Management Team

Christopher McLeod

President and CEO

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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 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 and Founder

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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).

Tom Thompson
Vice President of Sales and Marketing

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Mr. Thompson is an experienced sales and marketing professional who has served in sales and marketing roles in the life science industry for the past twenty-five years. Prior to joining AxioMx, Mr. Thompson was the Director of Commercial Operations at Beckman Coulter Genomics where he managed the sales, marketing, and channel management groups. There he led genomic services business efforts around DNA sequencing, genotyping, gene expression, and biologics testing. Before Beckman, he held multiple positions during 10 years at Gene Logic, where his final role was Senior Vice President of Genomics Sales and Marketing. At Gene Logic, Mr. Thompson managed direct selling and marketing efforts of gene expression reference databases and genomic services to major pharmaceutical and biotech organizations. Mr. Tom Thompson began his career with Amersham Life Sciences (now GE Healthcare Life Sciences) where in thirteen years he held sales, marketing, and sales and marketing management roles.

Mr. Thompson earned his B.A. Cum Laude from Wabash College with a Biology major and Chemistry minor. He received his M.S. in Microbiology and Immunology from Indiana University.

Janet Verney
Executive Director

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Over the last ten years Ms. Verney facilitated the start-up and growth of five biotech companies along the Connecticut Shoreline. Her biotech career began with a non-profit research institute, The Rothberg Institute. Following this first biotech role she went on to support the start-up of RainDance Technologies, Ion Torrent Systems, and Affomix Corporation. Prior to her experience in the biotech community, she was Director of Operations for the northeast division of the fourth largest childcare company in the United States, with ultimately 47 schools under her supervision.

Ms. Verney has a B.S. in Education and Administration from Charter Oak State College and Certification as an Integrative Health Counselor.

Dawn Alderman
Director of Automation & Production

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Ms. Alderman is an experienced genomics scientist. She began her career at Neurogen Corporation working in the high throughput screening group. There she automated and executed small molecule drug screening. Following Neurogen she joined VaxInnate where she automated the phage display discovery assay for recombinant vaccines. Prior to AxioMx Ms. Alderman was the Scientific Manager of the Automation/Production Team at Affomix (now a part of Illumina) where she established and automated discovery and production of recombinant antibodies.

Ms. Alderman received her undergraduate and graduate training at the University of New Haven where she earned a B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She is an active adjunct faculty member at the University of New Haven where she teaches Introduction to Biology.

Margaret Kiss, Ph.D.
Director, Molecular Sciences

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Upon completion of her post-doctoral training, Dr. Kiss began her biotechnology career with RainDance technologies. At RainDance, she co-developed a real-time PCR assay to monitor DNA amplification in droplets on a microfluidics chip and supported the launch of the RainDance Technologies Genome Sequencing System for nondroplet formation and singleplex-in-parallel PCR amplification. Following RainDance she served as Research Scientist and Scientific Manager at Affomix (now a part of Illumina) where she developed technologies for high-throughput recombinant antibody generation, including a novel approach to the identification and isolation of cells secreting phage encoding desirable antibodies that utilizes compartmentalization and Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS). At AxioMx she leads our research and development team.

Dr. Kiss received her B.S. in Biology at Cornell University and Ph.D. in Genetics at Yale University. Her post-doctoral training was also performed at Yale in the Department of Molecular Biophysics.