Team

Joe Betts-LaCroix

Joe Betts-LaCroix

Cofounder, CEO

Joe Betts-LaCroix began as a scientist at Harvard, MIT, and Caltech. He was part of a three-person team at Caltech that first elucidated the factors governing electron-tunneling rates in proteins, which is published in journals such as Science and JACS, with over 1000 citations so far. His first venture-funded startup, OQO, created the world’s smallest windows computer (Guinness world record 2006) with a team of 110 people, more than 100 patents, and over 10,000 units sold; and was sold to Google. His second startup, Vium, automated animal research to accelerate medical research. Vium, as a team of 75 people, created thousands of advanced mouse cages that monitor environmental factors and HD video in each cage using computer vision + deep neural networks to determine whether experimental drugs are working against models of disease. Recursion Pharma acquired Vium in 2020 and IPO’d in 2021. Joe spent 2.5 years as a part-time partner at Y Combinator and has mentored and invested in numerous bio startups. Joe is presently CEO of his third venture-funded startup, Retro Biosciences, which is creating therapeutics against targets elucidated by its research in aging biology, with the mission of increasing healthy human lifespan by ten years.

Matt Buckley

Matt Buckley

Cofounder

Matt Buckley completed his PhD in the aging research lab of Dr. Anne Brunet at Stanford prior to co-founding Retro. He spent the last several years focused on scaling single-cell transcriptomics and applying machine learning techniques to quantify aging and the effects of age-related interventions. Prior to that he studied bioengineering at UC Berkeley and worked at Illumina. He believes that translating aging biology research into therapeutics is the most high-leverage way to improve the human condition, and that start-ups are a phenomenal way to do this. Outside of Retro, Matt enjoys reading broadly, with concentrations in history and science.

Sheng Ding

Sheng Ding

Cofounder

Sheng Ding is the Founding Dean and Bayer Distinguished Professor at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tsinghua University. He is also Founding CEO/CSO of the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, a Gates Foundation-funded institute finding medicines for the developing world. Prof Ding is also Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF and William K. Bowes, Jr. Distinguished Investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. He was previously Associate Professor at Scripps Research. Sheng is a scientific cofounder of 6 biotechs since 2007, with multiple IPOs.

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I run office of the CEO

Trained in psychology, my work experience has been in Project and Operations management, specifically in onboarding complex R&D workflows. Before joining Retro I worked at Airbus R&D division (Acubed) where I wore a lot of different hats and learned that the more challenging the problem I have to solve, the more energy I feel.

In my previous role at Retro, I built Retro’s ops org from scratch. This phase was immensely rewarding, not just for the complexity but for the profound sense of purpose it imbued. Now I run office of the CEO where I continue to apply my passion for challenging problem-solving and operational excellence. Embracing each new challenge with enthusiasm, I am inspired by the endless possibilities of growth.

Simón Vidal

Simón Vidal

Head of T Cell Therapeutics

Simón is a stem cell biologist with a keen interest in developing gene and cell therapy methods for regenerative medicine and longevity. Before joining Retro, Simón was a scientist and group leader in the Department of Cell and Gene Therapy and a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Research Biology and Discovery Oncology at Genentech. There, his team helped start from scratch a new stem cell laboratory and stem cell-related programs with the goal of utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-derived T cells for cell therapy applications. Simón conducted his undergraduate and master studies in Chile at the Universidad Andres Bello and received a PhD. from NYU School of Medicine in the laboratory of Matthias Standtfeld. While there, Simón studied the molecular mechanisms of cell reprogramming and discovered novel methods to increase the quality, kinetics, and efficiency of mouse iPSC reprogramming. In his free time, he likes to hike with his wife and dog, spend time with friends and family and go for MTB, gravel, and road bike rides.

Peng Liu

Peng Liu

Staff Scientist

Peng Liu, PhD, joined Retro in February 2022 with his passion on cellular reprogramming and tissue rejuvenation. Peng brings his 10+ years of research experience on cellular reprogramming to the group. Before joining Retro, Peng was a scientist at Fate Therapeutics leading the research and development of hiPSC quality platform. His postdoctoral training was done with Dr. Sheng Ding at Gladstone Institutes working on understanding the molecular mechanisms of cellular reprogramming with transcription factors, small molecules, and CRISPRa engineering.

Trained as a stem cell biologist, Peng deeply believes that mammalian aging is a developmental process dictated by genetics and also regulated by external factors. Peng’s current work is to investigate the cause of aging and age-related diseases in multiple tissues, and help advance a new era of being healthy and old, the redefined “young”.

Alex Trapp

Alex Trapp

Staff Scientist

Alex is building computational biology at Retro. He joined after spending time in Dr. Vadim Gladyshev’s systems aging research group at Harvard, where he developed the first framework for single-cell epigenetic age profiling. Alex studied computational biology at University of Rochester, where he worked with comparative biologist Dr. Vera Gorbunova on characterizing the hematopoietic and immune landscape of the long-lived naked mole-rat. Alex has contributed to a dozen scientific articles published in top journals, and is passionate about bridging experimental and computational biology. Originally from France, Alex enjoys reading, bouldering, and playing the piano.

Ben Ray

Ben Ray

Lab Automation Engineer

Ben is a generalist focusing on existential risk. While attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he founded vrtumind, an AI alignment startup building recommendation algorithms for meditation. He graduated magna cum laude in Molecular Biology, leaving college early to work on his startup full-time. After fighting with the AI cold-start problem, he ventured into hardware, engineering low-cost EEG sleep wearables and deploying products to beta users.

Prior to heading Automation at Retro, he built zero-knowledge circuits for coordination of trust between agents. He sees the translation of aging biology into therapeutics as a critical public interest and envisions open source tooling as the ultimate source of leverage on hard problems in aging therapeutics. At Retro, Ben hacks low-cost robots into performing skilled, highly replicable biological protocols.

Jon Young

Jon Young

Staff Scientist

Jon is a multidisciplinary scientist with research experience and training in medicine (MD), anatomic and clinical pathology (residency), intelligent systems (PhD), deep learning, molecular biology, and neuroscience. He aspires to increase maximal healthspan through computation-guided engineering of novel therapeutics. During his PhD, Jon explored the latent space of deep autoencoders and developed a deep neural network to model latent causal relationships representing cellular signaling pathways.

Jon enjoys searching for the ideas and technologies that have the most potential to create radical positive impact in the next 50 years. He also enjoys learning and thinking about how to best nurture revolutionary research in biology, medicine, and artificial intelligence. Given his name, many believe that working in longevity was inevitable.

Guoxian Wu

Guoxian Wu

Head of Chemistry and Early Drug Development

Guoxian (Greg) Wu brings 20+ years of global biopharmaceutical experience in leading R&D from discovery to the clinic. He enjoyed his journey in fields of medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design (SBDD), where he gained expertise in hit and lead generation, optimization, preclinical studies in oncology and immuno-oncology. Before joining in Retro, Greg led a cross-functional team to advance multiple NCEs into the clinic at Nerviano Medical Sciences, and contributed to drugs garnering regulatory approval (Vemurafenib and Pexidartinib) at Plexxikon-a Daiichi Sankyo company. He is an inventor of over 50 patents and craves new challenges. Retro’s mission elates him to conquer a different kind of optimization: optimizing for quality of life. Greg earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Princeton University and a Chemistry degree from Fudan University in China. He likes hiking to experience nature in his spare time.

Jessica Dickerson

Jessica Dickerson

Research Operations Manager

Jessica came to Retro in September 2021 to support the team as Operations Coordinator. She now specializes in facility and lab-related operational tasks, keeping Retro compliant in all matters OSHA and EHS.

Prior to working at Retro, Jessica earned her Bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific in the field of Spanish. She then went on to teach Special Education for 7 years before making a career transition. She is passionate about her children, dogs, improvisational comedy, and spending time outside.

Shirley Telebrico

Shirley Telebrico

Accounting Manager

Shirley Telebrico has experience as a financial professional, accountant, controller, and everything in between. Throughout her time in Silicon Valley, she has worked for numerous companies specializing in technology hardware, software development, and biomedical innovation. She graduated cum laude from the University of the East with a Bachelors in Business Administration and earned an MBA at Ateneo Graduate School of Business, a top ranked university in the Philippines. In her free time, she enjoys going on walks, watching her daughter’s high school athletic games, and traveling with her family. Shirley is ecstatic to be a part of the cutting edge work being conducted at Retro, building upon nearly two decades of experience at bio and tech companies.

Rico Meinl

Rico Meinl

Bioinformatics Trainee

Rico’s background is in computer science with a focus on machine learning and data engineering. During his undergrad in Germany, he co-founded a startup that built highly accurate smartphone body measurement algorithms and created the largest AI meetups in Germany, attended by thousands.

Prior to Retro, Rico cultivated his passion for biotech at Talus Biosciences where he joined as the first employee. There he built computational pipelines and infrastructure from scratch to enable the discovery of drug candidates for gene regulatory proteins. 

Rico developed a vital interest in longevity and is eager to help tackle the underlying causes of aging and disease. At Retro, he contributes to the company’s mission by developing computational methods that play a fundamental role in developing new therapies and interpreting biological mechanisms.

Enora Le Borgne

Enora Le Borgne

Staff Scientist

Enora Le Borgne obtained her PhD at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy in Dr. Lemaitre’s team after completing an engineering degree in her native France. Her work focused on the development of strategies based on cellular reprogramming to prevent age-related diseases and the understanding of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Bringing with her expertise in aging biology and regenerative medicine, she joined Retro in 2022 with the ambition to participate in the clinical translation of these therapies in humans. She has been passionate about ballet since childhood and enjoys spending time baking.

Ananya Chakraborty

Ananya Chakraborty

Imaging Scientist

Ananya is a vascular biologist with focus on how blood vessels change with age and disease. She earned her PhD in the Netherlands at VU Medisch Centrum as an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Fellow. Ananya subsequently completed her postdoc at Stanford in the lab of Dr. Vinicio de Jesus Perez, studying Wnt signaling and vessel development using various imaging platforms.

Ananya is driven to understand aging and the various factors that contribute to it. She’s excited to leverage her expertise in microscopy, vascular biology, and aging to help Retro advance human health. Outside Retro, Ananya is a voracious reader and an experimental cook.

Brandon Aguilar

Brandon Aguilar

Senior Research Associate

Brandon earned his Bachelors of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology at San Francisco State University. After graduating from SFSU, he joined the UCSF Division of Experimental Medicine, where he worked on developing novel in situ hybridization techniques and applying them to study HIV and tuberculosis. It was at UCSF where his passion for immunology and technology began. Brandon now joins Retro’s partial reprogramming program, to develop therapies to counter age-associated functional decline in the immune system. In his free time, Brandon enjoys oil painting, playing competitive chess, and going to sports-stadium games.

Dunja Mrden

Dunja Mrden

Scientist

Dunja completed her PhD in Immunology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland and joined Retro after a postdoc at Stanford University. Her research has centred on the interaction between the brain and the immune system in mouse models and the human brain in the context of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and aging using CyTOF mass cytometry and multiplexed ion beam imaging. At Retro Dunja is working on imaging analysis pipelines and capturing aging and rejuvenation effects through multi-omics methodologies. Outside of work, Dunja enjoys creative pursuits, cooking, growing plants and going to Burning Man.

Yuuki Hosokawa

Yuuki Hosokawa

Molecular Biology Research Associate

Yuuki is a graduate of the University of Essex with a degree in Biology. He completed his dissertation with Dr. Vlad Teif on circulating cell-free DNA as a biomarker of age in extremely long-lived individuals. Prior to Retro, he was part of the Cavanaugh Lab responsible for recombinant protein expression of carbonic anhydrases in transgenic phaseolus vulgaris. He joined Retro in 2022 to build protein quantification and scRNA-seq capabilities for plasma-inspired therapeutics. In his free time, Yuuki likes exploring the bay, total immersion swimming, and flying planes.

Anastasia Shindyapina

Anastasia Shindyapina

Staff Scientist

Anastasia received her PhD from Lomonosov Moscow University with focus on both Molecular biology and Bioinformatics. She later joined Vadim Gladyshev’s lab at Harvard Medical School as a postdoc and laterthen as an Instructor in Medicine to work on aging. During her training she tested and discovered multiple longevity interventions in mice, including rapamycin given during postnatal development. Anastasia also researched how B cells spontaneously become cancerous in mice during aging and how longevity interventions affect this process. She joined Retro Biosciences with a goal to translate longevity therapies from preclinical models to patients. Anastasia enjoys playing volleyball, traveling to distant places (Nepal, Kenya, India, Thailand, etc), watching old movies, and learning new things (lately focusing on history and politics).

Jake Halady
Bry Nguyen

Bry Nguyen

Lab Technician

Bry is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Biochemistry and minor in Business Foundations. After graduating, he became a secondary school teacher and an analyst at Accenture. He joined Retro in March 2023 as a lab technician, and is deeply passionate about supporting the team drive longevity and science forward. In his spare time, Bry enjoys playing sports, exploring nature, playing video and board games, and going to concerts and music festivals.

Jacqueline Larouche

Jacqueline Larouche

Scientist I

Jacqueline joined the T cell team at Retro in April 2023 after completing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Scientific Computing in the Aguilar Lab at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation sought to understand and re-write the intra- and intercellular communication networks that are dysregulated as a result of severe trauma, advanced age, and neurodegenerative disease to restore skeletal muscle homeostasis. Jacqueline moonlights as a professional cyclist and enjoys coffee, traveling, and mountain sports.

Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray

Preclinical Model Technician Lead

Andrew has experience with managerial and supervisory roles with a background of handling animals of all sorts. Throughout his time with SFO airport he received numerous training and assignments involving animals being transported throughout the country in cargo planes while maintaining a managerial position and overlooking the work of 12 employees. He joined Retro in July of 2022 with the ambition and confidence to assist in improving age related illnesses and decline. In his free time, Andrew enjoys golfing, camping, reading, and participating in family activities.

Leslie Stewart

Leslie Stewart

In-Vivo Biology Manager

Leslie has devoted her career to partnering animal welfare with technical skills and scientific curiosity.  After obtaining her M.S. in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis, she continued to develop her knowledge in rodent surgical model development.  Leslie has worked at the Jackson Laboratory characterizing surgical models funded by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and at the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program where she optimized and validated bariatric surgical models. Prior to joining Retro, she worked at Ambys Medicines as the manager of in-vivo surgery, where she integrated surgical methods for liver regeneration into the development of a pre-clinical manufacturing pipeline.

 

Outside of the vivarium, Leslie enjoys adventuring outdoors with her family, visiting breweries and wineries with friends, and baking.

Miguelangel Pulido

Miguelangel Pulido

Preclinical Model Technician

Miguelangel, or ‘Miguel’, joined Retro as an Animal Care Technician in early February of 2023. Earlier in his career, Miguel spent five years in ground transportation, where he was responsible for clerical and administrative functions at operational hubs ranging from records management and quality assurance to hazardous materials handling. In his spare time, Miguel enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, landscape and wildlife photography. When at home Miguel is an avid PC gamer, movie buff and enjoys reading epic fantasy novels.

Mohamed Yafia

Mohamed Yafia

Bioengineer

Driven by his deep passion for merging biology with engineering​, ​Mohamed embarked on ​an exciting​ journey​ with Retro as a Bioengineer, His odyssey in fluidics encompassed ​various platforms ranging from large-scale machinery to intricate micro-​scale ​devices.​ ​​Initially, he laid the foundation for his engineering and fluidic expertise at Cairo ​University​​.​​ Then he delved deeper into the fascinating realm of microfluidics during his doctoral studies at the University of British Columbia. ​Mohamed’s horizons expanded significantly during his postdoctoral research at McGill University and the Wyss institute for biologically inspired engineering at Harvard University​. These experiences exposed him to a diverse array of biomedical applications, and fueled his burning desire to develop practical platforms to increase human healthy lifespan.

Caroline Polanco

Caroline Polanco

Research Associate II

Ever since childhood Caroline has had a strong passion for animals. She has accumulated over 9 years of animal care experience during which she earned her license as a Registered Veterinary Technician, Lab Animal Technician, and her associate’s degree with a concentration in Veterinary Technology.  Her animal experience has been grounded in research, and she has learned various skills ranging from nursing care, anesthesia monitoring, dosing, and various surgical procedures. Before joining the Retro team, Caroline worked as a Research Associate II for the in-vivo department at Ambys Medicines, studying liver regeneration in rodents. 

In her spare time, Caroline enjoys spending time with her two daughters, traveling, and cooking various types of food.

Tobias Fehlmann

Tobias Fehlmann

Staff Scientist, Computational Biology

Tobias has extensive research experience across various fields, including biomarker research, tool and algorithm development, and atlas-based research. He earned his PhD in bioinformatics from the Chair for Clinical Bioinformatics in Saarbrücken, Germany, before joining the Rejuvenome project in the US, a large-scale initiative aimed at characterizing and evaluating aging interventions in mice. Tobias has authored numerous articles in top-tier journals and his work has been cited over 4000 times. He is passionate about medically relevant topics and strongly believes that advancing healthy aging is one of the most important challenges to address in this century. In his leisure time, Tobias enjoys spending time with his wife and three cats, as well as hiking, playing badminton, trying out new food, and programming.

Jared Tumiel

Jared Tumiel

Computational Biology Trainee

Jared joined the computational biology team at Retro to work on understanding ageing and reprogramming with single-cell -omics and machine learning. Jared has experience in clinical medicine (MD), graduating cum laude from the University of Cape Town and practising medicine in South Africa, before taking the comp-bio pill and seeking to accelerate the development of the next generation of therapeutics.

Jared’s other interests include diffusion models, the long-term trends in global energy utilisation, and the pastas of the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy.

Mahmoud Dabbah

Mahmoud Dabbah

Staff Scientist

Mahmoud joined Retro in June 2023, bringing extensive research experience from his PhD at Tel Aviv University and postdoctoral training at the Mckinney-Freeman Lab in St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His research focuses on interactions between hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and the bone marrow microenvironment during development and in hematological diseases, particularly in multiple myeloma and sickle cell disease. Mahmoud’s significant achievement includes reversing the HSC dysfunction during aging in sickle cell disease through the rejuvenation of transcription factor activities in the bone marrow niche cells. At Retro, he is motivated to extend human lifespan by revitalizing HSCs and their microenvironment. Outside work, Mahmoud enjoys traveling, and spending time with friends, hiking with his dog, Leo, and unwinding with a good book or TV show.

Swathi Karthikeyan

Swathi Karthikeyan

Scientist

Swathi obtained her PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, focusing on investigating the impact of tumor heterogeneity on oncogenesis. Following that, she pursued her postdoctoral research at Stanford University, where she examined tumor-immune interactions using high-throughput screens. Her research revolves around comprehending disease biology and devising innovative approaches to targeted therapy, utilising molecular biology and functional genomic tools. Currently, at Retro, Swathi is spearheading the construction of a high-content screening platform aimed at facilitating the development of groundbreaking therapies that effectively extend human lifespan. Apart from work, Swathi takes pleasure in travelling, nature photography, creating micropen art, and nurturing plants.

Alejandra Sevilla

Alejandra Sevilla

Senior Research Associate

Alejandra is a biotechnologist with a background encompassing immuno-oncology, gene vector delivery, and cell therapies. She is passionate about people and technology’s intersection with complex biological systems. Prior to Retro, Alejandra gained immuno-oncology experience in Dale Leitman’s lab at UC Berkeley and in Maria Mudryj’s lab at UC Davis. She then moved to Sangamo Therapeutics, joining both the Vector Delivery and Cell Therapy groups. There she focused on CAR-T-regulatory and NK cell mitigation strategies for allogeneic therapies. Over the years, Alejandra has developed a profound interest in understanding healthspan and aging through an immunological lens. At Retro, she is keen to work directly on this convergence to accelerate the development of new therapies. Outside of the lab, Alejandra enjoys exploring nature, doing yoga, running or climbing during sunset, and reading philosophy and sci-fi.

Rashida Gnanaprakasam

Rashida Gnanaprakasam

Scientist II

Rashida joined Retro’s T cell therapeutics team in November 2022 with the aim of making a meaningful contribution to extending a healthy human lifespan. She brings 10+ years of expertise in T cell therapy and a passion for solving the scientific and technical challenges required to develop such therapies. Before joining Retro, Rashida worked as Research Scientist at Childhood Cancer Center, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio. She spearheaded and coordinated research activities and cutting-edge techniques in cancer immunotherapy, immune metabolism, and autoimmune disorders. Rashida earned her bachelor’s and master’s in Pharmacy in India and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, specializing in cancer immunotherapy. Rashida is developing long-lived T cells that improve immunotherapies and human health. She is a travel enthusiast and enjoys time with her family.

José Luis Ricón

José Luis Ricón

Head of Theory

José Luis’ journey into biotech is unusual: starting with dual MSc in aerospace and mechanical engineering, his career has involved working on electric vehicles, data science consulting for utility companies, ML for ad optimization, and software engineering. He was an early engineer at Aiden.ai, which subsequently got acquired by Twitter in 2019.

As author of the popular blog Nintil.com, he has written on a variety of topics, ranging from the economic history of the USSR to longevity research. His Longevity FAQ continues to be a useful resource for newcomers to the field. His interest in technological progress and accelerating science sparked an interest in biology in general and aging specifically and thus he dedicated some years to try to understand the field, culminating in his co-founding the Rejuvenome project, a large-scale aging mouse atlas effort prior to starting at Retro.

Outside of work he enjoys hiking, reading, twitter, and hitting the best restaurants in the Bay Area.

Amar Sharma

Amar Sharma

Senior Research Associate

Amar Sharma PhD joined Retro after completing his doctoral training in Clinical Neurosciences at the Wellcome Trust – MRC Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, UK. His work focussed on designing an AAV-based gene therapy to rejuvenate aged oligodendrocyte progenitor cells to treat progressive multiple sclerosis, and other degenerative demyelinating diseases. Amar joined Retro to design the world’s first rejuvenation therapy based on partial cellular reprogramming. He is building Retro’s molecular biology, vector production, vector quality control and in vitro capabilities to accelerate our research and discovery. Outside of work, Amar enjoys cooking, rowing, and spending as much time in the California sun as possible. He still contributes to academia by reviewing papers for the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy’s Molecular Therapy family of scientific journals.

Darren Yu

Darren Yu

Scientist II

Darren received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Indiana University in 2021. His Ph.D. thesis work developed fluorescent-based sensors to monitor and understand the phagocytosis in innate immune cells. He later joined Lili Yang’s lab at UCLA as a postdoc to develop hematopoietic stem cells-derived invariant natural killer T (HSC-iNKT) cells and 3D organoids cultures to elucidate antitumor efficacy of CAR – and CAR-iNKT. After his postdoc, he spent a brief period at Fate therapeutics, where he continued his effort to improve iPSC-derived T cell products for immunotherapy. Darren joined Retro in February 2023 with a passion for developing new cell-based adoptive therapy for treating cancer and longevity. In his free time he likes to play basketball and tennis, and cook.

Esequiel Pastrana

Esequiel Pastrana

Senior Research Associate (In Vivo)

Esequiel joined Retro as a Senior Research Associate, In Vivo. He has an extensive background in complex rodent surgical procedures developed and refined across both Contract Research Organizations (CROs) and biotech start-ups. Through his focus on in vivo efficacy models, including mouse syngeneic and xenograft models, Esequiel has built a deep understanding of preclinical research methodologies. Outside of work, Esequiel’s has a huge passion for dance and competes in salsa.

Arjun Jain

Arjun Jain

Graduate Research Fellow

Arjun joined Retro as a Graduate Research Fellow in August 2023 after completing his undergraduate degree at Penn in Biophysics and Biochemistry, with a minor in Computational Neuroscience. During that time, Arjun researched the catecholamine modulation of aversive learning under John Dani at the Perelman School of Medicine and has experience in optogenetic manipulation, neural signal processing, and stereotactic surgeries. Previously, he worked in labs studying actin dynamics during coronaviral infection and bacterial co-culture antibiotic production. As an Eagle Scout, Arjun loves being outdoors, and you can find him hiking or occasionally scuba diving on the weekends.

Sruthi Sivakumar

Sruthi Sivakumar

Scientist, Computational Biology

Sruthi has always been curious and driven to define and solve problems at the intersection of engineering and biology. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore, India, she then pursued a PhD in Bioengineering at University of Pittsburgh. For her PhD dissertation, Sruthi applied information theory to better understand skeletal muscle aging. Now, as a part of the computational biology team at Retro, she works closely with wet-lab scientists to refine rejuvenation techniques that aim to improve healthspan. 

Outside of work, Sruthi enjoys trying new recipes, exploring nature, and spending time with close ones.

Adeleye Opejin

Adeleye Opejin

Scientist II

Adeleye, an immunologist committed to advancing accessible rejuvenative immunotherapies, is driven by the belief that affordability and availability will spark a transformative era, akin to historical breakthroughs like the internet and antibiotics. Formerly at Notch Therapeutics, he spearheaded research in anti-tumor CAR/TCR-T cell development using iPSC-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells. Adeleye holds degrees from Calvin University and completed doctoral research on transcriptional and innate-immune regulation of regulatory T cells under Daniel Hawiger’s mentorship at Saint Louis University. His postdoctoral work at Roswell Park Cancer Center and the University of Manitoba explored the regulation of anti-tumor immunity in squamous cell carcinomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Beyond the lab, Adeleye, an avid soccer player, eagerly anticipates the next World Cup.

Di Hu

Di Hu

Autonomous Research Scientist

Di conducted their doctorate in early mouse embryogenesis and single cell biology on a full Clarendon Scholarship at the University of Oxford where they served as MCR president. They were then postdoc in germ cell epigenetic reprogramming at London Institute of Medical Sciences, followed by postdoc in single cell epigenetic technology development at Imperial College London where they received an Impact Accelerator Award. They first met members of the Retro team at a LessDeath Longevity Camp, which they attended on a VitaDAO fellowship. Now they combine their background to develop low cost single cell multi-omic technologies and adapt assays for large scale automation. They also make electronic music and put on events.

Andrei Tarkhov

Andrei Tarkhov

Staff Scientist, Computational Biology

Andrei joined Retro as a Staff Scientist in Computational Biology in March 2023. He holds a PhD in theoretical physics of dynamic systems from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and a master’s from Lomonosov Moscow State University. His research since 2013, starting at Gero with Peter Fedichev and continuing at Harvard Medical School with Vadim Gladyshev, has been focusing on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aging through computational biology, statistical physics, and chaos theory. Now at Retro, Andrei applies his broad expertise to advance aging modeling using computational methods, AI, and machine learning. His goal is to significantly impact human health and longevity with new therapies. Besides science, Andrei enjoys history, good literature, birdwatching and the exploration of various countries, languages and cultures.

Aditi Jatkar

Aditi Jatkar

Sr. Scientist in Cell Biology

Aditi started her career working in the labs at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, supporting preclinical discovery to lead nomination for projects in the metabolic disease therapeutic areas. After spending a few years at Pfizer, she obtained her Ph.D. at Harvard University where she studied the transcriptional regulation of lipid synthesis. In her spare time she enjoys going on long walks with her dog.

Raul Garcia-Gonzalez

Raul Garcia-Gonzalez

Head of Vivarium Operations

Raúl joined Retro as Head of In Vivo Operations after running the IVF/Cryopreservation Lab and vivarium at Deltagen and managing the Veterinary Staff at Genentech. In Spain, he was in private practice and consulted as a Swine Reproduction veterinarian. Raúl is passionate about Animal Welfare and believes that Diversity and Inclusion are paramount for robust alliances that inspire effective collaboration and scientific innovation. Raúl holds a Veterinary Medicine degree from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a Master of Laboratory Animal Science from Drexel University and an A.Sc. in Photography from CCSF. Raúl is enthusiastic about Pedro Almodóvar movies, independent cinema, black-and-white portraiture, foreign languages, writing, discovering reads on Kindle, and spending quality time with his friends, spouse, and two Havanese dogs.

Florian De Rop

Florian De Rop

Autonomous Research Scientist/Engineer

Before joining Retro, Florian completed his PhD at the Stein Aerts Lab of Computational Biology where he co-developed HyDrop, an open-source method for single-cell ATAC-seq and RNA-seq. In addition to his expertise in design and development of single-cell sequencing methods, Florian is also a competent computational biologist focused on the low-level technical analysis of next-generation sequencing data, and applying single-cell technologies on large (>1M cells) projects. Florian is a strong proponent of gene regulation at the center of many biological processes, including development, cancer, and aging. Prior to his PhD, he graduated with a MSc in Bioscience Engineering/Bionanotechnology from KU Leuven. His work has been published in Elife and Nature Biotechnology. Outside of work, Florian enjoys hiking with his girlfriend, cooking, cinema, and logic puzzles.

Freddy Lopez

Freddy Lopez

Vivarium Operations Specialist

Starting the day with a Vietnamese iced coffee, Fredrick, aka Fred, Freddy, or Fredward (but never Rick), has been adding finesse to Retro as an Animal Care Technician since July 2023. Prior to Retro, he spent a decade in the coffee industry, managing cafes and perfecting his barista skills. At home, surrounded by his orange cat Goose and pugs Buddha and Beans, Fred hopes of one day convincing his fiancée to add chickens, mice and whatever animals she’ll say “yes” to, to the family. Beyond his love for animal care, he strategizes over chess, immerses in live music, and indulges in all the tasty food the Bay Area has to offer.

James Liang

James Liang

Junior Accountant

James joined Retro as a Junior Accountant in August 2023. Prior to joining, he acquired 4 years of experience in Accounts Payable, two of which were in the biotech industry (Iovance Biotherapeutics and ArsenalBio). Outside of work, his passions include investing in stocks and acquiring potentially valuable collectibles such as trading cards and figurines. James enjoys spending time with friends, exploring new cuisines, and attempting to maintain a consistent workout schedule.

Revathi Sekar

Revathi Sekar

Scientist II

Revathi joins Retro with a desire to extend healthy human lifespan. Prior to joining, Revathi completed postdoctoral research in liver metabolism at Helmholtz Zentrum Munich. There she developed methods to visualize how an endosomal protein regulates glucagon receptor trafficking, and used LNP-delivered siRNAs to demonstrate its role in organismal physiology. Revathi completed her doctoral research in endocrinology at University of Hong Kong, focusing on gut-brain signaling and lipid homeostasis. In total, Revathi’s research has centered around metabolism, a fundamental component of many diseases of aging, and has been published in Cell Metabolism and Journal of Lipid Research. Outside of work, Revathi loves hiking and spending time with family.

Advisors

Alejandro Ocampo

Alejandro Ocampo

Advisor

Professor Alejandro Ocampo has made fundamental contributions to the epigenetic reprogramming field, as exemplified by the landmark study Ocampo et al 2016. He completed his PhD at the University of Miami and his postdoctoral studies at the Salk Institute. Ocampo currently runs his lab at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, dissecting the core biological mechanisms underlying cellular reprogramming and aging.

Vadim Gladyshev

Vadim Gladyshev

Advisor

Vadim Gladyshev, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on the biology of aging and rejuvenation. His lab has published work ranging from the development of single-cell epigenetic aging biomarkers to blood-based, dietary, and pharmacological interventions that rejuvenate molecular profiles and extend lifespan in model organisms.

Jeff Kindler

Jeff Kindler

Advisor

Jeffrey Kindler served as the CEO and Chairman of Pfizer from 2006 to 2010. Jeff currently serves as the CEO of Centrexion, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on pain therapeutics. Kindler also operates as an investor and serves on several company boards and, formerly, President Obama’s Management Advisory Board. He brings a unique wealth of legal, pharma, management and leadership experiences.

Jörg Goronzy

Jörg Goronzy

Advisor

Jörg Goronzy, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Immunology and Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, specializing in understanding the effects of age on the immune system. Prior to his current position, he was a professor at Stanford for 11 years. Jörg has particular expertise and curiosity in and around the interplay between T cell function, differentiation, clonality, and rejuvenation.

Alex Wolf

Alex Wolf

Advisor

Alex Wolf, PhD is the CEO and co-founder of Lamin Labs, a startup aiming to revolutionize data infrastructure in biology. Prior to starting Lamin, he led the build up of Cellarity’s computational platform, growing the team into a powerhouse of machine learning and single-cell biology. Alex conducted his postdoctoral research with Professor Fabian Theis, where he developed Scanpy and AnnData, the most popular analysis toolkits for single-cell RNA-seq data. Alex holds a PhD in computational physics from LMU Munich.

Kristen Fortney

Kristen Fortney

Advisor

Kristen Fortney, PhD, is CEO and Co-Founder of BioAge, a fellow biotech aiming to extend healthy lifespan by targeting molecular causes of aging. Kristen received her PhD in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto, followed by postdoctoral training at Stanford University. She has over 10 years of experience developing novel bioinformatics approaches for data-driven investigation into the mechanisms of aging and age-related disease, with 18 published papers spanning computational drug discovery, biomarkers of aging, and the genetics of exceptional human longevity.

Dan Goodman

Dan Goodman

Advisor

Daniel Goodman, PhD, is a synthetic biologist and immunologist working on high-throughput design and testing of genetically-engineered immune cell therapies. Daniel received his PhD in Medical Engineering and Physics from MIT, and has over 15 years of experience developing high-throughput experimental and computational methods to design, synthesize, and measure genetic systems. Daniel has authored over 20 scientific papers. His current work, at the University of California, San Francisco, involves multiplexed computationally-guided design of synthetic immune receptors to improve the efficacy of cell therapies.

Joseph Fraietta

Joseph Fraietta

Advisor

Joseph Fraietta, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and directs the Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Laboratory at the Novartis-Penn Center for Advanced Cellular Therapies. As a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Carl June’s lab, Dr. Fraietta developed new therapies through genetic modification of T cells that contributed to the initiation of multiple clinical trials and FDA approval of the first CAR T cell therapy.

Filipe Pereira

Filipe Pereira

Filipe Pereira, Ph.D. is a Professor of Molecular Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University in Sweden. Dr. Pereira is recognized for his work at the interface of cellular reprogramming and immunology and for fostering development of reprogramming-based immunotherapies For the last 20 years he has contributed to the fields of cellular reprogramming and hematopoietic specification

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