Board Members, Staff and Advisors

BOARD MEMBERS

Jim Bacon
Jim Bacon

Jim Bacon had a long career in the investment management business, retiring in 2004 as Managing Director at Putnam Investments. He is currently Executive Director at the 1911 Trust Company, a North Shore family office.

Jim founded the Boston College Center for Asset Management, and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Carroll School of Management at BC. He also sits on the Advisory Board of Boston Private Bank & Trust, Chairs the Investment Committee for the Massachusetts Medical Reinsurance Plan, and is a Board member at the Hospitality Insurance Group. He is also Chairman of the Rockport Music Council.

Jim holds an MBA in Finance from Boston College. He and his wife Gale, live on Cape Ann, and spend winters in Vero Beach, Florida.

Michele May
Michele May
Chair

After a fulfilling career in the financial sector, Michele now devotes her time and energy to working as a volunteer advisor to non-profit organizations in the Boston area. Along with GMGI, she is actively involved on the Board and as an advisor with Rosie’s Place – an organization providing extensive services for poor and homeless women. Michele was Rosie’s Place Board Chair from 2005-2009.

Prior to 2010 Michele worked at Bain Capital for 22 years, where she was Chief Financial Officer from 1987 until 2000. Previously she held multiple financial positions in a variety of industries. She started her career as a CPA with Deloitte. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree from The University of Michigan Ross School, and an MBA from Boston University. Michele has a home in Rockport.

José-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, PhD
José-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, PhD
Science Advisory Board Member

JC Gutiérrez-Ramos recently became CEO of Synlogic after serving for 6 years at Pfizer as Group Senior Vice President and global head of the BioTherapeutics Research. He previously held the position of Senior Vice President and Head of the Immuno-inflammation Center for Drug Discovery at GSK, where he founded entrepreneurial units focused in translating novel areas of science into therapeutics. Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, JC held senior leadership positions at several biotech companies; He was Senior Vice President and Head of R&D at Avidia Inc. and Peptimmune Inc. where he led a significant effort focused on the discovery of novel protein therapeutics and peptides for autoimmune disease, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes. He began his career in the drug industry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals serving as Vice President of Inflammation Drug Discovery. In that capacity he was responsible for advancing preclinical candidates in inflammation and immunology into human clinical trials and advancing compounds (small molecules and antibodies) from discovery through clinical development.

JC was also part of the Faculty at the Genetics department of Harvard Medical School, where he led a major research team at the Center for Blood Research that generated more than 150 peer- reviewed publications. Before coming to the US, he was member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, and a fellow at the Max-Plank for Immunbiologie in Freiburg, Germany. JC received his master’s degree in Chemistry and his PhD in Immunochemistry by the Autonoma University of Madrid, Spain.

Tom Simons
Tom Simons

In 1989, Tom Simons founded PARTNERS+simons, a brand strategy and marketing services firm serving the technology, financial services and health care sectors. Tom sold PARTNERS+simons to Baird Capital Partners in 2012 after building the firm into a nationally recognized health care practice. Tom serves as the company’s Chairman and is on the board of its parent company, Myelin Communications.

Tom is past Chair of The Ad Club of Greater Boston and Parents’ and Children’s Services boards. He has also served on the boards of The Young Graffiti Masters and The Home for Little Wanderers. Tom recently completed a 4-year term as Chair of the Mount Auburn Hospital Board of Trustees.

Tom graduated from Harvard College in 1975 with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. He lives between Gloucester and Spring Island, SC.

Marc Vidal, PhD
Marc Vidal, PhD
Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Member

Marc Vidal is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the Founding Director of the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Originally trained as a bioengineer and a geneticist, he pioneered the concept of “interactome network modeling”. Having developed interdisciplinary strategies together with collaborators from the fields of physics, computer science, mathematics, genomics and human genetics, Dr. Vidal and his team have been charting the human interactome network, the complex system of interacting macromolecules operating inside cells of the body. Having discovered systems properties in the interactome, they are now starting to unravel fundamental relationships between cellular systems and human disease.

Dr. Vidal was elected Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native country Belgium and received several awards including a prestigious Chair from the Francqui Foundation and an Abbott Bioresearch Award. His work has been featured in several documentaries (e.g., “Connected: How Kevin Bacon cured cancer” originally broadcasted on ABC) and on the Web, including interviews on “Futures in Biotech”. Marc was recently included on the list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters in the Biology and Biochemistry category.

Marc holds a 1985 Ingénieur Agronome (B.S.), Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques, University of Liege, Gembloux, Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Belgium1991 and a Docteur en Sciences Agronomiques (Ph.D.), Faculté Universitaire des SciencesAgronomiques, University of Liege, Gembloux, Wallonia-Brussels Federation, and Belgium. Marc is a full-time resident of Gloucester, and hosts science conferences for his research group at a Cape Ann location.

David R. Walt, PhD
David R. Walt, PhD
Founder and Science Advisory Board Member

David Walt holds academic appointments at Tufts University as University Professor, Director of Tufts Institute for Innovation, Robinson Professor of Chemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor Department of Chemistry. The Walt research lab focuses on bioanalytical chemistry, materials chemistry, biochemistry and nanoscience. The group is actively developing innovative array systems for monitoring enzyme mechanisms, DNA and protein detection, medical diagnostics, and cell populations.

As one of the founders of Illumina, Inc., a company that is the world leader in genomic analysis, David has been a director and Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board since June 1998, the year of incorporation. The company provides a line of products and services that serve the sequencing, genotyping and gene expression markets, worldwide.

David is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 300 papers, is named as an inventor or co- inventor of over 70 patents, and serves as a board member for Quanterix, Inc., a privately-held company focused on single molecule analysis for clinical diagnostics and Aurasense Therapeutics, an Illinois company using nanotechnology to deliver nucleic acid acids for multiple disease indications.

David holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from SUNY at Stony Brook. He is a part-time resident of Rockport, committed to establishing a world-class marine research institute in the region.

STAFF

Chris Munkholm, PhD
Chris Munkholm, PhD
Chief Operating Officer

Chris Munkholm has over 20 years of experience in the clinical diagnostic, biotechnology, defense and bioscience industries. She has worked on and managed interdisciplinary programs over the entire spectrum of science and technology development, including discovery, feasibility, prototype design, manufacturing and launch activities. Chris holds a B.S. in Chemistry, with minor in Biology, from Salem State University and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Tufts University. She has been awarded 8 U.S. Patents.

Andrea Bodnar, PhD
Andrea Bodnar, PhD
Science Director

Andrea is a Scientist whose research interests lie at the intersection of marine biology and human health. With experience in both academic and industry settings she brings a unique perspective and broad experience important to establishing a new world-class research institute. Prior to joining GMGI as the Science Director, Andrea was a Senior Scientist in the Molecular Discovery Lab at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). At BIOS, her research program focused on using sea urchins as models to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying extreme longevity, negligible aging and naturally occurring resistance to cancer. Prior to that, Andrea held Senior Scientist positions in the Oncology Department of Hoffman-La Roche, the Department of Cell Biology and Pharmacology at Geron Corporation and the Bioprocessing Technology Institute at the National University of Singapore. She received a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from McMaster University in Canada and conducted post-doctoral studies in the Department of Neurological Science at the University of London.

Andrey Ptitsyn, PhD
Andrey Ptitsyn, PhD
Director of Bioinformatics

Andrey Ptitsyn has over two decades of experience in building the infrastructure, services and research programs in Computational Biosciences. Andrey Ptitsyn is a computational generalist with a special interest in collaborative interdisciplinary research. He graduated from the Novosibirsk State University in Russia with a Master of Science degree in Mathematical Biology. After graduation, he worked in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1997, he joined the University of Western Cape in South Africa and successfully graduated with Ph.D. in Bioinformatics in 2001. Andrey played a leading role in the development of the Bioinformatics Regional Server in Siberia, National Bioinformatics Server in South Africa, Mid-South Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society in Louisiana, Colorado State University Center for Bioinformatics and Bioinformatics infrastructure for Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar. He played a critical role in sequencing and analysis of genomes of ctenophores, mollusks and cnidarians at Whitney Laboratory for Marine Biosciences. Andrey’s research interests include Computational Genomics, Functional Genomics, Systems Biology, Chronobiology, and Datamining in large-scale Genomics.

John J. Doyle, PhD
John J. Doyle, PhD
Education Director

John Doyle is an experienced teacher with eight years of classroom instruction at public high schools in New Jersey and Massachusetts. In addition, John has taught classes in the Department of Marine Sciences and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut as well as the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences at Framingham State University. He is passionate about designing curricula that fosters experiential learning, encourages a sense of curiosity, and teaches students to use science to effectively communicate and solve problems.

John holds a B.S. in Biology with a minor in English from Saint Peter’s University, an M.S. in Molecular Biology from Montclair State University, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Connecticut.

Jennifer Parkos
Jennifer Parkos
Director of Development

Jennifer brings over 30 years of experience and a track record of success exceeding goals and increasing support for expanding national and local non-profit and for-profit organizations through the development and execution of strategic fundraising, business development and marketing programs.  Most recently Jennifer served as Chief Development Officer of KIPP:MA Public Charter Schools  for six years where she was responsible for resourcing the growth from one school serving 300 students to five schools serving nearly 2,000 students and families.  Under her leadership, the first multi-million-dollar capital campaign to build a flagship campus in Lynn was launched and successfully completed followed by a $10M growth fund campaign.  A resident of Essex, Jennifer spends her free time cycling along Cape Ann, throughout the North Shore – and Europe.

 

Jennifer Hale
Jennifer Hale
Accounting and HR Associate

Jennifer has over 20 years’ experience working for non-profit organizations in academia and the arts. In the past she held administrative positions at Harvard University and the Boston Children’s Museum. She also lived for a time in New Zealand where she was the Assistant Registrar for the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and the Office Manager for the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. Ms. Hale attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she studied accounting and art history. She is a North Shore native and resides in Gloucester, MA.

Ashley Destino
Ashley Destino
Development and Communications Assistant

Ashley comes to GMGI from a split back ground of working in nonprofits as well as television production.  A graduate of the University of Miami, Ashley spent 5 years in Los Angeles producing network television, including America’s Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars.  After moving to the North Shore, she began her career working in non-profits, helping to coordinate programing for youth with mental health challenges and now assists the team at GMGI with communications and development.  A Gloucester resident, Ashley enjoys being outside and cheering on her favorite sports teams.

Elizabeth Q. Brannon, PhD
Elizabeth Q. Brannon, PhD
Instructor

Elizabeth Brannon recently completed her Ph.D. in Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Rhode Island. She also holds a B.S. in Marine Science with a minor in Environmental Science from Coastal Carolina University. During her Ph.D., Elizabeth used molecular tools to research sources of greenhouse gases produced during wastewater treatment. She also taught both biology lectures and labs at the University of Rhode Island.

Katherine Dench
Katherine Dench
Lab Technician

Katherine Dench is a graduate of our own Gloucester Biotechnology Academy’s founding Class of 2017. Prior to attending Gloucester Biotechnology Academy, she worked in marine science focused outdoor education at Maritime Gloucester and aboard the Schooner Ardelle. Through the Academy program, Katherine completed her internship at Cell Signaling Technologies where she developed and tested conjugated protein products, produced Western images for a possible marketing campaign, and evaluated multiple chemistries for conjugation of monoclonal antibodies. Gloucester born and bred, when she isn’t studying marine organisms in the laboratory you can find her sailing the local waters.

ADVISORS

John Bell
John Bell
Chair, Community Advisory Council

As a former three-term Mayor of Gloucester and Founder/Chairman of the Northeast Seafood Coalition, John is an invaluable resource for connecting GMGI with the local citizenry and fishing industry. GMGI will be developing a core competency in science research for the commercial fisheries, and will need the collaboration of the industry, fishermen, and agencies, to best direct research topics.

Joe Rosa, PhD
Joe Rosa, PhD
Co-Chair, Education Advisory Council

Joe is a retired senior executive of Biogen, one of Boston’s premier biotech companies. Joe brings great experience to the educational needs and career paths in the biotech industry. He is a champion of the apprentice-based technician training program upon which Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is building its program. Joe is very active in numerous Gloucester education and health organizations, and will play an important role in the roll out of Gloucester Biotechnology Academy as a new educational option for the Cape Ann youth.

Meredith Thompson, EdD
Meredith Thompson, EdD
Co-Chair, Education Advisory Council

Meredith Thompson is a science educator and researcher with over 15 years of experience in mixed-methods education research, program evaluation, and project management. Meredith holds a BA in Chemistry from Cornell University, an MA from Tufts University, and an E.D. from Boston University in science education. She has published in the areas of undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), creating strategic partnerships between universities and K-12 school districts, and innovations in medical school curricula.

Cindy Lawley, PhD
Cindy Lawley, PhD
Science Advisory Board

Cindy comes from a background in Marine Science and Business Development. She holds a PhD in Biological Oceanography (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD) where she used genetic method as tools to study marine fish populations around the Channel Islands in southern California. She also holds a Master’s in Evolutionary Biology (SDSU), a Bachelor’s of Science and a Single Subject Teaching Credential (UCSB). Cindy has spent the last 13 years at Illumina, a company with technology that has been pivotal to driving down the cost barriers to implementing genetic tools. She has extensive experience developing genetic and genomic based solutions to improve our understanding of human health as well as production traits in agriculture species. For example, Cindy was part of the award-winning technology transfer project to develop bovine genomic products resulting in a transformation in the dairy industry through implementation of genomic selection. Her mission is to lower the barrier of entry for implementing scalable sequencing and genotyping solutions in the areas of precision breeding, wildlife conservation, fisheries, oceanography and food safety.

Our mission is to conduct world-class marine biotechnology
research which expands the regional economy.

Contact Us

Gloucester Marine
Genomics Institute

2 Blackburn Center
Gloucester, MA 01930
info@gmgi.org
978-879-4575

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