Founders pioneering a breakthrough platform

Our co-founders Dr. Joe Loscalzo and Dr. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi pioneered the building of the map of human biology – the Human Interactome  –  that explains how proteins expressed from genes interact to cause specific disease phenotypes, providing the wiring diagram needed to interpret dynamic molecular data from patients to determine an individual’s unique disease biology.

Science Publications
founders of Scipher Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and Joe Loscalzo

A leadership team with strong focus on culture

  • Alif Saleh
    Chief Executive Officer

    Alif is a pioneer in using network science and AI to solve some of the most difficult challenges in healthcare today. As the CEO of Scipher Medicine, he is pioneering the development of technologies to match individual patients with the most effective therapies. Concerned by the healthcare system’s inability to prescribe the right drugs to the right patients, Alif and the Scipher Medicine team are developing and commercializing precision diagnostics and therapeutics in autoimmune diseases.

    With a unique global perspective on healthcare, Alif has led cross-disciplinary teams throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas and raised over $350 million in venture and private equity capital to bring novel technologies to market. Alif was most recently featured on The Bio Report podcast (“Bringing Precision Medicine to Autoimmune Disease”) and at the BIO International Convention (“Precision Medicine Outside Oncology: One Size Does Not Fit All).”

    Through Alif’s leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and scientific expertise, Scipher will continue to leverage AI and network medicine to continue improving healthcare utilization and patient outcomes for years to come.

  • Slava Akmaev, PhD
    Slava Akmaev, PhD
    Chief Technology Officer

    Slava has been named one of the Top 100 AI Leaders in Drug Discovery and Advanced Healthcare and is a frequent speaker at some of the most prolific industry events. Slava is the inventor of several issued and pending patent applications and has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles in computational biology, artificial intelligence, and molecular biology.

    Slava’s experience includes developing data-driven technologies for target discovery and precision medicine and launching multiple commercial diagnostic products at Berg and GNS Healthcare. Slava started his career working for Genzyme Genetics where he developed novel statistical approaches for high-throughput “omics” data. Dr. Akmaev holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  • Alison Stowell
    Alison Stowell
    Chief People Officer

    Alison joined Scipher Medicine with 20+ years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining Scipher, she was the Practice Leader at the Dominis Group where she worked with executives of various stage startup companies to scale their organizations. Her passion is in developing individuals while growing and leading high-performance teams. Alison has also worked in HR and Talent Acquisition for Akamai Technologies, Allergan and Fidelity Investments. Alison holds a BA in Political Science from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

  • Sam A. Davis, JD
    Sam A. Davis, JD
    General Counsel

    Sam brings robust experience as a leading life sciences attorney in various leadership positions with EQRx, Inc. Goodwin Procter LLP and Mcdermott, Will & Emery LLP. Prior to joining Scipher, Sam was Associate General Counsel, Vice President Legal Affairs at EQRx, Inc, where he led all legal matters, including private and public financings, multiple global license and collaborations, and payer partnerships.

  • Sam_Asgarian
    Sam Asgarian, MD, MBA
    Chief Medical Officer

    Sam has over a decade of experience bringing new clinical products and services to providers and their patients. He was previously chief medical officer of Thrive Earlier Detection where he worked on launching a first-of-its-kind cancer-detecting blood test and supported the company’s acquisition by Exact Sciences for over $2 billion.

    Previously, Sam served as vice president of Transformation Health Products and Services at CVS and was part of its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna where Sam was chief medical officer of the Clinical Services organization. In that role, he oversaw Medical Management and Clinical Policy Operations across Aetna’s Commercial and Medicare businesses that served more than 18 million members across the U.S.

    Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in medical sciences from Loyola University Chicago, a medical degree from Tulane University, and a master of business administration from Cornell University.

  • Lynn-Neff
    Lynn Neff
    Head of Operations

    Lynn brings more than 20 years of operational leadership experience in the diagnostics industry. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer at StageBio and led the company through the merger, and integration of 5 preclinical pathology laboratories. Lynn has worked in various laboratory technical and commercial management roles at Dominion Diagnostics, Southcoast Health, Inova Health and UPMC. Lynn holds an MBA/ Healthcare Management and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Technical University along with ASCP certifications in Medical Technology and Histotechnology.

A board of advisors looking to the future

  • Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA
    Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA
    18th Surgeon General of the United States

    Dr. Benjamin served as the 18th U.S. Surgeon General from 2009 to 2013. She was also chair of the National Prevention Council, composed of 17 cabinet-level heads of federal agencies that released the first-ever National Prevention Strategy, whose goal was to change our healthcare system from one based on sickness and disease, to one of wellness and prevention. Dr. Benjamin serves on the boards of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Ascension Health, and 3 publicly traded healthcare companies. As a family physician, and Founder of BayouClinic, Inc, Dr. Benjamin is one of the nation’s leading voices on population and preventive health issues.

  • Mariann Byerwalter
    Mariann Byerwalter
    Chairman Emeritus, SRI Intl Board of Directors, Pacific Life

    Byerwalter is Chairman Emeritus of the SRI International. She serves on the Stanford Health Care Board of Directors, where she was Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2006 through 2013, and served as the Interim President and CEO of Stanford Health Care in 2016. Byerwalter also sits on the Board of Directors of Pacific Life, Franklin Resources, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She holds a B.A. degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Michael Elliott headshot
    Michael J Elliott, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
    Former Senior Vice President of Immunology, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

    Dr Elliott is a physician-scientist, drug developer and early-stage life science investor. His early scientific work at the University of Adelaide and at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne focused on the biology and receptor interactions of the hemopoietic growth factors, GM-CSF and IL-3.

    At the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, he worked on the earliest clinical trials of anti-TNF therapy in rheumatoid arthritis and was first author on several acclaimed publications that provided clinical validation for this (at the time) radical new approach to treatment. Dr Elliott has authored many other peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews and book chapters in the field of cytokine immunology and protein therapeutics.

    His pharmaceutical and biotech career spans 25 years, including 17 years at Centocor/Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. At Centocor, he held the position of senior vice president immunology, and led the clinical development of Centocor’s protein therapeutics in immune and inflammatory disorders, including the anti-TNF mAb infliximab developed for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory indications, and the follow-on anti-TNF mAb, golimumab, developed in a range of rheumatic diseases. His group also led clinical development of the first in class anti-IL-12/23 mAb, ustekinumab for the treatment of psoriasis.

    Dr Elliott now works to support the life science ecosystem in New England. He is Founder and President of Immunology Advisors, LLC, a firm providing guidance to the biotech industry, with particular focus on autoimmune and inflammatory disease.

    He earned his medical degree (MBBS) and PhD in Immunology from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

  • Richard Blackburn headshot
    Richard Blackburn
    Chief Executive Officer of Azurity Pharmaceuticals

    Blackburn is the chief executive officer, Azurity Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held specialist pharmaceutical company. Blackburn has worked in the medicines industry for over three decades including time with Sterling-Winthrop, Sanofi, Parke-Davis and Pfizer, where he was global president for Inflammation and Immunology, leading a multi-billion dollar business focused on providing solutions for patients suffering with chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Previously, Blackburn led Pfizer businesses with responsibilities across United States, Europe, Africa, Middle-East and developed Asia. Earlier in his career, he held sales and marketing roles across multiple therapeutic areas and at all stages of product lifecycles. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Durham University and is certified by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

An amazing team operating
in a performance
driven culture

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Our Journey

    2001 2003 2013 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  1. purple cell slides


    Human Genome Project completed.

  2. albert laszlo barabasi with arms crossed


    Our founders Drs. Joseph Loscalzo and Laszlo Barabasi begin building the map of human disease biology that explains how proteins expressed from the human genome interact to cause specific diseases.

  3. electrons firing and connecting to each other


    The map grows to cover 89% of all proteins in human cells, revealing the underlying biological processed causing many of the most common and difficult to treat diseases.

  4. scipher logo on plaque


    Scipher Medicine is founded.

  5. doctor holding test tube


    Research begins to develop predictive drug response tests.

  6. booklet for Anti AFT companies


    Scipher applies its research to develop a blood test for predicting drug response to anti-TNF therapies, after months of researching and surveying the healthcare system to identify significant clinical and financial pain points.

  7. man explains a topic with arms open


    September: Scipher completes its Series A funding led by Khosla Ventures.

    December: Scipher completes the observational study for its anti-TNF response test in rheumatoid arthritis.

  8. UnitedHealth Group logo on sign


    United HealthGroup invests into Scipher.

  9. PrismRA


    PrismRA study reads out positive and Scipher launches the test commercially.
    Signs pharma deal with Galapagos to develop targets that are specific to biologically similar sub populations of patients.

Backed by funds and committed individuals disrupting and transforming healthcare and life sciences