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.


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.

Seung Hahm, Ph.D. Vice President of Biology
short biography

Seung has over twenty years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Before joining 1910, Seung served at Navitor Pharmaceutical as Senior Director and Head of In Vivo Pharmacology. Prior to Navitor, Seung was a member of the discovery team at Novartis, Pfizer/Wyeth, and Amgen/Tularik. In addition, he led the multidisciplinary preclinical research team and the Proof of Concept team where he successfully co-authored three IND filings. Seung holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Arkansas.

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. Tech Lead for AI Research & Machine Learning Engineering
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).

Hossein Razavi, Ph.D. Head of Medicinal Chemistry
short biography

Over the course of his career, Hossein has worked in many multi-disciplinary drug discovery teams that have delivered development and clinical candidates. He started as a medicinal chemist at Boehringer Ingelheim in the Immunology & Inflammation, and Cardiometabolic therapeutic areas. During his stints at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Cyclerion Therapeutics, he worked on tissue-targeted sGC stimulators. He is a co-inventor of Tafamidis (Vyndaqel® & Vyndamax®), which was discovered during his postdoctoral research in Professor Kelly’s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute.

Austin Day, Ph.D. AI Research Scientist III
short biography

Austin is the AI lead for protein therapeutics at 1910 Genetics. Austin has worked at Adaptive Biotechnologies to leverage structural modeling and machine learning to support antibody and TCR therapeutics. At Just Biotherapeutics, Austin developed computational methods to improve antibody developability and stability. Austin was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Washington in the lab of David Baker, developing algorithms to design small molecule binding proteins. For fun, Austin loves experimenting with AI for game playing and financial analysis.

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.

Reyal Hoxie, Ph.D. Associate Scientist, Assay Biology
short biography

Reyal received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Brandeis University, where she investigated the energetics of binding for Hsp90 inhibitors and how Hsp90 inhibitors alter the effect of BiP on the conformation of Grp94. At 1910 Genetics, Reyal 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.

Shraddha Teli, M.S. Research Associate II, 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).

Shannon Cosgrove, M.S. AI Research Scientist I
short biography

Shannon received her Master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Georgetown University where she used computational methods to investigate target variants within the binding site and their ability to confer resistance to disease. Prior to Georgetown, Shannon completed a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Johns Hopkins University. At 1910 Genetics, Shannon leverages our AI-powered ELVIS™ and ROSALYND™ platforms for small molecule and protein design.

Aesha Upadhyay, M.S. Research Associate II, 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.

Seun Olorunwunmi Software Engineer II
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.

Jesse W. Collins, Ph.D. AI Research Fellow
short biography

Jesse studied physics at MIT, and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, partly supported by an NSF IGERT fellowship in Biomechanics. He was a postdoc on an NIH-funded project in neuron activity recording. He trained AI models for genetics and tissue architecture studies before joining 1910 Genetics as an AI Research Fellow on the CANDID™ platform for small molecule discovery.

Matt McCoy, Ph.D. AI Research Fellow
short biography

Najwa Ibrahim Executive Assistant
short biography

At 1910, Najwa provides comprehensive support to the Founder & CEO in addition to leading recruitment and managing office operations. Najwa received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Najwa has 3 years of experience supporting C-suite executives.

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.

Sumit Rai Scientist I
short biography

Anthony Navarro Senior Manager, Lab Operations, Compound Management & Automation
short biography

Fredrik Haeffner Computational Chemist I
short biography

Liqun Zhang Computational Chemist I
short biography

Francis Acquah Postdoctoral Fellow, Translational Biochemistry & Pharmacology
short biography

Lakshmi Chivukula Postdoctoral Fellow, Translational Biochemistry & Pharmacology
short biography

Francisco McGee AI Research Scientist I
short biography

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.

Kouki Harasaki, Ph.D. Board Director
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.

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.

Jennifer Leeds, Ph.D. Independent Board Director
short biography

Before joining the Board of 1910 Genetics, Dr. Leeds held several leadership positions over her 19 years at NIBR. Currently, she is Executive Director of Business Development and Licensing, leading the discovery and early development search and evaluation efforts in the Western U.S. and Canada, and supporting out-licensing of assets from NIBR’s global portfolio. Dr. Leeds was Executive Director and Head of Antibacterial Discovery, Infectious Diseases at NIBR and was responsible for the strategic growth of the Novartis Antibacterial Discovery group and portfolio.

Samir Kumar Board Observer
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.

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.

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.