Introducing the Babson Diagnostics Team

Pleased to meet you.

Babson Team

  • Eric Olson

    Eric Olson

    Founder, CEO, and Director

    Eric is a 20-year veteran of the diagnostics industry. Prior to incubating Babson Diagnostics at Siemens Healthineers, Eric was Siemens’ VP, Portfolio & Product Management, responsible for its $3 billion global product portfolio of central laboratory technologies. He was also responsible for the company’s web properties and $1 billion in e-commerce operations as the global head of Siemens’ clinical laboratory automation and IT business, which advanced from #2 to #1 in market share during his tenure.

    Eric earned his BS in Biology from MIT and his MS in Technology Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • David Stein

    Dr. David Stein, Ph.D.

    Co-Incubator and Director

    David Stein is the former global head of strategy and president of molecular diagnostics for Siemens Healthineers. His previous roles include CEO of Siemens' point of care business, head of strategy for the Diagnostics division, and global vice president of engineering within the Diagnostics division. Working alongside Eric Olson, he was instrumental in incubating Babson Diagnostics in the company’s earliest days.

    Dr. Stein earned his Ph.D. in Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Dr. Mini Kahlon

    Dr. Mini Kahlon, Ph.D.

    Director

    Dr. Maninder “Mini” Kahlon is a volunteer member of Babson Diagnostics’ Board of Directors and is Vice Dean for the Health Ecosystem at the UT Dell Medical School, which she helped to launch. Preceding this role, Mini served as Chief Information Officer and Executive Director for UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Focused on advancing healthcare innovation, Dr. Kahlon has served as Vice Chair of MedTech Innovation for the Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Founding Co-Chair of the Austin Healthcare Council, and, as of 2019, Executive Director of Factor Health, a program that builds new businesses to address the broader social and behavioral drivers of health. Mini has centered her career on innovations that increase health impact at better price points for society.

    Dr. Kahlon graduated from Bryn Mawr College and earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco.

  • Judson Cooper

    Judson Cooper

    Director

    Judson Cooper is a founding principal of Prism Ventures LLC. He has been an active investor in technology, biotechnology and healthcare companies since 1990. He has co-founded eight medical technology companies, serving in senior operating and advisory positions to provide financing, recruit management and oversee corporate operations and strategy. Mr. Cooper served as Chairman of SIGA Technologies and of Lev Pharmaceuticals from 2003 until its acquisition in 2008 in a transaction valued at over $500 million.

    Mr. Cooper has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

  • Dennis Gilbert

    Dr. Dennis Gilbert, Ph.D.

    Director

    Dennis Gilbert serves as head of laboratory diagnostics research and development at Siemens Healthineers. Previously head of research and development for BD Life Sciences, Abbott Diagnostics and Applied Biosystems, he has led some of the most notable innovations in the research and diagnostics industries. At Siemens Healthineers, Dennis leads research and development for the Atellica Solution, the state-of-the-art instrument suite used for Babson Diagnostics’ chemistry and immunoassay tests.

    Dr. Gilbert received a BS in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in genetics from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Dave Hickey

    Dave Hickey

    Board Observer

    Dave Hickey serves as worldwide president of integrated diagnostic solutions at BD. A health care executive with over 25 years in the in vitro diagnostics industry, Dave currently leads BD’s diagnostics businesses, including the division with which Babson is engaged in a long-term strategic partnership agreement. He has formerly served as CEO of Siemens’ central laboratory business unit and as worldwide director of marketing for Bayer Diagnostics. He is an active participant on the boards of directors for AdvaMed Dx and the University Of Maryland Health Sciences Research Park.

    Dave earned his degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences (Clinical Biochemistry) at the University of Manchester.

  • Dr. Samuel Broder

    Dr. Samuel Broder, M.D.

    Strategic Advisor

    Dr. Samuel Broder has spent a lifetime at the forefront of science and translational medicine. He is the former Director of the National Cancer Institute, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1989. There, he helped launch a number of large-scale clinical trials related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, and inaugurated the highly successful Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE). During the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s, Dr. Broder’s laboratory developed the first three agents approved by the FDA to treat the AIDS virus, providing the foundation for modern antiretroviral therapy. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1993 for his contributions to medicine. In 1998, he joined the Celera Corporation as Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, where he helped advance the human genome project. His most recent executive position was as SVP, Health Sector for Intrexon Corp, with responsibilities for gene therapy and synthetic biology. Dr. Broder is the author or co-author of over 340 scientific publications, an inventor on 20 patents, and a member of multiple corporate boards of directors and scientific advisory boards. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is now involved in programs related to SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and vaccine development.

    Dr. Broder graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, and then subspecialty training in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Roy Barr

    Roy Barr

    VP, Research & Development

    Roy previously served as VP, Molecular Diagnostics Product Development for Siemens Healthineers, where he was responsible for defining and developing next generation molecular diagnostic analyzers.

    Roy earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

  • Jim W. Jacobson

    Dr. Jim W. Jacobson, Ph.D.

    Laboratory Director

    Dr. Jacobson has over 30 years of experience in research, development, and commercialization of research and medical products and services. He previously served as Laboratory Director for SpectraCell Laboratories, PHDx Inc., and Biophysical Corporation – high-complexity, CLIA-accredited laboratories – in Austin and Houston, Texas. He was at Luminex Corporation in Austin for ten years in a variety of positions including Chief Scientific Officer, where he founded and chaired the Luminex Scientific Advisory Board, directed external research collaborations with key academic and industry thought leaders, established an external content licensing program, and directed strategic initiatives in personalized medicine and biomarker development. Dr. Jacobson is an inventor on five patents and is the author of publications in genetics, molecular biology, medical devices, and laboratory science.

    Dr. Jacobson has a Ph.D. in Population Biology (Genetics) from Washington University in Saint Louis and completed postdoctoral training at North Carolina State University and Duke University. He was also a faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Houston.

  • Heath Marr

    Heath Marr

    Laboratory Manager

    Heath has twelve years’ experience in laboratory management, including at Texas Oncology, Schryver Medical, and Clinical Pathology Laboratories. He has prior experience at three startup companies and has helped to open five brand-new laboratories. He previously served as Hematology Applications Specialist at Siemens.

    Heath is an ASCP-certified Medical Technologist and earned his BS in Clinical Laboratory Science from Texas State University.

  • Celia Ross

    Celia Ross

    Office Manager & Executive Assistant

    Celia has seven years’ managerial and administrative experience between a 501(c)3 nonprofit and a consumer cooperative.

    Celia earned her BFA from the University of Oklahoma as a National Merit scholar.

  • Christopher DiPasquale

    Christopher DiPasquale

    Director of Assay Development

    Chris entered his position with twelve years’ experience as a Biochemist at Siemens Healthineers. His background is in clinical assay R&D with a heavy focus on reagent optimization, method integration, and verification. He has applied Six Sigma principles to innovative development projects including Vitamin D, ELF, and high-sensitivity Troponin I.

    Chris earned his BS in Biotechnology & Biochemistry from Rutgers University.

  • Melissa Abigania

    Melissa Abigania

    Medical Laboratory Technician

    With fifteen years of clinical laboratory experience and Medical Laboratory Technician certification from New York state, Melissa operates a wide range of laboratory technology with exceptional skill. Fascinated by diagnostics, she contributed to an article on prenatal diagnosis published at Columbia University.

    Melissa earned her AAS in Computer Programming and Health Science from the City University of New York.

  • Dr. Joel Wommack

    Dr. Joel Wommack, Ph.D.

    Clinical Data Scientist

    Joel is a clinical researcher with over 10 years of experience as a translational scientist and leader of biobehavioral research teams across academic and commercial organizations. His background includes planning and conducting clinical studies in urban and rural areas of Central Texas; managing core assay facilities for The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University Health Science Center; and consulting for major enterprises and tech-enabled startups.

    Dr. Wommack earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The University of Texas at Austin. His publication record includes 17 peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from neuroendocrinology, molecular diagnostics for preterm birth, remote data collection technologies, and reproductive & metabolic health among multi-ethnic and underserved populations.

  • Terri Friess

    Terri Friess

    Phlebotomist

    Terri is an ASCP-certified medical technologist. She has 24 years of experience, thirteen of which at Texas Oncology.

    Terri earned her degree in Medical Technology from Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and her BS in Microbiology from University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

  • Tamara Tarbox

    Tamara Tarbox

    Scientist

    Tamara is an analytical chemist with over 15 years of experience in method development and validation for pharmaceutical and fine chemicals manufacturing. Tamara contributes valuable analytical and technical expertise in the regulated laboratory environment. She joined the team to assist Babson's COVID-19 serology project and hit the ground running with assay R&D and reagent scaleup.

    Tamara earned her BS in Chemistry and Microbiology as well as her MST in Industrial Technology from Texas State University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr. Alan Wu

    Dr. Alan Wu, Ph.D.

    Scientific Advisory Board Member

    Dr. Wu is Professor of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF and Chief of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratories at San Francisco General Hospital. He was awarded the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Outstanding Contributions to Education Award in 2002 and the In Vitro Diagnostic Technology’s Top 10 Persons in the IVD Industry in 2005. Dr. Wu is a published author and is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Chimica Acta.

    Dr. Wu earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biology from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Illinois.

  • Dr. Susan A. Evans

    Dr. Susan A. Evans, Ph.D.

    Scientific Advisory Board Member

    Dr. Evans is Principal and Founder of BioDecisions Consulting. Dr. Evans has previously served as Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Beckman Coulter and as President of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). She has 30 years’ experience in diagnostics and laboratory medicine, and due to her work’s impact, was honored with AACC’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine in 2017.

    Dr. Evans earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Detroit.

  • Dr. Robert H. Christenson

    Dr. Robert H. Christenson, Ph.D., DABCC, FCACB, FAACC

    Scientific Advisory Board Member

    Dr. Christenson is Medical Director of Core Laboratories and Professor of Pathology and Medical and Research Technology at the University of Maryland. An international expert in cardiac biomarkers and clinical utility, he has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Christenson previously served as President of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

    Dr. Christenson earned his BA in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Florida State University.

  • James Donnelly

    Dr. James Donnelly, Ph.D., DABCC, FCACB, FAACC

    Scientific Advisory Board Member

    Dr. Donnelly was formerly the EVP Regulatory and Clinical Affairs for Quotient Limited, as well as Chief Scientific Officer for Siemens Healthineers’ Diagnostics division, where he served as Global VP for the Medical, Clinical, Scientific, and Statistical Affairs groups. He is an accomplished laboratory director and academic researcher with previous roles including Associate Professor of Pathology at NYU School of Medicine and Associate Director of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. He has served as Medical Director across multiple clinical pathology disciples at high-complexity CLIA laboratories in Manhattan and the Bronx.

    Dr. Donnelly earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Biochemistry at George Washington University and his MBA at the University of Ottawa. A diplomate in Clinical Chemistry from the American Board of Clinical Chemists, he is also a Fellow of both the US and Canadian National Academies of Clinical Biochemistry.

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