clinical partners and to promote access to FMT!