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

A leadership team with strong focus on culture

  • Alif Saleh
    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 and Head of Therapeutics

    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.

  • Chip Parkinson
    Chip Parkinson
    Chief Commercial Officer

    Chip Parkinson is the Chief Commercial Officer of Scipher Medicine. In this role, Mr. Parkinson leads the commercialization and reimbursement strategies for the diagnostics division. Previously Mr. Parkinson was the Executive Vice President of Reimbursement Strategy at Myriad Genetics and the President of OmedaRx of Cambia Health Solutions. Before those positions, he was the Chief Pharmacy Officer of Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans, where he was responsible for managing $1.7 billion in annual pharmacy spending for the Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans in Utah, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, which have more than two million members. Earlier in his career, Mr. Parkinson served as Vice President of Managed Markets and as General Manager of Urology at Myriad Genetics and held several management and managed care leadership roles at Pfizer Inc. Mr. Parkinson holds B.S. degree in Communications from Weber State University.

  • John Strumbos, PhD, MBA
    John Strumbos, PhD, MBA
    Chief Financial Officer

    John brings over 20 years of capital markets, finance and strategy experience in the life science industry. Prior to joining Scipher, he was Vice President of Finance and Strategy at Immunovant, where he led multiple private and public capital raises totaling $560 million in aggregate gross proceeds.  Before that, John served in a variety of life science investing roles at Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisors, Buysydr, and Citadel.  While working for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, John advised life science companies on capital markets deals totaling $2 billion in gross proceeds and mergers and acquisitions totaling $7 billion in enterprise value.  He earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management, and a B.A. in Neuroscience from Columbia University. 

  • 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, MD, MBA
    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.

  • Matt Burns
    Matt Burns
    VP, Head of Communications

    Matt has spent more than two decades leading high-stakes communications in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Scipher Medicine, he was vice president and head of communications for GRAIL, Inc., where he supported the company’s anticipated initial public offering and subsequent $8.1 billion merger with Illumina. Before GRAIL, Matt held communications leadership roles at UnitedHealth Group and Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), two of the largest U.S. health insurers. Earlier, he was a member of the U.S. leadership team of Burson-Marsteller (now BCW), a global public relations agency. He also spent a decade in numerous government and political communications leadership roles in New York and Washington, D.C. Matt is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the world’s leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. In 2012, he was named to PRWeek’s “40 Under 40” list of rising stars in public relations. He holds an IE Business School/Brown University Executive MBA and a bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University.

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 J Elliott, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
    Michael J Elliott, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
    Scientific Advisor

    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.

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. 2001


    Human Genome Project completed.

  2. 2003


    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. 2013


    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. 2015


    Scipher Medicine is founded.

  5. 2016


    Research begins to develop predictive drug response tests.

  6. 2017


    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. 2018


    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. 2019


    United HealthGroup invests into Scipher.

  9. 2020


    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