Team

Mark Smith 

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Mark is a PhD candidate in the Alm Lab at MIT. Mark's research uses high-throughput sequencing to gain insights into the structure, function and dynamics of the human microbiome, with a recent publication on the topic in Nature. Besides the striking opportunity to directly impact patients' lives, Mark is excited to launch OpenBiome as a platform for building new collaborations with clinical researchers. He hopes that OpenBiome will provide a bridge between practicing clinicians and the community of computational and molecular biologists to which he belongs.

James Burgess

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James has taken a leave from the MBA program at the MIT Sloan School of Management to launch OpenBiome.  James has previously worked as a researcher on the Agricultural Development program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Before that, James spent several years as a management consultant at Bain & Company where he developed and implemented growth strategy programs for large corporate clients.  James' experience will help to ensure that OpenBiome develops efficient, sustainable operations. 

Eric Alm

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Eric Alm 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.

Zain Kassam

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Zain is a Gastroenterologist and Internal Medicine physician. He completed his MPH degree at the Harvard School of Public Health through the support of the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship and is affiliated with the Harvard Macy Institute. He holds a medical degree (MD) from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He completed his Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training at McMaster University, Canada, where he was both the Chief Medical and Chief Gastroenterology Resident. His academic interest focuses on translational microbiome research and applied microbiome-directed therapies. He has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Archives of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Gastroenterology, and New England Journal of Medicine. Zain is passionate about enhancing patient care by harnessing the microbiome and integrating it with clinical care.

Carolyn Edelstein

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Carolyn is recent graduate of the MPA program at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to that, she worked on the Development Innovation Ventures program at the U.S. Agency for International Development, which tests and supports low-cost, high-impact interventions to improve global health and prosperity.  Carolyn is thrilled to apply her experience working with early stage nonprofits as OpenBiome expands access to this compelling treatment.

Karl Yoder

Karl Yoder

Karl is excited to bring his business development background to the OpenBiome team.  He has previously worked in the clean energy sector, helping commercialize plasma gasification waste-to-energy technology.  He’s not sure exactly how garbage and poop have come to play such prominent roles in his life, but knows that both areas offer tremendous opportunities for good, if you don’t mind the stink.  Karl is particularly excited to leverage his MA in International Relations to help expand OpenBiome’s services across the globe.

Andrew Noh

Andrew Noh

Andrew is currently an MBA candidate at MIT Sloan. Andrew has worked as a Fellow at the Civic Consulting Alliance in Chicago and as a Consultant at Bain & Company. At Bain, he advised a variety of clients on growth strategy, merger integration, performance improvement, organization, and IT projects. He has also spent time working internationally at a microfinance institution in Kenya and as an English teacher in Thailand. Andrew is excited to help scale OpenBiome's operations as they reach increasingly more clinicians, patients, and advocates.

Eliška Didyk 

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Prior to joining OpenBiome, Eliška worked as an anesthesiologist in Germany. Eliška is responsible for the production and laboratory management and supports the team in research activities. She is excited about making a powerful yet rarely employed therapy for C. difficile infection more widely known and available. Eliška obtained her MD at Charles University in Prague.

Laura Burns

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Laura is a recent biomedical engineering graduate from Tufts University. Her previous research focused on cardiac repair and pharmaceutical operations, but her true interests lie within the gut. Laura hopes that as a part of the team she can work to optimize OpenBiome’s laboratory management and product pipeline. She is excited to continue developing solutions with the potential to deliver immense impacts.

Nicholas Lo

Nicholas Lo

Nicholas is a rising Junior at Boston College, studying Biology and International Relations. As a summer research intern, he hopes to gain experience in a start-up firm, research and understand more about FMT & C. difficile. Nicholas is excited to be part of the progression and development OpenBiome will be embarking on this summer.

Allison Perrotta

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Allison is a PhD candidate at the Alm Lab at MIT. Allison's research focuses on designing and testing techniques for collecting, handling, and sequencing microbial samples from a myriad of environments under diverse conditions. Allison hopes that OpenBiome will help to advance the understanding of these microbial communities, build valuable relationships with clinicians, and improve treatment options and outcomes for patients.

 

Alumni

Jonathan Barr, Associate, HealthCare Royalty Partners

Emir Sandhu, MD Candidate, Harvard Medical School; MBA Candidate, Harvard Business School

Albert Wang, software engineer