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.

liran_belenzon
Liran Belenzon
CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast CEO and Co-Founder | Fitness Enthusiast
tom_leung
Tom Leung, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego ... Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder | Lego Builder
elvis_wianda
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. 

vanessa_ribreau
Vanessa Ribreau
Chief People Officer | Tennis Player Chief People Officer | Tennis Player
luigi_gentile
Luigi Gentile
Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist Chief Revenue Officer | Guitarist
eran_ben_ari
Eran Ben-Ari
Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist Chief Platform Officer | Amateur Anthropologist

Chief People Officer | Tennis Player

Vanessa brings over ten years of experience growing, scaling, and optimizing global departments and aligning and leading world-class HR teams. Holding both an MBA and a Master’s in psychology has enabled Vanessa to contribute in a unique, multi-faceted way to a wide range of businesses along her career path.

After working for Yahoo! in Paris and London, she moved to Montreal to work in the visual effects and in-flight entertainment industries. Vanessa is the former Global VP of People, Places, and Technologies at AlayaCare. She led a team of 20+ people who supported vital aspects of the business, including internal solutions, IT, talent acquisition, and people operations. Before AlayaCare, Vanessa held a senior HR leadership role at Shopify.  

 

Vanessa has demonstrated that she is business-driven with a global acumen and growth mindset while thriving on change throughout her career.

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.

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. 

craig_newell
Craig Newell
Chief Architect Officer | Mountaineer Chief Architect Officer | Mountaineer
casandra_mangroo
Casandra Mangroo
SVP Product and Science | Hiker SVP Product and Science | Hiker
chrisandra-bright
Chrisandra Bright
SVP Service | Amateur Potter SVP Service | Amateur Potter

Chief Architect Officer | Mountaineer

Craig is an experienced technologist, accomplished engineering leader, and proven product architect with over 20 years of experience. He studied electrical engineering and computer systems at the University of Queensland, and has previously held roles as  Principal Engineer at both VMware and Sun Microsystems. His hands-on experience ranges from firmware, to operating systems, client applications, enabling backend services, and all levels in between.

He joined BenchSci as Principal Engineer in 2020 to guide the company's evolving technical architecture and implementations, and to mentor its growing team of engineers. Promoted to Chief Architect Officer in 2021, Craig is responsible for the architecture of BenchSci's AI-powered applications that decode unstructured scientific data to help scientists design and run more successful experiments.

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 Service | Amateur Potter

Chrisandra is an experienced, versatile leader of business transformation with the savvy to break down strategies into tactical plans and processes. After earning her degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, the early years of her career focused on building, deploying, and supporting bioinformatics tools for pharma companies. She quickly realized the impact and potential that technology can have on scientific innovation, which catalyzed in her a passion and sense of urgency for this work. 

Prior to joining BenchSci, she served as Director and VP of Professional Services for global informatics providers, delivering solutions to scientists across the pharma, biotech, and chemical industries. She is a believer in a people-centric approach and doesn’t shy away from details or difficult situations where impact is often the greatest.

At BenchSci, Chrisandra guides strategy and customer engagement focused on world-class, unparalleled satisfaction.

christopher_guest
Christopher Guest
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director | Golfer Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director | Golfer
nika_stelman
Nika Stelman
Chief of Staff | Antique Lover Chief of Staff | Antique Lover
bryn_knox
Bryn Knox
VP Finance | Skier VP Finance | Skier

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director | Golfer

As a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) practitioner, Christopher has traveled the US, consulting with large and small organizations on centering equity and inclusion efforts on marginalized communities. He has led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies, initiatives, and teams at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Nordstrom, and ThoughtWorks.

Christopher majored in film and video production at Columbia College Chicago and has a career that spans various industries, from the arts to retail store management, political campaign management, and talent acquisition. 

Christopher moved to BenchSci in late 2021 as Director of DEI because he was astounded by BenchSci’s mission to bring novel treatments to patients faster. He focuses on building a culture with equity at the center and understanding that inclusion is a shared responsibility.

Chief of Staff | Antique Lover

Nika has an MBA in sustainability and innovation from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and a BBA in strategic design and management from Parsons School of Design.

Before joining BenchSci in 2020, Nika was the Director of Design Strategy at Bridgeable, a leading North American service design consultancy. She led multidisciplinary teams of designers, researchers, and strategists to help clients across healthcare, retail, financial services, and transit uncover opportunities to create more human experiences for their customers and employees.

As Chief of Staff at BenchSci, Nika's mission is to help make our CEO, Leadership team, and company more productive and successful. The role supports both company and board communications, ensures the alignment of the Leadership team, and facilitates special projects that the CEO is interested in driving forward. 

VP Finance | 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.

rasheed_ahmed
Rasheed Ahmed
VP Business Operations & Delivery | Motorcyclist VP Business Operations & Delivery | Motorcyclist
james-malone
James Malone, Ph.D.
VP Engineering, Data, ML, and Bioinformatics | ... VP Engineering, Data, ML, and Bioinformatics | Singer-songwriter
mike_egan
Mike Egan
VP Platform Operations | Theatre Enthusiast VP Platform Operations | Theatre Enthusiast

VP of Business Operations & Delivery | Motorcyclist

A Ryerson University graduate with a BComm in information technology management, Rasheed is a developer turned force multiplier with experience in operational excellence, high-performing team building, and high impact delivery in the pharmaceutical industry.

At Aeroplan, Rasheed led strategic operational and security initiatives, including securing data security compliance.  At Klick Health, he managed and augmented cross-regional pharmaceutical portfolios while architecting solutions and processes with a client-centric approach in a heavily regulated North American and European pharmaceutical industry.

Rasheed moved to BenchSci in 2018 as the Head of Delivery. He is now the VP of Business Operations & Delivery and leads the Commercial Project Management Office (CPMO), Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A), Business Operations, and the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) teams. 

VP Engineering, Data, ML, and Bioinformatics | Singer-songwriter

James is a technologist with over 17 years of experience in AI and semantics. He holds a BSc in computer science and a Ph.D. in bioinformatics and machine learning from the University of Sutherland, as well as an MSc in bioinformatics from the University of Oxford.  

In 2015, James founded FactBio, a U.K. bioinformatics software development company. He served as FactBio’s CEO until the company was acquired by award-winning semantic biotech SciBite in 2018. Following the acquisition, he stayed at SciBite, first as Semantic Technology Lead, then as CTO, until it was acquired in 2020. He joined BenchSci in 2021.

James has led software development teams in service to most of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. At BenchSci, he is responsible for broader technology innovation and developing commercially viable, customer-validated products and services to tackle the problems faced in analyzing biomedical data. He’s a big believer in user-centric design and lean development: engaging early, releasing often, and being open with users.

VP Platform Operations | Theatre Enthusiast

Mike has a BSc in international economics from Texas Tech University and is completing his MBA at the University of Wisconsin. In his career, Mike has invested in building and leading high-performing teams across QA, release management, delivery and implementation, professional services, account management, and customer success. He also has experience across several industry verticals, including healthcare, finance, IT security and encryption, and sports technology. 

He leverages his technology, sales, and customer-facing experience every day in his role at BenchSci. Prior to joining BenchSci in 2020, Mike was the VP of Service Delivery and Customer Success for Stack Sports. 

Mike is passionate about our mission at BenchSci and loves finding operational efficiency across teams. He sees himself as a builder—and truly enjoys developing teams and enabling our internal teams to continuously deliver impact and value.

shezana-manji
Shezana Manji
VP Marketing | Iron Chef VP Marketing | Iron Chef
chad_malek
Chad Malek
VP Sales | Sports Enthusiast VP Sales | Sports Enthusiast
brian_smith
Brian Smith
VP Key Accounts | Family Man VP Key Accounts | Family Man

VP Marketing | Iron Chef

Shezana earned her BASc in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo. Her deep understanding of how to build drove her to pursue a career focused on understanding challenges that are worth solving, determining what solutions to build, and helping people understand the benefits. She has over 17 years of experience in product marketing, growth, and product management. 

Before joining BenchSci, she held several leadership roles at companies which include Wealthsimple, Shopify, Salesforce, and GE Healthcare. During her time with GE, the company presented her with a Management Award for Commercial Excellence in 2010 and a North American Regional Award in 2013.

Shezana believes that a great marketer has to be passionate about the problems that products solve. That’s why she’s here: to help BenchSci succeed in its mission to get novel medicine to patients faster.

VP 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 VP 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. 

VP Key Accounts | 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 VP of the Key Accounts team 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.

arnab_kundu
Arnab Kundu, Ph.D.
VP Portfolio Performance Solutions | Dog Lover VP Portfolio Performance Solutions | Dog Lover
ryan_heath
Ryan Heath
VP Commercial Operations | Investment Enthusiast VP Commercial Operations | Investment Enthusiast

VP Portfolio Performance Solutions | Dog Lover

Arnab has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.Tech in biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology. The focus of his career has been on driving innovation in healthcare: first as a researcher, then as a management consultant, and finally from within the life sciences industry.

After spending six years doing bench research on cerebral cortex development, Arnab moved to McKinsey & Company as a management consultant in their healthcare practice. There, he served the largest global pharma companies regarding R&D optimization, portfolio performance, and commercialization topics. He partnered with the senior leadership of these organizations to define strategic direction and drive execution for some of their highest priority and highest impact challenges, ranging from strategic portfolio choices, to growth opportunities, operational excellence, and digital transformations.

After leaving McKinsey, Arnab was a Senior Director of Innovation at AbbVie, leading acceleration and commercialization initiatives across immunology, oncology, and specialty portfolios. He helped define paths to bring mid-to-late-stage assets to market and develop market positioning based on the asset's clinical profile.

VP Commercial Operations | Investment Enthusiast

Ryan brings 20 years of commercial experience in healthcare to BenchSci and is focused on enabling the commercial teams to be as efficient and impactful as possible for our customers.   He has significant leadership and entrepreneurial experience selling, marketing, and launching products across the global healthcare continuum with GlaxoSmithKline, GE Healthcare, Boston Scientific, United Healthcare, and Cigna.  

Ryan is a graduate of GE's top executive development program, earned an MBA from Washington University's Olin School of Business, and a BSc in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University.   He is thrilled to be a part of a cutting-edge company solving one of the biggest challenges in medicine.

liran_belenzon
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. 

tom_leung
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. 

elvis_wianda
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. 

vanessa_ribreau
Vanessa Ribreau
Chief People Officer | Tennis Player

Chief People Officer | Tennis Player

Vanessa brings over ten years of experience growing, scaling, and optimizing global departments and aligning and leading world-class HR teams. Holding both an MBA and a Master’s in psychology has enabled Vanessa to contribute in a unique, multi-faceted way to a wide range of businesses along her career path.

After working for Yahoo! in Paris and London, she moved to Montreal to work in the visual effects and in-flight entertainment industries. Vanessa is the former Global VP of People, Places, and Technologies at AlayaCare. She led a team of 20+ people who supported vital aspects of the business, including internal solutions, IT, talent acquisition, and people operations. Before AlayaCare, Vanessa held a senior HR leadership role at Shopify.  

 

Vanessa has demonstrated that she is business-driven with a global acumen and growth mindset while thriving on change throughout her career.

luigi_gentile
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.

eran_ben_ari
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. 

craig_newell
Craig Newell
Chief Architect Officer | Mountaineer

Chief Architect Officer | Mountaineer

Craig is an experienced technologist, accomplished engineering leader, and proven product architect with over 20 years of experience. He studied electrical engineering and computer systems at the University of Queensland, and has previously held roles as  Principal Engineer at both VMware and Sun Microsystems. His hands-on experience ranges from firmware, to operating systems, client applications, enabling backend services, and all levels in between.

He joined BenchSci as Principal Engineer in 2020 to guide the company's evolving technical architecture and implementations, and to mentor its growing team of engineers. Promoted to Chief Architect Officer in 2021, Craig is responsible for the architecture of BenchSci's AI-powered applications that decode unstructured scientific data to help scientists design and run more successful experiments.

casandra_mangroo
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+.

chrisandra-bright
Chrisandra Bright
SVP Service | Amateur Potter

SVP Service | Amateur Potter

Chrisandra is an experienced, versatile leader of business transformation with the savvy to break down strategies into tactical plans and processes. After earning her degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, the early years of her career focused on building, deploying, and supporting bioinformatics tools for pharma companies. She quickly realized the impact and potential that technology can have on scientific innovation, which catalyzed in her a passion and sense of urgency for this work. 

Prior to joining BenchSci, she served as Director and VP of Professional Services for global informatics providers, delivering solutions to scientists across the pharma, biotech, and chemical industries. She is a believer in a people-centric approach and doesn’t shy away from details or difficult situations where impact is often the greatest.

At BenchSci, Chrisandra guides strategy and customer engagement focused on world-class, unparalleled satisfaction.

christopher_guest
Christopher Guest
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director | Golfer

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director | Golfer

As a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) practitioner, Christopher has traveled the US, consulting with large and small organizations on centering equity and inclusion efforts on marginalized communities. He has led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategies, initiatives, and teams at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Nordstrom, and ThoughtWorks.

Christopher majored in film and video production at Columbia College Chicago and has a career that spans various industries, from the arts to retail store management, political campaign management, and talent acquisition. 

Christopher moved to BenchSci in late 2021 as Director of DEI because he was astounded by BenchSci’s mission to bring novel treatments to patients faster. He focuses on building a culture with equity at the center and understanding that inclusion is a shared responsibility.

nika_stelman
Nika Stelman
Chief of Staff | Antique Lover

Chief of Staff | Antique Lover

Nika has an MBA in sustainability and innovation from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and a BBA in strategic design and management from Parsons School of Design.

Before joining BenchSci in 2020, Nika was the Director of Design Strategy at Bridgeable, a leading North American service design consultancy. She led multidisciplinary teams of designers, researchers, and strategists to help clients across healthcare, retail, financial services, and transit uncover opportunities to create more human experiences for their customers and employees.

As Chief of Staff at BenchSci, Nika's mission is to help make our CEO, Leadership team, and company more productive and successful. The role supports both company and board communications, ensures the alignment of the Leadership team, and facilitates special projects that the CEO is interested in driving forward. 

bryn_knox
Bryn Knox
VP Finance | Skier

VP Finance | 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.

rasheed_ahmed
Rasheed Ahmed
VP Business Operations & Delivery | Motorcyclist

VP of Business Operations & Delivery | Motorcyclist

A Ryerson University graduate with a BComm in information technology management, Rasheed is a developer turned force multiplier with experience in operational excellence, high-performing team building, and high impact delivery in the pharmaceutical industry.

At Aeroplan, Rasheed led strategic operational and security initiatives, including securing data security compliance.  At Klick Health, he managed and augmented cross-regional pharmaceutical portfolios while architecting solutions and processes with a client-centric approach in a heavily regulated North American and European pharmaceutical industry.

Rasheed moved to BenchSci in 2018 as the Head of Delivery. He is now the VP of Business Operations & Delivery and leads the Commercial Project Management Office (CPMO), Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A), Business Operations, and the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) teams. 

james-malone
James Malone, Ph.D.
VP Engineering, Data, ML, and Bioinformatics | ...

VP Engineering, Data, ML, and Bioinformatics | Singer-songwriter

James is a technologist with over 17 years of experience in AI and semantics. He holds a BSc in computer science and a Ph.D. in bioinformatics and machine learning from the University of Sutherland, as well as an MSc in bioinformatics from the University of Oxford.  

In 2015, James founded FactBio, a U.K. bioinformatics software development company. He served as FactBio’s CEO until the company was acquired by award-winning semantic biotech SciBite in 2018. Following the acquisition, he stayed at SciBite, first as Semantic Technology Lead, then as CTO, until it was acquired in 2020. He joined BenchSci in 2021.

James has led software development teams in service to most of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. At BenchSci, he is responsible for broader technology innovation and developing commercially viable, customer-validated products and services to tackle the problems faced in analyzing biomedical data. He’s a big believer in user-centric design and lean development: engaging early, releasing often, and being open with users.

mike_egan
Mike Egan
VP Platform Operations | Theatre Enthusiast

VP Platform Operations | Theatre Enthusiast

Mike has a BSc in international economics from Texas Tech University and is completing his MBA at the University of Wisconsin. In his career, Mike has invested in building and leading high-performing teams across QA, release management, delivery and implementation, professional services, account management, and customer success. He also has experience across several industry verticals, including healthcare, finance, IT security and encryption, and sports technology. 

He leverages his technology, sales, and customer-facing experience every day in his role at BenchSci. Prior to joining BenchSci in 2020, Mike was the VP of Service Delivery and Customer Success for Stack Sports. 

Mike is passionate about our mission at BenchSci and loves finding operational efficiency across teams. He sees himself as a builder—and truly enjoys developing teams and enabling our internal teams to continuously deliver impact and value.

shezana-manji
Shezana Manji
VP Marketing | Iron Chef

VP Marketing | Iron Chef

Shezana earned her BASc in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo. Her deep understanding of how to build drove her to pursue a career focused on understanding challenges that are worth solving, determining what solutions to build, and helping people understand the benefits. She has over 17 years of experience in product marketing, growth, and product management. 

Before joining BenchSci, she held several leadership roles at companies which include Wealthsimple, Shopify, Salesforce, and GE Healthcare. During her time with GE, the company presented her with a Management Award for Commercial Excellence in 2010 and a North American Regional Award in 2013.

Shezana believes that a great marketer has to be passionate about the problems that products solve. That’s why she’s here: to help BenchSci succeed in its mission to get novel medicine to patients faster.

chad_malek
Chad Malek
VP Sales | Sports Enthusiast

VP 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 VP 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. 

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Brian Smith
VP Key Accounts | Family Man

VP Key Accounts | 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 VP of the Key Accounts team 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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Arnab Kundu, Ph.D.
VP Portfolio Performance Solutions | Dog Lover

VP Portfolio Performance Solutions | Dog Lover

Arnab has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.Tech in biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology. The focus of his career has been on driving innovation in healthcare: first as a researcher, then as a management consultant, and finally from within the life sciences industry.

After spending six years doing bench research on cerebral cortex development, Arnab moved to McKinsey & Company as a management consultant in their healthcare practice. There, he served the largest global pharma companies regarding R&D optimization, portfolio performance, and commercialization topics. He partnered with the senior leadership of these organizations to define strategic direction and drive execution for some of their highest priority and highest impact challenges, ranging from strategic portfolio choices, to growth opportunities, operational excellence, and digital transformations.

After leaving McKinsey, Arnab was a Senior Director of Innovation at AbbVie, leading acceleration and commercialization initiatives across immunology, oncology, and specialty portfolios. He helped define paths to bring mid-to-late-stage assets to market and develop market positioning based on the asset's clinical profile.

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Ryan Heath
VP Commercial Operations | Investment Enthusiast

VP Commercial Operations | Investment Enthusiast

Ryan brings 20 years of commercial experience in healthcare to BenchSci and is focused on enabling the commercial teams to be as efficient and impactful as possible for our customers.   He has significant leadership and entrepreneurial experience selling, marketing, and launching products across the global healthcare continuum with GlaxoSmithKline, GE Healthcare, Boston Scientific, United Healthcare, and Cigna.  

Ryan is a graduate of GE's top executive development program, earned an MBA from Washington University's Olin School of Business, and a BSc in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University.   He is thrilled to be a part of a cutting-edge company solving one of the biggest challenges in medicine.

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