Please join us in welcoming our nine Fellows who, beyond technical expertise, exhibit the drive to translate technologies from academia to the clinic, the compassion to keep patients at the center of transforming care, and a passion to improve the future of healthcare.
Halfway through 2021, we’re happy to report it’s been a busy year - in a good way! Deal flow and investments in the TechBio space are at an all time high, and we’ve added more than five new companies this year.
To support this, we’re thrilled to announce our 2021 class of AV Fellows who will be working with us for the year to further help translate TechBio opportunities to patients and the market. After four months of screening over 150 applicants and conducting multiple rounds of interviews, please join us in welcoming our nine AV Fellows, hailing from across the globe with technical expertise in computational biology, synthetic biology, microbiome engineering, immunology, general surgery and more. Beyond technical expertise, these Fellows exhibit the drive to translate technologies from academia to the clinic, the compassion to keep patients at the center of transforming care, and a passion to improve the future of healthcare.
The 2021 ARTIS Ventures Fellows:
Nezar Abdennur, PhD Expertise: computational biology, machine learning
Nezar is a Postdoctoral Researcher at MIT, where he also did his PhD in computational biology, specializing in the 3D organization of the genome and its relationship to the epigenome. He is from Ottawa, Canada and now lives in the Boston area.
His life sciences studies began in biochemistry and biophysics, and now are heavily focused on data science, machine learning and scientific software development initiatives to drive biomedical discovery.
Nezar also loves working across disciplines, exploring connections between disparate fields such as genomics and quantitative finance.
Outside of science, software, and entrepreneurship, he enjoys running, sketching and playing with his infant daughter.
Coco Bryant Expertise: genetics
Coco is studying medicine (MD) at the University of Newcastle. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in immunology, from the University of Sydney, Science Honors from the University of New South Wales and has conducted additional research at The Garvan Institute of Medical Research into Parkinson’s Disease. Her honors research surrounded the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease and focused on utilizing CRISPR to evaluate potential disease modifying genes.
Coco is particularly interested in Internal medicine, Rheumatology, Oncology and Pediatrics and completed a placement at the New York Centre for Children in early 2020. Outside of Medicine she participates in the AIME Mentorship Program, supporting Australian Indigenous High school students and volunteers at the BOP Homeless Shelter.
When she’s not studying or volunteering you can find her running, hiking, swimming, practicing yoga or walking her dog.
Fatima Enam, PhD Expertise: synthetic biology, gut microbiome
Fatima is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research in the Sonnenburg Lab focuses on the rational design of the gut microbiota with the goal of controlling the persistence and abundance of bacterial strains.
She was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Saudi Arabia before packing her two suitcases to go to graduate school in the U.S. Fatima received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University, where she was an NSF Trinect Fellow and a Brown Graduate Fellow.
In her graduate work, she harnessed the programmability of microbes to help elucidate the staggering complexity of glycans and expand the glycobiology toolbox.
Outside of work, Fatima enjoys hiking, perfecting her recipes and boba tea.
Reuben Hogan Expertise: genomics
Reuben is currently enrolled in a Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) at University of California, San Francisco and starting his graduate training in the Krogan Lab, where he will be investigating the protein-protein interactions of APOE4 that account for its correlation with Alzheimer's disease.
His focus is on fostering the next generation of cellular and gene therapies that will address longstanding unmet needs for patients with chronic illness.
He obtained his Bachelor's in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at Washington University in Saint Louis. Reuben has a broad range of research experience as a former Amgen Scholar at UC Berkeley and a MARC-uSTAR student at WashU among other research titles.
Proudly born and raised just outside New Orleans, LA, Reuben enjoys his free time making and eating good food and catching live music whenever possible. He balances this with time spent in the gym or hiking to offset his complicated relationship with butter and bacon. As a Black man, Reuben takes seriously his opportunities to champion STEM-related careers and their applications to young underrepresented minority students and can always be found in Black community organizations at UCSF.
Julian Horwitz, MD Expertise: general and transplant surgery
Julian is a transplant surgery fellow at UCLA. He grew up in a small town outside of Boston.
Julian received his MD from the NYU School of Medicine and completed a general surgery residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. During residency, Julian spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in a translational transplant immunology lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, focusing on novel approaches to achieving immune tolerance.
Julian is an avid skier and he loves spending time with his wife and dog, Peanut.
Eriona Hysolli, PhD Expertise: genome writing, stem cell biology
Eriona is a Postdoctoral Researcher in George Church's lab at Harvard Medical School, with a background in stem cell biology, synthetic bio and genetics. While at Harvard, Eriona has worked both on the GP Write Consortium and Woolly Mammoth Revival.
Previously, she was a graduate student at Yale University studying reprogramming of human fibroblasts to iPSCs.
Outside of work, Eriona is an avid table tennis player and hiker and enjoys writing about science in the form of press releases, and long-form stories.
Omair Khan Expertise: immunology
Omair is a second year MD/PhD Candidate at Stanford University from New Orleans, LA. He is working in the laboratory of Dr. Irving Weissman where he is interested in exploring the nexus of immunology and cancer biology, specifically glioblastoma. He previously completed his undergraduate degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Global Health Studies at Yale University, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Flavell.
Outside of class and lab, Omair serves on the board of community non-profits, mentors prospective medical students, tutors underprivileged students in math and science, volunteers at free clinics and advocacy groups and enjoys working out, snowboarding, and travel.
In addition to being an ARTIS Fellow, Omair is honored as the first Jim Valentine Fellow in homage of a great friend and longtime mentor of ARTIS who recently passed after his long courageous fight with cancer. Jim is remembered for his brilliance, larger-than-life personality, and razor-sharp wit. He believed in taking risks, grand visions, and an entrepreneurial spirit, all the while maintaining his sense of humor. As a Valentine Fellow, Omair embodies the technical expertise to drive innovation forward and the clinical focus to translate this research to impact human lives.
Quang Nguyen Expertise: vaccine immunology
Quang is an Oxford-Hoffmann DPhil Candidate at the University of Oxford in the Nuffield Department of Medicine. His research integrates high-parameter experimental and computational analyses to identify novel CD8 T cells with immune regulatory functions in human lymphoid tissues. Quang co-founded the Science & Innovation Club at Oxford with faculty advisorship from the Saïd Business School. The club aims to bring research graduates from diverse disciplines in conversations with industry and investors about how to think and do science beyond the laboratory.
Quang moved from Vietnam to the U.S. as a teen. He obtained his BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Duke University. There he explored how gut microbiota influence B cell and antibody responses against HIV/SIV in the lab of Dr. Sallie Permar at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. After college, Quang received a scholarship from the US NIH to work on HIV latency and cure in the lab of Dr. Richard Koup and Dr. Joseph Casazza at the Vaccine Research Center. He pursued an Erasmus LIVE MSc program in Vaccinology, rotating through Spain, Belgium and France. He conducted his master's thesis at GSK Vaccines where he proposed a study examining immunosenescence and vaccine responses in older adults. During this time, he also worked remotely as a research manager for an international public health network in the team of Prof. Bach Tran based in Hanoi, Vietnam.
In his free time, Quang enjoys learning mobile phone app development, reading, taking walks, volunteering in various college and scholarship committees, and having philosophical conversations.
Tom Thomas, MRCP Expertise: immune-mediated inflammatory diseases
Tom is currently a DPhil student at the University of Oxford. As part of his PhD, he is using longitudinal single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA seq) to decipher the cellular determinants of anti-TNF therapy response across inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Tom graduated from the University of East Anglia (Norwich, United Kingdom) and did his internship at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He is currently a practicing physician at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Tom has published over 30 research papers in medicine, across gastroenterology, rheumatology and mental health. He has peer-reviewed for Gut, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and Rheumatology. As part of his role as the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Program (ATAP) Fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, he has collaborated with multiple biotech and pharmaceutical companies on early research and development as well as clinical trial design. Tom has previously interned at GE Healthcare Finnamore (now GE Healthcare Partners), a management consulting firm.
With this group of fellows, the collective brainpower of ARTIS Ventures has grown exponentially, and the future of TechBio has never looked so bright.