About

Meet the team

10

Susan Lynch, Ph.D.

Founder | Board Member
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Susan Lynch, Ph.D.

Founder | Board Member

Inventor of Siolta’s technology, Susan is Professor of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Colitis and Crohn’s Disease Microbiome Research Core at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Susan, a key opinion leader in the microbiome field, has participated in countless National Institute of Health and National Academy of Science panels, published over 75 scientific articles in top tier journals (e.g., Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), and collaborated on some of the nation’s largest efforts involving multi-center pediatric asthma cohorts. She has been recognized as one of Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers of 2016 and named one of the American Society of Microbiology’s Distinguished Lecturers for 2017. She will direct and advise the company’s development.

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Samir Kaul

Founder | Board Member
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Samir Kaul

Founder | Board Member

Founding partner at Khosla Ventures, Samir has almost 20 years of experience fostering the growth of early stage companies in the life sciences, health, sustainability and biotechnology space. Samir started his career in genomic sciences at Craig Venter’s Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) before shifting his focus to business and obtaining his MBA from the Harvard Business School. During his successful business career, he has invested in, started, developed and/or led over 50 companies. He will direct and advise the company’s development.

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Nikole Kimes, Ph.D.

Founder | CSO
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Nikole Kimes, Ph.D.

Founder | CSO

A founder and lead executive driving Siolta’s early-stage development, Nikole heads a talented team of scientists, blending microbiology, immunology, and bioinformatics expertise to develop innovative microbial therapeutics. She has over a decade of experience in microbial ecology and host/microbe interactions supported by the National Science Foundation, European Commission FP7, and University of California San Francisco (UCSF). As an inventor of Siolta’s technology, her research in Dr. Susan Lynch’s lab at UCSF provided the foundation for the company’s translational research program.

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Ricardo Villaderes, Ph.D.

Director of Research & Development
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Ricardo Villaderes, Ph.D.

Director of Research & Development

An inventor of Siolta’s technology, Ricardo is an exceptional microbiologist trained at the University of Florida (UF) and University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He brings industry knowledge to the team as the former Director of R&D at MNG Laboratories. His experience with our technology platform, industry diagnostics and live biotherapeutic development makes him well suited to direct Siolta’s R&D program.

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Benjamin M. Fiebiger, Ph.D.

Scientist
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Benjamin M. Fiebiger, Ph.D.

Scientist

A senior scientist specializing in immunology and molecular biology, Benjamin was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the German Research Foundation that he completed at Rockefeller University in NYC. He has over 10 years of experience in molecular immunology and cell biology, experience interfacing between academia and industry and prior experience developing antibody-based therapeutics. His strong knowledge base in addition to his background in drug development makes him a critical member of Siolta’s R&D team.

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Jill Bilodeaux, BS

Research Technician
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Jill Bilodeaux, BS

Research Technician

An ambitious and talented scientist, Jill brings us expertise from her training in biotechnology, fermentation and microbiology at the University of California. Jill’s passion and exuberance for pushing the boundaries of knowledge forward are a refreshing addition to our team.

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Rene Lopez, MS

Lead Bioinformatics
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Rene Lopez, MS

Lead Bioinformatics

An experienced and successful bioinformatics specialist with 20 years of industry experience, Rene has a master’s degree in computer science and has worked extensively with microbiome and genomic diagnostics companies. Rene also has expertise in the areas of database management and systems development. He has been essential in building foundational bioinformatics platforms for companies, such as Viome, Guardian Health, Claritas. Genomics and Knome.

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Neeraja Vajrala, PhD

Senior Scientist
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Neeraja Vajrala, PhD

Senior Scientist

A senior scientist with over 14 years of interdisciplinary microbiology expertise, Neeraja obtained her postdoctoral training at Oregon State University. Based on her postdoctoral work optimizing analytical methods, scalable manufacturing and microbial production SOPs, she transitioned to industry where she was instrumental in developing AOBiome’s live biotherapeutic products (LBPs), currently undergoing clinical testing. Her expertise in strain analysis, sequencing technology and growth optimization will help to support Siolta’s on-going product development.

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Homer Boushey, MD

Medical Advisor
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Homer Boushey, MD

Medical Advisor

World-renowned pulmonary medicine clinician and researcher, Homer is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and serves as a Principal Investigator for UCSF’s Asthma Clinical Research Center. He received his medical degree at UCSF and specialty pulmonary medicine training at Oxford University and UCSF. As a key opinion leader in the asthma field, he has published nearly 100 articles and participated in numerous clinical trials researching asthma therapeutics, providing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the allergy and asthma realm.

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Peter Hutt, JD

Regulatory Advisor
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Peter Hutt, JD

Regulatory Advisor

Former Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and senior counsel at Covington and Burling LLP, Peter is a legend in the realm of food and drug law and regulatory affairs. In addition to his law practice, he teaches Food and Drug Law at Harvard Law School, has represented the national trade associations for the food, prescription drug, nonprescription drug, dietary supplement and cosmetic industries. He continues to work on FDA legislation, having testified before congress over 100 times. His six decades worth of experience and wisdom will guide Siolta’s regulatory strategy.

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Khosla Ventures

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Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures provides venture assistance and strategic advice to entrepreneurs working on breakthrough technologies. The firm was founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. With over four billion dollars under management, the firm focuses on a broad range of areas including consumer, enterprise, education, advertising, financial services, semiconductors, health, big data, agriculture/food, sustainable energy and robotics. Khosla Ventures is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA.

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Marc Benioff

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Marc Benioff

Marc Benioff is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. Under Mr. Benioff’s leadership, Salesforce has become the fastest-growing top-five enterprise software company and the #1 CRM provider globally. Mr. Benioff was named Innovator of the Decade by Forbes, ranked #3 on Fortune’s 2017 “Best Businessperson of the Year” list, and recognized as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune, and 20 Best-Performing CEOs by Harvard Business Review. A member of the World Economic Forum (“WEF”) Board of Trustees, Mr. Benioff serves as the inaugural Chair of WEF’s Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco. Mr. Benioff also serves as Chair of Salesforce.org. Mr. Benioff received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California where he is on its Board of Trustees.