About Us 2018-04-02T11:48:37+00:00
Inflammatix-diagnostics

About Inflammatix

Inflammatix is a molecular diagnostics company developing rapid tests that read the immune system to resolve major clinical and public health challenges. We are initially focused on developing tests for acute bacterial and viral infections, and sepsis based on patent-pending biomarkers exclusively licensed from Stanford University. Beyond this initial focus, our expert bioinformatics and assay development teams are poised to build a host response-based diagnostics pipeline that includes tests for tropical infections, autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection and other conditions.

Our Approach

Our approach to developing host response-based diagnostic tests has yielded remarkable results to date:

Every test should be built with a physician end-user in mind. Our team is physician-led, ensuring that development starts with the question of whether a test could be clinically actionable, and whether it fits into workflow. Our test for sepsis was built to answer a critical clinical gap: physicians usually guess about whether or not a patient needs antibiotics. Current pathogen-focused diagnostic methods fail to answer this question because they frequently miss infections that haven’t spread to the bloodstream. Thus, we focused on using the immune response to infections to answer to key clinical action items in the evaluation of an acutely ill patient: (1) does the patient need antibiotics, and (2) what level of care is required? These questions are best answered by ‘reading’ the immune response, rather than looking directly for a pathogen as a ‘needle in a haystack’.

Embrace “dirty data” in selecting and analyzing cohorts to study. Acute infections can be remarkably clinically diverse: kids and adults, inpatients and outpatients, in different settings around the world. We wanted to build a test that would work in every environment. We thus embrace this clinical heterogeneity by analyzing multiple cohorts that are diverse in their population, sample types, assays used and other factors. Our robust statistical pipeline allows us to find reproducible signal in the ‘noise’ of multiple datasets. Although this is a hard challenge, our discovery methods ensure that the diagnostics we find are generalizable to new populations.

Validate on multiple, independent and diverse cohorts. Trustworthy tests must demonstrate robust performance in independent, blinded multi-center studies.

Leadership

Timothy Sweeney, MD, PhD
Timothy Sweeney, MD, PhDCo-Founder and CEO
Dr. Sweeney is a licensed physician and data scientist with over 10 years of experience researching sepsis.

After completing his MD/PhD at Duke University, he was a surgery resident at Stanford for 4 years. While training as a surgeon, he became frustrated with the current diagnostic tools for infection. During his residency research years, he completed a postdoc MS in Biomedical Informatics, during which he worked with Dr. Khatri to identify a new way to diagnose infections based on ‘reading’ the immune system. Their work designing custom informatics algorithms for sifting through heterogeneous large datasets led to the core technology on which Inflammatix is based.

Jonathan Romanowsky
Jonathan RomanowskyCo-Founder and COO
Jonathan has nearly 15 years of novel, high value molecular diagnostics commercialization experience.

He is driven by the incredible impact that diagnostics can provide dedicated healthcare professionals to improve patient care while providing significant value to public and private payers paying for it. He has served in commercial leadership roles at Telomere Diagnostics, Veracyte, CardioDx and CareDx. He has successfully brought product concepts through launch and to achieve standard-of-care status. He has lead numerous commercialization efforts in product management, marketing, operations, reimbursement and sales in the United States and abroad. Previously, Jonathan pioneered electronic prescribing at iScribe (now part of CVS) and was a business strategy consultant for Bain & Company. Jonathan earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and his MBA from Stanford University, focusing on medical technology innovation.

Oliver Liesenfeld, MD
Oliver Liesenfeld, MDChief Medical Officer
Dr. Liesenfeld is an expert in the field of microbiology, infectious diseases and the host response.

Oliver Liesenfeld, MD, has over 25 years of industry and academic experience in the diagnostics field, with a focus on molecular diagnostics and infectious diseases. As chief medical officer at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, he built a state-of-the-art medical department and led the company’s clinical science, medical affairs, clinical operations and biometrics functions. His team designed and executed numerous clinical trials to support regulatory approvals and commercialization of the company’s broad product portfolio, including the LightCycler® SeptiFast test for use in sepsis diagnosis. Dr. Liesenfeld previously served as associate professor of Medical Microbiology and Infection Immunology at the Charite Medical School in Berlin, Germany, where his research focused on the immune response to infections. He holds an MD and a doctoral (Dr. med) degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany and completed his residency in medical microbiology and infection epidemiology at the Charite Medical School, Berlin. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Liesenfeld has authored more than 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals and more than 30 book chapters.

Ljubomir Buturovic, PhD
Ljubomir Buturovic, PhDVice President of Informatics
Dr. Buturovic leads his team in machine learning and artificial intelligence to validate clinical algorithms.

Ljubomir Buturovic, PhD, is vice president of informatics at Inflammatix where his team leverages novel data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop and validate the robust clinical algorithms that power the company’s diagnostic tests. Prior to Inflammatix, Dr. Buturovic was the principal at Clinical Persona, a consulting firm specializing in machine learning algorithm development for the life sciences industry. He previously served as chief scientist at Pathwork Diagnostics, Inc., where he led predictive algorithm development for two FDA-cleared genomics tests for cancer. Prior to that, he was bioinformatics director at Incyte Corporation. He has served as adjunct professor of computer science at San Francisco State University since 2005. Dr. Buturovic received his PhD in electrical engineering from University of Belgrade, Serbia, and did postdoctoral training at Boston University’s BioMolecular Engineering Research Center.

Purvesh Khatri, PhD
Purvesh Khatri, PhDCo-Founder and Scientific Advisor
Dr. Khatri is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection.

Dr. Khatri has more than 15 years of professional experience in the areas of bioinformatics, computational biology, and translational medicine. He is well known for work on the development of ontological and pathway analysis of high throughput molecular data, and for the integration and analysis of high throughput genomics and proteomics data. Dr. Khatri developed the first tool, Onto-Express, for analysis of microarray data using Gene Ontology. He expanded his work in ontological analysis to develop a suite of web-based open access tools, Onto-Tools. His recent work is focused on developing computational methods for integrated, multi-cohort analysis of publically available data to increase the sample size as well as better account for heterogeneity observed in real world patient population. Using these methods, he has identified highly specific and sensitive biomarkers for:  (1) acute solid-organ transplant rejection, (2) cancers (pancreatic cancer, small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma), and (3) infectious diseases (sepsis, respiratory viral infections, tuberculosis).

Scientific Staff

Roland Luethy, PhD
Roland Luethy, PhDSenior Bioinformatics Scientist
Michael Mayhew, PhD
Michael Mayhew, PhDSenior Bioinformatics Scientist
Kirindi Choi
Kirindi ChoiSenior Software Engineer
Wensheng Nie, PhD
Wensheng Nie, PhDPrincipal Scientist
David Rawling, PhD
David Rawling, PhDPrincipal Scientist
Nhung Huynh
Nhung HuynhScientist
Melissa Remmel
Melissa RemmelAssociate Scientist
Michie Nakano
Michie NakanoExecutive Assistant / Office Manager

Board of Directors

Timothy Sweeney, MD, PhD
Timothy Sweeney, MD, PhDCo-Founder and CEO
Dr. Sweeney is a licensed physician and data scientist with over 10 years of experience researching sepsis.

After completing his MD/PhD at Duke University, he was a surgery resident at Stanford for 4 years. While training as a surgeon, he became frustrated with the current diagnostic tools for infection. During his residency research years, he completed a postdoc MS in Biomedical Informatics, during which he worked with Dr. Khatri to identify a new way to diagnose infections based on ‘reading’ the immune system. Their work designing custom informatics algorithms for sifting through heterogeneous large datasets led to the core technology on which Inflammatix is based.

Vijit Sabnis, PhD
Vijit Sabnis, PhDVenture Partner at Khosla Ventures
Dr. Sabnis is a venture partner at Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on emerging physical and life science technologies.

Vijit is a venture partner at Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on emerging physical and life science technologies spanning a broad range of sectors including consumer, health, energy, sustainability, computation and communications.

Prior to Khosla Ventures, Vijit was a co-founder and the CEO of Solar Junction (acquired by Taqnia International, the U.S. subsidiary of the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company).  Previously, Vijit was at Translucent (acquired by Silex Systems) and Santur Corporation (acquired by Neophotonics).

Vijit holds a bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering and computer science with from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a master’s of science degree and doctor of philosophy degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Steve Tablak
Steve TablakFormer Chairman and CEO, GeneWeave
Dr. Tablak joined GeneWeave with a great idea for a transformative IVD and helped to build a great company.

Advisors

Mark Eshoo
Mark EshooActing VP of Research & Development, Inflammatix
Dr. Eshoo served as the Director of New Technology Development at Abbott Labs.

Dr. Eshoo earned his PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and performed his post-doctoral studies at Stanford University. For the past 9 years, he served as the Director of New Technology Development at Abbott Laboratories where he focused on the development of molecular diagnostic assays for the direct detection of sepsis pathogens and the development of host response based IVDs and wearables to detect and classify infections.  Previously, as Director of Genomics at the Buck Institute for Research and Aging, he established the non-profit Institute of DNA Gene Expression Resource Center.

Jesús Bermejo-Martin, MD, PhD
Jesús Bermejo-Martin, MD, PhDPrincipal Investigator, BioSepsis
Jesus F Bermejo-Martin, MD, PhD, trained in Medicine at the University of Valladolid, Spain.

Dr. Bermejo-Martin was fellow of Clinical Immunology at the Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain, from 1999 to 2003, and received his PhD in Immunology at University Complutense of Madrid in 2005. In 2006 he was Guest Researcher at the University of Health Network, Toronto, Canada. Currently he is the PI of BioSepsis, focusing on translational research in sepsis, with a particular emphasis in gene expression and systems biology.

Hector Wong, MD
Hector Wong, MDProfessor of Pediatrics
Dr. Wong is a Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Dr. Hector R. Wong is a Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He also serves as the Director of Critical Care Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. His research program is focused on sepsis, and spans the spectrum from laboratory-based research to translational research. A major focus of the program is the development of stratification, prognostic, and diagnostic biomarkers.

CAREERS: We seek teammates with expertise, curiosity and passion.  

We welcome qualified candidates to apply for open positions at jobs@inflammatix.com 

Scientist – Assay Development
Scientist – Sample Prep

Investors

Inflammatix series A financing was led by Khosla Ventures. Also participating in round was the Stanford-Startx Fund, which was co-founded by the StartX accelerator, Stanford University and Stanford Health Care.

Partner with Us!

Inflammatix is establishing partnerships with diagnostic instrument, companion therapeutic and commercial distribution companies across the globe. Contact us at info@inflammatix.com to explore collaboration opportunities.

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