As founder and CEO of iNFixion Bioscience, Mr. Sarnoff has led all aspects of the company since its founding in 2017, including the recruitment of a core research team and a world-class scientific advisory board, the successful execution of several NIH Phase 1 SBIR grants, launching the Company’s lab (at JLABS in San Diego), and the oversight of several scientific programs and collaborations. Infixion has also received grants from three NF foundations.
Mr. Sarnoff is an experienced entrepreneur, with over 20 years leading and consulting for multiple start-ups, including the founding of Retail Inkjet Solutions (RIS) in 2003. As CEO/Board Chairman, and later as COO, Mr. Sarnoff led RIS from 2003-2013, including: investment of $11.5M in angel/venture capital, ground-up development of complex equipment, rollout of an inkjet refill solution to 600+ retail locations (i.e. Costco) across North America and Europe, and successful prosecution of 10+ patents. Mr. Sarnoff continued as a Board Member from 2014 until the company’s eventual acquisition in 2021.
Mr. Sarnoff has a teen-age daughter with NF1, and in 2014 made a personal decision to dedicate his entrepreneurial background and skills to identifying and developing a treatment to help his daughter, and the other 2.5M people living with NF1. After several years of advocacy, fundraising, learning and investigating, including multiple false starts and significant serendipity, iNFixion was founded on the idea of developing drugs to treat NF1 at its core by eliminating NF1 protein haploinsufficiency.
Mr. Sarnoff has an international MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, and a BS in Engineering from UC San Diego. Mr. Sarnoff has lived and worked in Spain, speaks fluent Spanish, and is an inventor on 13 U.S. patents. Mr. Sarnoff has been married for 30 years, with two young adult children.
Michelle Mattson-Hoss, PhD, is Infixion Bioscience’s Principal Scientist, leading all aspects of lab research, including tool and assay development, drug screening and hit evaluation. Over her career, Dr. Mattson has led the development and optimization of drug screening platforms at multiple San Diego biotech institutions, leading to many successful grant applications and company growth. Dr. Mattson earned her BS from Santa Clara University in Biomolecular Engineering, PhD from UCI in Cell and Molecular Biology, and completed postdoctoral studies at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in Human Genetics and Development. Dr. Mattson developed the Infixion lab from nothing into a fully-functioning lab during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and continues to deliver tremendous results given only a limited start-up company budget to work with. Michelle also has two beautiful daughters that occupy the other half of her life.
Dr. Croston is an experienced drug discovery researcher and biotech entrepreneur with over 25 years of industry experience moving drugs forward from concept to clinic, including companies such as Tularik, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, and the Ferring Research Institute. Dr. Croston has significant experience developing research methodologies, including leading high throughput screening and lead optimization across many diseases. Dr. Croston received a BS in Biology from UC Davis, his PhD from UC San Diego in 1993, and has been supporting Infixion Bioscience as a core scientific advisor since 2018. Dr. Croston also joined Infixion’s core team for the NIH I-Corps commercialization program (8-week, half-time) — including over 100 interviews from across the NF1 community (patients, parents, docs, etc.), and the rare disease drug discovery ecosystem (regulatory, pharmacy, big pharma, etc.). Dr. Croston is currently the COO of Eicosis, a drug discovery company focused on chronic pain, but is fully committed to his ongoing daily/weekly involvement as an advisor to Infixion Bioscience focusing on strategy and data review. Dr. Croston has two wonderful young-adult children.
Dr. Frost is an experienced physician with over 30 years in medical practice. He is a board certified anatomic and clinical pathologist with a subspecialty in hematopathology, playing a critical role in patient care by providing accurate diagnoses on biopsies and blood samples, and by fulfilling the role of Medical Director of a pathology laboratory for twelve years. He has contributed to medical research, having published articles on cancer research including novel cancer therapy delivery methods. Dr. Frost also has expertise in computer software development and data analysis having designed and developed a software system to address the unique requirements of pathologists when preparing high quality pathology reports.
As the parent of a child with NF1, Dr. Frost is fully committed to identifying and developing a therapeutic that specifically addresses all aspects of NF1. His role at Infixion includes reviewing and summarizing literature relevant to the Infixion goal of developing an NF1 therapeutic; integral participation in Infixion research projects, including strategy and data review; developing NF1-specific research tools such as NF1 antibodies; and designing and developing software to analyze NF1-related research data. Dr. Frost has now read hundreds of NF1 publications, and is the company’s resident expert on all aspects of NF1 protein, pathway and downstream regulation, and haploinsufficiency. Dr. Frost is married with two adult children, and has been a dedicated member of the Infixion Bioscience core team since 2019.
Geno Sesate joined the Infixion Bioscience team in May, 2021 as an intern (part-time) during his senior year in college. Upon graduating from UCSD (July, 2021) with with his Bachelor’s degree in Biology, he agreed to join the Infixion Bioscience lab as a full-time lab technician. Mr. Sesate is evaluating a potential grad-school decision, and is quickly improving his skills at running protein and antibody experiments (westerns, ELISAs, etc.) focused on NF1.
Sara holds a Master of Science in statistics and mathematical modelling from the Technical University of Denmark. For the past 10 years she has worked in the pharmaceutical industry with the development of therapeutics for diabetes care. Sara has experience with planning and execution of clinical trials, project management and supply chain management.
Sara is a dedicated mother to a son with NF1 and committed to making a difference for those affected by the disorder. She is a member of the board in the Danish Patient Association for Neurofibromatosis (NF Denmark).
Sara joined Infixion Bioscience in July 2021.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
NF1 Thought Leaders
Professor of Genetics, University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB)
Dr. Kesterson has a long career in genetics research, including extensive work studying the mechanisms of gene transcription and regulation. Dr. Kesterson is currently leading several NF1 research and gene therapy projects that make use of animal models his lab has engineered to carry NF1 mutations found in patients. Dr. Kesterson studied at Baylor College of Medicine (PhD, 1993), and currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Kesterson has been on Infixion Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board since 2017.
Dr. Viskochil is a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Clinical Services in the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Utah; Chair Emeritus of the (NF) Clinical Care Advisory Board at the Children’s Tumor Foundation; Key opinion leader in NF cell biology and genetics for over 25 years; Lead researcher on the original study and description of the NF1 gene in 1993, and Recipient of the 2016 von Recklinghausen Award for lifetime dedication to Neurofibromatosis. Graduated University North Carolina MD/PhD (1985). Currently lives and practices in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Viskochil has been a key supporter and member of the Infixion Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board since 2018.
Dr. Bruce Korf is Chair of the Department of Genetics and Director of the Heflin Center for Genomic Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB); PI for NF Clinical Trials Consortium (DoD); Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee and member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Tumor Foundation; previous Chair of the Children’s Tumor Foundation Clinical Care Advisory Board and Medical Policy Committee; past president of the Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics; past president of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics; current President of the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine; Key opinion leader in NF1 research for over 30 years. Graduated from Cornell (MD) and Rockefeller University (PhD); Pediatric residency at Harvard. Dr. Korf has been on the Infixion Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board since 2018.
Dr. Kaleb Yohay is currently Director of the NYU Langone Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center, one of the most active NF centers in the U.S.; Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics (Clinical) at NYU; Member of the CDMRP/DOD NF Research Programmatic Panel; Member of the CTF Clinical Care Advisory Board. Dr. Yohay has extensive clinical and basic science research related to novel therapies for neurologic disease in general, and NF1 in particular. Dr. Yohay has been advising Infixion Bioscience as a member of its Scientific Advisory Board since 2018.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
Academic / Research Leaders
Greg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and a member of the Center for Health AI in the School of Medicine at University of Colorado Anschutz. Greg is a data scientist and computational biologist focusing on leveraging genomics and biomedical imaging data and machine learning to improve human health. He has developed supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms for discovering gene expression signatures – including a signature to detect individuals with NF1 loss of function. Greg received his PhD from The University of Pennsylvania in Genomics and Computational Biology in 2019 and moved to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where he worked as a postdoc in the Imaging Platform from 2019 to 2021. Greg joined the iNFixion advisory board in 2019.
Dr. Evan Snyder is a Professor in the Human Genetics Program and Medical Research Institute; Director, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Program; Director Sanford Children’s Health Center at the Sanford Burnham Institute; Thought leader in stem cell research. Speaker at NF Conference, 2017. Graduated UPenn; postdoc research Harvard Medical School. informal member of the Infixion Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board since 2018.
Associate Professor at the Northwestern University and Principal Investigator at the Lauberth Lab. The Lauberth lab’s primary research focus is to pursue basic and translational research in the fields of cancer, epigenetics, and gene expression/regulation. Lauberth’s research programs center on: (i) enhancer elements and key regulators of transcriptional circuits that control disease states. Studies address a key gap in knowledge relating to how enhancers can regulate oncogenic gene expression and tumorigenic phenotypes; (ii) alterations in chromatin signatures and conformation that lead to enhancer reprogramming, gene regulation and tumor promoting gene expression programs; and (iii) noncoding RNAs or the “dark matter” of the genome through sequencing technologies targeting the understanding of noncoding RNA molecules (ncRNAs) produced from enhancers (eRNAs). Member of Infixion Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board since 2018.
Dr. James Kadonaga, PhD, is the Amylin Endowed Chair and a Distinguished Professor in Molecular Biology, elected in 2017 to American Assoc. for Advancement of Science. Seminal contributions in transcriptional regulation, including role of chromatin and other factors interacting with RNA polymerase. KOL Gene Regulation and Chromatin Structure. Dr. Kadonaga has been a contributing member of the Infixion Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board since 2017.
Translational scientist with industry experience in the development of cancer immunotherapy and drugs for autoimmune diseases, expertise induce early translational sciences, and clinical biomarker discovery and development. Trained immunologist with a track record of publications in high-impact journals. Contributing member of the JLABS – JPAL program that pairs researchers from Janssen Pharmaceuticals with start-up companies from within the JLABS community of companies. Scientific Advisor to Infixion Bioscience since 2021, with a focus on Biomarker development for the NF1.