The SRF team is composed of mission-driven individuals who work tirelessly toward our goal of ending age-related disease. Our team size fluctuates during the year with the addition of SRF Educational Summer Scholars and Post–Baccalaureates, however our full-time employees are listed below.
Previously serving as SRF’s Executive Director, Lisa worked closely with the organization’s preceding CEOs for more than a decade, dedicating her expertise towards building all aspects of the organization. With an educational background in Life Sciences and industry experience in microbiology, stem cells, and flow cytometry, Lisa joined SRF in 2010 as a volunteer in the laboratory. She transitioned into organizational administration in early 2012, and with a strong focus on finance and operations advanced into greater roles that balanced the financial, research, educational, and outreach operations of the organization. A Bay Area transplant from the Midwest, she is fully dedicated to advancing rejuvenation biotechnologies and guiding SRF forward as a significant and leading-edge contributor in this rapidly growing field.
Ravi Jain began his education at the University of California, Davis, and received his PhD in bioinformatics from University of California, Los Angeles. He started his career designing drugs at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, an antisense drug development company, where his efforts received 12 patents.
Ravi has a background in microbial bioinformatics and was the co-founder and President of cBio, a bioinformatics/software development consulting firm. Under his leadership, cBio was awarded ‘Top-50 San Jose Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Company’ in 2010, 2011 & 2012.
Other experience includes serving as Managing Director of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. He then served as CSO of Hemostemix, where he ran a Phase II trial on stem cell therapeutics for vascular diseases. He concurrently serves as CEO of Domina Therapeutics, a spin-out of Dr. Evan Snyder’s SRF-supported work.
Maria is a radical-change believer and spends most of her multifaceted life working on facilitating disruptive change to the way we currently treat aging. You can find her giving a talk about the future of aging, singing live for thousands of people, composing and acting for a Hollywood film or flying an airplane. Her passion and strong involvement in science and technology, combined with her skills in Public Relations, positioned her as Director of Development in charge of building new relationships for SRF, spreading the word about its work and driving donations.
Lilli joins SRF following her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis. There, as a USDA NIFA Fellow, she investigated the activation of the embryonic genome in hopes to identify better embryos and eventually improve in vitro fertilization to more efficiently produce cattle for the beef and dairy industries, and improve development rates in clinical embryology settings. She completed her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Toledo. She led an international team of scientists to discover a second, atypical centriole in human and cattle sperm, which functions during fertilization and development.
Lilli founded the UT Careers in Science Committee, held executive roles in the UT Graduate Student Association, and participated in the Frontiers in Stem Cell and Cancer training program. These experiences have fueled her passion for building equitable representation in advanced training opportunities, in order to inspire and support the next generation of pioneers in the field of anti-aging. Lilli is thrilled to harness her passion with SRF’s forward-focused mission of mitigating and preventing damage caused by aging.
Kelly joined SRF in early 2018 after completing her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2017. She recently moved from the Bay Area back to her hometown – Baltimore, Maryland. While in California, she volunteered at a Wig Bank for cancer patients. She currently volunteers as a Crisis Counselor with the Crisis Text Line, which she has been doing since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, cuddling her two cats, and baking (especially pies)!
Dr Amutha Boominathan is the Group Lead for the MitoSENS program at SENS Research Foundation. She joined SRF in 2013 as a Senior Research Scientist and became the Group Lead for the program in 2016. She completed her graduate studies from the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India with a PhD in Biochemistry. Subsequently, through an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship, she obtained further training at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University where she studied mitochondrial biogenesis with a focus on protein import and the fusion and fission mechanisms in the organelle. She has over 20 years of experience in mitochondrial biology.
Dr. Amit Sharma was awarded a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Delhi University, India. He received his PhD in 2009 in Biotechnology from University of Pune for his work demonstrating microRNA regulation of cytokines invovled in allergic inflammation in mice models. Dr. Sharma’s postdoctoral research at the Buck Institute, Novato, California involved investigating novel molecular regulatory pathways in regards to genotoxic stress and cellular senescence in invertebrate and mammalian models.
Dr. Sharma has recently joined SENS Research Foundation as Group Lead in the Senescence Immunology Research Group. His research focus involves studying how aging and senescence affects the immune system and his research group will also investigate strategies to harness the immune system in mitigating deleterious effects of senescent cells with translational focus.
Dr. Rebbaa received his PhD from Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France. He held research and faculty positions at Northwestern University, the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. Over the course of his career, his research encompassed target and drug discovery and development in the fields of cancer, stem cells and aging. He served as a Principal Investigator on multiple grants, published over 40 manuscripts and reviewed manuscripts for several high impact scientific journals.
In his recent role at Ichor Therapeutics, he oversaw the discovery and preclinical testing of small molecule senolytics and biomarkers of aging. He will build on this knowledge and experience to take over an innovative project at the RepleniSENS program to study the effect of a combination therapy using senolytics and stem cell transplantation on reducing the functional decline caused by aging. He will also be using various in vitro and in vivo models to help advance translation of promising anti-aging therapeutics discovered at SRF.
Dr. Tesfahun Admasu was awarded a master’s degree in Biochemistry from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore. During his PhD studies (2014-18), he identified drug synergy and investigated the mechanism based on “multi-omics” technology. This work led to seminal contributions to our understanding of aging and lifespan extension which were published in Developmental Cell and Nature Scientific Data. Dr. Tesfahun joined the University of Gondar and launched a master’s degree program in Biochemistry where he teaches Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At the SRF-RC, Dr. Tesfahun applies CRISPRa/CRSPRi and next generation sequencing based transcriptome profiling to investigate the mechanisms of SASP induced senescence and apoptosis resistance of senescent cells.
Katrina got her B.S. in biology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She joined SRF at the start of 2022, after time spent working in quality control in the pharmaceutical industry. She is a Baltimore native, but recently moved to Harford, MD, just north of her hometown. She enjoys spending her free time with her fiancé and their cats and ferrets.
Dr. Marcela Atzori graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from UNAM, and received her Ph.D in Molecular Biology from IPICyT. Throughout her carrier in Canada and Mexico, she studied neurophysiology of inflammatory diseases and the mechanisms of synaptic transmission rearrangements in response to stress. Since senescence is mainly caused by endogenous and exogenous stress, Dr. Atzori is interested in studying this cellular process using her knowledge and experience to help her research team to reach our scientific goals. She is highly grateful for the opportunity to work at SENS Research Foundation and to be part of Dr. Rebbaa’s team.
Anna has completed her masters and Ph.D. in molecular biology at the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo, Norway. This inspired her to pursue studies in the field of microenvironment and treatment resistance in cancer. With that goal, she joined UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019 to study mechanosignaling and matrix remodeling in aggressive brain tumors. This experience has led her to appreciate the potent role of systemic tissue changes that enable and promote cancer growth, aging – chief among them. Anna is excited to apply her knowledge from the cancer field to dissect and exploit molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence as a part of Apopto-SENS team at the SENS Research Foundation.
A graduate of Florida State University, Jessica comes to us from the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, CA. She has years of experience in nonprofits, and a Diversity and Inclusion Certification from eCornell. Her passion for social justice is matched by her desire to combat diseases that afflict the aging. Having witnessed the effects of Parkinson’s disease on a close family member, she is committed to teaming with SRF to fund and research regenerative medicine. Jessica hopes to see future generations avoid these degenerative diseases of the aging.
Anne Corwin is the Facilities Manager at SENS Research Foundation. She joined SRF full time in 2011, primarily to repair, maintain, and troubleshoot equipment as well as provide editorial, messaging, and graphics support. Her current responsibilities still include equipment maintenance, however, she now also manages building utilities, safety training and hazardous materials. Prior to joining SRF, Anne earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and then worked in the aerospace industry for several years as an EE. She lives with her partner and their cats in Santa Clara.
Greg joined SRF in 2022 managing Human Resources functions for the organization. He brings a background of success in leading HR teams and operations across multiple industries including technology, healthcare, and financial services. Previously supporting multi-state and global organizations, he enjoys the opportunity to support a diverse workforce. In his free time, he can be found volunteering in his community, spending time with family and friends and traveling. Greg completed his MBA in Human Resources Management from the University of Evansville, Hampden and is an active SHRM member.
Dr. Yafei Hou received his PhD in Immunology from Peking Union Medical College in China and completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University under the mentorship of Dr. Edgar Engleman. He has worked the past years dedicated to research in cancer immunology at UCSF and developing cancer immunotherapies in the biotech industry. Dr. Hou is excited to apply his past expertise and expand his research interests to the promising field of cellular senescence and aging.
Esmeralda received her B.S. in Veterinary Science from the University of Arizona in 2018. She has a strong passion for animal care and has volunteered in various wildlife centers over the years. She joined SRF in 2022 to contribute to the research goal of finding viable treatments for age related diseases. She hopes to implement her knowledge and experience to provide optimal care for the lab animals at SRF. In her spare time, she enjoys learning about nature and going bike riding with her husband.
Kathlene Joyce (Kate) finished her Ph.D. in Genetics and Neuroscience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2022. During that time she collaborated with researchers both at UAB and at Southern Research, a research institute, to understand the mechanisms of transcription factors related to mitochondrial and neuronal programs in order to generate leads for neurodegenerative therapies. This involved RNA-seq, proximity-tagging and mass spec, and follow up on interactors in mouse models. Working at SRF is the next step in a career to find ways to improve people’s lives.
Elena received her Ph.D. in 2006 in Microbiology from the National University of Tashkent, Uzbekistan for her work demonstrating biological features of entomopathogenic bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis as a pest control agent. Elena has broad biological research experience in such areas as soil rhisosphere and soil restoration, insect pathology, bio-insecticides, proteomics, and protein crystallization.
Christine received her M.S. in Physics from Clark Atlanta University and her B.S. in Physics from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. While in school Christine’s research was focused on computational physics. Before joining SRF in 2022, Christine worked in private and public schools as a science and mathematics teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. She has experience teaching toddlers through adults and developing curricula. Christine is passionate about increasing student interest in the science field. Christine believes that everyone has the ability to be successful in science. In her free time, Christine enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and family and friends.
Marek Pinto is a sophomore at Boston University studying Computer Science, Math, and Biomedical Engineering. He was a 2022 SRF Summer Scholar working in the MitoSENS lab, and is continuing to work in the lab as a Research Tech. His interests lie in bioinformatics and using computational methods to optimize the mRNA stability of allotopically expressed gene constructs.
Dr. Manikandan Samidurai did a master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, India, and received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Chonnam National University, South Korea. His postdoctoral research at the Iowa State University has focused on Protein misfolding and neuroinflammatory mechanisms in neurodegeneration. At the SRF-RC, Dr. Mani is investigating novel approaches to remove misfolded protein aggregates like tau to alleviate normal age-dependent dementias and tauopathies like Alzheimer’s disease.
Sam is currently pursuing a B.A. in Networking and Digital Systems from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He previously worked during the Summer of 2019 as an IT Technician Intern and is pleased to be rejoining the SRF team as the in-office IT Technician. In his free time, Sam enjoys playing tennis and hiking.
Gary is a creative director with over two decades of experience in design, branding, interactive development, content creation, and video production. His professional passion is empowering disruptive technologies with creativity, and he’s been working with SRF since 2012. Gary received a BS in Finance from the University of Florida in 1993 and graduated from Miami Ad School’s Art Direction program in 1998. A licensed pilot, his primary interests include technology, aerospace, nature, futurism, and traveling the world with his wife Maria.
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