Board of Directors
Christopher McLeod (Chair)
President and CEO, AxioMx, Inc.
Throughout his career, Christopher McLeod has demonstrated expertise in growing companies through strategic collaborations, innovative marketing, and new product development. Mr. McLeod served as President and Chief Executive Officer of 454 Life Sciences from February 2005 through September 2011, and managed the integration with Roche Diagnostics following its acquisition in 2007. He led the development, manufacturing and marketing of the company’s innovative DNA sequencing technology and products, which are sold to thousands of research laboratories worldwide. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of CuraGen from November 1999, where he oversaw bioinformatics, strategic business development, and collaborative research, including the negotiation of strategic partnerships with Abgenix, Bayer and TopoTarget A/S. Prior to joining CuraGen, Mr. McLeod spent over two years as Chief Executive Officer of Havas Interactive (formerly Cendant Software), a leading international software developer with such leading brands as Blizzard, Serra, and Knowledge Adventure, whose annual revenues increased in excess of 60 percent to over $500 million during his tenure. Previously, Mr. McLeod served as Executive Vice President and Director at CUC International where he was President of the CompuCard division, marketing affinity membership programs with partners including Citibank, Sears, Bank One and Chase. Mr. McLeod earned his B.S. Magna Cum Laude with a dual major in economics and engineering and applied science from Yale University and his M.S. in management from the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. McLeod serves on the boards of Sacred Heart University and the CT Yankee Council, Boy Scouts of America, and the North American Executive Board of the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Michael Weiner, Ph.D.
CSO, AxioMx, Inc.
Dr. Weiner is a serial scientific entrepreneur. He has either founded or was one of the first 10 employees of: 454 Life Sciences (genetics, genomics, Next-gen DNA sequencing), The Rothberg Institute (understanding Tuberous Sclerosis Complex), RainDance Technologies (microfluidics), Affomix Corporation (proteomics), GnuBio (third generation DNA sequencing using microfluidics) and AxioMx, Inc. (Next-generation affinity reagents). His major commercial accomplishments include: 1) first to clone M. BamHI, 2) invented the QuikChange Site-directed mutagenesis kit, 3) invented Luminex-based SNP genotyping, 4) co-invented 454 DNA sequencing, 5) co-invented emulsion PCR for DNA sequencing, 6) co-invented paired-end DNA sequencing, 7) co-developed first immortalized cell line for TSC, 8) invented FAC-sorting bacteriophage-display libraries in micro-emulsions, 9) invented GnuBio microfluidic DNA sequencing, and 10) invented a HT-affinity reagent pipeline. Dr. Weiner has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles, over 30 patent/patent applications, and has edited 3 books and Journal Supplements in his areas of expertise (cloning vectors, protein cloning and expression, and Genomic analysis technology). He is on the editorial board of Eaton Publishing, the SAB of Affomix, GnuBio, and AxioMx, and the Life Sciences Advisory board of Cornell University. He holds a B.Sci. in Microbiology from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Genetics (with additional minors in Microbiology and Biochemistry) from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). He performed his post-doctoral training in Physical Chemistry (Cornell University).
Lee Babiss, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Laboratory Services at Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc.
In both roles, Dr. Babiss leads a global team of scientists that work with partners to provide novel solutions and a greater likelihood of success for their programs in the areas of discovery, preclinical, and clinical services. Prior to these roles, Dr. Babiss served as President and Director of Pharmaceutical Research for F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd., in Basel, Switzerland, where he was responsible for discovery and early clinical development. He supported drug discovery efforts in oncology, neurosciences, inflammation, virology, and metabolism and was a member of the company’s pharma executive and strategic portfolios committees. Earlier with Roche, he was the head of Preclinical R&D, based in Nutley, NJ. Prior to joining Hoffmann-La Roche, Dr. Babiss spent seven years with Glaxo Inc., now GlaxoSmithKline. As Vice President of Biological Sciences and Genetics he had global accountability for developing and implementing the company’s corporate genetics strategy and oncology research efforts. Dr. Babiss earned a doctorate in Microbiology from Columbia University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University, where he served as an assistant and associate professor. He has received numerous fellowship awards and grants, published more than 60 peer reviewed manuscripts, and serves on several scientific advisory committees and boards.
Founder and Managing Partner of Elm Street Ventures
Mr. Bettigole serves as Chairman of P2 Science and Samara Innovations, and is Chairman & CEO of Occam Sciences. He is a board member of AxioMx, Inc., serves as an observer on the BioRelix board, and served as an observer on the boards of Affomix Corporation and Metagenomix. Mr. Bettigole’s venture capital experience was gained at Rothschild Ventures and Investor AB, where his investments included Maxim Integrated Products, Gensia Pharmaceuticals, and Microgenics Corporation. Subsequently, he helped found Surety Technologies, Inc., a spin out from Bellcore, and Alexion (NASDAQ: ALXN), with researchers from the Yale Medical School. Before founding Elm Street, Mr. Bettigole was president of a business that held patents on and marketed a product for bridge construction and rehabilitation, which he successfully developed and sold. Mr. Bettigole has a B.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University and an MPPM from the Yale School of Management, where he is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer and holds several U.S. and foreign patents. Mr. Bettigole has served on the Operating Board of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute since its founding in 2007.
Vital Venture Capital, LLC, Principal
Mr. Brinn has a 25-year successful track record of private investments, acquisitions and business management. The most recent example is HSA Bank, the largest specialty bank in the United States focused on health savings accounts. Mr. Brinn has successful management experience in growth companies, including his role as CEO of HSA Bank, where accounts and revenues grew four-fold and the firm developed a significant profit margin from an initial loss position. Mr. Brinn’s private equity investments have achieved positive returns, with many returning 4-5x initial investment within several years. In aggregate, he has completed more than 80 transactions with positive results, including the avoidance of any defaults during his tenure as a private placement bond investor. While he was Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Webster Bank, Mr. Brinn was responsible for mergers and acquisitions as well as strategic initiatives. He also oversaw management of Budget Installment Company, a premium finance company that Webster acquired and grew three-fold in outstanding balances, revenues and profits over three years under his supervision. Upon acquiring HSA Bank for Webster, he was appointed to become CEO of HSA Bank. HSA Bank was purchased in early 2005 for a net premium of $12 million and was valued at nearly $100 million upon his departure at CEO in July 2007 to join Vital Venture Capital. Both the Budget Installment and HSA Bank situations involved upgrading IT, financial, compliance and operating systems as well as building national sales organizations. Prior to his tenure at Webster Bank, Mr. Brinn held positions in corporate development (M&A and strategic investing) and private placement investments at Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance and Inspection Company, Phoenix Home Life, Canadian Imperial Bank and Metropolitan Life. Mr. Brinn has an MBA in finance and accounting from The Fuqua School of Business (Duke University), where he was a Fuqua Scholar and his class graduation speaker. He did his undergraduate work in economics, with additional focus in mathematics and statistics, at University of Delaware where he was in the honors program.
Managing Director of Investments at Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
Mr. Tweeddale has been with Connecticut Innovations and its predecessor organization since 1985. Previously, he served with Wolf Research and Development, Scientific Leasing, and as Director of Data Processing at Scientific Leasing Inc. and the Robert E. Nolan Co. Mr. Tweeddale also served for 20 years in various positions with United Technologies Corp. He serves as the Chairman of The Board of Advent Technologies S.A. Mr. Tweeddale serves as a Director of Continuity Control, CyVek, Inc., Nurtur Health, Inc., AxioMx Inc., On Demand Real Time LLC (LiveClips), Helix Therapeutics, Inc, EpiEP, Inc., Liquifix LLC, Ipsogen Inc., Metagenomix Inc. and Soft Tissue Regeneration Inc. He serves as a Board Observer of C2C, LLC, Affomix and Ipsogen SA. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Tweeddale has invested in more than 50 companies. He has over 25 years of experience in economic and venture analysis, engineering cost accounting, systems analysis, scientific and commercial programming, math analysis, EDP auditing, and computer modeling. Mr. Tweeddale has an M.B.A. in Information Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hartford.