Our Leadership Team

Our Leadership team brings a diverse array of expertise from pharmaceutical, machine learning, science, and business backgrounds. United by their determination and compassion for people, they are dedicated to building a company that will transform how life-saving medicines are discovered.

LeadershipPage_LiranB
Liran Belenzon
CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast
LeadershipPage_TomY
Tom Leung, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego ... Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego Builder
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Elvis Wianda, Ph.D.
Chief Data Officer and Co-Founder | Philanthropist Chief Data Officer and Co-Founder | Philanthropist

CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast

Liran was born in Israel and was an army commander in the Israeli Defense Force. After achieving his law degree and selling his first startup, he immigrated to Canada to do his MBA at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. While at Rotman, he worked in the Creative Destruction Lab, which revived his entrepreneurial fire. He met three Ph.D. students—all immigrants like him—who were working to discover how AI could solve the declining productivity of drug discovery due to avoidable inefficiencies in preclinical research.  Together, they founded BenchSci in 2015. 

As CEO, Liran strives to inspire team members to be the best version of themselves and positively impact the world.

Liran is a 2021 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and is passionate about using AI to exponentially increase the speed and quality of life-saving research. 

Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego Builder

With an MSc in virology and a Ph.D. in epigenetics from the University of Toronto, Tom’s research focused on the molecular mechanism of repressive genetic bookmarking during cellular division and the potential application of reversing these bookmarks as an alternative therapeutic approach to treating cancer. 

While at the University of Toronto, Tom had an ambitious idea to reduce the number of failed experiments but knew he needed AI, data, and business knowledge. So he recruited a computer programmer, a data scientist, and an entrepreneur, and together they created BenchSci.   

Since 2015, Tom has provided the vision and leadership for BenchSci's R&D efforts, including directing the creation of BenchSci's bioinformatics ontologies and patent-pending machine learning models. As the head of BenchSci's R&D team, Tom has extensive experience in bench research, bioinformatics, and machine learning. 

Chief Data Officer and Co-Founder | Philanthropist

With a rare combination of deep scientific knowledge and engineering expertise, Dr. Elvis Wianda is BenchSci’s chief data officer, responsible for creating, managing, and evolving BenchSci’s data pipelines. 

Elvis was a Ph.D. student when he met his fellow co-founders at the University of Toronto, and once he heard the scope and magnitude of the problem they were trying to solve, he was hooked. As a co-founder, he designed and developed the architecture for collecting the vast amount of training data that powers our machine learning models. 

He currently leads a team of engineers in building even more robust data pipelines to accurately and efficiently retrieve information on biomedical concepts from various data sources, including academic publications and patent data. 

LeadershipPage_BrynK
Bryn Knox
Chief Financial Officer | Skier Chief Financial Officer | Skier
LeadershipPage_EranB
Eran Ben-Ari
Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist
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Luigi Gentile
Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist

Chief Financial Officer | Skier

Bryn has a BComm from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto and holds the CPA, CMA designation. Working at BenchSci since 2018, Bryn has built out the financial reporting and forecasting practice in addition to providing financial visibility around key opportunities and ensuring BenchSci has the capital to scale rapidly.

Before joining BenchSci, Bryn spent three years at Wave, where he supported the company’s rapid growth through multiple equity funding rounds, built robust forecasting processes, developed reporting and control systems for complex financial products, and led external financial statement audits.

Prior to that, Bryn was at Anthem Entertainment, where he worked on over $100M transactions as part of the Acquisitions department and launched Anthem Digital, spearheading Anthem’s reach in acquiring digital IP and closing the first direct licensing agreement with YouTube for an independent music publisher.

Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist

Eran Ben-Ari is a technology leader with 15 years of experience successfully leading product, design, and engineering teams by combining a constant pursuit of people development, customer obsession, and commercial growth. 

Prior to joining BenchSci in June 2021, Eran led product and engineering teams of over 120 people. He was General Manager at Koru, an OTPP-owned venture incubator driving innovation, and Chief Product Officer at Top Hat and Kik Interactive. Earlier in his career, he was VP of Product at Rounds Entertainment (acquired by Kik), VP of Marketing & Growth at Hola (acquired by EMK Capital), and VP of Product at Kampyle (acquired by Medallia). 

His vast expertise in improving product development processes, building high-performing cross-functional teams, and increasing product launch velocity will be integral as BenchSci advances towards its vision of bringing novel medicines to patients 50% faster by 2025. 

Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist

With a background in neuroscience, Luigi has spent two decades helping life science research and healthcare institutions develop and adopt innovative technologies to improve patient care. Luigi has held senior leadership positions across start-ups, SMEs, and large multinationals, such as Olympus and GE Healthcare. He was a commercial leader for Healthcare IT and Executive Director of Innovation, where he drove product development and clinical collaborations. At BenchSci, Luigi leads the commercial business with a focus on working with pharmaceutical R&D executives to apply BenchSci’s technology to help drive the speed and success of the research organization.

Luigi is a graduate of GE’s executive development programs and is frequently a lecturer on innovation across pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. He holds a Master’s in both physiology and neuroscience, as well as an Honours BSc Specialist degree in human biology, all from the University of Toronto.

LeadershipPage_CasandraM
Casandra Mangroo
SVP Product and Science | Hiker SVP Product and Science | Hiker
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Yan Liu
SVP Technology | Mother & Cook SVP Technology | Mother & Cook
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Chad Malek
EVP of Sales | Sports Enthusiast EVP of Sales | Sports Enthusiast

SVP Product and Science | Hiker

As SVP of Product and Science, Casandra has been instrumental in developing BenchSci's product vision to accelerate preclinical drug discovery by empowering scientists in leading research laboratories with cutting-edge deep learning technology. 

Having experienced the frustrating research challenges preclinical scientists face while doing her Ph.D. research in virology at the University of Toronto, she joined BenchSci in 2017 as a scientific associate. 

Casandra leads BenchSci’s Science and Product teams focused on helping research scientists perform more successful experiments to accelerate the pace of therapeutic discoveries. Working closely with leadership and scientists across top pharmaceutical companies, Casandra translates organizational research challenges into impactful solutions through new data initiatives and the expansion of platform applications. 

Casandra is equally passionate about diversity in STEM, acting as a mentor and empowering women leaders in tech as the executive sponsor of BenchSci's first ERG, BenchShe+.

SVP Technology | Mother & Cook

With over 20 years of experience in cloud computing, software architecture, data engineering, and machine learning, Yan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to BenchSci.

Throughout her career, Yan has made significant contributions at the intersection of life sciences, machine learning, and search, which resonates deeply with our mission and vision at BenchSci. Her strategic insights, combined with her ability to navigate complex technological landscapes, drive us towards new heights and continued success.

EVP of Sales | Sports Enthusiast

Since earning his MBA from the Dauch College of Business, Ashland University, and BSc from the University of Akron, Chad has enjoyed a successful career spanning over 15 years.  In that time, he has been acknowledged as a sales professional and leader, helping healthcare, IT, and clinical trial software companies achieve their commercial goals.  As an accomplished Sales Executive and National Account Leader at GE Healthcare, Chad was recognized as the #1 sales executive in back-to-back years and received the Commercial Hero Award, a global designation provided by the CEO.  

As EVP of Sales at BenchSci, Chad is responsible for shaping, training, and leading the sales team to achieve exponential commercial business goals. Chad guides his team to build strategic relationships with global pharmaceutical accounts, confirming BenchSci as an innovation partner. 

LeadershipPage_BrianS
Brian Smith
SVP, Account Services | Family Man SVP, Account Services | Family Man

SVP, Account Services | Family Man

Brian obtained his BS in biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Before joining BenchSci at the beginning of 2020, he was Senior Director of Imaging Solutions at E-Research Technology supporting global clinical Phase 1- IV studies. Prior to that, he held numerous leadership and sales roles. Brian was a high-performing District Sales Manager and Sr. Executive Sales Representative while at Eli Lilly where he earned the distinguished honor of being named to President’s Council.

As SVP of Account Services at BenchSci, Brian works with cross-functional partners to support key strategic customer accounts. He manages the direct, face-to-face relationships with pharmaceutical executives and their teams while acting as quarterback for internal teams to ensure we are able to deliver on our promise to accelerate life-saving research and bring novel medicines to patients, faster.

LeadershipPage_LiranB
Liran Belenzon
CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast

CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast

Liran was born in Israel and was an army commander in the Israeli Defense Force. After achieving his law degree and selling his first startup, he immigrated to Canada to do his MBA at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. While at Rotman, he worked in the Creative Destruction Lab, which revived his entrepreneurial fire. He met three Ph.D. students—all immigrants like him—who were working to discover how AI could solve the declining productivity of drug discovery due to avoidable inefficiencies in preclinical research.  Together, they founded BenchSci in 2015. 

As CEO, Liran strives to inspire team members to be the best version of themselves and positively impact the world.

Liran is a 2021 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and is passionate about using AI to exponentially increase the speed and quality of life-saving research. 

LeadershipPage_TomY
Tom Leung, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego ...

Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego Builder

With an MSc in virology and a Ph.D. in epigenetics from the University of Toronto, Tom’s research focused on the molecular mechanism of repressive genetic bookmarking during cellular division and the potential application of reversing these bookmarks as an alternative therapeutic approach to treating cancer. 

While at the University of Toronto, Tom had an ambitious idea to reduce the number of failed experiments but knew he needed AI, data, and business knowledge. So he recruited a computer programmer, a data scientist, and an entrepreneur, and together they created BenchSci.   

Since 2015, Tom has provided the vision and leadership for BenchSci's R&D efforts, including directing the creation of BenchSci's bioinformatics ontologies and patent-pending machine learning models. As the head of BenchSci's R&D team, Tom has extensive experience in bench research, bioinformatics, and machine learning. 

LeadershipPage_ElvisW
Elvis Wianda, Ph.D.
Chief Data Officer and Co-Founder | Philanthropist

Chief Data Officer and Co-Founder | Philanthropist

With a rare combination of deep scientific knowledge and engineering expertise, Dr. Elvis Wianda is BenchSci’s chief data officer, responsible for creating, managing, and evolving BenchSci’s data pipelines. 

Elvis was a Ph.D. student when he met his fellow co-founders at the University of Toronto, and once he heard the scope and magnitude of the problem they were trying to solve, he was hooked. As a co-founder, he designed and developed the architecture for collecting the vast amount of training data that powers our machine learning models. 

He currently leads a team of engineers in building even more robust data pipelines to accurately and efficiently retrieve information on biomedical concepts from various data sources, including academic publications and patent data. 

LeadershipPage_BrynK
Bryn Knox
Chief Financial Officer | Skier

Chief Financial Officer | Skier

Bryn has a BComm from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto and holds the CPA, CMA designation. Working at BenchSci since 2018, Bryn has built out the financial reporting and forecasting practice in addition to providing financial visibility around key opportunities and ensuring BenchSci has the capital to scale rapidly.

Before joining BenchSci, Bryn spent three years at Wave, where he supported the company’s rapid growth through multiple equity funding rounds, built robust forecasting processes, developed reporting and control systems for complex financial products, and led external financial statement audits.

Prior to that, Bryn was at Anthem Entertainment, where he worked on over $100M transactions as part of the Acquisitions department and launched Anthem Digital, spearheading Anthem’s reach in acquiring digital IP and closing the first direct licensing agreement with YouTube for an independent music publisher.

LeadershipPage_EranB
Eran Ben-Ari
Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist

Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist

Eran Ben-Ari is a technology leader with 15 years of experience successfully leading product, design, and engineering teams by combining a constant pursuit of people development, customer obsession, and commercial growth. 

Prior to joining BenchSci in June 2021, Eran led product and engineering teams of over 120 people. He was General Manager at Koru, an OTPP-owned venture incubator driving innovation, and Chief Product Officer at Top Hat and Kik Interactive. Earlier in his career, he was VP of Product at Rounds Entertainment (acquired by Kik), VP of Marketing & Growth at Hola (acquired by EMK Capital), and VP of Product at Kampyle (acquired by Medallia). 

His vast expertise in improving product development processes, building high-performing cross-functional teams, and increasing product launch velocity will be integral as BenchSci advances towards its vision of bringing novel medicines to patients 50% faster by 2025. 

LeadershipPage_LuigiG
Luigi Gentile
Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist

Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist

With a background in neuroscience, Luigi has spent two decades helping life science research and healthcare institutions develop and adopt innovative technologies to improve patient care. Luigi has held senior leadership positions across start-ups, SMEs, and large multinationals, such as Olympus and GE Healthcare. He was a commercial leader for Healthcare IT and Executive Director of Innovation, where he drove product development and clinical collaborations. At BenchSci, Luigi leads the commercial business with a focus on working with pharmaceutical R&D executives to apply BenchSci’s technology to help drive the speed and success of the research organization.

Luigi is a graduate of GE’s executive development programs and is frequently a lecturer on innovation across pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. He holds a Master’s in both physiology and neuroscience, as well as an Honours BSc Specialist degree in human biology, all from the University of Toronto.

LeadershipPage_CasandraM
Casandra Mangroo
SVP Product and Science | Hiker

SVP Product and Science | Hiker

As SVP of Product and Science, Casandra has been instrumental in developing BenchSci's product vision to accelerate preclinical drug discovery by empowering scientists in leading research laboratories with cutting-edge deep learning technology. 

Having experienced the frustrating research challenges preclinical scientists face while doing her Ph.D. research in virology at the University of Toronto, she joined BenchSci in 2017 as a scientific associate. 

Casandra leads BenchSci’s Science and Product teams focused on helping research scientists perform more successful experiments to accelerate the pace of therapeutic discoveries. Working closely with leadership and scientists across top pharmaceutical companies, Casandra translates organizational research challenges into impactful solutions through new data initiatives and the expansion of platform applications. 

Casandra is equally passionate about diversity in STEM, acting as a mentor and empowering women leaders in tech as the executive sponsor of BenchSci's first ERG, BenchShe+.

LeadershipPage_YanL
Yan Liu
SVP Technology | Mother & Cook

SVP Technology | Mother & Cook

With over 20 years of experience in cloud computing, software architecture, data engineering, and machine learning, Yan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to BenchSci.

Throughout her career, Yan has made significant contributions at the intersection of life sciences, machine learning, and search, which resonates deeply with our mission and vision at BenchSci. Her strategic insights, combined with her ability to navigate complex technological landscapes, drive us towards new heights and continued success.

LeadershipPage_ChadM
Chad Malek
EVP of Sales | Sports Enthusiast

EVP of Sales | Sports Enthusiast

Since earning his MBA from the Dauch College of Business, Ashland University, and BSc from the University of Akron, Chad has enjoyed a successful career spanning over 15 years.  In that time, he has been acknowledged as a sales professional and leader, helping healthcare, IT, and clinical trial software companies achieve their commercial goals.  As an accomplished Sales Executive and National Account Leader at GE Healthcare, Chad was recognized as the #1 sales executive in back-to-back years and received the Commercial Hero Award, a global designation provided by the CEO.  

As EVP of Sales at BenchSci, Chad is responsible for shaping, training, and leading the sales team to achieve exponential commercial business goals. Chad guides his team to build strategic relationships with global pharmaceutical accounts, confirming BenchSci as an innovation partner. 

LeadershipPage_BrianS
Brian Smith
SVP, Account Services | Family Man

SVP, Account Services | Family Man

Brian obtained his BS in biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Before joining BenchSci at the beginning of 2020, he was Senior Director of Imaging Solutions at E-Research Technology supporting global clinical Phase 1- IV studies. Prior to that, he held numerous leadership and sales roles. Brian was a high-performing District Sales Manager and Sr. Executive Sales Representative while at Eli Lilly where he earned the distinguished honor of being named to President’s Council.

As SVP of Account Services at BenchSci, Brian works with cross-functional partners to support key strategic customer accounts. He manages the direct, face-to-face relationships with pharmaceutical executives and their teams while acting as quarterback for internal teams to ensure we are able to deliver on our promise to accelerate life-saving research and bring novel medicines to patients, faster.

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