Chief Operating Officer
Brian Neel joined TriLink in October 2017, with over fifteen years of experience as a leader in the life sciences and diagnostics industries. From 2016-2017, he led as VP of Operations at Synthetic Genomics. His accomplishments included launching a first-to-market GMP manufacturing suite for gene synthesis as part of a strategic growth program into the personalized medicine market. Prior to that, Mr. Neel was VP of Operations for GenMark Diagnostics from 2014 to 2016, where he led a rapidly growing team in global supply chain, device manufacturing, quality control, and formulations for the launch of a new molecular diagnostic ePlex platform. In his time at GenMark, Mr. Neel also oversaw the design and buildout of a new 34,000 SF GMP manufacturing site. He has significant experience in a wide array of manufacturing operations in life sciences, and worked in chemistry and molecular biology-based operations with Life Technologies (acquired by Thermo Fisher) for over 13 years. At Life Technologies, Mr. Neel spent over 2 years in mergers and acquisitions, and led several integrations, both domestically and internationally. He was a key player in the rationalization and optimization of their global operations footprint. Mr. Neel has a passion for continuous improvement in operations management, and has held key site leadership roles in organic chemistry, bioproduction, and enzyme purification technologies across organizations within 3 different states. He received a B.A. in Microbiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Michael Houston, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Michael Houston joined TriLink in November 2017, with over ten years of experience as a leader in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. From 2014-2017, he worked as VP of Therapeutic Development and later as CSO at PhaseRx, where he developed mRNA-based therapeutics for urea cycle disorders in children. Dr. Houston was also Vice President of Chemistry and Formulations for Marina Biotech from 2009 to 2012, where he led a team of chemists, formulators, and engineers in the development of siRNA based therapies and LNP-based delivery systems. He has significant experience in peptide-based therapeutics, and in his role as VP of Preclinical Chemistry and CMC at Ascent Therapeutics, he was a key player in the development of the chemistry, analytical methods, and formulation for Pepducin peptide technology. Dr. Houston also served as Senior Director of Chemistry and Formulations at Nastech Pharmaceutics, where he supervised a team of scientists and oversaw experiment planning, prioritization, review, and approval. He received a Ph.D. in bio-organic chemistry and a B.Sc. with honors in chemistry from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
Vice President-Commercial Operations
Michael DeMayo has over thirty years of experience in sales and marketing in the biotechnology and life science solutions industry, most recently holding the position of Global Head of Sales and Marketing at Invivoscribe Technologies in San Diego. Before that, Mr. DeMayo spent six years at Affymetrix in Santa Clara, where he served as the Americas Vice President of Commercial Operations for Genomics and Cellular Analysis, from 2013-2016. Under his leadership, his team played a major role in the success of the VA sponsored Million Veterans Program (MVP) as well as spearheading efforts in the development of Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPS) solutions, greatly contributing to the now booming fields of genomic biobanks and clinical applied genomics. From 2008-2010, Mr. DeMayo served as the National Sales Manager for LEAP Technologies in Morrisville, North Carolina, a custom laboratory automation firm. Here, his team was instrumental in developing new, customer-focused automation applications. Mr. DeMayo has held multiple other commercial managerial roles, such as Regional Manager at Dionex and Proteomic Team Leader at PerkinElmer Life Sciences. He has also held commercial roles with Applied Biosystems and Agilent Technologies. Mr. DeMayo has worked closely with the Corporate Executive Board (DEB) in the training of the Challenger Sales Approach, and he is a pioneer in the implementation of creative, innovative, and streamlined sales and marketing strategies in the scope of the biotech/life science industry. Mr. DeMayo holds a degree in Chemistry from Montclair State University and has attended the Widener University School of Business.
Anton McCaffrey, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Research and Development
Dr. Anton McCaffrey has over 25 years of experience designing nucleic acid based therapeutics for antisense, RNA interference, aptamer, and genome editing applications. Under his leadership, our R&D team successfully develops novel mRNA capping methods, chemical modifications of mRNA to reduce innate immune stimulation, optimized and scalable mRNA manufacturing processes, and specialized assays for mRNA characterization, as well as next generation sequencing library preparation kits. Dr. McCaffrey has authored patents and patented applications in the areas of RNA interference, aptamers and mRNA co-transcriptional capping. Prior to joining TriLink in 2011, he held an Assistant Professor position at the University of Iowa, where his team focused on the role of microRNAs during the pathogenesis of hepatitis C, as well as zinc-finger nuclease based therapeutics for treatment of hepatitis B. Dr. McCaffrey is still part of the faculty at the University Of Iowa School Of Medicine, where he holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor position. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in the laboratory of Professor Olke Uhlenbeck, and he completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University with Professor Mark Kay, contributing to cutting-edge work in the field of RNA interference.
Richard Hogrefe, Ph.D.
Dr. Richard Hogrefe, a serial entrepreneur, cofounded TriLink in 1996 after identifying the market need for high quality modified oligonucleotides and nucleic acid triphosphates. Prior to TriLink, Dr. Hogrefe was a founder of Glen Research, Glen Midland Certified Reagent, and Solulink. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Hogrefe's leadership and vision has enabled TriLink to steadily grow by providing customers with innovative products and an exceptional level of service and support. Dr. Hogrefe earned his Ph.D. with Professor Robert L. Letsinger at Northwestern University focusing on modified nucleic acids and oligonucleotide trihaloethyl phosphotriesters. In 2016 he led the sale and transition of TriLink to Maravai Life Sciences securing the future growth and stability of TriLink.
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