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Meet The OpenBiome Team

We’re a team of scientists, clinicians, patient advocates, and microbiome enthusiasts. We have a passion for improving public health through the bacteria in us all.

Executive Team

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Julie Barrett O’Brien, MPA

Chief Executive Officer

Julie Barrett O’Brien has long been a transformational leader.  As the CEO of OpenBiome, she is leading the organization in its mission to accelerate microbiome science to improve health for all.

A big picture, systems thinker, she has successfully navigated the private, public and social sectors, bringing a unique perspective to organizational effectiveness and social impact.

She began her career in the coffee industry. As Director of Dunkin’s billion-dollar coffee and beverage category, she and her team drove double digit growth year after year. She led the policy team for ethical supply chain management and pioneered one of the first Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives on the globe.

As a member of the senior leadership team at Management Sciences for Health, she played a critical role in changing the face of global health. She was among the earliest advocates for investing in health system strengthening and was instrumental in bringing a successful resolution on Universal Health Coverage to the United Nations. Of significant note was her additional role as a trusted adviser for leadership communications and public affairs to the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health.   Prior to joining OpenBiome, she launched and scaled a global venture – LookUp.Live – among the first nonprofits to draw the link between youth mental health and social media.

A distinguished lecturer at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a guest lecturer at Boston University’s School of Public Health, Julie holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from the University of San Diego. She’s co-authored several articles, has been an Adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Bank, and NAFTA’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation. She also serves as Board President of The Coffee Trust and of Play on for Africa.

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Paul Leech

Chief Administrative Officer

Paul Leech is an experienced business leader specializing in strategic financial planning, non-profit management, and workforce development. He has over 30 years of success in growing both early stage and mature companies across diverse sectors including retail and wholesale industries, restaurant and hospitality, and non-profits. 

At OpenBiome, Paul has guided the expansion of our mission from a domestic stool bank bridging a gap in C. difficile care to a global research organization using microbiome-based approaches to tackle urgent public health challenges. He has significant experience in global leadership and has served on company boards around the world.

Paul holds a CPA equivalent from the University of Derby and has served as the Chief Finance and Administration Officer for the Trustees of Reservations—one of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits as well as the first conservation and preservation organization in the United States—and the CEO of Team Impact, a non-profit that matches children experiencing serious illness and disability with college sports team to create life-changing experiences.  

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Majdi Osman, MD MPH

Chief Medical Officer

Majdi is an internationally recognized physician-scientist working to reduce health disparities and develop microbiome-based health solutions. Trained in internal medicine at University College London, he has previously conducted research at the World Health Organization and completed his Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on a Frank Knox Fellowship. 

Majdi’s research focuses on infectious disease, malnutrition, and stool banking. His work has been published in The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Clinical Infectious Diseases. He was also a co-principal investigator on the THRIVE (Transfer of Healthy Gut Flora for Restoration of Intestinal Microbiota via Enema) study—the first fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) clinical trial on the African Continent.

At OpenBiome, Majdi leads the Global Microbiome Innovations Program to develop new microbiome-based approaches for public health challenges including malnutrition and mental health. He is also the co-founder of YBank—a non-profit dedicated to adolescent health, a visiting assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and a Trustee of the African Research Excellence Fund. 

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Katya Moniz, PhD

Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) Director

Katya is a microbiome scientist who is passionate about expanding representation and global capacity in scientific research. As Director of the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) Program at OpenBiome, she is building access to the most globally representative human microbiome collection of its kind and engaging an international consortium of scientists to accelerate research worldwide.

Previously, Katya worked as the Research Lead in the Alm Laboratory, a microbiome-focused research group at MIT, where the GMbC was founded. There, she focused on developing the program’s mission and core commitments to benefit sharing and scientific capacity building. She also oversaw wastewater-based disease surveillance projects, culminating in leading COVID-monitoring and response programs at MIT during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Katya holds a PhD in marine microbial ecology from MIT, where she was a Schoettler Fellow and a Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability fellow, and a BA in English from Yale University. 

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Ken Linde

Chief Operating Officer

Ken is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience in Director and Senior-level roles in the dynamic start-up landscape. He has been part of founding teams that have launched ecommerce sites, SaaS products, mobile apps, a documentary film, and has worked directly with award winning author, inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil on his start-up incubator.  

At OpenBiome, Ken has implemented quality control and monitoring systems for the nonprofit’s investigational FMT access program, managed data storage for global research programs, and helped establish a microbiology laboratory. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Business Administration. 

Board of Directors

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Neil Rasmussen

Chair of the Board

Now retired, Neil was formerly the Senior VP of Innovation for Schneider Electric where he established the technology direction for the world’s largest R&D budget devoted to power, cooling, and rack infrastructure for data centers. Neil holds 28 patents related to high-efficiency and high-density data center power and cooling infrastructure, and has published over 60 papers related to power and cooling systems. Neil is currently working to advance the science of high-efficiency, high-density, scalable data center infrastructure solutions and is a principal architect of the APC InfraStruXure system. He received his bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering from MIT. 

Eric Alm, PhD

Professor of Biological Engineering, MIT

Eric is a Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. He holds degrees in Mathematics/Computer Science, Biology, and Biochemistry, and his current research covers diverse topics ranging from biofuels to human disease. He is passionate about using scientific discoveries and new technologies to solve real-world problems, and thrilled that OpenBiome provides an opportunity to translate human microbiome research into therapies that improve patients’ lives. 

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Jim Bildner, JD

CEO, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Jim is the CEO of the DRK Foundation, and he brings more than 30 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership and Hauser Center Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. Jim serves on the boards of numerous foundations and organizations, has served as CEO of two public companies, and is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

 Stephen  Jones

Executive Director, Stanley Family Foundation

Stephen Jones serves as Executive Director of the Stanley Family Foundation, with the mission of reducing the burdens of Serious Mental Illness through basic scientific research for translation to therapeutics.  He serves as a Trustee of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, is the Managing Partner of his law firm, Jones, LLP and has served on numerous nonprofit Boards of Directors. He attended Williams College, Exeter College, Oxford University and Fordham University School of Law. 

Joanne Kamens, PhD

Joanne Kamens, PhD

Former Executive Director, Addgene; Senior Director, Executive North Group

Joanne Kamens has advanced the leading edge of science in the academic, pharmaceutical, and nonprofit world. She earned her PhD in Genetics from Harvard University. After completing thesis work, Dr. Kamens spent nearly twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry as Senior Director of Research Collaborations at Abbott Bioresearch Center and RXi Pharmaceuticals Discovery respectively. She then became the Executive Director of Addgene, overseeing its expansion into a leading international research biorepository. Dr. Kamens is an advocate for inclusive and equitable workplace culture as well as health equity through open access to research reagents and resources. Under her leadership, Addgene was named #1 Place to Work in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. She now serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant for a variety of organizations.

Ruchika Kumar

General Counsel; Venture-backed healthtech startup

Ruchika Kumar has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry providing advice and counsel on biotech/pharmaceutical regulation & compliance, digital health, market access, privacy and clinical trial innovation. She is an experienced lawyer with a demonstrated history of working successfully in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining N-Power Medicine (a venture-capital backed startup) as General Counsel, Ruchika spent 17 years at Genentech-Roche as Associate General Counsel. She has won many awards that recognized her strengths as an effective collaborator, a strategic thinker, a leader driving for results, and influencing through open and practical communications. Ruchika possesses a developed leadership interest in elevating individual and team capabilities and bringing others along to solve complex business issues. She has a keen interest in creating societal impact through science and technology.

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Lisa Serwin

Advisor, Nina Capital

Lisa Serwin has a 25+ year career leading start-ups and established organizations in the healthcare, consumer product and retail sectors. She is the co-founder of C-Sweetner—a nonprofit that matches senior women in the healthcare industry with mentors so they can thrive in C-suite leadership positions. She has also served as CEO and in other leadership roles at a wide variety of technology and healthcare companies where her responsibilities have ranged from strategic planning to closing on multiple rounds of financing. Lisa has an M.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and B.A. from U.C.L.A. 

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Jane Williams, MD MPH

Vice President, Neuroscience and Rare Disease at Syneos Health

Jane has practiced family medicine for 14 years in Merrimack Valley and is now the Senior Medical Director for Syneos Health, a biopharmaceutical company focused on accelerating clinical research. She has also served as the medical director of both Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts and Parexel International. At the latter, she provided scientific and strategic guidance to clients and supported protocol development, regulatory submissions, evaluation of new technologies and safety monitoring. Jane earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, her doctor of medicine at Albany Medical College of Union University and a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Garabet Yeretssian, PhD 

Science Program Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Garabet Yeretssian, PhD is an experienced executive and scientific leader in the non-profit, biotech and academic space. Currently, Dr. Yeretssian is a Science Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he is responsible for managing initiatives related to inflammation and rare pediatric inflammatory diseases. Previously, he has worked as the Director for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Crohn’s Disease Program, where he was responsible for providing the visionary leadership for a multimillion-dollar scientific and clinical portfolio, defining a long-term vision and establishing a strategy for the Crohn’s Disease Program. Prior to joining Helmsley, Dr. Yeretssian was an assistant professor in the Immunology and Tisch Cancer Institutes at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he led a research team investigating the implication of innate immune and cell death mechanisms in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders. 

Clinical Advisory Board

Jessica Allegretti, MD, MPH

Kanchana Amaratunga MD, MPH

Monika Fischer, MD

Rachel Ann Hays, MD

Colleen Kelly, MD

Neil H. Stollman, MD

Science and Ethics Advisory Board of the Global Microbiome Conservancy Program (GMbC) at OpenBiome

Mathieu Groussin, PhD

Co-founder – Nominated as inaugural Co-Chair

Professor Groussin co-founded the GMbC during his postdoctoral studies at MIT. He is a computational biologist who uses evolutionary, ecological and genomic approaches to understand the role microbes play in human life and evolution. He applies his scientific background to address issues in diverse areas, including education, biodiversity conservation, public policy, and and human rights. Dr. Groussin is an Associate Professor at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, in the Medical Faculty of Kiel University.

Dibesh Karmacharya, PhD

Dr. Karmacharya founded and serves as executive director of the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN), a genetics and clinical epidemiology research center in Kathmandu, Nepal. Dr. Karmacharya’s research interests center on conservation genetics and One Health research, with particular focus on microbiome genetics, disease dynamics, vaccine research and development, and genomics. Dr. Karmacharya also founded Intrepid Nepal, a molecular diagnostics company, Intrepid Cancer Diagnostics, and BIOVAC Nepal, a vaccine research, development and manufacturing company.

Conniel Malek, JD

Conniel Malek is the founding Executive Director of the True Costs Initiative (TCI), a non-profit organization operating at the intersection of business and human rights. TCI is dedicated to increasing corporate accountability and strengthening legal systems in the Global South. Ms. Malek is a proud daughter of the Caribbean and is particularly committed to advocating for the rights of people in oft overlooked parts of the globe as they pertain to climate justice and technical expertise. Under her vision and leadership, TCI became one of the founding members of Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy (FORGE). Currently, Ms. Malek serves on the Board of Directors for Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC), and EDGE Funders Alliance. She was an Equity in Philanthropy Fellow with the Rockwood Leadership Institute and prior to TCI, Ms. Malek practiced corporate law for a decade.

Mathilde Poyet, PhD

Co-founder – Nominated as inaugural Co-Chair

Professor Poyet is a GMbC co-founder and leader in anaerobic bacterial biobanking. An ecologist by training, Dr. Poyet’s research focuses on microbiology and evolution, with a particular interest in understanding how microbiomes impact human health, and in conserving this vital biodiversity. During her postdoctoral studies at MIT, she developed advanced methodologies for culturing, isolating, and investigating human-associated bacteria. Dr. Poyet is an Associate Professor at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, in the Medical Faculty of Kiel University.

Amber Scholz, PhD

Dr. Scholz is the Scientific Deputy to the Director at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen – a.k.a., the German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures). The DSMZ is the world’s most diverse bioresource collection, housing roughly 75,000 bacteria, archaea, fungi, human and animal cells, viruses, and plasmids. Together with ATCC (the American Type Culture Collection), the DSMZ is one of the most commonly used sources of microbes for researchers. In her role as the Scientific Deputy to the Director at the DSMZ, Dr. Scholz is deeply involved in Science Policy, and understands how international treaties such as the Nagoya Protocol intersect with the acquisition and sharing of biospecimens at a large, non-profit biorepository. She has published extensively on the issues of data access, equity, and benefit sharing in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and specifically on the impact of the Nagoya Protocol on microbiological research.

Ramnik Xavier, MD

Dr. Xavier is a core institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he directs the Klarman Cell Observatory and Broad Immunology Program and co-directs the Broad’s Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program. He is the Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; director of the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology and professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH); and co-director of the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics at MIT. Dr. Xavier served as chief of gastroenterology at MGH for nine years and is currently director of the NIH-funded Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dr. Xavier is one of the most highly cited life-sciences researchers in the world, with almost 100,000 citations.

OpenBiome Team

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Michael Bougas

Clinical Outreach Director

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Justin Chen

Director of External Affairs

Imani Decaille Hodge

Sr. Clinical Outreach Associate

Terick Dupont

Fulfillment Supervisor

Joshua Epps

Quality Associate

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Emily Baran

Manager of Legal Affairs

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David McCall

Human Resources Manager

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Cyleigh Mertz

Chief of Staff

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Roxanne Schwab

Sr. Accountant

Dana Shamitz

Quality Supervisor/Lab Coordinator

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Laura Stehler

Sr. Clinical Outreach Associate

Shevon Walker

Director of CMC Operations and Supply Chain Logistics

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