The Team

Nasry Yassa Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

Nasry Yassa is an entrepreneurial executive with over 30 years of experience in clinical laboratories, contract research organizations, and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Yassa Co-founded Sirona Dx Inc. a Contract Research Organization that offers specialized high complexity genomic services for platform technology firms and pharmaceutical companies.

Nasry spent the last 12 years of his career growing startup companies. At MolecularMD he was solely responsible for managing activities to commercialize the company's service portfolio. He directed staff of 60+ with scope breadth including infrastructure build, operation, business strategy and PMA submission. Prior to MolecularMD, he Co-founded Pathway Diagnostics and served as the Vice President of Operations where he managed a multi-disciplinary organization working to identify, develop, and in-license novel technology in a wide range of disease areas. At Specialty Lab, he was the Technical Director of the Development Department, directing the development of over 500 diagnostic in-house tests. At Hoffmann-La Roche, Nasry worked as a Research Scientist and then as a Product Support Manager working on the development of the first HIV Molecular Diagnostic test and on developing methods for reversible modification of thermo-stable enzymes (AmpliTaq® Gold). Prior to working at Hoffmann-La Roche, he worked at Bio-Rad laboratories as a Senior Production Manager of the HIV-1 P3 facility. At Ortho Diagnostic Sysytems Nasry worked as an Associate Scientist. Nasry started his career at Nichols Institute as a Manufacturing Chemist.

Nasry Yassa holds a B.S. in Medical Microbiology and Ph.D. in Bio-Chemistry.

 

Charles Sailey, MD, MS, FCAP
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Charles Sailey obtained dual Master’s Degrees in Cell Biology and Biotechnology before medical training. After obtaining his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine, he completed residency training in Anatomic & Clinical Pathology at the University of Maryland, followed by fellowship training in Molecular Genetic Pathology at the University of North Carolina. As medical and scientific director of the Molecular Genetic Pathology, Molecular Microbiology, Metabolic Genetics, and Clinical Chemistry laboratories at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, he planned, designed, and coordinated the construction of a human genetics laboratory in 2011. Since that time, the laboratory has thrived and is now offering a full genetic test menu, including targeted mutation analysis using Sanger sequencing, MLPA, and copy-number variation using a SNP microarray, among others. He had several ongoing internal research projects, including the construction of a 15 target plasmid for limit-of-detection and QA studies (patent pending) used with various PCR assays. Other projects included downstream analysis

Mart Loog, PhD
Chief Technology Officer

Mart Loog is professor of molecular systems biology and head of a research group at the Institute of Technology, University of Tartu. Mart received his PhD in medicinal biochemistry from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2002, followed by postdoctoral training at University of California, San Francisco. In 2006 Mart established his laboratory at the Institute of Technology. He has received several international fellowships and awards including The “Welcome Trust Senior International Fellowship” and a startup research grant from European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). In 2012 he received Estonian National Science Prize in chemistry and molecular biology. In 2015 he was awarded the ERC Consolidator Grant and became a principal coordinator of a H2020 ERA Chair project SynBioTEC to establish the multidisciplinary Centre of Synthetic Biology. Mart’s research include regulation of eukaryotic cell cycle, multi-site phosphorylation-based synthetic circuit design and systems biology of regulatory networks. Dr. Loog joined the Sirona team in early 2016 as their Chief Technology Officer to expand his research and intellectual properties in the US..

Andreas Bakker, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Sirona Dx Inc.

Dr. Bakker has held senior leadership positions in laboratory, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. He has extensive expertise in the development, validation, and implementation of diagnostic assays and platform technologies and their application in clinical research. Andy’s understanding of GLP, GCP, and CLIA/CAP regulations has enabled him to set up several quality management systems in diverse operational settings. Bridging device and clinical drug development throughout his career, Dr, Bakker has been involved with over 1000 clinical trials. Before joining Sirona Dx, Dr. Bakker established the lab at Cynvenio Biosystems, as Vice President of Operations, he oversaw CLIA Operations and Clinical Trial Services. Dr. Bakker served as Vice President of Molecular Diagnostics and Clinical Trials at Solstas Lab Partners. At Amgen Inc., he developed a novel outsourcing and management organization as director of Technical Services that provides laboratory and imaging support to clinical studies worldwide. Prior to Amgen, Dr. Bakker was the vice president of clinical programs at Pathway Diagnostics where he established and managed the clinical trials organization. Before joining Pathway Diagnostics, Dr. Bakker directed several organizations at Specialty Laboratories (now Quest Diagnostics), including the genotyping laboratory, molecular technology development, and clinical trials. Dr. Bakker began his career as associate director of Long Beach Genetics, a leader in biological relationship, identity, and paternity analysis. Dr. Bakker received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.S from the University of California, San Diego.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Howard Young
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Howard Young has been working on varying aspects of innate immunity for over 30 years, and have significant experience studying cytokine gene expression and signaling, the biology and molecular biology of NK cells, the generation and study of murine macrophage cell lines and immune signaling networks. His studies have involved molecular characterization of the transcriptional regulation of Interferon and most recently, his laboratory has developed a novel mouse model of lupus based on chronic expression of low levels of this important immunoregulatory molecule. He has authored/co-authored over 300 scientific research articles and reviews. He is a Past President of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research, currently serves on the governing council of the society and edits the newsletter for that organization (now the International Cytokine and Interferon Society). He is an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, is a member of the Faculty of 1000 and served as Chair of the Immunology Division for the American Society for Microbiology. He also serves on the Biopharma Research Council Advisory Board.

Dr. Julio Valencia
Scientific Advisor

Dr. Julio C. Valencia has been working on several areas related to skin biology and melanoma for over 10 years, and have significant experience studying trafficking and molecular characterization of melanoma-differentiation markers. His studies have involved the completion of the first melanosome proteome, the identification of several novel melanoma bio-markers, and the role of melanosomes and pigmentation in drug resistance. More recently, his research examined the impact of losing and restoring melanocyte-differentiation markers in metastatic melanoma cells. Currently, his research is focused on understanding the impact of chronic low expression levels of Interferon on cancer development and progression. He has author/co-authored over 40 scientific research articles and reviews. He is an elected Council member of the Pan American Society of Pigment Cell Research, and served as the Chair of the Pigment Cell Interest group at NIH.

Jon Summers
Counselor

Jon is an attorney and CPA who represents technology and emerging growth companies with respect to the formation, financing, governance, and transactional matters. He counsels clients on venture capital and angel financings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures, technology licensing, commercial agreements and general business matters. Jon is experienced in stock option plans, executive compensation, corporate reorganizations and spinouts, securities offerings, and the formation of investment funds. Jon speaks frequently on the subjects of startups, financings, and mergers and acquisitions. Jon teaches an Entrepreneurship seminar at Lewis and Clark Law School. Prior to his legal career, Jon worked for four years for Arthur Andersen and Co., an international public accounting firm, as a financial statement auditor where he earned his certified public accounting license in 1989.