Our team has led the development of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies which have transformed medical genetics and biological research.Bringing together experience from multiple DNA sequencing technology companies, we possess a broad view of the field’s technology. Our technological strength is uniquely matched by our medical expertise; four MD’s help lead the company. Our team published the first clinical assessment incorporating an individual’s genome, a peer-reviewed article now widely referenced as seminal. Leaders in biomedical research, members of our team are consistently at the forefront of discovery, illustrated by their extensive track record of peer-reviewed publications in leading journals of both science and medicine.
John West | Chief Executive Officer
Personalis’ CEO, John West, first became involved in DNA sequencing, and DNA sequence interpretation, in 1982.
Personalis’ CEO, John West, first became involved in DNA sequencing and DNA sequence interpretation in 1982. In the 1980’s, he led the development of an automated DNA sequencing system based on pattern recognition from autoradiographs, and licensed software from the lab of Roger Staden at MRC Cambridge, UK for sequence assembly and analysis. In the 1990’s Mr. West was General Manager and subsequently President of Princeton Instruments, a company focused on low light scientific imaging. This technology was used in a number of fluorescent automated DNA sequencing developments. In 2001 Mr. West joined then market leader Applied Biosystems as Vice President of Genetic Analysis. He was subsequently promoted to VP, DNA Platforms. While at Applied Biosystems Mr. West’s group introduced the model 3730xl Genetic Analyzer. This product became the mainstay of almost every major genome center in the world.
In 2004, Mr. West moved to be CEO of Solexa Ltd, a venture capital backed UK company focused primarily on single-molecule DNA sequencing. Mr. West realized that the company’s recent acquisition of DNA cluster technology could be transformative. In 2005 he led Solexa’s reverse merger into US-based and Nasdaq-listed Lynx Therapeutics, and led two PIPE financings totaling almost $100M. The company introduced its first system in mid-2006. Mr. West negotiated the January 2007 acquisition of Solexa by Illumina, Inc for approximately $600M, and stayed as VP of the DNA sequencing business there into 2008. During this time, Illumina became the world leader in next generation DNA sequencing.
From 2009 through mid-2011 Mr. West served as CEO of ViaCyte, Inc, a company leveraging stem cell technology to develop a diabetes cell therapy.
In late 2009 Mr. West’s family became the first healthy family of four to be sequenced. Their experience working with the Stanford team on genome interpretation led to the foundation of Personalis.
Mr. West received a BS and MS engineering degrees from MIT, and earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Richard Chen, MD, MS | Chief Science Officer
Dr. Chen joined Personalis in November 2011 as Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr. Chen joined Personalis in November 2011 as Chief Scientific Officer. A physician scientist, Dr. Chen has extensive expertise in systems biology, translational genomics, knowledge engineering, and scientific product development. Dr. Chen has co-founded and served on the board of several companies, including Ingenuity Systems, where he led the development of systems biology approaches to genomic data analysis for scientific discovery. Dr. Chen has also served on the clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine where he led process and technology innovation for improved health care delivery. Dr. Chen received a BS in Computer Science from Stanford, and a MD from Stanford University School of Medicine. He also received a MS in biomedical informatics from Stanford. He completed his Chief Residency and Dermatology Specialty Training at Stanford and is board certified.
Michael Fitzpatrick | Vice President, Worldwide Sales
Michael Fitzpatrick joined Personalis in April 2013 as Vice President of Worldwide Sales.
Michael Fitzpatrick joined Personalis in April 2013 as Vice President of Worldwide Sales. During Mike’s 30 year career in the biotech field, he has built commercial teams focused primarily in the genomics space. He spent 20 years at Applied Biosystems where he held executive level positions including Vice President of The Americas, Vice President of Sales for the Molecular Biology Division and Vice President of Global Key Accounts. In 2006, Mr. Fitzpatrick joined a start-up, Codon Devices, where he built the initial commercial team and launched their synthetic biology technology globally. Most recently, Mr. Fitzpatrick was with OpGen, Inc. as Vice President Global Sales where he built the global commercial sales and support teams to launch their Optical Mapping technology. Mr. Fitzpatrick received a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Maryland College Park.
Christian Haudenschild, PhD | Vice President, Genomic Services
Dr. Haudenschild joined Personalis in early 2012 to build the company’s professional services department.
Dr. Haudenschild joined Personalis in early 2012 to build the company’s professional services department. Prior to this role he was an Associate Director in charge of commercial sequencing at Illumina Inc. in Hayward, California. His team was responsible for the preparation and next-generation sequencing of thousands of DNA and RNA samples. Dr. Haudenschild was previously the Senior Manager of Technical Accounts at Lynx Therapeutics (which later became Solexa, Inc. and which was later acquired by Illumina). At Lynx and Solexa he was involved in developing the first massively parallel protocols for the study of small RNA and DNA. In 1995, he received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Enzymology from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France after completing a Master’s degree in 1989. He completed his postdoctoral research in Molecular Biology at Washington State University, Pullman from 1995 to 1997 and at the University of California at Berkeley from 1997 to 1999.
Carol J. Tillis | Vice President, Finance and Administration
Carol J. Tillis joined Personalis in November 2011 with over 20 years of experience in senior financial management.
Carol J. Tillis joined Personalis in November 2011 with over 20 years of experience in senior financial management, much of it related to DNA sequencing. From 2004 to 2010, she was Vice President of Finance at Pacific Biosciences, Inc. Ms. Tillis started at Pacific Biosciences as its first full-time finance person during the company’s early development stages, and helped transition the company into a commercial entity. From 2002 to 2004, Ms. Tillis was a Financial Consultant for several early stage start-up companies. From 1999 to 2001, she was Director of Finance of Entigen Corporation, a life-science software company. From 1991-1999, she held various positions at Molecular Dynamics (Amersham Corporation) most recently as the Finance Manager – Sales Marketing and Services where she helped start the international finance operations. From 1985-1991, she worked at several banks as a Corporate Loan Officer. Ms. Tillis received a B.S. from Marquette University in 1985.
Rena McClory, PhD | Vice President, Marketing
Rena McClory joined Personalis in 2014, and serves as Vice President, Marketing.
Rena McClory joined Personalis in 2014, and serves as Vice President, Marketing, where she established and leads marketing and product management teams in building brands and accelerating product adoption in key immune-oncology, basic research and clinical markets. She was promoted from Senior Director, Cancer Research and Clinical Services in 2015. Rena brings over 20 years experience in marketing leadership roles at RainDance Technologies, as director of marketing, at Illumina as senior market manager PCR, at Agilent as senior director of marketing and technical service, and senior director, instrumentation and QPCR reagents. Rena holds a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Glasgow.