About

Stratos Genomics is a 4th generation DNA sequencing company composed of an accomplished team of scientists, engineers, advisors and directors.

Management Team

Mark Kokoris, CEO
Mark Kokoris
President, CEO and Board Member
20+ years of experience working on the cutting edge of biotechnology. Mr. Kokoris’s passion is to conceive and develop innovative and transforming technologies. He co-founded Stratos Genomics in 2007 in order to pursue a vision of creating a next generation DNA sequencing technology that would enable broader use in healthcare. In pursuit of this goal, Mr. Kokoris co-invented the SBX™ technology that same year. In 2003, he founded the biotechnology consulting firm BioCaptus, LLC where his experience in the fields of high throughput genomics, molecular diagnostics, protein engineering, and microfluidics was utilized by clients to develop a broad range of technologies and applications. Prior to forming BioCaptus, Mr. Kokoris was the Director of Services and Technology for QIAGEN Genomics, Inc. He was responsible for QGI’s entire genomic services offering as well as all aspects of technology and process development. As one of the founding members of Rapigene, he played a key role in the development of the Cleavable Mass Spec Tag (CMST) technology and in establishing the company’s high-throughput genotyping facility. Mr. Kokoris, who is an inventor or co-inventor on 7 issued US patents, holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Bob McRuer
Bob McRuer, Ph.D.
CTO and Board Member
25+ years of instrumentation design, optics/electro optics, and project management experience. Dr. McRuer’s product development experience includes detection and measurement systems for life science and medical products, fluorescence microscopy, SPR, image analysis, thermal control, microfluidics, electrowetting, laser scanning and liquid crystals. He has expertise in plastic optics manufacturing, optomechanical design, diffractive/micro optics, illumination, microdisplays, thin film development, and metrology. Previous positions include Chief Technical Officer at Stratos Product Development, Senior Optical Engineer at Virtual IO, Senior Optical Engineer at iOptics, and Researcher at Schlumberger Wireline. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Masters of Science degree from Stanford.
John Tabone, VP Chemistry
John Tabone, Ph.D.
Vice President, Chemistry
25+ years in a startup environment developing innovative technologies in the areas of nucleoside chemistry, molecular diagnostics, genomic measurement, and high throughput automation of oligonucleotide and gene synthesis.  Dr. Tabone led design and implementation of a highly automated scalable gene manufacturing platform for a leading US gene synthesis company, Blue Heron Biotech. While at Microprobe he managed the late stage development and manufacture of a 510k-approved DNA diagnostic. He was an inventor of the CMST SNP mass spectrometry-based measurement technology and led its development through to an early commercial stage.  Previous positions include Vice President of Technology Development at Blue Heron Biotechnology, Inc., Director of Technology Development at Rapigene, Inc., Senior Scientist at Darwin Molecular Corporation, Senior Scientist / Manager Microprobe Corporation. Dr. Tabone has been an inventor or co-inventor on 23 issued US patents. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from St. John’s University and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Melud Nabavi, VP Molecular Engineering
Melud Nabavi
Vice President, Molecular Engineering
20+ years of experience in biotechnology developing innovative genomics technologies.   Melud joined Stratos Genomics in 2010 leading the Molecular Engineering effort.  In 2003, he was a founding member of BioCaptus developing technologies and applications for clients in high throughput genomics, microfluidics and molecular diagnostics.  Melud continued as consultant for Merck/Rosetta Inpharmatics developing the Molecular Profiling Portfolio Management System, evaluating and implementing molecular profiling technologies.  Before Biocaptus, Melud held several positions in high-throughput genomics technologies as a Manager and R&D Associate at Qiagen Genomics, Cereon Genomics (Monsanto), Eli Lilly and received his initial research training at Oregon Health Science University.  Melud is an inventor on two issued patents, holds a BS degree from Portland State University. 

Additional Board Members

Lee Huntsman
Lee Huntsman, Ph.D.
Chairman- Stratos Genomics Inc, President Emeritus- University of Washington
In July 2005, Lee Huntsman was selected by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire as the executive director of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund Authority, a public-private partnership intended to give life sciences research in the state a major boost. Previously, Dr. Huntsman was President of the University of Washington and after a distinguished service in academic leadership spanning more than two decades; the Board of Regents named Lee President Emeritus in July 2004. Huntsman became Acting Provost of the University of Washington in 1996 and Provost in 1997. As the University's chief academic and budgetary officer, he provided leadership in long-range strategic planning, formulation and allocation of capital and operating budgets, educational and curriculum development, management of the University's research programs, academic and administrative personnel matters, and allocation of space. Huntsman also served as associate dean for scientific affairs in the UW School of Medicine from 1993 to 1996, a role in which he provided broad scientific and graduate education leadership. His duties included participation in executive decision making during a time when the School was confronting a variety of competitive pressures both in research and clinical practice. Throughout the years in Bioengineering and Medicine he maintained an active research program focused on the application of engineering principles to biology and medicine. His laboratory received continuous NIH funding. In 1980 he became Director of Bioengineering, a position he held for 16 years. During that time, the Center experienced remarkable growth in size, quality, and reputation. Today Bioengineering is a department and considered one of the strongest academic bioengineering units in the world. He joined the University of Washington as a research assistant professor in the Center for Bioengineering in 1968. Trained in electrical engineering at Stanford University, Huntsman earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He continues to provide leadership in a variety of scientific and policy initiatives underway at the University and in the State of Washington. He also currently serves as a member of the Committee on Enhancing the Master's Degree in the Natural Sciences for the National Academies. Huntsman is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.
Harold Kawaguchi
Chairman- Stratos Group, LLC
Mr. Kawaguchi has over 30 years experience in working with emerging growth companies. He was an officer of Physio-Control Corporation, where he helped lead the company through its growth years until its merger with Eli Lilly Corporation. He was also a board member of Pacer Corporation, Wall Data, Active Voice, and Redhook Brewery, all NASDAQ-listed companies. Mr. Kawaguchi is past Chairman and CEO of Amnis Corporation, a development stage company pursuing products for the biotech and pharmaceutical research. He serves as a director and Chairman of Stratos Group LLC, a privately held technology holding company. Mr. Kawaguchi currently sits on the board of Therus Corporation, a medical device company, and Innuity Inc., a software service company. He was Assistant Professor at the University of Washington teaching Industrial Design and currently sits on the Advisory Board for the School of Art. Mr. Kawaguchi has a Masters Degree in Industrial Design from the University of Washington.
Stephen L. Rose, CPA, CMA
Director- Fisk Ventures, LLC
Stephen L. Rose serves as Managing Director of Fisk Ventures, LLC, the venture investment company for H. Fisk Johnson, Ph.D., the Chairman and CEO of S.C. Johnson and Son Inc. In this capacity, Mr. Rose serves on the boards of several early-stage, technology-based companies, and has over 17 years of experience in venture investing. Formerly, over a 10-year period with S.C. Johnson, both in the US and in Canada, he held several positions, including strategic planning, new business, and new product development, along with financial and business management. Steve has an Honors Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and is also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
Heiner Dreismann, Ph.D.
Heiner Dreismann, Ph.D.
Retired CEO- Roche Molecular Systems
From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Dreismann was President and CEO of Roche Molecular Systems (RMS), a division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and the company that pioneered molecular diagnostics in the clinical arena. During his tenure as CEO, RMS annual sales doubled to US$ 1.2 billion and the portfolio of tests and hardware sales were greatly expanded. Dr. Dreismann led the introduction of PCR-based tests in Europe as early as 1992 and witnessed firsthand the industry growth over the last two decades. Prior to being appointed CEO, Dr. Dreismann held other senior positions within Roche Diagnostics in the areas of Global Business Development, Business Unit Manager for PCR and Microbiology, as well as R&D positions in microbiology and infectious diseases, and in manufacturing. Dreismann has a Masters Degree in Biology and a PhD in Microbiology/Molecular Biology from Westfälische Wilhelms University, Muenster, Germany. He completed Post-Doctoral studies with the French Center for Nuclear Research, Sanclay, France, investigating gram-negative bacteria genetics.

Scientific Advisory Board

Patrick Stayton, Ph.D.
Professor of Bioengineering- University of Washington
Patrick Stayton currently serves as the Washington Research Foundation Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington.  He received his B.S. in Biology (summa cum laude, Chemistry minor) from Illinois State University in 1984, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in 1989, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, also at the University of Illinois.  Dr. Stayton began his faculty career in 1992 at the University of Washington.  He was one of three new faculty hired to help create the nation’s first Molecular Bioengineering Program as part of the first funded grant from The Whitaker Foundation’s Leadership Award initiative.  The Molecular Bioengineering program sought to bring cutting edge molecular science and engineering into the traditional Bioengineering research and teaching environment, and has subsequently served widely as a national model.  Molecular Bioengineering has become perhaps the biggest growth and impact area in the field, and the best marker of success today is its seamless integration into cutting-edge biomaterials, tissue engineering, drug delivery, and nanotechnology research.  Dr. Stayton has been elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and has been the recipient of the Clemson Award from the Society For Biomaterials and the CRS-Cygnus Recognition Award from the Controlled Release Society. He will serve as Vice-Chair of the Gordon Conference on Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology in 2008.  He has also been awarded the Distinguished Teacher and Mentor Award from the Department of Bioengineering, and an Honorary Award from the College of Engineering’s Minority Science and Engineering Program. Dr. Stayton’s eclectic research group works at the interface of fundamental molecular science and applied molecular bioengineering.  The lab conducts projects aimed at elucidating basic principles underlying biomolecular recognition, and connected projects applying those principles through the development of new biohybrid materials for medical technologies.  These biohybrid materials merge the impressive recognition and biofunctional properties of biomolecules, with the impressive responsiveness and chemical versatility of “smart” polymers. The group has published over 200 research papers and has been funded by the NIH, the NSF, NASA, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and by the Coulter Foundation.  The group has a strong interest in translating research findings and materials and has been awarded 9 patents with several ongoing patent applications in process.  A startup company in Seattle, PhaseRx Inc., has been formed on the basis of the group’s drug delivery technologies.
Buddy D. Ratner, Ph.D.
Professor of Bioengineering- University of Washington
Dr. Ratner is one of the founding fathers of modern bioengineering and most recently was elected a Fellow of the American Association For the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Ratner is the Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization, Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. (1972) in polymer chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Professor Ratner is a past president of the Society for Biomaterials, a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a fellow of AVS The Science and Technology Society and a Fellow, Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE). He served as president of AIMBE, 2002-2003. He was vice president of the Tissue Engineering Society International (TESI) 2003-2005. In 2002 Ratner was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, USA. Dr. Ratner is the author of more than 400 scholarly works. His research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, polymers, biocompatibility, surface analysis of organic materials, self-assembly, nanobiotechnology and RF-plasma thin film deposition. His many awards include the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Biomaterials Literature, the C.M.A. Stine Award in Materials Science (AIChE), the Medard W. Welch Award (AVS) and the 2005-6 C. William Hall Award of the Society For Biomaterials.
Andre Marziali, Ph.D.
Andre Marziali, Ph.D.
Founder, President and Chief Science Officer- Boreal Genomics Associate, Professor of Physics and Astronomy- University of British Columbia
Dr. Andre Marziali is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Director of Engineering Physics and an Associate with the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. He received his BSc in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia in 1989. He did his PhD (1994) with H.A. Schwettman in Physics at Stanford University, specializing in superconducting particle accelerators and free electron lasers. From 1994 to 1998, he was the lead engineer of Technology Development at the Stanford Sequencing and Technology Centre, working with Ron Davis of the Biochemistry Department. Dr. Marziali then returned to the University of British Columbia where he has distinguished himself as a researcher and teacher. He received the 2003 Killam prize for teaching excellence, the 2004 BC Innovation Council Young Innovator Award and the 2005 Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for excellence in teaching. Dr. Marziali's goal is to develop new technologies for genomics. His research group is engaged in a range of activities, including the engineering design of novel instruments for BC genomics groups, the development of novel single-molecule sensors, and the creation of new electrophoresis technologies. Recent emphasis in the group has been on development of a self-assembling nanosensor composed of an organic nanopore and a DNA/protein probe that is electrophoretically inserted into the pore. His collaborators include GenomeBC groups, the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre, Stanford University, and University of California Santa Cruz.
Bob Franza, MD
Affiliate Professor of Bioengineering- University of Washington
Dr. Franza is a scientist, physician and professor with decades of experience in quantitative systems biology, information technology, and entrepreneurial research and development endeavors.  He received his MD from Georgetown University in 1979. After his residency in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth – Mary Hitchcock Medical Center he joined the scientific staff of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. During his 12 years [1982-1994] at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) he was the director of the Samuel J. Freeman Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology [1991-1994] and focused on the regulation of cellular systems and their alteration in diseases like cancer and AIDS.  He was recognized in Science Watch as the 3rd most referenced biologist in the world for science that he published during his tenure at CSHL.  One of his most cited research publications was included in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press book entitled Life Illuminated (2008) – published as a tribute to the leadership of James Watson as CSHL Director. In 1996 he became a Research Professor at the University of Washington, first in the Department of Molecular Biotechnology, and since 2001 the Bioengineering Department.  He founded and was the Director of the Cell Systems Initiative at UW, from 2000 - 2006.  CSI was instrumental in the formation and nurturing of several high-technology companies and in creating novel science education programs in the Puget Sound Region.  Since arriving in Seattle he has contributed to the design and renovation of a basic research facility for UW that won the R&D renovated laboratory of the year award in 2001.  He has also contributed to several Puget Sound regional bioscience and information technology endeavors including Explore Life, Prosperity Partnership Life Science and IT clusters, Queensland – Washington State Advisory Board, and Build the Streetcar.  From May 2006 to May 2009 he was the Executive Scientific Director of the Seattle Science Foundation.  In May of 2009 he participated in the formation of Sustainable CyberLearning, Inc., which merged with Cloud LLC in February 2010, to become MYOONET, a WA State C Corporation.  He is currently Executive Chairman of the MYOONET Board and Affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the UW.
Lawrence A. Loeb, MD, Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry- University of Washington
Research in Dr. Loeb’s laboratory is focused on the molecular basis of mutagenesis.  Their long-term interest is in understanding the fidelity of DNA polymerases in normal human cells and the origin and consequences of random mutations in aging and in human cancers. He was the first to propose the mutator phenotype hypothesis for malignancy, a hypothesis that has been supported recently by the development of new technologies to measure random mutations during tumor progression.  Other studies include the structure and function of different DNA polymerases, biochemical studies on lethal mutagenesis of HIV, engineering of enzymes for cancer gene therapy by applied molecular evolution, and Werner syndrome -- a human genetic disease characterized by premature aging.  Dr. Loeb is the Director of the Joseph Gottstein Cancer Research Laboratory at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry, and Co-director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program at the University of Washington.  He received a M.D. from N.Y.U-Bellevue Medical School and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and was a Research Associate at the National Cancer Institute.  Prior to joining the University of Washington, he was a member of the Fox Chase Cancer Center and a Professor of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research and the Environmental Mutagen Society.
Jay Shendure, MD, Ph.D.
Jay Shendure, MD, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Genome Sciences- University of Washington
At the University of Washington, Dr. Shendure’s lab is investigating how high-throughput technologies can have a transformative impact on biomedical research. They are broadly interested in developing new experimental methods and computational tools for the parallelized interrogation of biological systems. Ongoing projects in the laboratory make extensive use of new platforms for array-based, programmable DNA synthesis and massively parallelized, short-read DNA sequencing. As an M.D., Ph.D. student in Dr. George Church’s lab at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Shendure helped develop polony sequencing, a highly parallel sequencing-by-ligation method that helped form the basis for Applied Biosystems’ SOLiD sequencer. In 2005, he published a landmark article in Science describing polony sequencing.  The term polony sequencing can be used to describe a variety of technologies including sequencing technology.  Another term for it is ‘cyclic array sequencing,’ with this basic concept of arrays of features being sequenced in parallel, which uses a single reagent volume to manipulate all the features in parallel.  His ensuing research focused on alternatives to PCR for selectively amplifying parts of the genome for sequencing. Dr. Shendure conducted his undergraduate studies at Princeton University and received his Ph.D. and M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Todd M. Smith Ph.D.
Dr. Smith co-founded Geospiza, Inc. and served in several roles (CEO, CTO) until its acquisition by PerkinElmer (PKI) in 2011 where he continued to develop genomics strategies and products until 2013.  His technical and market knowledge is broad with depth in the areas of bioinformatics, genomics, systems biology, and software systems with a clinical and diagnostic focus. Dr. Smith provides consulting services through Digital World Biology to help organizations develop genetic analysis strategies and technical implementation plans.  Prior to Geospiza, Dr. Smith was postdoctoral scientist in Dr. Leroy Hood’s laboratory at the University of Washington Genome Center where he sequenced the BRCA1 gene with Mary-Claire King.  He has close to 30 peer reviewed and invited publications in human genetics, microbiology, chemistry, computer science and education. Dr. Smith received his B.S. in Genetics and Biochemistry from University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from University of Washington.
Tim Hunkapiller, Ph.D.
President- Discovery Biosciences Corporation
Dr. Hunkapiller received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in Molecular Biology, and most recently has held a Research Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Washington.  Dr. Hunkapiller's research focus has included molecular immunology, evolution, computational genetics, comparative genomics and he is an expert on the genetics, genomic organization and functional diversity of the immune system. He has also been involved in bioinformatics, algorithm and database development, and experimental process optimization, for 20 years. While at Caltech, Dr. Hunkapiller originated the model for the automated, fluorescent DNA sequencer. The manifestation of this idea in products such as the ABI 3700tm and the MD Megabasetm sequencers catalyzed and enabled the completion of the first drafts of the Human Genome.  He continues to work with Applied Biosystems on improving the throughput and quality of data from these instruments and their associated chemistry. Dr. Hunkapiller also developed the first operational special-purpose computer hardware to accelerate the analysis of biological sequence information.
Eugene Kolker, Ph.D.
Eugene Kolker, Ph.D.
Chief Data Officer- Seattle Children’s Hospital
Eugene Kolker is Chief Data (Analytics) Officer at Seattle Children’s -- Hospital, Foundation, and Research Institute. Kolker has over 25 years of experience in multi-disciplinary data analysis, predictive analytics, and modeling and over 15 years of experience in management, business, and community development. At Seattle Children’s, Kolker heads the CDOAnalytics team, which focuses on leveraging large and complex data to improve outcomes and safety, reduce costs, broaden access, and drive innovation (cdoanalytics.org). In addition to the hospital work, he is also director of Bioinformatics & High-throughput Analysis Laboratory (kolkerlab.org) at the Research Institute. Previously, Kolker was founder and president of BIATECH Research and Innovation Center, which was acquired by Seattle Children’s. Currently, Kolker is an adjunct professor at Northeastern University College of Science, Boston and an affiliate professor at University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle. Kolker has over 110 publications in 30 different journals and also serves as Executive Editor of the journals “OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology” and “Big Data.”