Team

Founders

Patrick Nee

Patrick Nee

Patrick Nee (CEO)

Patrick Nee holds an BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology where he researched the control of dynamic bipedal robots, and an MBA from Columbia University. He founded one of the first multimedia content companies and a quantitative financial software company providing options analysis to more than $4B of pension funds. As CTO at Priceline WebHouse, he oversaw the launch team as it grew to a department of 400 and processed more than 100,000 transactions per day. At BenefitPort, he engineered the turnaround of a problematic IT investment in an insurance technology roll-up financed by private equity firms. He was CIO of Walker Digital, an innovative invention house and patent portfolio, overseeing technology development with partner firms. He founded the on-line language learning site yappr.com and ran the company through acquisition. He founded the synthetic biology programs at the Universidad de Panamá and Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, and was a judge at the iGEM synthetic biology contest held at MIT in 2010 and 2011. He has lived in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Milan, Osaka, Tokyo, and Panama City.

Christopher DaCunha (CTO)

Christopher M. DaCunha holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). While working on his undergraduate and graduate work, he held a position managing a start-up laboratory working on bacterial biopolymer research for heavy metal remediation systems. He then went on to a position at WPI managing the Bioprocess Laboratory where he led a team on contract manufacturing projects encompassing pharmaceutical R&D, process design, protein purification, heavy metal recovery, prototype design for bioreactors and chromatography columns, scaling, and biotechnology education programs. In addition, isolation, identification and characterization of novel organisms from diverse environments played a crucial role in several projects. During this period he oversaw the design and construction of a new Bioprocess Facility at WPI’s Bioengineering Institute.  Recently, he has worked in the biofuels industry as Senior R&D Scientist in the genetics, biochemistry, and pilot plant programs at EdenIQ, where he developed various genetic tools, methods for recombinant protein expression, and in-situ ethanol yield improvements. He takes an active role in science education programs, and was a judge at CCSF’s Bridge to Biotech 2011 Poster competition, the iGEM 2011 World and 2012 Regional Championships at MIT and Stanford respectively, and the 2012 Bay Area BioGENEius competition at the Gladstone Institute.