Team

We are a close-knit team inspired by the possibilities of delivering transformative technologies and breakthrough science to change the course of medicine. We value our people as our most important resource and are always looking for talented individuals who can make valuable contributions to our efforts. If you think you’d be a good fit, take a look at our current open positions.

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Christina is a pioneer in the fields of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, where she has over 20 years of experience. As Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, her laboratory led the breakthrough research to engineer baker’s yeast to produce valuable plant-based medicines. Her innovative vision and accomplishments have garnered numerous awards, including the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator, NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, Nature’s 10, World Technology Network Award in Biotechnology, and TR35 Award.

Christina Smolke, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO

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Zack is a leading executive in operations management, specializing in bioprocess engineering and manufacturing management. He has over 20 years of experience leading manufacturing functions for companies across the pharmaceutical, synthetic biology, diagnostics and automotive industries. Before joining Antheia, Zack was VP of manufacturing and capex project management at Zymergen. He also gained experience managing commercial scale facilities operations for Tesla, where he was responsible for managing 10 million square feet of factory, lab and warehouse space during the Model 3 ramp.

Zack McGahey

Chief Operating Officer

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Pavel leads the Bioanalytics team at Antheia. He has 20 years of experience in analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, chromatography, and metabolomics. Before joining Antheia, Pavel built and managed the Chemistry and Analytics team at Impossible Foods, leading method development and analytics operations to support strain development, fermentation, DSP, regulatory, QC, and scale-up of leghemoglobin biomanufacturing. He also oversaw the characterization and improvement of meat flavor generation, resulting in the successful development and commercial launch of Impossible Burger and other products.

Pavel Aronov, PhD

Head of Bioanalytics

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Farrah leads program and project management at Antheia. She has over 20 years of experience leading program and project management, operations, and engineering for companies across the CPG, aerospace, and automotive industries. Prior to joining Antheia, Farrah implemented and led the sustaining program management team at Impossible Foods. She also led product operations, project management, and cost optimization at Blue Bottle Coffee and Tyson Foods to develop and commercialize new products. As a certified project management professional (PMP), Farrah has a proven record of successful project delivery, improving project management practices, and building collaborative teams.

Farrah Pulce, PMP

Head of Project Management

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Kristin is Antheia’s General Counsel and Director of Intellectual Property. With over a dozen years of law firm experience, Kristin has a well-established reputation of advising high-impact companies and has been ranked as a Rising Star of Northern California Attorneys by Super Lawyers numerous times. Kristin is also known for her contributions to social justice efforts, receiving a 2022 Infinite Mile Award for her volunteer work to advance MIT’s mission. In 2022, Kristin was also recognized as a Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Kristin Smith

General Counsel & Head of IP

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Antonij Tjahjadi leads our accounting/finance department at Antheia and holds active CPA license. He joined Antheia with more than 20 years of experience in corporate accounting, bringing in his expertise in ramping up accounting operations in start-up companies, SEC reporting/technical accounting, as well as SOX implementation efforts. Before joining Antheia, he held various leading roles in both public and private company settings, including directing accounting functions at Ambys Medicines, where he successfully implemented Netsuite with Point Purchasing integration and set up various accounting policies and processes, and a key role in the initial public offering of Nutanix, Inc.

Antonij Tjahjadi, CPA

Corporate Controller

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Kristy has over 15 years of experience in the field of synthetic biology, focusing on yeast metabolic engineering for the production of small molecules. She did the founding work on the benzylisoquinoline alkaloid pathway during her graduate studies and gained valuable industry experience at Amyris and Lygos. Kristy is an expert in tool development, high-throughput screening, and host strain and heterologous pathway engineering. She believes that all plant-derived medicines will ultimately be produced using microbial fermentation technology.

Kristy Hawkins, PhD

Co-Founder & CSO

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Heidi is a results-driven human resources executive and HR business partner who leverages decades of experience in empowering, motivating and inspiring to drive transformation within high performing workforces. A certified executive coach and passionate advocate for people-oriented solutions, Pucel serves as a key thought partner in generating scalable, adaptable solutions. Pucel most recently served as Chief People Officer for Countsy, where she worked as an interim HR executive for clients in the biotechnology and software industries, such as Ceribell and Harness.

Heidi Pucel 

Chief People Officer

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As Head of Data Science at Antheia, Ben manages in-house software development and external partnerships for storing and interpreting research data, executing bioinformatics analyses, and streamlining business processes. Prior to Antheia, Ben worked as an academic researcher at the intersection of machine learning, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology. Following this, as an entrepreneur and consultant, he developed and deployed data science solutions for biotechnology applications ranging from metabolomics-driven compound discovery to MRI segmentation.

Ben Kotopka, PhD

Head of Data Science

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Suzy leads our downstream chemistry processes in Antheia. She has 15+ years of experience in process development, including route development through synthetic chemistry, scale-up of small molecule APIs for GPCR targets under cGMP for Phase I-III trials. Before joined Antheia, Suzy led a full DSP team in Amyris where she successfully pivoted developments from biofuels hydrocarbon products to pharmaceutical intermediate, flavor, fragrance and nutraceutical products. She led a team that scaled 11 products and took 5 products to commercial manufacturing.

Suzanne Sato

Head of Chemistry

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Ken leads the Biology team at Antheia, which incorporates both strain and protein engineering functions. He has 15+ years of experience in the synthetic biology field including companies such as Amyris and Novartis. One of his passions is molecular biology tool development and he previously worked to build the foundation for the automated strain engineering pipeline at Amyris. At Novartis, he modernized the molecular biology techniques and established a platform to model mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in a range of organisms.

Ken Takeoka

Head of Biology

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Yen-Hsiang is leading strategy and business development at Antheia. Coming from a solid academic background, he has extensive research experience in synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and computational modeling. Yen-Hsiang devotes his efforts to driving technology innovations with commercial success. Before joining Antheia, he was at McKinsey and then led AI healthcare strategy and product development in Tencent AI Lab.

Yen-Hsiang Wang, PhD

Head of Strategy and BD

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Yihui leads fermentation research and development at Antheia. He has more than 20 years of hands-on microbial fermentation experience and 10+ years experience in industrial fermentation R&D. Prior to joining Antheia, Yihui built and managed fermentation teams at Codexis and Intrexon and led the development of robust and cost-effective microbial fermentation processes that were successfully transferred and scaled up to pilot scale and demonstration plants.

Yihui Zhu, PhD

Head of Fermentation

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Board of Directors

Ram Shriram

Patrick Yang, PhD

Christina Smolke, PhD

Kristy Hawkins, PhD