MEET OUR TEAM
Mark Smith, PhD
Mark is the Research Director and co-founder of OpenBiome. Mark trained as a microbiologist at MIT, where he earned his PhD and completed a post-doctoral fellowship using high-throughput sequencing to gain insights into the structure, function and dynamics of the human microbiome. Mark's research and commentary has been published in leading journals like Nature, PNAS, and NEJM. Mark launched OpenBiome in response to personal exposure to the clinical potential of FMT and deep concerns over safe access for patients in need. Beyond the human impact, Mark is excited to extend OpenBiome as a platform for catalyzing research into the microbiome. He hopes that OpenBiome will provide a bridge between practicing clinicians and the community of computational and molecular biologists to which he belongs.
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.
Zain Kassam, MD MPH FRCPC
Zain is the Chief Medical Officer at OpenBiome. He is a gastroenterologist and internal medicine physician, and 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.
Deberly is the 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.
Erika Sturm, MBA
Erika is the Director of Finance and Human Resources at OpenBiome. Erika brings several years of experience advising international teams in budgeting and reporting, financial analysis, grants management, and strategic planning having worked previously as Finance Manager at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Prior to her work at CHAI, Erika led a team from Boston University’s Center for Global Health and Development on a global health cost-benefit analysis project in Ghana as well as led the loan operations team at Accion East. Erika holds an MBA from Boston University.
Susie is the Office Assistant at OpenBiome. She 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.
Lindsay is a Nonprofit Management Fellow at OpenBiome. She is a recent alumna of Princeton University, where she graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School and pursued a certificate in Global Health. She is excited to combine her wide-ranging interests and background to help expand access to FMT as a P55 fellow at OpenBiome.
Junliu Zhang, MSF
Junliu is a Financial Administrator at OpenBiome. She previously served in various roles on international projects in Saudi Arabia and China, as well as in the United States. These roles included financial analysis, financial report and accounting, and marketing research. She is eager to apply her financial experience to serve OpenBiome's expanding list of partners in its mission to support the microbiome research community. She graduated from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and risk management, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in business English. She also completed her Master of Science degree in finance at Clark University in Massachusetts.
Vy is an Office Administrator at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate from Mount Holyoke College, where she earned a degree in Psychology and Mathematics. Her past experience ranges from Office Admin, Accounting, Fundraising, HR, to Clincial Research. She’s currently pursuing her post-baccalaureate pre-med program at Harvard Extenstion School while supporting OpenBiome's effort in expanding access to optimal care for patients and catalyzing further clinical research in the field.
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.
Kelly is the Donor Coordinator at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of Colby College, with a double major in biology and economics. Her research experience at Colby focused on global health economics. Kelly has also spent time at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she researched the neurophysiological mechanisms of anesthetic drugs as a method for intra-operative monitoring. Kelly is excited to expand upon OpenBiome’s mission by broadening access to more patients and contributing to the pool of knowledge regarding FMT.
Pratik Panchal, MD MPH
Pratik is a research fellow and serving a clinical program elective at OpenBiome. He is a physician from Mumbai, India and has extensive experience in designing and managing chronic care programs in low and middle income countries. He received his Master's in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he gained skills in epidemiology and statistical modeling. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital, where his research focuses on designing interventions for reduction of mortality in preterm neonates in low-resource settings. Pratik joined OpenBiome as a research fellow to pursue his passion in microbiome research, in particular to assess the burden of disease of C. difficile in pediatric populations in low and middle income countries and to study the perceptions and regulatory landscape to expand OpenBiome's services to India. He is excited to apply his quantitative skills and clinical knowledge to expand access to FMT.
Kelsey O'Brien, MPH
Kelsey is a Program Development Manager at OpenBiome. Passionate about leveraging behavioral insights to create a healthier world, she completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Colby College and earned a Master of Public Health from Harvard University. Kelsey has extensive experience with mixed method research. Prior to joining OpenBiome, she conducted clinical research at Massachusetts General Hospital, marketing research at Yale University, and infectious disease research with the US Navy in Cusco, Peru. Kelsey’s passion for reducing health disparities aligns well with OpenBiome’s mission to increase affordable access of FMT.
Zac is a Clinical Administrator at OpenBiome. He is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he studied kinesiology with an emphasis on physiology and nutrition. He is interested in public health measures that promote better nutrition and exercise, and is excited to learn about the role the microbiome might play in those efforts.
Emmi Koelsch, RN BSN
Emmi is a Clinical Nurse at OpenBiome. She recently graduated from Boston College with a degree in nursing and a minor in Hispanic studies. Currently, Emmi is pursuing her master’s degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner at Boston College. After working as a Clinical Assistant on the Neuroscience unit at Boston Children’s Hospital and as a registered nurse in the ALS Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital, she understands the clinical need for FMT and is very excited to work towards making this a readily available therapy for patients.
Karl is the Clinical Outreach Director at OpenBiome. He 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.
Daniel is a Clinical Outreach Associate at OpenBiome. He is a recent graduate from Harvard College, where he earned a degree in Human Evolutionary Biology. His studies focused on primate behavior and ecology, and Daniel is excited to transition to learning more about the human microbiome. Dan joined OpenBiome after working as a residential counselor in mental health. He strives to help remove the boundaries between patients and their optimal treatment.
Alex Scheeler, MTS
Alex is a Clinical Outreach Associate at OpenBiome, helping to push forward OpenBiome’s clinical partnerships, both domestically and overseas. She recently 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.
Rodrigo is a Clinical Outreach Associate and Project 55 fellow at OpenBiome. He majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton, and recently completed post-baccalaureate coursework at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Rodrigo is excited to leverage his clinical experience as a medical scribe with his academic interests in medicine and biology to expand access to FMT.
Laura is the Laboratory Operations Manager at OpenBiome. She 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.
Kurt is the Quality Control Associate at OpenBiome. He is a recent graduate of University of Vermont, with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a focus in microbiology. From a young age, he has been interested in connecting business applications to the healthcare system, and OpenBiome has been a way for him to bridge those interests. Kurt is excited to be a part of OpenBiome because its continuing impact on FMT and microbiome research is something that many patients will benefit from. Kurt plans to help further develop OpenBiome’s FMT production pipeline, and to assist in quality control procedures as OpenBiome continues to reach more patients in need.
Mary is a Laboratory Technician 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.
Wendy is the Operations Assistant at OpenBiome. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Eastern Nazarene College and earned a Master in Cell and Molecular Biology from Long Island University. Her previous research focused on endocrinology, diabetes and hypertension at Brigham and Women's Hospital and newborn lung disease at Tufts Medical Center. Wendy is excited to learn more about the microbiome as she works on the lab operations team at OpenBiome.
Dan is the Research and Operations Manager at OpenBiome. He has a B.S. in Biology and eight years of benchtop lab experience in cell and molecular biology, and is eager to apply his skill portfolio to foster a safe and efficient production environment at OpenBiome. Five years as lab safety officer at BIDMC have familiarized him with best practices essential for establishing and maintaining a safe workplace. Dan is focused on implementing quality systems to enhance our FMP products while facilitating operations growth.
Sarah is a Laboratory Associate at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of the University of New Haven where she earned her B.S. in Forensic Science and Biology. She gained interest in the field after learning about fecal transplants from her microbiology professor. She is excited to be a part of the laboratory team and eager to see where FMT will be utilized in the future.
Whitney is a Laboratory Associate at OpenBiome. She is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and graduated with a B.S. in Integrative Biology, focusing on immunology and virology. Her previous research interests dealt with immunological markers and vaccinations. She hopes to utilize her laboratory research skills and interest in healthcare to help expand safe access to FMT. She is excited to learn more about the microbiome as she works as a member of the laboratory operations team at OpenBiome.
Kelsey is a laboratory associate at OpenBiome. She recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science. Her research in Maine and New Zealand focused on assessing marine ecosystem health in coastal communities. Her recent work as a grower and food justice advocate sparked her interest in the impacts of diet on gastrointestinal health. This fascination brought her to the microbiome and the OpenBiome team, where she is excited to to explore her interest in what we consider to be useful as a resource and how we can offer care to those in need within our public health system.
Policy and Public Affairs
Carolyn Edelstein, MPA
Carolyn is the Director of Policy and Global Partnerships at OpenBiome, where she oversees OpenBiome's efforts to expand the availability of FMT overseas, 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 the 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 an MPA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Sasha is a Nonprofit Management Fellow at OpenBiome. She recently graduated from Princeton University, where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and completed pre-medical coursework. With a passion for healthcare and medicine, she pursued these interests both at home and abroad. In India, she interned at a palliative care nonprofit, and in Philadelphia, she contributed to a Facebook-based obesity intervention for new mothers and their infants for completion of her senior thesis. She is thrilled to to join OpenBiome as a Project 55 Fellow and help support its policy and public affairs efforts.
Elaine Vo, PhD
Elaine is the Lead Research Scientist at OpenBiome. She has extensive background in molecular biology and microbial ecology. She completed her undergraduate degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and holds a PhD in Integrative Biology from the University of California-Berkeley, where she studied the determinants and implications of variation in vertebrate gut-associated microbiota. Elaine enjoys developing novel methods and harnessing new technology to interrogate the complexity of host-microbial interactions, and she is thrilled to be on the OpenBiome research team to apply advances in basic science and clinical collaborations toward microbial therapeutics and clinical practice, ultimately pursuing results “from bench to bedside.”
Gina is the Product Development Associate at OpenBiome. She is a recent biochemistry and economics graduate of Middlebury College. Her research experience ranges from organic chemistry to economic growth modeling. She is excited to combine her laboratory skills with her passion for healthcare to further increase OpenBiome’s impact on FMT and microbiome research. She hopes to help expand OpenBiome’s clinical and research missions, as well as advance sample processing and encapsulation protocols.
Christina is a R & D Associate and Biobank Coordinator at OpenBiome. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science and post graduation has worked at UVM as a research assistant in the Wright Lab. There she gained valuable skills in molecular and microbiology studying gut microbes in ruminants. She developed a passion for gut microbes and gastrointestinal ecology and now uses her laboratory skills to help support research at OpenBiome. She hopes to aid in developing research initiatives and new procedures to help keep OpenBiome cutting edge in the fields of science and healthcare.
Nancy Dubois, MSN MBA
Nancy is a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator and Project Manager at OpenBiome. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of San Francisco, Nancy practiced as a registered nurse in pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, and spent more than five years as the primary Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator and Genetic Counselor at the Center for Human Genetics Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Nancy also served as a Product Marketing Manager at an international medical device corporation specializing in orthopedics and for a start-up that manufactured purified silk mesh medical devices. Currently, Nancy is completing a doctoral degree in nursing from Boston College where her academic interests lie in the microbiome and immunology. She holds a Master’s in Nursing Science (MSN) from the University of Washington, with a specialization in clinical genetics and genetics counseling, and an MBA from Babson College.
Robyn is a 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.
Ryan is a Clinical Research Associate and Princeton Project 55 fellow at OpenBiome. He is a recent graduate of Princeton University where he majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minored in Global Health & Health Policy and Latin American Studies. For the past year, he served as a Princeton in Africa fellow with Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative in Lesotho. Ryan is thrilled to help catalyze research on the microbiome through his research coordination efforts and to immerse himself in a new and exciting area of clinical research.
Software & Technology
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.
Board of Directors
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 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 began collaborating with Mark and James on OpenBiome in 2012 and worked behind the scenes to incorporate the company and build a governance model for this unique non-profit with its public health and research missions. Jim earned a BA in History from Yale University.
Elliot is currently an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School. Prior to business school, Elliot was a private equity associate at Bain Capital, where he focused on evaluating potential healthcare investments and working with healthcare portfolio companies. Before that, Elliot was a consultant at Bain & Company, where he worked to advise a variety of private equity and corporate clients in various industries. Elliot is passionate about contributing to the continued growth and success of OpenBiome!
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.
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.
Jessica Allegretti, MD MPH, Special Advisor to OpenBiome's Clinical Research Program.
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.
Clinical Advisory Board
Dr. Kanchana Amaratunga, Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, Public Health Agency of Canada
Dr. Paul Beck, Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Calgary
Dr. Michael Edmond, Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Iowa
Dr. Monika Fischer, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Indiana University
Dr. Ciaran Kelly, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Director of Gastroenterology Training and Medical Director of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dr. Colleen Kelly, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Brown University
Dr. Richard Hunt, Professor of Medicine, McMaster University (Emeritus)
Dr. Paul Moayyedi, Professor of Medicine, Richard Hunt-Astra Zeneca Chair in Gastroenterology, McMaster University
Dr. Daniel Murphy, Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center
Dr. Tim O'Shea, Assistant Professor, Division of Internal Medicine / Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, McMaster University
Dr. Neil Stollman, Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, Northern California Gastroenterology Consultants
Interns & Fellows
Alim Ladha, Duke undergraduate student
Veronica Mongtomgery, MIT undergraduate student
Nicholas Lo, summer research intern
Albert Wang, software engineer
Allison Perrotta, PhD Candidate at MIT
Eliska Didyk, production and laboratory management
Jonathan Barr, Associate at HealthCare Royalty Partners
F. Josh Grehan