About our Team

We are a multidisciplinary team of scientists, life sciences professionals and entrepreneurs developing cutting edge products to help researchers make breakthrough scientific discoveries.

Andrea Nye, MBA, MPH

Chief Executive Officer

Andrea Nye, MBA, MPH

Chief Executive Officer

Andrea has over 20 years of leadership and program management experience in the healthcare and med tech innovation space. In addition to an MBA and MPH from Columbia University, she has extensive experience supporting early stage ventures bringing products to market. 

Andrea is deeply committed and passionate about leading the amazing East River BioSolutions team as it leverages its proprietary platform to create novel tissue‐specific extracellular matrix biomaterials capable of bridging the multi-billion-dollar gap between in vitro and in vivo research.

John O'Neill, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer
Co-Founder

John O'Neill, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer
Co-Founder

Dr. O’Neill is an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. His work is focused on cell and tissue engineering, the innovation and development of therapeutic extracellular matrix biomaterials, and novel extracorporeal organ support systems for organ regeneration and transplantation.

He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University and BS in Physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD

Chair of the Board
Scientific Co-Founder

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD

Chair of the Board
Scientific Co-Founder

Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic is the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and University Professor of Medical Sciences at Columbia University, where she directs the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering.

Her research focuses on engineering human tissues for regenerative medicine, stem cell research, and modeling disease. Extensively published and highly cited (18,500 citations and h=82 on the ISI Web of Science; >31,000 citations and h=101 on Google Scholar), she has 76 licensed, issued or pending patents and has founded three biotech companies – epiBone, Tara Biosystems, and East River BioSolutions.

She is a frequent advisor to government and industry and is a member of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Academia Europaea, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Inventors.

Keith Greenfield

Director

Keith Greenfield

Director

Keith is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in launching and advancing multiple successful companies. His extensive experience founding, growing and team building for new ventures provides an important and critical component to growing a successful company. Mr. Greenfield was a Co-Founder and Director at IQuum, Inc., a medical diagnostic company sold to Roche in 2014 for $485M. He is currently Executive Vice President of Business Development and a Director for AZ Therapies, a biotech company in a Pivitol Phase III trial for prolonging or halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. He is also President and Founder of The Dover Group, a financial services provider, Co-Founder of Genuine Health International, and Director for AAVP Biosystems.

Anthony A. Curro, MBA

Director
EVP of Sales and Marketing

Anthony A. Curro, MBA

Director
EVP of Sales and Marketing

Anthony is a seasoned business executive and entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in life sciences, technology, & finance. Currently, he is the CEO of Immplacate, Inc. an emerging biotechnology firm involved in cell therapies related to immune disorders. He has held various senior level positions with global responsibilities, which include medical device powerhouse Guidant, where he was involved in various aspects of the cardiovascular portfolio of products. He has specialized capabilities in sales, marketing, finance, operations, HR, R&D, and strategy. Anthony holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, Columbia University in New York.

David King

Board Observer

David King

Board Observer

Mr. King has been investing in wellness, healthcare, and consumer products businesses in North America and Asia since 1999. He is Chair of the Board of Genuine Health International, which owns natural supplement brands in the United States, Canada, and the People’s Republic of China. Mr. King is also Co-chairman of the Advisory Board at AZTherapies, which is developing innovative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He is a Co-founder and partner of Shanghai-based Peak China Advisors and Taipei-based Peak Capital, which advises wellness and consumer-related companies across Greater China. Previously, Mr. King was Co-founder and President of GNC China, and a Co-founder and Director of Prestige Brands, which acquired multiple brands including Chloraseptic, Comet, Murine, Clear Eyes, and Prell Shampoo. From 1983 – 1999, he was an investment banker at PaineWebber, and served as the Chairman of PaineWebber’s Asia businesses. Mr. King graduated with honors from Yale University.

Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA

Director

Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA

Director

Dr. Bacchetta is an Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Surgical Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Comprehensive Care Center, the Surgical Director of the Adult Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program, and the Director of the Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy Program at Columbia University Medical Center–New York Presbyterian Hospital.

His background in engineering, thoracic surgery, and business has helped to establish him as a leading innovator in the biomedical field.

He received his MD from Weill Medical College of Cornell University and completed his Thoracic Surgery Fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center.

Tanya Yankelevich, MS, MBA

Director of Product Management and Business Development

Tanya Yankelevich, MS, MBA

Director of Product Management and Business Development

Tanya has over 10 years of experience working in the biotech industry. Tanya received her MS in Biotechnology Engineering from Technical University of Denmark and MBA from Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, Chicago.

Tanya has spent the last decade working in a variety of roles that include Consulting, Business Development, and Marketing.

Igal Germanguz, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Igal Germanguz, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Germanguz is a stem cell biologist with more than 10 years of experience studying pluripotent stem cells. His research was focused on understanding various mechanisms which regulate cell fate decisions, differentiation and reprogramming.

He received his PhD in Medical Science from the Technion (Israel) under the supervision of Prof. Itskovitz-Eldor and his postdoctoral training in Prof. Bill Lowry’s lab at UCLA

Richard Nguyen, Ph.D

Associate Director of Business Development

Richard Nguyen, Ph.D

Associate Director of Business Development

Richard brings years of experience in product innovation and development, intellectual property management, and commercialization strategies. In his previous role as a Technology Licensing Officer at Columbia Technology Ventures, he managed a diverse portfolio spanning biomedical solutions, clean technologies, consumer software tools, and data. Prior to this, Richard worked with two other university technology transfer offices evaluating innovations for commercial potential, and he supported two early-stage medical device startup ventures. He completed his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering focusing on clinical applications of a neurosensory screening device from the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, and he also earned a minor in Neurobiology and a Certificate in Medical Devices. He received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and minors in Physics and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his free time, Richard enjoys running, exploring cultures through food, and backpacking around the world.

Jennifer Xiong

Production Manager

Jennifer Xiong

Production Manager

Jennifer became interested in scientific research in high school while studying oral pathogens at University of Kentucky and earned her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University.

Within those years, she has been a member of biology, biomedical engineering, and chemical engineering labs.

When she’s not doing science, she’s attending dance classes, exploring the city, or playing fetch with her cat.

Natalia Kissel, MS

Process Development Scientist

Natalia Kissel, MS

Process Development Scientist

Natalia joined East River BioSolutions in 2018 to focus on the development of novel tissue‐specific extracellular matrix biomaterials production processes.

She has MS degree in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology as well as over 7 years of engineering and scientific experience in the biotech industry. Natalia has background in development and technology transfers of mammalian cell culture processes and GMP manufacturing of biologics.

In her free time, Natalia enjoys brush calligraphy, photography, and biking.

Alex Nichols

Laboratory Manager

Alex Nichols

Laboratory Manager

Alex Nichols has over 5 years of scientific lab experience, with a focus on project planning and implementation. Her background is in pharmacology, with research focused on metabolic disorders and the Na/K-ATPase oxidant amplification loop.

She received her BS in Biological Sciences and Chemistry from Marshall University in West Virginia.

When she is not diligently organizing and managing the lab, Alex plays bass guitar in several rock bands and enjoys martinis, meditating and long walks on the beach with her canine companion.

Danny King

Project Manager

Danny King

Project Manager

Danny graduated from Claremont McKenna College earning a BA in Economics and Psychology. He joined East River BioSolutions in 2018 to track project progression and support the Sales and Marketing Team. In his free time, Danny enjoys watching sports, cooking, and home brewing.