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.

Patrick Genestin, MBA Chief Business Officer
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Patrick brings more than 25 years of pharmaceutical business development experience in leading collaborations ranging from licensing, co-development, and co-commercialization, to mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining 1910 Genetics, he served as Vice President of Business Development and Pipeline Strategy at Hikma Pharmaceuticals and member of the Specialty & Generics leadership team. In addition, he was Vice President, Business Development & Licensing at Sandoz, a Novartis company and member of the Sandoz North America Executive Committee.

Brandon Moore, Ph.D. Head of AI Research & ML 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).

Viral Mehta, M.S. SVP & Head of Software Engineering
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Deborah Moshinsky, Ph.D. Director of Biology
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Yariela Brandao, MBA VP of People and Culture
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Yariela is a bilingual, multicultural Human Resources Executive who is very well known for her energetic, creative personality and her ability to implement cost-effective business strategies to attract top 1% talent, increase employee engagement and performance. At 1910, Yariela’s motto is to focus on people, culture, and processes to drive business results. Yariela received her Master’s from Emmanuel College, Boston.

Liping Wu, Ph.D. Principal Scientist & Manager of R&D Operations
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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.

Sidharth Shankar Research Associate I
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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.

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.

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.

Matthew Sherman Laboratory Automation Engineer
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Cole Baker, M.S. Machine Learning Engineer I
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Matt McCoy, Ph.D. AI Research Fellow
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Matt has a PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from George Mason University, where he developed methods to utilize protein structure dynamics to predict the phenotypic result of genomic mutations. He has continued to gain experience integrating AI into bioinformatic and protein structure analysis across a number of biotech applications (microbial characterization, agriculture, healthcare, drug development). At 1910 Genetics, he contributes to the development of the ROSALYND 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.

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.

Seun Olorunwunmi Software Engineer II
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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.

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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Mary Murphy Administrative Assistant & Office Manager
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Automation Engineer I (TBD)
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Board of Directors

Desney Tan, Ph.D. Board Director
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Desney is currently Vice President and Managing Director of Microsoft Health Futures, a cross-organizational incubation group that serves as Microsoft’s Health and Life Science “moonshot factory.” The Health Futures portfolio includes programs in biomedical technologies (e.g. natural language processing, imaging, machine learning), the life sciences (e.g. immunomics, genomics, metagenomics, synthetic biology), as well as various application areas (e.g. population health, mental health, global health access).

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.

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.

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.

Business & Scientific Advisory Board

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