We exist to alleviate humansuffering


Why We Founded 1910 Genetics


Our Name

In 1910, James Herrick published a report describing sickle-shaped red blood cells in a 20-year-old African-American student. Almost 45 years later, scientists discovered a mutation in hemoglobin that causes this “mysterious disease,” making sickle cell anemia the first genetic disease known to man.

This medical history inspires our approach of focusing on therapeutic targets with clinical or genetic validation - hence, the “Genetics” in our name. Today, over 90% of Phase 1 clinical drug candidates fail to achieve regulatory approval. A major contributing factor is target selection – most targets that are the focus of drug development efforts do not have clinical or genetic validation that confirms those targets play a causative, instead of an accessory role in the disease. Another contributing factor is that most preclinical animal models do not reflect human disease.


Our
Technology

At 1910 Genetics, we first establish an understanding of the molecular basis of disease to the granularity at which the world understands sickle cell anemia. This understanding centers biology as our North Star, and drives our integration of artificial intelligence (AI), computation and biological automation to accelerate the design of small molecule and protein therapeutics.

We have two drug discovery engines - ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ - that enable the design of both small molecule and protein therapeutics, an unmatched capability in the AI drug discovery space. Our therapeutic area-agnostic, end-to-end technology powers the full length of early drug discovery - from novel hit discovery to hit to lead, and lead optimization.

ELVIS™, our small molecule drug discovery engine, comprises three AI platforms including:

  • SUEDE™ - our gigascale virtual screening platform, which screens 14 billion molecules in less than six hours to identify promising hit compounds
  • BAGEL™ - our hit to lead deep learning generative chemistry platform that rapidly generates de novo lead molecules using a hit compound as a template
  • CANDID™ - our physical property prediction platform for multi-parameter optimization.
  • Biological Automation - These three AI platforms are integrated via cloud computing with our in-house biological automation wet lab platform. The technology conducts in vitro biochemical and cell-based assays on the AI-designed compounds and returns the wet lab data in a feedback loop to the AI platforms, while building a differentiated and proprietary dataset.
For protein design, we are developing ROSALYND™, an AI-driven discovery engine, which aspires to provide a faster, more affordable and more accurate alternative to X-ray crystallography for the purpose of 3D protein structure refinement, prediction and de novo protein therapeutics design.

Recent advances in computational technologies have placed historically “undruggable” targets within therapeutic reach. But at 1910 Genetics, we often say “Biology is King,” meaning that computational technologies are only impactful in drug discovery when driven by experimental biology. Our platforms’ scale and breadth empower us to be therapeutic area-agnostic with programs ranging from neuroscience and immunology to infectious disease and oncology, to name a few.


Our impact

Ultimately, our mission is to decrease the timeline and cost of drug development, while improving the success rate of bringing innovative medicines to patients in need.

We welcome all stakeholders, including biopharma, academia, government institutions, providers, payers, patients, investors, and exceptional talent to join us on our journey.

Team that makes
everything possible

Core Team

Jen Nwankwo, Ph.D. Founder & CEO
short biography

Before founding 1910, Jen worked at the intersection of life science, technology, and business. Prior roles include Management Consultant at Bain & Company, Director of Business Development at a health-tech startup (pre-seed to Series A), and drug discovery stints at Novartis and Eli Lilly. During her Ph.D. research, Jen was an HHMI Predoctoral Fellow at the medical schools of Tufts University and Harvard University.

Lewis Whitehead, Ph.D. VP of Computational Chemistry
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An experienced & accomplished computational medical chemist with a demonstrated history of working in the pharmaceuticals industry, Lewis supported drug-discovery efforts in the UK, Switzerland & the USA while at Novartis in a wide-variety of disease areas, with co-designer credit of recently approved oncology medication PIQRAY®, & also lead a modeling team contributing to the development of KISQALI®. At Nimbus Therapeutics, he initiated ligand-based small molecule design efforts as well as the use of virtual reality technology in the drug-discovery process.

Brandon Moore, Ph.D. Tech Lead for AI Research & Machine Learning Engineering
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Brandon harnesses machine learning and parallel computing to design small molecule therapeutics using our AI-powered E​LVIS​™ and ROSALYND​™ platforms.​ He received his Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from MIT and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt where he leveraged neural networks to study the primate visual system. Once a King of the Nerds contestant, Brandon enjoys creative STEM projects like building animatronic chatbots, training generative art algorithms, and teaching monkeys addition (PNAS/I Fing Love Science).

Austin Day, Ph.D. AI Research Scientist III
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Austin is the AI lead for protein therapeutics at 1910 Genetics. Austin has worked at Adaptive Biotechnologies to leverage structural modeling and machine learning to support antibody and TCR therapeutics. At Just Biotherapeutics, Austin developed computational methods to improve antibody developability and stability. Austin was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Washington in the lab of David Baker, developing algorithms to design small molecule binding proteins. For fun, Austin loves experimenting with AI for game playing and financial analysis.

Kiran Mahasenan, Ph.D. Computational Chemist I
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At 1910 Genetics, Kiran conducts advanced physics-based molecular dynamics simulations and quantum chemical calculations of various drug targets to exploit their unique druggable nature. The simulations are performed in tandem with the proprietary AI platforms of 1910 Genetics, which enable rapid discovery of selective hits from billions of compounds. Kiran obtained his Ph.D. from the Division of Medicinal Chemistry, the Ohio State University. Further, he conducted research at the University of Notre Dame at ranks ranging from Postdoc to Faculty level.

Reyal Hoxie, Ph.D. Associate Scientist, Assay Biology
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Reyal received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Brandeis University, where she investigated the energetics of binding for Hsp90 inhibitors and how Hsp90 inhibitors alter the effect of BiP on the conformation of Grp94. At 1910 Genetics, Reyal works on all aspects of our biological automation platform, leveraging state-of-the-art robotics to automate assay development, validation, and scale up for high throughput screening of therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms.

Jesse W. Collins, Ph.D. AI Research Scientist I
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Jesse studied physics at MIT, and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, partly supported by an NSF IGERT fellowship in Biomechanics. He was a postdoc on an NIH-funded project in neuron activity recording. He trained AI models for genetics and tissue architecture studies before joining 1910 Genetics as an AI Research Fellow on the CANDID™ platform for small molecule discovery.

Sumit Rai, Ph.D. Scientist I
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Sumit received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia, where he investigated the regulatory aspects of heparan sulfate on embryonic and adult stem cell proliferation and differentiation. He was a postdoc at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) where his research efforts to identify therapeutic vulnerabilities in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) was supported by pharma giants like Janssen and AstraZeneca. At 1910, Sumit drives the development of the protein therapeutic platform.

Fredrik Haeffner, Ph.D. Computational Chemist I
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At 1910 Genetics Fredrik advances the company’s drug discovery programs in collaboration with its AI platforms using state of the art computational chemistry methodology. Before joining 1910 Fredrik was on the faculty at the chemistry department at Boston College, teaching physical chemistry and computational chemistry to undergraduate students. In addition, he collaborated with members of the chemistry faculty using his expertise in quantum chemistry and published many peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals such as: Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nature Chemistry, and Nature.

Michael Schamber, Ph.D. Associate Scientist
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Liqun Zhang, Ph.D. Computational Chemist I
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Laura works on discovering novel small molecules using different drug design programs and platforms in combination with molecular simulation skills at 1910 Genetics. She received her PhD from University of Rhode Island, and had postdoctoral experience doing molecular dynamics simulations at Case Western Reserve University. She had worked as an Assistant Professor at Tennessee Technological University before joining 1910 Genetics, where her lab worked on protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions, and structure predictions using computer modeling methods.

Francisco McGee, Ph.D. AI Research Scientist I
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Francis Acquah, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, Translational Biochemistry & Pharmacology
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At 1910, Francis works on developing optimized workflows for our biological automation platform that leverages state-of-the-art robotics and software to automate assay development, validation and high-throughput data analysis to support clear decision-making. Francis received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Department of Biochemistry where he used integrated computational, biochemical and crystallographic approaches to identify druglike compounds targeting nicotinic receptor and RNA double helices.

Lakshmi Chivukula, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, Translational Biochemistry & Pharmacology
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Lakshmi received her Ph.D. in Nanoscience at University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she studied the Interaction mechanism of pathogenic yeast with nanostructured surfaces thereby investigating how such interaction influences the sterol quantity and antifungal drug resistance of pathogenic yeast. At 1910 Genetics, Lakshmi works on developing and validating biochemical and cell-based high throughput screening assays for therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms.

Anthony Navarro, M.S. Senior Manager, Lab Operations, Compound Management & Automation
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Anthony has worked in several industries ranging from the Military, Academia, Biotech/Pharmaceuticals (CSL Behring) and most recently from the Tech Industry (Amazon) where he helped launch the Center for Quantum Computing. He has a Master’s in Environmental Policy & Management with a concentration in EHS from Denver University and offers extensive experience working within and managing operations of multi-site laboratory facilities while maintaining and working with local, state, and federal regulations.

Sidharth Shankar Research Associate I
short biography

At 1910 Genetics, Sidharth works on all aspects of our biological automation platform, which leverages state-of-the-art robotics to automate assay development, validation, and scale up for high throughput screening of therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms. Sidharth received his bachelor’s in Microbiology from the University of Washington, and spent three years in the Otterbein Lab at Harvard Medical School where he investigated the therapeutic potential of low dose carbon monoxide across models of sepsis and traumatic brain injury.

Shraddha Teli, M.S. Research Associate II, Assay Biology
short biography

At 1910 Genetics, Shraddha works on all aspects of our biological automation platform, which leverages state-of-the-art robotics to automate assay development, validation, and scale up for high throughput screening of therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms. Shraddha received her master's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she investigated protein modification pathways in the pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Shannon Cosgrove, M.S. AI Research Scientist I
short biography

Shannon received her Master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Georgetown University where she used computational methods to investigate target variants within the binding site and their ability to confer resistance to disease. Prior to Georgetown, Shannon completed a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Johns Hopkins University. At 1910 Genetics, Shannon leverages our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms for small molecule and protein design.

Aesha Upadhyay, M.S. Research Associate II, Assay Biology
short biography

Aesha received her Master's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California where she investigated the role of fibroblasts in modulating angiogenesis. At 1910 Genetics, Aesha works on all aspects of our biological automation platform, leveraging state-of-the-art robotics to automate assay development, validation, and scale up for high throughput screening of therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms.

Seun Olorunwunmi Software Engineer II
short biography

Seun is an AWS-certified solutions architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Suffolk University and a Full Stack Web Development certification from Lambda School. At 1910 Genetics, Seun architects the cloud computing infrastructure that powers the full range of AI-driven small molecule and protein design programs across all phases of early stage drug discovery, including novel hit discovery, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization.

Matt McCoy, Ph.D. AI Research Fellow
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Yariela Brandao, MBA VP of People and Culture
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Facundo Moroni Software Engineering Fellow
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Francisco Alderete Software Engineering Fellow
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Juan Yancovich Software Engineering Fellow
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Mauro Gonzalez Data Engineering Fellow
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Jonathan Deiloff Data Engineering Fellow
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Daniel Ramirez Data Engineering Fellow
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Edward Walker Consultant
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Marcie Glicksman Consultant
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Cole Baker Machine Learning Engineer I
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Gabriele Fariello Consultant
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Board of Directors

Jen Nwankwo, Ph.D. Board Director
short biography

Jen is the Founder & CEO of 1910 Genetics. Before founding 1910, Jen worked at the intersection of life science, technology, and business. Prior roles include Management Consultant at Bain & Company, Director of Business Development at a health-tech startup (pre-seed to Series A), and drug discovery stints at Novartis and Eli Lilly. During her Ph.D. research, Jen was an HHMI Predoctoral Fellow at the medical schools of Tufts University and Harvard University.

Phyllis Whiteley, Ph.D. Board Director
short biography

Phyllis is a Venture Partner at Playground Global, where she provides hands-on leadership in building, investing, and creating companies in all areas of Healthcare where technology can improve access to healthcare, the patient experience, and improved quality and speed while reducing costs. Her executive expertise includes strategic planning, financing, partnerships, restructuring, building executive teams, and M&A. Prior to joining Playground Global, Phyllis spent over a decade at Wildcat Venture Partners and Mohr Davidow Ventures, leading to numerous successful exits.

Kouki Harasaki, Ph.D. Board Director
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Kouki focuses on Healthcare & Life Sciences at M12 - Microsoft’s Venture Fund. He has 20+ years of experience researching, translating, and investing in biomedical sciences. He has led over $5 billion in transactions, which led to 14 Immunology/Oncology drug programs being funded. Before joining M12, Kouki was a Partner at Romulus Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to his career in venture capital, Kouki was a Blavatnik Fellow (healthcare EIR) at Harvard and ran the clinical data analytics company, Medal, as COO/CFO.

Jennifer Leeds, Ph.D. Independent Board Director
short biography

Before joining the Board of 1910 Genetics, Dr. Leeds held several leadership positions over her 19 years at NIBR. Currently, she is Executive Director of Business Development and Licensing, leading the discovery and early development search and evaluation efforts in the Western U.S. and Canada, and supporting out-licensing of assets from NIBR’s global portfolio. Dr. Leeds was Executive Director and Head of Antibacterial Discovery, Infectious Diseases at NIBR and was responsible for the strategic growth of the Novartis Antibacterial Discovery group and portfolio.

Scientific Advisory

George Golumbeski, Ph.D. Chairman of the Business Advisory Board
short biography

Trained as a research scientist, George has focused on enabling young, innovation-driven companies to bring breakthrough medications into medical practice. In his more than 25 years leading Business Development organizations, he has contributed to advancement of numerous marketed medications that are benefiting patients worldwide. Known globally for his interest in leading-edge science and his creativity in forging inter-company collaborations, he was recognized in 2014 by Fierce Biotech as one of the 20 most influential people in the Biotechnology industry.

Suresh Poda, Ph.D. Scientific Advisor
short biography

Suresh is the Vice President of Neuroscience and Preclinical Research at Encoded Therapeutics, a pioneering gene therapy company focusing on neurological diseases. Before joining Encoded, Dr. Suresh held senior research positions at Eisai, Denali, Lundbeck, and started his industry career at AstraZeneca, following a decade of academic research at the University of Michigan and the University of Montreal. He has led numerous drug development programs from discovery through the early clinical stage, focusing on therapies for psychiatry, neurology, and inflammatory diseases.