BioSpace Movers & Shakers: Altos Labs, Vektor, Nautilus, Nurix & More 



Moving into the second half of 2022, biopharma and life sciences companies strengthen their executive leadership teams. New chief executive officers take the reins of companies, while chief financial officers step into their roles overseeing the finances of respective companies. These Movers & Shakers will help guide their companies into the future.

Altos Labs: Hal Barron, the former chief scientific officer and head of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, officially assumed his duties as chief executive officer of Altos Labs this week. Barron's appointment to the head of the Bay Area startup was announced in January. Barron remains a non-executive director on GSK's board of directors.

A veteran of Roche, Barron was tapped by GSK CEO Emma Walmsley to guide the company's R&D efforts and helped reshape the company's focus on genetics and bolstered its position as a vaccine powerhouse. In addition to his leadership role at Altos, Barron continues to serve as an adjunct professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Singular Genomics Systems: Sam Ropp was named chief commercial officer of Singular Genomics Systems, Inc. Ropp will oversee the company's commercial function, including the commercialization of the G4 Sequencing Platform.

Ropp joins Singular from 10x Genomics, where he most recently served as senior vice president of global sales. Before that, he held senior leadership roles at Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), including vice president of global sales, service & support for the BD Genomics business unit and general manager of the CLiC Automation Platform business unit.

The company also announced the appointment of Jeff Bullard as head of sales for North America. Bullard joins Singular from 10x Genomics, where he most recently served as the senior director of sales—Americas. Before 10x Genomics, Bullard held a variety of sales management, sequencing sales and product development positions during his 10-year tenure at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Life Technologies, Ion Torrent and Applied Biosystems/Ambion.

Vektor Medical: Three key executives were added to the leadership team of Vektor Medical, a company focused on mapping arrhythmias anywhere in the heart. Joe Braidwood was named chief strategy officer, Christian David Márton was named vice president of technology and Averee Chang was named VP of product.

Braidwood previously served as chief marketing officer for the British AI technology startup SwiftKey, which Microsoft acquired in 2016. Christian David Márton was an AI research scientist at the Icahn School of Medicine & the Friedman Brain Institute at Mount Sinai, where he modeled biological data (brain rhythms) with artificial neural networks and built brain-inspired machine learning algorithms. Averee Chang has held various roles at Vektor with increasing levels of responsibility. Most recently, Chang was director of product development and spearheaded vMap's FDA clearance.

Nautilus Biotechnology: Seattle-based Nautilus added two members to its leadership team. Eric Spence was named VP of instrument engineering and Ken Kuhn was named VP of reagent and platform development. Spence comes to Nautilus from Genapsys, where he advanced through several positions of increasing responsibility leading the instrument development team to hold his most recent role as senior director. At Agilent Technologies, he led multiple R&D groups.

Kuhn spent the past 20 years at sequencing companies Encodia and Illumina. At Encodia, he served as VP of systems integration, product development and operations. At Illumina, he was the senior director of product development.

Nurix Therapeutics: Eric Schlezinger was named chief people officer of Bay Area-based Nurix. Most recently, Schlezinger was head of human resources at Adamas Pharmaceuticals, and before that, he was the senior vice president and head of human resources for Vir Biotechnology. Earlier in his career, Schlezinger held leadership positions at Tessera Technologies, Dialogic Inc., Tumbleweed Communications and Roche Bioscience.

Huma Therapeutics Limited: Kaushik Gune was appointed as the company's new U.S. head of healthcare. Gune has held numerous senior leadership roles during his career with a focus on developing and advancing commercial products in the digital health market, most recently as VP of digital health & new ventures at Smith+Nephew. Previously, he served as chief strategy & business development officer at Innovative Health Diagnostics.

Enzo Biochem: Matthew Kupferberg was named the company's new, in-house general counsel. Kupferberg was most recently general counsel, chief compliance officer and privacy officer of Digital Medical Technologies, LLC, a medication adherence technology company. His previous experience includes Health Delegates, LLC, RxEDO, Inc. and DaVita, Inc.

Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics: Jerry Torrison has joined the Maryland-based Longhorn Vaccines as SVP of animal health. Torrison is currently a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and leads the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Illumina Ventures: Venture capital firm Illumina Ventures added four members to its European team. Arnaud Autret will be the principal and head of European operations. William Byrne was named associate, and Ronan Byrne and Ivan Coulter will serve as venture advisors. Prior to joining Illumina Ventures, Autret was investment director of M Ventures in Amsterdam, the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA. Previously, he worked as the senior life sciences capital venture associate at Seventure Partners in Paris, as well as a senior financial auditor in the healthcare business unit at KPMG, also in Paris. Byrne was head of biotechnology at NEOM. He was also a consultant in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Ronan Byrne is the co-founder of Pharma Latch in Dublin and is a business mentor and business partner at Enterprise Ireland. Coulter is the founder and managing director of Eden BioPharma Limited in Dublin. He was also the founder and CEO of Sigmoid Pharma Limited.

Alltrna: Flagship Pioneering company Alltrna tapped Joanne Protano as chief financial officer. Protano most recently served as SVP of Finance and Operations at Rubius Therapeutics. Prior to Rubius, Protano was SVP of finance, new ventures at Flagship Pioneering. Before Flagship, she served as CFO of Novelos Therapeutics. Previously, Protano served in various senior finance roles with Ascential Software and predecessor companies and started her career in the assurance practice of Deloitte & Touche LLP.

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