Our leadership team draws on diverse backgrounds spanning healthcare and technology.
ASHRAF HANNA, MD PHD.
Ashraf Hanna is the Chief Executive Officer at Genalyte.
Ashraf joined Genalyte as Chief Executive Officer from Verily, an Alphabet company, where he was Chief Operating Officer. Among other activities, he helped lead the company to obtain its first 510k approval and expand Covid testing sites during the pandemic. Prior to Verily, Ashraf was the CEO at ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing drugs for resistant cancers. Ashraf led the company from concept through preclinical and the beginning of Phase 1 clinical trials. ORIC had an IPO at approximately $1B valuation while still in Phase 1. Ashraf spent over a decade at Genentech as Vice President and head of Alliance Management, Portfolio Prioritization, and head of Commercial and Medical Affairs Finance. He started his work career at McKinsey and Company.
Ashraf has a PhD in Physics from Harvard, and an M.D. from the University of Massachusetts and studied Physics and Economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago.
GERARD VAN HAMEL PLATERINK
Gerard is the Chief Financial Officer at Genalyte.
Gerard comes to Genalyte after nearly a decade at Redmile Group, a healthcare investment firm, where he was a Managing Director. At Redmile Group, Gerard was responsible for reviewing and approving investments in private healthcare technology companies.
Prior to working with Redmile, Gerard co-founded MedAvail, the robotic pharmacy technology company. He helped the company to raise over $150M in private and public equity capital and was Board Chair when the company was listed on Nasdaq. Prior to MedAvail, Gerard was a Managing Director with Accuitive Medical Ventures (AMV), a medical technology venture capital fund. Before AMV, Gerard worked with Novoste Corporation, a medical technology company, in business development and corporate communications. Before joining Novoste, Gerard was an equity research analyst with Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup) in London, where he was a member of the #1 ranked European healthcare research team. Gerard began his career with Kleinwort Benson in London in investment banking.
Gerard is a Dutch national, was born in Brunei in Southeast Asia, grew up in Africa and was educated in the UK where he got his BS in Physics from St. Andrews University and an MBA from Cambridge University.
Rachel Larrenaga, J.D., Esq.
Rachel is responsible for overseeing all legal affairs at Genalyte including commercial transactions, business development transactions, intellectual property, corporate governance and compliance. Rachel brings extensive legal experience over an 18-year career, in commercial negotiations, intellectual property licensing, acquisitions and venture-backed financing.
Most recently, Rachel was Vice President of Legal at ChargePoint, one of the leaders in electric vehicle charging. She joined ChargePoint in 2014 as its second legal hire and helped grow the organization thru its recent transition to a public company in March 2021. Rachel helped build the entire North America commercial team and was responsible for negotiating high risk and high reward contracts. Before going in-house, Rachel worked as a senior associate at Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe and Murray & Murray.
Rachel holds a BA from UC Davis (Summa Cum Laude) and a J.D. from UC Hastings (Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif). Rachel is admitted to both the California and Texas State Bars.
CASIMIR STARSIAK III
Sr. VP of Product and Operations
Casimir joined Genalyte from Verily, Google’s healthcare and life sciences spinout. There he wore many hats including building and leading the Strategy and Business Operations team and as General Manager for the Baseline clinical trials platform.
Prior to joining Verily, Casimir spent 5 years on Google’s Strategy team leading a variety of projects across the organization. Examples include helping to kickstart Google’s Cloud Genomics product as well as supporting the initial strategy and business planning for the nascent life sciences efforts in Google X, which eventually led to the creation of Verily. Prior to Alphabet, Casimir spent time in McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology practice as well as working at the Indianapolis VA Hospital as an Industrial Engineering Fellow.
Casimir received a B.S. from Purdue University in Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.
VP, Product Marketing
Michael leads Genalyte’s strategic direction by reading the market, identifying key market segments and designing innovative products and services to meet those needs.
As part of a twenty year career at Blue Shield of California, Michael spearheaded the design and implementation of one of the first Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the country while serving as Senior Director of Product Innovation. Improving quality of healthcare while cutting costs by almost $38 million in two years for 40K CalPERS members, the ACO model has been replicated by more than 32 medical groups and hospitals across the state. Michael later became Vice President of Product and Market Alignment at Blue Shield of California where he oversaw product innovation and management for all Commercial offerings including the adoption of and transition to the Affordable Care Act.
Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Education from Stanford University.
GRAHAM JACK, PHD
VP, Assay Development and Tech Transfer
Graham is responsible for assay research, development and tech transfer to manufacturing.
Jessica Silvestre, PHD
Head of Quality
As Head of Quality, Jessica’s focus is to provide medical devices and related services that consistently meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements. She previously served as Head of Quality for Boston Scientific, developing and manufacturing implantable neurostimulators to help patients with chronic pain and movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease. During her 13 years at Boston Scientific, Jessica was involved in multiple projects for Class III active implantable medical devices, from concept through 510(k) and PMA approvals, first patient implant, and beyond to post-market surveillance. She also oversaw multi-million dollar production transfers and acquisition integrations.
Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral research in orthopaedic biomechanics resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications in journals, most notably on wear of metal-on-metal artificial discs for the lumbar spine.
Jessica’s passion for helping others is reflected in her 7 years of service as a Search and Rescue volunteer, which required training and certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Mountain Rescue Technician, and Sheriff’s Deputy.
Board of Directors
Ashraf Hanna is the Chief Executive Officer of Genalyte.
Ashraf joined Genalyte as Chief Executive Officer from Verily, an Alphabet company, where he was Chief Operating Officer. Among other activities, he helped lead the company to obtain its first 510k approval and expand Covid testing sites during the pandemic. Prior to Verily, Ashraf was the CEO at ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing drugs for resistant cancers. Ashraf led the company from concept through preclinical and the beginning of Phase 1 clinical trials. ORIC had an IPO at approximately $1B valuation while still in Phase 1. Ashraf spent over a decade at Genentech as Vice President and head of Alliance Management, Portfolio Prioritization, and head of Commercial and Medical Affairs Finance. He started his work career at McKinsey and Company. Ashraf has a PhD in Physics from Harvard, and an M.D. from the University of Massachusetts and studied Physics and Economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago.
Member, Board of Directors
Dr. Cary Gunn has been blazing trails in the technology community for almost 30 years.
Prior to founding Genalyte, Cary served as co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Luxtera, a developer of innovative optical solutions; his military career includes almost 10 years in the United States Air Force, where he was responsible for launching GPS satellites. Holding 81 (and counting) issued U.S. patents, Cary has been recognized in publications including the MIT Technology Review, which named him a Top Young Innovator in 2003. Five years later, Cary’s achievements in silicon photonics were awarded with the Optical Society of America Adolph Lomb Medal and the Berthold-Leibinger Foundation Innovation Prize. He received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics and Organic Chemistry from the United States Air Force Academy and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Member, Board of Directors
Saeid is the Managing Director at HBM Genomics investing in world-class entrepreneurs in life sciences companies.
He has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur building successful biotech companies from scratch. Saeid is an active investor/advisor in leading life sciences companies, including Genalyte, Clear Labs, Convergent Genomics, Encoded Therapeutics, Haystack Biosciences, Seer Biosciences, Trace Genomics, and Xcell Biosciences.
Prior to HBM Genomics, Saeid was the founder, President & CEO of NextBio which was acquired by Illumina in 2013. Prior to founding NextBio, he was the President & CEO of Silicon Genetics which was acquired by Agilent in 2004. Mr. Akhtari has also held executive management positions at several other life sciences companies.
Member, Board of Directors
Andrew Conrad, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Founder of Verily where he oversees an integrated team of engineers, scientists, designers, and medical experts working on a wide spectrum of healthcare-related projects.
Previously, he was Chief Scientific Officer of Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp). Dr. Conrad co-founded the National Genetics Institute, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer. He is a Working Group Member on the Precision Medicine Initiative and a member of the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) Scientific Advisory Board.
Member, Board of Directors
Jeff Huber is the Founding CEO and Vice Chairman of GRAIL (2016-present). GRAIL’s mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured.
Prior to GRAIL, Jeff was a Senior Vice President at Google. Over 13 years at Google, Jeff co-founded Google’s life sciences efforts in Google[x] (2013-2016), and led development and scaling for Google Maps (2011-2013), Google Apps (2005-2010), and Google Ads (2003-2011). During his tenure as an executive at Google, Jeff oversaw 50x growth in revenues (from $1 billion to >$50 billion) and organization (1,000 to >50,000 employees), and managed a $5 billion P&L and large distributed teams (5,000+ direct-line employees). Earlier, Jeff was vice president of architecture and systems development at eBay and senior vice president of engineering at Excite@Home, where he led consumer product and infrastructure development.
Jeff was recognized as one of the ‘100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs’ (2017), and is an active early-stage investor/advisor in breakthrough life sciences and technology, including Openwater, Mammoth Biosciences, Vir, Sana, Zymergen, Atomwise, Genalyte, Pinterest, Honor, OpenDoor, and AngelList.
Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Illinois, where he was Commencement Speaker (2016) and received a ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’ from the College of Electrical & Computer Engineering (2018) for ‘challenging the status quo through innovation’. He also holds a master’s degree in business from Harvard University. Jeff is a board member of GRAIL (Vice Chairman), Genalyte (Chairman), Electronic Arts (EA), Openwater, and The Exploratorium, and a former board member of Illumina (ILMN; 2014-2016).
Member, Board of Directors
Joe Markee Managing Director at Express Ventures
Joe brings extensive experience in early stage company formation, capital raising, corporate management, and public and private corporate governance. Joe’s startup experience encompasses Primary Access as a founder and senior manager, Copper Mountain Networks as founding CEO, CTO and Chairman, Figure 8 Wireless as CEO and StackIQ as CEO and Chairman.
Joe was also a founder and served as President of the San Diego Telecommunications Council (renamed CommNexus). He has been honored with awards for his contributions to San Diego’s high-tech business community, including Master Entrepreneur.
Member, Board of Directors
Rajesh is a Partner at Khosla Ventures. Rajesh brings with him two decades of experience assisting and investing in deeptech/ hardware startups across many industries including Cleantech and Healthcare.
Before joining Khosla Ventures, Rajesh served as the Head of Applied Ventures LLC, the Venture Capital arm of Applied Materials, where he managed a portfolio of over 85 hardware startups across 13 countries. Rajesh also drove the establishment of an $850M Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META) facility in NY, to enable access of semiconductor fabs for startups. Rajesh received Global Corporate Venturing’s (GCV) Powerlist award in 2019.
Before joining Applied Ventures, Rajesh worked at the venture arm of Third Point LLC. Previously, at Lucent’s Bell Labs, he drove the technical assessment & partnerships with several Photonics, MEMS and RF startups. Rajesh also led the design for reliability program for Lucent’s 10Gb/s and 40Gb/s telecommunication systems and supported the successful deployment of these systems globally.
While pursuing his MBA at Harvard Business School, Rajesh interned at Deutsche Bank’s cleantech investment banking group. Rajesh completed his M.S. at the University of Maryland at College Park, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras where he was awarded the Shankar Dayal Sharma (President of India) Medal for overall excellence.