about us

The Variant Bio Team

Our team has a passion for exploration, and expertise spanning genetics, molecular biology, therapeutics, anthropology, and ethics. We started Variant Bio because we share the belief that human genomics has the power to transform drug development.

Andrew Farnum
Kaja Wasik
Stephane Castel
Andrew Farnum


Andrew has deep experience both in biotech and structuring partnerships in geographies around the world. Before joining Variant Bio, Andrew managed the Gates Foundation's Strategic Investment Fund, where he led the foundation's $2 billion investment program and chaired the foundation's investment committee. Earlier he had a career in international private equity and investment banking. Andrew has a master's degree in international development from the Harvard Kennedy School and an AB in molecular biology from Princeton University.

Kaja Wasik, PhD

CSO & Co-founder

Kaja has spent her career developing novel sequencing platforms and bringing them to market. Before joining Variant Bio she was a co-founder and CSO at Gencove, one of the first companies to provide commercial, low pass whole-genome sequencing. Kaja completed her PhD in molecular biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and postdoctoral training at the New York Genome Center.

Stephane Castel, PhD

CTO & Co-founder

Stephane has deep expertise analyzing the genome to understand how genetic variation contributes to disease. Before joining Variant Bio he was a lead analyst on the GTEx Project, the largest study designed to understand how human genetic variation affects gene expression. He also co-founded Fiix Software, which develops cloud-based solutions for industrial asset management. Stephane completed his PhD in genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and postdoctoral training at Columbia University.

Erin Burke
Anne-Katrin Emde
C. Scott Gallagher
Paloma Guzzardo
Erin Burke, PhD

Biological Anthroplogy

Anne-Katrin Emde, PhD


C. Scott Gallagher, PhD

Statistical Genetics

Paloma Guzzardo, PhD

Target Biology

Leslie Hepner
Thi Hoang
Sarah LeBaron von Baeyer
Tom Martienssen
Leslie Hepner


Thi Hoang, MD, PhD


Sarah LeBaron von Baeyer, PhD

Cultural Anthropology

Tom Martienssen


Tyler Standley
Tyler Standley

Cloud Architecture

Our Board

Josh Wolfe
Bob More
Julie Sunderland
Josh Wolfe

Co-founder and Managing Partner, Lux Capital

Bob More

Managing Director, Alta Partners

Julie Sunderland

Co-founder and Managing Director, Biomatics Capital

Our Scientific Advisory Board

Karen Akinsanya
Rob Hershberg
David McElligott
Rob Scott
Karen Akinsanya, PhD

Executive Vice President, Chief Biomedical Scientist, Head of Discovery R&D, Schrödinger

Rob Hershberg, MD, PhD

Venture Partner, Frazier and Former CSO, Celgene

David McElligott, PhD

CSO, Petra Pharma

Rob Scott, MD

Former CMO, Abbvie

Our Senior Advisors

Jay Flatley
Keolu Fox
Tuuli Lappalainen
Daniel MacArthur
Jay Flatley

Former CEO and Executive Chairman, Illumina

Keolu Fox, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego

Tuuli Lappalainen, PhD

Associate Professor, Columbia University

Daniel MacArthur, PhD

Director, Centre for Population Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Kiran Musunuru
Fernando Racimo
Bruce Stillman
Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Fernando Racimo, PhD

Assistant Professor, University of Copenhagen

Bruce Stillman, PhD

President, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Our Ethics Advisory Board

Adia Benton
Māui Hudson
Laura Hercher
Misha Angrist
Adia Benton, PhD

Adia is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Northwestern University. She specializes in global health, biomedicine, and development and humanitarianism, and in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia in particular.

Māui Hudson, MHSc

Māui is an Associate Professor at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. He is an expert on the interface between Māori knowledge and science, ethics and new technologies, and Indigenous data sovereignty.

Laura Hercher, MS

Laura is the Director of Research for the Graduate Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College. She has expertise in genetic counseling and the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of genetic medicine.

Misha Angrist, PhD

Misha is an Associate Professor of the Practice in the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. His research and teaching focus on science writing and the governance of human participation in research and medicine.

Our Investors

Lux Capital
Alta Partners
Casdin Capital
Sahsen Ventures
Alexandria Venture Investments