InSphero’s leadership team combines rich scientific and commercial expertise in 3D microtissue engineering, cell-based assays, laboratory automation, and industry-scale production and quality assurance. The strategic management expertise of our Board of Directors and Strategic Advisory Board members complements our leadership scheme.
An engineer and laboratory automation expert with 20 years of experience in the life sciences, Jan earned his PhD in Microtechnology and Microfluidics at the University of Neuchâtel.
An accomplished pharma R&D executive and board-certified toxicologist with more than 30 years of cumulative experience at Novartis and Janssen, Armin is a leading expert in mechanistic and investigative safety and discovery, dedicated to the development of physiologically relevant models for industry applications. Armin maintains a dual appointment as a Professor of Toxicology at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He is a biochemist by training and earned his PhD at the DKFZ German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.
A financial planning and analysis professional with more than 10 years experience in life science and retail companies, Martin has held global finance and auditing positions at several companies, including Bayer and Lonza. He earned his masters degree in international business, controlling, and finance from ESCP Europe, and holds two advanced degrees in biology and industrial engineering, from Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen and the University of Louisville, respectively.
A seasoned commercial leader with 18+ years of experience in senior sales and marketing roles in small and large corporations. Prior to joining InSphero, Paul served as VP of Strategic Partnerships Europe at eMolecules Inc., a San Diego-based growth company providing solutions for drug discovery to Big Pharma, biotech, and academic institutions. Paul holds a chemistry degree from the University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland and an Executive MBA from the University of Zurich.
One of the co-founders of InSphero, Wolfgang is expert in production and assay methods for microtissues using laboratory-scale approaches, valuable background in clinical applications of microtissues including islet biology and diabetes drug discovery. Wolfgang earned a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Zurich.
A seasoned Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs professional with 20+ years of experience in pre-market and post-market product development of life science & biotech products and medical devices, including medical device vigilance and post-market surveillance. Hands-on experience in establishing Quality Systems supporting pre-clinical and clinical product development and product release to market. Marion earned her PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Zurich and an MBA from Webster University, Geneva.
Experienced scientist and member of the InSphero team since 2012. David has extensive industry expertise in advanced in vitro model development, standardization, and automation. He holds a PhD in molecular biotechnology from ETH Zurich.
Olivier Frey is Head of Technologies & Platforms and Project Manager of Microphysiological Systems at InSphero AG, and is a former group leader of the Bio Engineering Laboratory of ETHZ (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich). He holds a Dr.Sc in Microtechnology from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and an MSc in Microtechnology, Mechanics from ETH Zürich.
Burcak Yesildag is the Head of Islet Solutions Group at InSphero AG. With over 10 years of experience in pancreatic islet biology and diabetes research, she focuses on generating advanced and high-throughput compatible assays and disease models for diabetes drug discovery. Burcak holds a Dr. Sc. degree in Translation Biomedicine from ETHZ (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich).
Bruno is an experienced and versatile biologist who worked at the crossroad between cell biology, advanced in vitro models, and biochemistry in various European academic and technical research institutions for more than 15 years. Bruno holds a PhD in cell biology from the University of Zürich and thrives to turn innovation into applications.
Dr. Jürg Gysi, President of the Board, Switzerland
Former CEO, Promega AG Switzerland. Molecular Biologist with more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and management in the biotech industry in Switzerland, Germany and the US.
Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, Chief Executive Officer InSphero AG, Member of the InSphero Management Team
Co-founder of InSphero, former Head of R&D and Product Management in medical-device company Hocoma AG and Uwatec AG. Entrepreneur of the Year Switzerland in 2013 and ETH Zurich, University of Neuchâtel, EPF Lausanne and University of Bremen alumni. Founder and former CEO of Advanced Micromachining Tools GmbH.
Thomas Pfisterer, Wild Group Management AG
Heads the Direct Investments activities of the WILD Family Office since beginning of 2015. He joined the Family Office following the sale of WILD Flavors GmbH, one of the world’s leading suppliers of natural ingredients to the food and beverage industry, which he served as Head of Strategic Development directing the company’s global M&A activities since October 2011. Previously, Mr. Pfisterer worked in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley Bank AG in Frankfurt focusing on M&A and capital market transactions for German healthcare clients. Mr. Pfisterer holds a Master in Finance (MPhil) from Cambridge University, as well as a Bachelor in Economics (B.A. HSG) and a Bachelor in Business Administration (B.A. HSG) both from University of St. Gallen.
Beat Schillig, Founder and President IFJ Institute for Young Entrepreneurs
Serial Entrepreneur and Business Angel.
Daniel Kallay, Global Head of New Business Development, Red Bull GmbH
Served as managing director for Red Bull France, Southern Europe and Switzerland previously and is board member on a number of Swiss technology companies. He holds a Master of Economics degree from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and an advanced leadership degree from Cambridge University.
Prof. Nikolai Naoumov, MD, PhD
Prof. Naoumov is a is distinguished physician-scientist, with a professional career spanning academia, clinical care, and drug development. He is a Fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Royal College of Pathologists (UK). His research has integrated immunology, molecular biology, and translational medicine in elucidating virus-host interactions and mechanisms of liver injury.
Prof. Thomas Hartung, MD, PhD
Prof. Hartung is a Professor of Evidence-based Toxicology and Director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Konstanz. He is a passionate advocate for replacing animal testing with more ethical and predictive in vitro models and is investigating new applications for big data and artificial intelligence in toxicity testing.
Prof. Matthias von Herrath, MD
Prof. von Herrath holds a dual appointment as Vice President and Senior Medical Officer at Novo Nordisk and Professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology Center for Autoimmunity and Inflammation. One of the world’s leading type 1 diabetes researchers, he is committed to clinical translation of immune-based interventions in autoimmune and metabolic diseases.
Prof. Gerd Kullak-Ublick, MD
Prof. Kullak-Ublick is a Full Professor and Director of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Hospital Zurich. His primary research interests include function and regulation of drug transporters, new biomarkers of drug safety, and drug-induced liver and kidney injury. Prof. Kullak-Ublick’s contributions in the fields of pharmacology, toxicology, gastroenterology, and hepatology have received critical acclaim and recognition from honorable subject experts around the world.