Jim LaFrance
Chairman of the Board

Jim La France is currently the Chairman of the Board for Vermillion (VRML) Inc., a publicly traded bioinformatics company in Austin, Texas focused on women’s gynecologic conditions. He is also currently on the Board of publicly traded High Throughput Genomics (HTGM), a next generation sequencing RNA profiling company in Tucson, Arizona.  Previously, Mr. La France was CEO of both Vermillion and Omnyx, a GE Healthcare JV with UPMC. Prior to that, Jim held executive commercial leadership roles at Ventana Medical Systems (acquired by Roche Diagnostics) and Bayer Diagnostics. Mr. La France has broad based management and consulting experience in medical diagnostics, general management, commercial leadership, strategic planning, strategic marketing, sales management, & business development.   In addition, his experience includes SEC public company governance, multiple regulatory clearances including PMA, and secondary market financings. Jim has a BA in Economics from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.


Marcia Fournier
Ph.D., CEO

Marcia Fournier, the founder, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Bioarray is an entrepreneur  with experience in oncology drug discovery and development in the molecular diagnostics industry. Marcia developed the company’s technology and took it from inception to commercial launch. She came to the United States as a recipient of a scholarship from the Brazilian government to develop her doctoral thesis at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and subsequently performed postdoctoral work with Dr. Mina Bissell at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. More recently Marcia held a position at GlaxoSmithKline in the Oncology Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery where she worked to develop higher-throughput physiologically-relevant models to accelerate the drug discovery process by identifying novel cancer targets and establishing new approaches for small molecule screening. Marcia is trained in genetics with a Doctoral Degree in molecular biology from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.


Pamela Layton

Pamela Layton is the Executive Chairman of the Board and President of Bioarray. Prior to joining Bioarray, Mrs. Layton was the founder and CEO of Parcell Laboratories and was responsible for taking one of the first pure stem cell products from bench to bedside for use in spinal fusion surgeries. She holds multiple U.S. and European patents for the ELA cell and its therapeutic applications. Prior to founding Parcell Laboratories, she founded TriGuard Group LLC, a security information platform company that in conjunction with a subsidiary of ADT brought a novel internet-based alarm notification platform to market. Mrs. Layton holds the patent for the TriGuard Information Management Network. Prior to founding TriGuard Group, she spent seven years providing creative financing structures to domestic and international companies. Mrs. Layton serves as an advisor to entrepreneurial companies within and outside the U.S., mentors companies through the MIT Mentor Smart program, is a member of the Board of The Pioneer Institute, and Motherbrook Community Arts Center, a judge for the SBANE Innovation Awards, and is a member of Launchpad and Sky Ventures.


Zafi Avnur, Ph.D.
Board Director

Zafi Avnur is the Chief Scientific officer at Quark Venture Inc. Prior to joining Quark, she was the Global Head of Academic Innovation, Roche Partnering from 2009 – 2016 where she was responsible for creating relationships with the world’s leading academic institutions and world class innovators, gaining Roche early access to innovation.  She has created nine startup companies. Dr. Avnur was also named Global Head of Neglected Diseases Roche Partnering 2010-2012. Also during her career at Roche, Dr. Avnur started the “Finder” group for Biomarkers for all therapeutic areas at Roche. She acted as Liaison between Pharma and Diagnostic Divisions and contributed to the PHC (Personalized Health Care) initiative.

Prior to her partnering roles, Dr. Avnur worked in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals research and development for nearly 20 years. Dr. Avnur was named Distinguished Scientist, the highest scientific appointment at Roche.  Major scientific achievements include advancing three compounds (a PTHrP analog and two vitamin D analogs, for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis) from early exploratory discovery research to the clinic.

Michal Preminger
Ph.D., Board Director

Michal Preminger has been the Executive Director at the Harvard Medical School site of the Harvard University Office of Technology Development since 2005. Prior to joining Harvard, Dr. Preminger held several senior leadership positions in R&D and Marketing/Business Development in the biotech and hi-tech industries and co-founded a biotech company. Among these roles, Dr. Preminger served as Vice President of Protein Therapeutics at Compugen, and as Director of Marketing and Business Development at Lucent Technologies and Avaya. Dr. Preminger earned an undergraduate degree in Medicine at the Hebrew University School of Medicine. She followed with a Masters Degree and a Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.


Henry Kay
Board Director

Henry Kay is a member of Boston Harbor Angels. He retired from Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC) in 2006, where he was Group Vice President of New Market Development / Strategic Planning, Endosurgery. Prior to joining BSC, Henry was based in the UK for five years as Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Allergan Europe, a global eye care company. He has 35 years of experience in the medical industry in roles which include R&D, International Marketing, Regulatory Affairs, and Strategic Planning for major pharmaceutical companies, including Schering-Plough, American Home Products, Sterling Drug and Allergan.


Pauline Murphy
Board Director

Pauline Murphy is the Senior Managing Director of Investments at Connecticut Innovations and brings broad experience in financial planning and start-up operations. Pauline is a key participant in the budget and planning processes and is a member of the CI Operations Executive Committee. She joined CI in 2002 as controller. Prior to CI she was a senior financial professional with an early-stage software development company; she launched her career at Ernst & Young, LLP. Pauline’s areas of expertise include: Investment Analysis, Cost Management, Financial Reporting & Controls, Process Reengineering, Business Development, Financial Systems, Business Software Implementations, Corporate Governance, Planning and Budgeting.


Business Advisors
Don Hardison
CEO Biotheranostics

Don Hardison is a take-charge, strategic, collaborative executive with extensive experience as CEO, COO, and Board Director for emerging private, public, and Fortune 500 companies within the molecular, clinical diagnostic, and pharmaceutical industries.  Don is an operational and commercial leader with expertise in both private and public fundraising, strategy development, team-building, and go-to-market planning and execution. He is an expert in complex healthcare reimbursement framework and processes.

Don’s experience includes Owner of DMH Consulting , a healthcare strategy consulting  company.  He is a former COO of LabCorp, CEO of both Exact Biosciences and Good Start Genetics.  He is member of several Boards, including HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc., Seventh Sense Biosystems, IQuity and Biotheranostics, Inc.  Don received an AB degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972.

Frank R Witney Ph.D.
Operating Partner, Ampersand Capital

Dr. Witney, who joined Ampersand in 2016 and serves as Chairman of portfolio company Gyros Protein Technologies AB, has a long distinguished career in the laboratory products sector. He most recently served as CEO of Affymetrix, a leading provider of genomics and cell biology products that was sold in 2016 for $1.3 Billion.  Previously, he was CEO of Dionex Corp, a leading provider of analytical instrumentation that was sold in 2011 for $2.1 Billion.  Dr Witney also held senior executive positions at Perkin Elmer, Packard bioscience and Bio-Rad laboratories.

Dr. Witney holds Board positions for Cerus Corporation, Perkin Elmer, RareCyte and Exagen Diagnostics.  Dr. Witney brings deep market knowledge and over 30 years of leadership experience across the life sciences, diagnostics and analytical instruments industry. Dr. Witney was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health from 1980 to 1983 and holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Indiana University.

Clinical Advisors
Susan Tannenbaum

Dr. Tannenbaum is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UCONN Health. Her clinical and research interests are focused on breast cancer care from prevention, early detection and treatment, to survivorship. At UConn Health, her leadership role has been in developing the Clinical and Translational Breast Program. Dr. Tannenbaum serves as the medical director of the UConn Breast Service.  In creating the program her goal was to develop and offer multidisciplinary treatment planning and interventions to patients, with defined oversight and quality control. Creation of a Breast Cancer Research Group as a venue to integrate research in the patient population was something she created in 2005.

Her previous experience included nine years at the National Institutes of Health as a basic researcher in endothelial cell biology and as a clinician for seven years in a busy private practice in Pasadena, California. Dr. Tannenbaum received a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University and an M.D. from State University of New York. She did her Internal Medicine training at Jacobi/ Einstein Hospital and Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Adam Brufsky
M.D., Ph.D., FACP

Dr. Brufsky, is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves as Co-Director of the Magee-Women’s Breast Cancer Program of UPMC Cancer Centers and as the Co-Leader for Breast Cancer at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Dr. Brufsky received his medical degree and his PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Connecticut. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and a fellowship in medical oncology and bone marrow transplantation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Brufsky served as an associate physician and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Brufsky’s current research interests include clinical and translational research relating to the therapy of breast and genitourinary cancers. He manages approximately 30 clinical trials investigating various aspects of breast cancer etiology and treatment. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Association for Cancer Research, among others. A prolific lecturer and author, Dr. Brufsky has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and reviews in top-tier journals such as Cancer, Clinical Breast Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Seminars in Oncology. He also serves as a reviewer for several journals including Cancer, Cancer Investigation, Clinical Breast Cancer, and Oncology. Dr. Brufsky is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.


Mauricio Magalhaes Costa

Dr. Costa is a specialist in breast cancer surgery, professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and practices at the Americas Medical City in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is the past president of Latin America Breast Cancer Society.

Dr. Costa holds a medical degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1981), an equivalent degree in medicine from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (2008), a medical residency in Gynecology and Obstetrics from the UFRJ, a specialization in Gynecological Oncology from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden (1985); a Master’s degree in Gynecology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1992) and a PhD in Gynecology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1997).

Dr. Costa is the founder of the Rio de Janeiro Breast Club (1989) and an International delegate and member of the Liaison Committee of the National Consortium of Breast Centers. He is currently a physician at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Head of the Gynecological Oncology Sector at HUCFF.  He is also the Chairman of the Board of the Medical Center of the Americas Medical City, and Director of the Section of Mastology of the Brazilian College of Surgeons.

Dr.Costa is the author of several books including Health of the Breasts (Diagraphic), and Health and Beauty of the Breasts.  He is the winner of the Madame Durocher Awards of the National Academy of Medicine in 1997 and 2003, and the Antônio Franco Montoro Award in 2014.

Scientific Advisors
Mina Bissell

Dr. Bissell holds the title of Distinguished Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has held many positions over the years including Milton Fellow, Harvard University, American Cancer Society Fellow, Staff Biochemist Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Faculty UCB, Wellcome Professor, Kettering Institute, University of Cincinnati Medical School, Director Cell & Molecular Biology Div., Director of Life Sciences Division, and Associate Director, Biosciences at LBNL, Faculty in Endocrinology and in Molecular Toxicology at UCB/UCSF, Advisor to the Life Sciences Division Director at LBNL, and Biology Scholars Program at UCB. Dr. Bissell earned a B.A. in Chemistry in 1963 from Radcliffe/Harvard College, in Cambridge, MA and a M.A. in 1965 in Bacteriology and Biochemistry. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard in 1969.

Steve Blakemore

Dr. Blakemore is currently a Senior Director for Translational Medicine at Epizyme. Dr. Blakemore’s professional experience also includes Associate Director, Translational Medicine, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. Manager, Oncology Technology Discovery Group, GSK Upper Providence Research Centre, Collegeville, PA, USA, Manager, Disease and Biomarker Transcriptomics (DBT), Genomics and Proteomics (GPS), GSK Upper Providence Research Centre, Collegeville, PA, USA, Investigator, Genomics and Proteomic Sciences, GSK Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, UK, Senior Research Scientist, Differential Gene Expression (DGE) Group, Genetics at GlaxoWellcome (GW) Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, UK, and Case Reporting Officer Trainee, UK Home Office Forensic Science Service Laboratory, Birmingham, UK. Dr. Blakemore received his Ph.D. from the University of Dundee, UK in 1996. He earned a BSc in Biochemistry from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, UK in 1989.


Todd Arnold

Dr. Arnold is the Managing Director of Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory in Connecticut. His team of fouty scientists and bioinformaticians generate and analyze sequencing data enabling researchers and clinicians to gain a better understanding of the biology of cancer and inherited diseases as well as to improve the accuracy of diagnoses, apply the most appropriate therapeutic regimens and achieve optimal patient outcomes. Previously Dr. Arnold was the Vice President of Research and Development, at 454 Life Sciences, a Roche Company. Prior to joining 454 he was the Director of Product Development and Applications Support for Healthcare at CUNO, Incorporated, a 3M Company. Dr. Arnold earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Georgia and his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington.


Arthur Pardee

Dr. Pardee is presently a Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School. He was previously the Chief of the Division of Cell Growth and Regulation at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for many years. A major focus of his research activities in his laboratory was to identify and characterize clinically useful breast cancer markers by using differential RNA-display technique. Dr. Pardee held several Academic Appointments including Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, American Cancer Society Scholar, and Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, London, England. Dr. Pardee’s education includes a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1942, an M.A. from California Institute of Technology in 1943, and a Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1947.