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.

Susan Bruggemann, BE, MBA

Chief Operations Officer

Susan Bruggemann, BE, MBA

Chief Operations Officer

Ms. Bruggemann’s career has spanned over 20 years in Corporate Finance and Operations including Controlling, Financial Planning and Analysis, Commercial Finance and Operations Finance across various industries.  She began her career as a process design and startup engineer for petrochemical and gas purification applications.

Ms. Bruggemann received her BE in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College and her MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

John O'Neill, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer
Co-Founder

John O'Neill, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer
Co-Founder

Dr. O’Neill is a post-doctoral 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 transplantation.

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

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.

Jennifer Xiong, BS

Production Manager

Jennifer Xiong, BS

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.

Sue Halligan, MS

Operations Advisor
Co-Founder

Sue Halligan, MS

Operations Advisor
Co-Founder

Ms. Halligan is the Laboratory Coordinator of the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Functional Tissue Engineering under the direction of Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic.

She earned her MS in Biomedical Engineering from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD

Chair of the Board
Scientific Advisor

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD

Chair of the Board
Scientific Advisor

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.

David R. Elmaleh, PhD

Board Member

David R. Elmaleh, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Elmaleh is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Contrast Media Chemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the Founder, President, and Chairman of the Board of AZTherapies.

A renowned molecular imaging expert and inventor of numerous molecular imaging agents (including three drugs that are in use in man or at late stage clinical trials), he is the recipient of numerous NIH and DOE grant awards, a co-author of over 130 publications and book chapters, and an inventor of over 80 issued and pending patents in a range of disciplines, including molecular imaging and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Elmaleh is a founder of several biotech companies including Molecular Insight (formerly Biostream), Mersana (formerly NanoPharma) that recently closed a drug deal for $700M with Teva, and FluoroPharma Medical. He also co-founded PureTech Health (formerly PureTech Ventures) and holds a BSc in Physics and Chemistry and an MS and PhD in Organic Chemistry from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA

Board Member

Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA

Board Member

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.