We exist to alleviate humansuffering


Why We Founded 1910 Genetics


Our Name

In 1910, James Herrick published a report describing sickle-shaped red blood cells in a 20-year-old African-American student. Almost 45 years later, scientists discovered a mutation in hemoglobin that causes this “mysterious disease,” making sickle cell anemia the first genetic disease known to man.

This medical history inspires our approach of focusing on therapeutic targets with clinical or genetic validation - hence, the “Genetics” in our name. Today, over 90% of Phase 1 clinical drug candidates fail to achieve regulatory approval. A major contributing factor is target selection – most targets that are the focus of drug development efforts do not have clinical or genetic validation that confirms those targets play a causative, instead of an accessory role in the disease. Another contributing factor is that most preclinical animal models do not reflect human disease.


Our
Technology

At 1910 Genetics, we first establish an understanding of the molecular basis of disease to the granularity at which the world understands sickle cell anemia. This understanding centers biology as our North Star, and drives our integration of artificial intelligence (AI), computation and biological automation to accelerate the design of small molecule and protein therapeutics.

We have two drug discovery engines - ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ - that enable the design of both small molecule and protein therapeutics, an unmatched capability in the AI drug discovery space. Our therapeutic area-agnostic, end-to-end technology powers the full length of early drug discovery - from novel hit discovery to hit to lead, and lead optimization.

ELVIS™, our small molecule drug discovery engine, comprises three AI platforms including:

  • SUEDE™ - our gigascale virtual screening platform, which screens 14 billion molecules in less than six hours to identify promising hit compounds
  • BAGEL™ - our hit to lead deep learning generative chemistry platform that rapidly generates de novo lead molecules using a hit compound as a template
  • CANDID™ - our physical property prediction platform for multi-parameter optimization.
  • Biological Automation - These three AI platforms are integrated via cloud computing with our in-house biological automation wet lab platform. The technology conducts in vitro biochemical and cell-based assays on the AI-designed compounds and returns the wet lab data in a feedback loop to the AI platforms, while building a differentiated and proprietary dataset.
For protein design, we are developing ROSALYND™, an AI-driven discovery engine, which aspires to provide a faster, more affordable and more accurate alternative to X-ray crystallography for the purpose of 3D protein structure refinement, prediction and de novo protein therapeutics design.

Recent advances in computational technologies have placed historically “undruggable” targets within therapeutic reach. But at 1910 Genetics, we often say “Biology is King,” meaning that computational technologies are only impactful in drug discovery when driven by experimental biology. Our platforms’ scale and breadth empower us to be therapeutic area-agnostic with programs ranging from neuroscience and immunology to infectious disease and oncology, to name a few.


Our impact

Ultimately, our mission is to decrease the timeline and cost of drug development, while improving the success rate of bringing innovative medicines to patients in need.

We welcome all stakeholders, including biopharma, academia, government institutions, providers, payers, patients, investors, and exceptional talent to join us on our journey.

Team that makes
everything possible

Core Team

Jen Nwankwo, Ph.D. Founder & CEO
short biography

Before founding 1910, Jen worked at the intersection of life science, technology, and business. Prior roles include Management Consultant at Bain & Company, Director of Business Development at a health-tech startup (pre-seed to Series A), and drug discovery stints at Novartis and Eli Lilly. During her Ph.D. research, Jen was an HHMI Predoctoral Fellow at the medical schools of Tufts University and Harvard University.

Lewis Whitehead, Ph.D. VP of Computational Chemistry
short biography

An experienced & accomplished computational medical chemist with a demonstrated history of working in the pharmaceuticals industry, Lewis supported drug-discovery efforts in the UK, Switzerland & the USA while at Novartis in a wide-variety of disease areas, with co-designer credit of recently approved oncology medication PIQRAY®, & also lead a modeling team contributing to the development of KISQALI®. At Nimbus Therapeutics, he initiated ligand-based small molecule design efforts as well as the use of virtual reality technology in the drug-discovery process.

Brandon Moore, Ph.D. AI Research Scientist II / Interim Technical Lead
short biography

Brandon harnesses machine learning and parallel computing to design small molecule therapeutics using our AI-powered E​LVIS​™ and ROSALYND​™ platforms.​ He received his Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from MIT and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt where he leveraged neural networks to study the primate visual system. Once a King of the Nerds contestant, Brandon enjoys creative STEM projects like building animatronic chatbots, training generative art algorithms, and teaching monkeys addition (PNAS/I Fing Love Science).

Sahil Chhabra, Ph.D. AI Research Scientist I
short biography

At 1910, Sahil uses BAGEL™, our AI-powered generative chemistry platform, to design novel small molecule drugs for the hit discovery, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization stages of drug discovery. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Scientific Computing from the University of Michigan where he used machine learning to predict RNA structure and to model RNA-ligand interactions. Sahil obtained integrated Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from IIT Kharagpur where he investigated quantum phase-space dynamics using the time-dependent Fourier grid Hamiltonian method.

Shraddha Teli, MS Research Associate I, Assay Biology
short biography

At 1910 Genetics, Shraddha works on all aspects of our biological automation platform, which leverages state-of-the-art robotics to automate assay development, validation, and scale up for high throughput screening of therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms. Shraddha received her master's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she investigated protein modification pathways in the pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Kiran Mahasenan, Ph.D. Computational Chemist I
short biography

At 1910 Genetics, Kiran conducts advanced physics-based molecular dynamics simulations and quantum chemical calculations of various drug targets to exploit their unique druggable nature. The simulations are performed in tandem with the proprietary AI platforms of 1910 Genetics, which enable rapid discovery of selective hits from billions of compounds. Kiran obtained his Ph.D. from the Division of Medicinal Chemistry, the Ohio State University. Further, he conducted research at the University of Notre Dame at ranks ranging from Postdoc to Faculty level.

Aesha Upadhyay, MS Research Associate I, Assay Biology
short biography

Aesha received her Master's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California where she investigated the role of fibroblasts in modulating angiogenesis. At 1910 Genetics, Aesha works on all aspects of our biological automation platform, leveraging state-of-the-art robotics to automate assay development, validation, and scale up for high throughput screening of therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms.

Ahmad Najafian, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow, Computational Chemistry
short biography

Ahmad conducted postdoctoral training in computational biology at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine where he investigated protein-protein interactions. Prior to Einstein, he received his Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from the University of North Texas where he collaborated with Reata Pharmaceuticals to design novel protease inhibitors. At 1910, Ahmad uses both structure- and ligand-based computer-aided drug design technologies to computationally validate therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS​™​ and ROSALYND​™​ platforms.

Seun Olurunwunmi Software Engineer I
short biography

Seun is an AWS-certified solutions architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Suffolk University and a Full Stack Web Development certification from Lambda School. At 1910 Genetics, Seun architects the cloud computing infrastructure that powers the full range of AI-driven small molecule and protein design programs across all phases of early stage drug discovery, including novel hit discovery, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization.

Pete Bowry Software Engineer I
short biography

Pete is a certified Azure developer with a bachelor's degree in bioinformatics with a focus in statistics and computer science from Virginia Commonwealth University where he worked on solving protein structure prediction using ML. At 1910 Genetics, Pete Architects and builds out the backend systems that keep 1910’s platforms working together to solve drug-discovery problems.

Jennifer Bordeau Associate Director of Business Operations & Finance
short biography

Jennifer joins 1910 Genetics with over 13 years of experience in operations and finance at healthcare organizations. Jennifer earned her bachelor's from Dartmouth College and her MBA from Georgetown University. Her professional experience includes budgeting, financial analysis, and biomedical research management at Mass General Brigham, and optimizing people, process, and technology via sales consulting and marketing operations at athenahealth.

Karanpal Kapoor, Ph.D. Computational Chemist I
short biography

George Golumbeski, Ph.D. Chairman of the Business Advisory Board
short biography

Trained as a research scientist, George has focused on enabling young, innovation-driven companies to bring breakthrough medications into medical practice. In his more than 25 years leading Business Development organizations, he has contributed to advancement of numerous marketed medications that are benefiting patients worldwide. Known globally for his interest in leading-edge science and his creativity in forging inter-company collaborations, he was recognized in 2014 by Fierce Biotech as one of the 20 most influential people in the Biotechnology industry.

Miracle Ozonma Computational Chemistry Intern
short biography

At 1910 Genetics, Miracle worked on biological assay development, validation, and screening of compounds designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms. She now works on using both structure- and ligand-based computer-aided drug design technologies to computationally validate therapeutics designed by our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms.

Bernardo Adame AI Research Fellow
short biography

Bernardo is currently a Ph.D. student in Mathematics at the University of Southern California studying the intersection between Quantum Computation and Machine Learning. At 1910 Genetics, Bernardo utilizes recent advances in AI to build CANDID™, our lead to candidate platform. Previous to working for 1910 he obtained a BS in Mathematics from MIT, studying Applied Mathematics and Theoretical CS.

Board of Directors

Jen Nwankwo, Ph.D. Board Director
short biography

Jen is the Founder & CEO of 1910 Genetics. Before founding 1910, Jen worked at the intersection of life science, technology, and business. Prior roles include Management Consultant at Bain & Company, Director of Business Development at a health-tech startup (pre-seed to Series A), and drug discovery stints at Novartis and Eli Lilly. During her Ph.D. research, Jen was an HHMI Predoctoral Fellow at the medical schools of Tufts University and Harvard University.

Samir Kumar Board Director
short biography

Samir is a Managing Director at M12 - Microsoft’s Venture Fund, where he, provides technical leadership for the recently announced AI Fund, and also leads investment activities in other key frontier technology areas such as quantum computing and autonomous vehicles. Samir started his career at Microsoft and spent several years in Redmond leading product management/product planning efforts for enterprise mobility before heading to Palm, Samsung, and Qualcomm. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.

Jory Bell Board Director
short biography

Jory Bell is a General Partner at Playground Global, having joined the firm as Vice President in 2015. Jory sourced some of the firm’s earliest investments including Nervana Systems (acquired by Intel) and subsequently led the firm’s investment efforts in deep tech areas including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, genomics, and synthetic/computational biology.

Marc Foster Non-Executive Board Director
short biography

Marc Foster brings 20 years of biotech and 15 years of high-tech experience as an operator, consultant, and investor to Geodesic Bioventures, LLC, which co-founds and advises new ventures in life sciences and health. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brown University and an MBA from The University of Chicago.

Kouki Harasaki, Ph.D. Board Observer
short biography

Kouki focuses on Healthcare & Life Sciences at M12 - Microsoft’s Venture Fund. He has 20+ years of experience researching, translating, and investing in biomedical sciences. He has led over $5 billion in transactions, which led to 14 Immunology/Oncology drug programs being funded. Before joining M12, Kouki was a Partner at Romulus Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to his career in venture capital, Kouki was a Blavatnik Fellow (healthcare EIR) at Harvard and ran the clinical data analytics company, Medal, as COO/CFO.

Phyllis Whiteley, Ph.D. Board Observer
short biography

Phyllis is a Venture Partner at Playground Global, where she provides hands-on leadership in building, investing, and creating companies in all areas of Healthcare where technology can improve access to healthcare, the patient experience, and improved quality and speed while reducing costs. Her executive expertise includes strategic planning, financing, partnerships, restructuring, building executive teams, and M&A. Prior to joining Playground Global, Phyllis spent over a decade at Wildcat Venture Partners and Mohr Davidow Ventures, leading to numerous successful exits.