Dr. Cynthia Bamdad, Founder and CEO. Dr. Bamdad was a pioneer in the field of biochips. She holds a B.S. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard. While a Ph.D. student at Harvard, Dr. Bamdad invented the first electronic DNA chip and the first universal protein chip. Intellectual property surrounding these inventions and extensions thereof, also developed by Bamdad, formed the cornerstone of a California startup company, which was sold within two years to Motorola for $300 million. Dr. Bamdad is a recognized leader in the field of nanotechnology, having invented the first method to form biochip surfaces on nanoparticles and methods to use those particles in biomedical testing and drug discovery.
Dr. Bamdad served on the Board of Directors of Pharmacyclics (PCYC), an anti-cancer drug company, during their turn-around, going from a valuation of $15M to a recent acquisition by Abbvie for $21B.
Dr. Bamdad is the sole or co inventor inventor of over 100 patent applications in the US and foreign for novel technologies, stem cell technologies and cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.
Dr. Bamdad has been the Principal Investigator on grants and contracts from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute for Mental Health, National Science Foundation, The Huntington Foundation, National Institute of General Medicine, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Advanced Technology Program (ATP).
Ron Axelrod, COO. Mr. Axelrod received a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, Mr. Axelrod joined the Jet Engine Division of GE, where he worked for ten years designing components for jet engines and steam turbines. Mr. Axelrod left GE to start a business brokering network and communications equipment. In the days before eBay, there was great opportunity to buy and sell large quantities of used computer equipment throughout the US, warehousing the products, then brokering deals with large resellers worldwide. Mr. Axelrod visited over 100 countries including having driven a Land Rover from London down west Africa to Gabon, as well as having traveled down the Sepic River in Papua New Guinea aboard a catamaran with Jaques Cousteau’s crew. Mr. Axelrod visited the apes in Uganda and the Congo and spent a year and a half traveling east Africa and its islands. Approximately six years ago, Mr. Axelrod was diagnosed with an aggressive, life threatening form of MS. His research into the disease led to an extreme interest in biomedical research, particularly stem cell research, which has the potential of curing MS as well as many other currently incurable conditions. Mr. Axelrod is convinced that Minerva’s technology holds the key to unraveling the mysteries of stem and cancer cell growth, which the Company discovered were mediated by the same molecule. Mr. Axelrod became an investor in Minerva and began working pro bono on behalf of the Company. In 2006, Mr. Axelrod formally joined Minerva as Operations Manager, which includes investor relations, negotiating leases, purchasing equipment and reagents as well as maintaining all necessary operational licenses.