Leadership Team

Akoya’s Leadership Team brings a diverse set of expertise and decades of experience successfully translating technical innovation to commercial success in both the research and clinical markets.

Leadership Team

Akoya’s Leadership Team brings a diverse set of expertise and decades of experience successfully translating technical innovation to commercial success in both the research and clinical markets.

Management Team

Brian McKelligon
Chief Executive Officer

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.

Joe Driscoll
Chief Financial Officer

Joe Driscoll

Chief Financial Officer

Joe joined Akoya Biosciences in March of 2019 serving as the CFO, bringing over 30 years of financial management experience including all aspects of accounting, finance, M&A and international operations. Most recently, he served as the CFO of Quanterix where he guided the company through a successful IPO and served as the primary contact with the investment community. This role was preceded by CFO and other leadership positions at a number of private and publicly traded companies in various industries, including healthcare and technology.

Niro Ramachandran, PhD
Chief Business Officer

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 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.

Peter Miller
Vice President, Research & Development

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.

Julia Kennedy-Darling, PhD
Head of CODEX Research & Development

Julia Kennedy-Darling, PhD

Head of CODEX Research & Development

Dr. Julia Kennedy-Darling joined Akoya in March of 2017 to lead development efforts for the CODEX technology. Prior to joining Akoya, Julia was a co-inventor of the CODEX technology while a Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Garry Nolan’s lab at Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the supervision of Professor Lloyd Smith and received both her M.S. and B.S. in chemistry from the University of Chicago. Dr. Kennedy-Darling has experience in multiplexed DNA technologies and is an author on a number of peer-reviewed papers.

Cliff Hoyt
Vice President, Translational & Scientific Affairs

Cliff Hoyt

Vice President, Translational & Scientific Affairs

Prior to joining Akoya Biosciences, Cliff was Director of Applications and Services for PerkinElmer’s Quantitative Pathology Business Unit. Cliff was co-founder and CTO of CRI, Inc., acquired by PerkinElmer in 2011. Since then, as Oncology Fellow, Cliff lead development of multiplexed staining methods (Opal), built the contract research business, partnered with pharma and academia to understand translational research and clinical needs and to advance adoption of multiplexed immunofluorescence methods, and worked with PKI business leaders to develop an oncology translational strategy. Cliff has been Principal Investigator on NIH SBIR grants, received his BA in Physics from Williams College in 1983 and MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1987, and is named inventor on over 20 patents.

Paul Grass
Vice President, Sales & Support

Paul Grass

Vice President, Sales & Support

Paul joined Akoya in January of 2018 as the head of sales. He has over 20 years of experience in customer support, marketing, and sales leadership roles. Paul has most recently led large commercial sales teams at both Thermo Fisher Scientific and Bio-Rad Laboratories focused in both the Life Science and Clinical industry respectively. Paul holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Seattle Pacific University.

Sundiep Phanse, PhD
Vice President, Product Management

Sundiep Phanse, PhD

Vice President, Product Management

Sundiep joined Akoya in April 2019 and brings a wealth of expertise from her prior leadership roles at companies such as Lam Research, Natera, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. She is also a former Bain & Co. consultant and holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Gavin Gordon, PhD
Vice President, Clinical Market Development

Gavin Gordon, PhD

Vice President, Clinical Market Development

Gavin joined Akoya in July of 2020 to lead business and market development activities with the goal of establishing Akoya platforms in clinical markets. Prior to Akoya, Gavin was VP, Commercial Operations at Fluidigm, where he held multiple global roles including establishing pharma strategic alliances and developing the translational research market for high parameter immunohistochemistry. Gavin was also the commercial lead for the IUO phase of Thermo Fisher’s NGS-based universal companion diagnostic for cancer therapy selection. Prior to joining industry, Gavin was an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Gavin received PhD in Molecular Pathology from UNC Chapel Hill and his MBA from Babson College.

Seth Benson
Vice President, Strategic Finance & Operations

Seth Benson

Vice President, Strategic Finance & Operations

Seth joined Akoya Biosciences in December of 2018 as Vice President of Business Operations. He has over 15 years of experience in finance, strategy, and operations having recently held several positions at Ameritox where he was the General Manager of Ingenuity Health, Head of Strategic Initiatives and a member of the Sterling Partners Accelerator Program for finance and strategy professionals. Previously, Seth spent several years working in the healthcare investment banking divisions of Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley where he advised clients in acquisitions, capital raises and capital structure. He began his career in consulting at Accenture and Diamond Management and Technology Partners (now PWC). Seth received his BS in Biology from Duke University and MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Lori Murray
Vice President, Global Commercial Operations

Lori Murray

Vice President, Global Commercial Operations

Lori joined Akoya in October of 2018 as the head of North America Sales and currently manages all aspects of commercial operations. She has over 20 years of experience in sales, business development and commercial leadership roles. Prior to joining Akoya Biosciences, Lori was North America Sales Director for PerkinElmer’s Quantitative Pathology Business Unit and led several global life science and clinical programs for PerkinElmer. Lori holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of Delaware.

Board of Directors

Robert Shepler
Chairman of the Board

Robert Shepler

Chairman of the Board

Bob has been a corporate transactions specialist and investor since 1978, with a focus on strategic M&A transactions. Bob and Matt Mackowski partnered together in 1991 to form THP’s predecessor focused on investing in private healthcare companies. During his career, he has served on numerous company boards and completed over 200 M&A and financing transactions. In addition to Akoya Biosciences, Bob has represented THP on the boards of Kinetikos Medical (acquired by Integra), AcroMetrix (acquired by Life Technologies), Agena Bioscience, Aurora Discovery (acquired by NEXUS Biosystems), Applied Precision (acquired by GE), Dynex, LDR Spine (NASDAQ:LDRH), Estech (acquired by AtriCure), RareCyte, Sage Labs (acquired by Horizon Discovery) and Vidacare (acquired by Teleflex). He is currently an observer on the boards of Magstim and Precision NanoSystems. Prior to joining with Mr. Mackowski, Bob worked with Merrill Lynch & Co. as an officer in their San Francisco corporate finance office, where he managed financings and acquisitions for Fortune 500 and selected high growth companies. Bob received a BA from Duke University and an MBA from New York University.

Thomas Raffin, MD
Board Member

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.

Matt Winkler, PhD
Board Member

Matt Winkler, PhD

Board Member

Matt joined the Akoya Biosciences Board of Directors in 2017. Matt brings over 25 years’ experience as a founder and executive manager in the life sciences space including the current Chairman and founder of Asuragen, Mirna Therapeutics and Ambion, which was acquired in 2006 by Applied Biosystems, now Thermo Fisher Scientific. In addition to Akoya, he sits on the boards of PhyloTech/Second Genome, The Breakthrough Institute and Revive and Restore. Matt was an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin where he is a member of a number of advisory boards. Dr. Winkler received his Bachelors of Science in genetics and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Garry Nolan, PhD
Founder Board Member & Head of the Scientific Advisory Board

Garry Nolan, PhD

Founder Board Member & Head of the Scientific Advisory Board

Garry co-founded Akoya Biosciences in 2015, and is the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology 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. Dr. Nolan was the founder of a number of life sciences companies in addition to Akoya, including Rigel Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL) and DVS Sciences and serves as an advisor and board member for several biotechnology companies. He has published over 220 research articles and is the holder of 20 US patents, and has been honored as one of the top 25 inventors at Stanford University. He trained with Leonard Herzenberg (for his Ph.D.) and Nobelist Dr. David Baltimore. He has published over 220 research articles and is the holder of 20 US patents, and has been honored as one of the top 25 inventors at Stanford University. Garry 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.

Tom Schnettler
Board Member

Tom Schnettler

Board Member

Tom Schnettler 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. Schnettler 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.

Schnettler 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.

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

Scott Mendel
Board Member

Scott Mendel

Board Member

Scott joined the Akoya Biosciences Board of Directors in June 2021, bringing over 25 years of experience in the diagnostics industry. He currently serves as CEO and President 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.

Brian McKelligon
Chief Executive Officer

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.

Co-Founders

Yury Goltsev, PhD
Co-Founder

Yury Goltsev, PhD

Co-Founder

Dr. Yury Goltsev is one of the original co-inventors of the CODEX Technology in the lab of Dr. Garry Nolan at Stanford University. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist focusing on single cell transcriptomic and protein biomarker analysis in the Baxter Laboratories at Stanford in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Yury is the author of a number of publications and patents in the fields of Immunology and Cancer Biology with particular focus toward advanced single cell methods. Dr. Goltsev earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology in the lab of Dr. David Wallach at the Weizmann Institute of Science and his Masters of Science in Biophysics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Nikolay Samusik, PhD
Co-Founder

Nikolay Samusik, PhD

Co-Founder

Dr. Nikolay Samusik is one of the original co-inventors of the CODEX Technology and is currently a post-doc in the Baxter Laboratories lab at Stanford University, Department of Microbiology and Immunology under the supervision of Dr. Garry Nolan. Nikolay’s research focuses on innovative technology development and computation methods for single cell transcriptomic and protein biomarker analysis. Nikolay is the author of a number of publications and patents in the fields of Immunology and Cancer Biology with particular focus toward advanced single cell methods. Nikolay received his Ph.D. in Computational Systems Biology at MPI-CBG/TU Dresden, and his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the St. Petersburg State University.

First Employee

Nadya Nikulina
First Akoya Employee, Applications Scientist

Nadya Nikulina

First Akoya Employee, Applications Scientist

Nadya was the first employee of Akoya Biosciences in July 2016 and has passionately dedicated to the development of the CODEX system to advance innovation, driven by her passion for developing a deeper understanding of biological processes, ultimately leading to improved treatments and therapies. Prior to Akoya, she conducted clinical research at Diagnostic BioSystems and the Center of New Diagnostic Technologies, Medical Laboratory. Nadya has completed a dual Master of Science program in Biochemistry with a specialization in Immunology and Masters in Biology with a focus on Cell Biology at the UDSU in Izhevsk, Russia.