Brian McKelligon

Chief Executive Officer

Brian joined Akoya Biosciences in July 2017 serving as the CEO, bringing his experience as a 25-year veteran of the life sciences market with a proven track record of building and commercializing products and services for both the research and clinical markets. Most recently, he drove corporate and business development at Cellular Dynamics International (acquired by FUJIFilm) with a focus on the development and partnering of their four cell therapy programs. Prior to that, Brian built and ran commercial organizations at 10X Genomics, Thermo Fisher Scientific / Life Technologies, Affymetrix (IPO, acquired by Thermo Fisher) and Ingenuity Systems (acquired by Qiagen). He came to Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies through their acquisition of Ion Torrent in 2010 where he was an early employee and built the global commercial organization.

Johnny Ek

Chief Financial Officer

Johnny has more than 20 years of financial leadership experience across the diagnostics and life sciences tools industries. He joins Akoya from Specific Diagnostics, a developer of rapid antibiotic susceptibility tests where he served as Chief Financial Officer and facilitated the Company’s sale to bioMérieux in May 2022. Prior to that, he served as Chief Financial Officer at GenMark Diagnostics, a provider of multiplex molecular diagnostic solutions, and oversaw the sale to Roche Diagnostics in March 2021. Johnny served as the Vice President, Finance and Controller of eBioscience and completed it’s sale to Affymetrix, when he became Vice President, Finance and International Controller. Johnny began his career at Ernst & Young and is a licensed CPA (inactive) in the state of California. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Brigham Young University and a Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.

Niro Ramachandran, PhD

Chief Business Officer

Niro joined Akoya in August 2020 to serve as the Chief Business Officer responsible for developing a robust roadmap and commercialization strategy for Akoya’s platforms. Niro has nearly two decades of experience in developing and commercializing products in the life science market. He has commercialized over 30 products across genomics and proteomics research markets. More recently, he served as the vice president of the spatial biology business unit at Nanostring Technologies (2014 – 2020). Prior to this, Niro led product development for the protein business unit at Life Technologies (2008-2014; acquired by Thermo Fisher). Niro received his Hon. BSc in Biochemistry from University of Toronto, and PhD from University of Windsor. He completed his post doctorate work at the Harvard Institute of Proteomics, Harvard University.

Frederic Pla, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Frederic joined Akoya Biosciences in April 2021 to serve as the Chief Operating Officer. He brings over 25 years of experience in launching and managing global businesses in the life sciences and healthcare industries. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI). Prior to PICI, he served as COO of Genomic Health (now part of Exact Sciences) and held senior leadership positions at Life Technologies (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific) and GE Healthcare. Frederic is named on 23 U.S. patents and received a PhD in acoustics from Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree from the University of Southampton, UK, and an engineering degree from the University of Technology of Compiegne, France.

Jennifer Kamocsay

General Counsel

Jennifer joined Akoya Biosciences in February 2023 as General Counsel where she will oversee all company legal activities and provide strategic guidance and corporate governance oversight. Most recently, she served as General Counsel of Rubius Therapeutics, Inc., where she was responsible for overseeing and managing all of the company’s legal affairs. Prior to joining Rubius, she was Associate General Counsel for Progress Software Corporation where she oversaw the company’s corporate, securities law, and mergers and acquisitions activities. Jennifer began her legal career at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she represented public and private company clients in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries on mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and corporate governance matters.

Pascal Bamford

Senior Vice President, R&D and Laboratory Operations

Pascal joined Akoya Biosciences in October 2021 in the role of Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Laboratory Operations. He possesses deep scientific and operational experience leading teams in developing and implementing successful and innovative products through international regulatory agencies to customers and patients worldwide. Prior to joining Akoya, he served as Senior Vice President of Products and Services Research and Development at Exact Sciences and has previously held leadership positions at Epic Sciences, Ventana Medical Systems, and Monogen. Pascal earned a PhD in cell image analysis from the University of Queensland, Australia, and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Bristol, UK, and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, France.

Peter Miller

Vice President, Research & Development

Prior to joining Akoya Biosciences, Peter was Director of R&D for PerkinElmer’s Quantitative Pathology Business Unit. Peter was a co-founder of CRI, Inc., where he was responsible for product development, technology assessment, licensing, and intellectual property management. He has been a Principal Investigator on NSF, NASA, and Air Force grants; is a named inventor on more than 25 US patents, and sat on the OSA’s Richardson Medal committee. He holds a BS from Williams College in Physics & Astronomy, and an MS from Dartmouth’s Thayer School.

Sarilyn Johnson-Carter

Vice President, Global Commercial Operations

Sarilyn joined Akoya Biosciences in May of 2022 as Vice President, Global Commercial Operations responsible for Sales Operations and Analytics, Commercial Training and Customer Care – Experience Management.  She brings deep experience in commercial and operations strategic planning through execution for Diagnostics and Medical Devices to include customer acquisition, retention, and new product launch.  Most recently she served as head of US Sales for BioRad Clinical Diagnostics.  Prior to that, over 25 years, Sarilyn advanced to senior leadership roles at Abbott Laboratories serving as Global Senior Commercial Director, General Manager and Commercial Area Director.  Sarilyn has a degree in Microbiology & Chemistry from Louisiana State University and completed graduate studies at L SU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Robert Shepler

Chairman of the Board

Bob has served on Akoya Bioscience’s board since the company’s inception in 2015.  Bob was a founder and served as a Managing Director of Telegraph Hill Partners (THP), a growth equity/late-stage venture capital investment firm focused exclusively on healthcare related companies, since its founding in 2001 until August 2020 when he became Partner Emeritus.  Prior to THP, Bob was a principal in the investment firm of Mackowski & Shepler and an officer in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch & Co.  In addition to Akoya Biosciences, Bob currently serves on the boards of Agena Biosciences, Inc. and Dynex Technologies, Inc.  Previously, Bob served on the boards of Kinetikos Medical (acquired by Integra), AcroMetrix, Inc. (acquired by Life Technologies), Aurora Discovery, Inc. (acquired by NEXUS Biosystems), Applied Precision (acquired by GE), LDR Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:LDRH), Endoscopic Technologies, Inc. (acquired by AtriCure), Sage Labs, Inc. (acquired by Horizon Discovery), Vidacare Corporation (acquired by Teleflex), ReloAction, Inc. (acquired by Hewitt Associates), Microinterventional Systems, Inc. (acquired by Medtronic), Reading Glass Company, Inc., One Body, Inc., R.D. Percy & Company, RareCyte, Inc. and was chairman of Genomics Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNSL).  He also was a board observer at Magstim, Inc. and Precision Nanosystems, Inc. (acquired by Danaher).  Bob received a BA from Duke University and an MBA from New York University.

Thomas Raffin, MD

Board Member

Tom has served on the Akoya Board of Directors since the inception of Akoya Biosciences. Tom spent 24 years on the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine where he remains the Colleen and Robert Haas Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics, former Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Co-Founder and Director Emeritus of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. Over the past two decades he has worked extensively in the healthcare and medical device sectors and is a co-founder of Rigel Pharmaceuticals. In addition to Akoya, Tom has represented THP on the boards AngioScore (acquired by Spectranetics), Aquaro, Confirma (acquired by Merge), LDR Spine (NASDAQ:LDRH), PneumRx (acquired by BTG Plc), Freedom Innovations (acquired by Health Evolution Partners) and Magstim. He was an observer on the boards of Estech (acquired by AtriCure) and Vidacare (acquired by Teleflex). Tom received a BA from Stanford University and an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his medical residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.

Matthew Winkler, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Winkler has served on our board of directors since July 2017. Dr. Winkler is the former Chairman and founder of Asuragen. Asuragen was sold in 2021 to Bio-Techne. He also founded Mirna Therapeutics(MIRN) (merged with Synlogic 2017) and Ambion, Inc. Ambion was acquired in 2006 by Applied Biosystems, now Thermo Fisher Scientific. Dr. Winkler currently serves on the board of directors of “The Breakthrough Institute”, and “Revive and Restore” all from 2017 to present. Dr. Winkler was an Assistant and Associate Professor (1983-1991) in the Department of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also currently a member of several advisory boards. Dr. Winkler received his B.S. in Genetics and a PhD in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley. The board of directors believes that Dr. Winkler is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive operational experience with global life sciences companies, and particularly his expertise in business development and corporate strategy.

Tom Schnettler

Board Member

Tom is vice chairman of Piper Sandler Companies, a managing director in the merchant banking group and co-CEO of PSC Capital Partners LLC, the registered investment adviser to the Piper Sandler merchant banking funds. Tom has held a number of leadership roles at Piper Sandler, including president and chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Earlier in his career, he cofounded and led the healthcare investment banking group.

Tom has served on the board of, or held board observation responsibility for, Akoya Biosciences, Torax Medical, Sapphire Digital, Sport Ngin, Xenex Disinfection Services and Elligo Health Research.

Tom graduated from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and holds a Juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.

Scott Mendel

Board Member

Scott joined the Akoya Biosciences Board of Directors in June 2021, and brings over 30 years of financial and operational leadership experience. Most recently, he served as CEO and President and a member of the board of directors of GenMark Diagnostics, a highly innovative and successful molecular diagnostics company acquired by multinational healthcare company Roche. Scott joined GenMark as CFO in 2014 and was promoted to CEO in 2020. Prior to GenMark, he held senior-level leadership positions with The Active Network and GE Healthcare. Scott earned a B.S. in finance from Indiana University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Myla Lai-Goldman, MD

Board Member

Myla joined the Akoya Biosciences Board of Directors in September 2021. A true pioneer and leader in the diagnostic industry, Dr. Lai-Goldman held various roles including Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) and its predecessor company, Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc from 1990 to 2008. Myla is currently the Chair of GeneCentric Therapeutics, a precision medicine company, which she co-founded and previously served as CEO and President. She is also a venture partner with Hatteras Venture Partners and managing partner of Personalized Science, LLC, a diagnostic consulting company that she founded in 2008. Board-certified in both anatomic and clinical pathology, she received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Garry Nolan, PhD (Chair)

Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine

Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine, co-founder of Akoya Biosciences and inventor of the CODEX technology (now PhenoCycler)

Professor Nolan co-founded Akoya Biosciences in 2015 and is the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine. As a co-inventor of the CODEX technology, Garry has focused his research efforts on developing novel technologies and computational methods for research into cancer, leukemia, immunology, and autoimmune disease. Professor Nolan was the founder of a number of life sciences companies in addition to Akoya, including Rigel Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL), DVS Sciences (purchased by Fluidigm), Nodality, Inc., BINA (sold to Roche Diagnostics), Apprise (sold to Roche Sequencing Solutions), Scale Bio (single cell ATAC, RNA, and protein), and serves as an advisor and board member for several biotechnology companies. He has published over 350 research articles and is the holder of 50 US patents and has been honored as one of the top 25 inventors at Stanford University. He trained with Leonard Herzenberg (for his PhD) and Nobelist Dr. David Baltimore for postdoctoral work. Professor Nolan is the first recipient of the Teal Innovator Award (2012) from the Department of Defense and has been honored with a number of awards including Nature Publishing “Outstanding Research Achievement”, Stohlman Scholar from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Burroughs Wellcome Fund New Investigator Award.

James Allison, PhD

Chair of the Department of Immunology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Regental Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Olga Keith Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research, Director of the James P. Allison Institute at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Dr. Allison has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and developing strategies for cancer immunotherapy. He earned the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Dr. Tasuku Honjo, “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” Among his most notable discoveries are the determination of the T cell receptor structure and that CD28 is the major costimulatory molecule that allows full activation of naïve T cells and prevents anergy in T cell clones. His lab resolved a major controversy by demonstrating that CTLA-4 inhibits T-cell activation by opposing CD28-mediated costimulation and that blockade of CTLA-4 could enhance T cell responses, leading to tumor rejection in animal models. This finding and a great deal of persistence paved the way for the field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer. Work in his lab led to the development of ipilimumab, an antibody to human CTLA-4 and the first immune checkpoint blockade therapy approved by the FDA. Among many honors, he is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and received the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award in 2015. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies currently used to identify new targets to unleash the immune system in order to eradicate cancer.

Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD

Professor in the Departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Professor in the Departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, Associate VP of Immunobiology and the T.C. and Jeanette D. Hsu Endowed Chair in Cell Biology at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Sharma has written and conducted multiple innovative immunotherapy clinical trials, with an emphasis on obtaining patients’ tumor samples for in-depth laboratory studies, including the first neoadjuvant trial with immune checkpoint therapy and first clinical trial with immune checkpoint therapy for patients with bladder cancer. Her studies have identified novel resistance mechanisms to immune checkpoint therapy, including loss of interferon (IFN) signaling, VISTA⁺ immunosuppressive cells, increased EZH2 expression in T cells, TGFβ signaling in bone metastases, and CD73⁺ myeloid cells in GBM. These data have led to initiation of new research studies focused on developing rational combination immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. As a result of her outstanding contributions to the field of cancer immunotherapy, Dr. Sharma was selected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and was awarded the Emil Frei III Award for Excellence in Translational Research in 2016, the Coley Award for Distinguished Research for Tumor Immunology in 2018, the Women in Science with Excellence (WISE) Award in 2020, the Heath Memorial Award in 2021 and the Randall Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research in 2021.