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

CEO

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.

Gabrielle Bertier
Erin Burke
Anne-Katrin Emde
C. Scott Gallagher
Gabrielle Bertier, PhD

Human Genetics

Erin Burke, PhD

Biological Anthroplogy

Anne-Katrin Emde, PhD

Bioinformatics

C. Scott Gallagher, PhD

Statistical Genetics

Paloma Guzzardo
Leslie Hepner
Sarah LeBaron von Baeyer
Tom Martienssen
Paloma Guzzardo, PhD

Target Biology

Leslie Hepner

Operations

Sarah LeBaron von Baeyer, PhD

Cultural Anthropology

Tom Martienssen

Filmmaking

Tyler Standley
Tyler Standley

Cloud Architecture

Our Advisors and Board Members

Jay Flatley
Keolu Fox
Rob Hershberg
Tuuli Lappalainen
Jay Flatley

Advisor

Former CEO and Executive Chairman, Illumina

Keolu Fox, PhD

Advisor

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego

Rob Hershberg, MD, PhD

Scientific Advisory Board Member

Venture Partner, Frazier and Former CSO, Celgene

Tuuli Lappalainen, PhD

Advisor

Associate Professor, Columbia University

Daniel MacArthur
David McElligott
Kiran Musunuru
Rob Scott
Daniel MacArthur, PhD

Advisor

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

David McElligott, PhD

Scientific Advisory Board Member

CSO, Petra Pharma

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD

Advisor

Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Rob Scott, MD

Scientific Advisory Board Member

Former CMO, Abbvie

Bruce Stillman
Julie Sunderland
Josh Wolfe
Bruce Stillman, PhD

Advisor

President, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Julie Sunderland

Board Member

Co-founder and Managing Director, Biomatics Capital

Josh Wolfe

Board Member

Co-founder and Managing Partner, Lux Capital

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

logo Lux capital

Company Culture

Our team is rapidly expanding, and we’re looking for people who aren't afraid to take on new challenges, and are as passionate about improving human health as we are.

We guarantee a work environment that respects and encourages diversity around gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, socioeconomic status, religion, ethnicity, race, and culture.

Be a part of Variant Bio

Job Openings

  • Population Geneticist · Seattle

    We’re seeking someone with the ability to use population genetics to understand global variation in human phenotypes.

    Job Description
  • Head of Medical Biology · Seattle

    Variant Bio is looking for an MD/PhD with deep knowledge of human disease biology to assemble and lead international projects.

    Job Description