Founders, Board and Management

Sydney Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.



Sydney is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award, 1971, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for his pioneering work in genetics and molecular biology. He participated in the discovery of messenger RNA and, with Francis Crick, showed that the genetic code was composed of triplets. As an entrepreneur he cofounded Lynx Therapeutics (merged with Solexa and then was acquired by Illumina), Combichem (acquired by DuPont), Acidophil (innovation partnership with Philip Goelet) and Population Genetics.  After receiving his MD from the University of Witwaterstrand and his DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford University, Sydney began his career in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, and became the Director of its successor, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in 1979. He became the Director of the MRC Unit of Molecular Genetics in 1987, retiring in 1992. He founded and directed the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley and he was the founding president of the Okinawa Institution of Science.  He is now a Janelia Senior Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Distinguished Research Professor of The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California and founded and leads the Molecular Engineering Lab at A*STAR Singapore.

Bernard Daugeras, Ph.D.


Bernard is cofounder and member of the Supervisory Board of Auriga Partners. He is an expert in life sciences and was behind successful investments such as BioAlliance Pharma (EuroNext : BIO), NicOx (EuroNext : COX). Bernard, a member of the French Academy of Technologies, began his career doing research into particle physics at the University of Orsay, the University of California at Berkeley, and CNRS, the French national scientific research center. He subsequently held senior posts at the French Ministry of Industry and Research, where he was in charge of promoting technology transfer from research institutions and of optimizing relations between Research and Industry. After 4 years in the Crédit Lyonnais setting up the bank's Venture Capital arm, he joined Finovelec in 1990.   Bernard is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and has a Ph.D. from the University of Orsay.

Sam Eletr, Ph.D.


Sam is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He co-founded Applied Biosystems, Inc., where he served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from its founding in 1979 until 1987. Prior to that, he was the Manager of the Analytical and Medical Instruments Group at the Hewlett-Packard corporate research laboratories in Palo Alto.  He is a cofounder of a number of companies including iSTAT (acquired by Abbott Laboratories), Lynx Therapeutics (which merged with Solexa and then sold to Illumina), Third Wave Technologies, Faust Pharmaceuticals (renamed Domain Therapeutics), Rhythm Diagnostics, Andrew Alliance and Population Genetics Technologies, currently holding board positions at the latter three companies. He has also served on the boards of SpinX Technologies and Solexa and as an advisor to Red Abbey Venture Partners. He obtained an M.A. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to graduate school he studied Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute in Grenoble, France.

Philip Goelet, Ph.D.

Board Member and Cofounder

Philip has extensive experience as a scientist, entrepreneur and investor.  He has co-founded and invested in a number of biotechnology companies including Molecular Tool, Inc. (acquired by Orchid Biosciences), RiboTargets, Plc. (merged with Vernalis), Population Genetic Technologies, Arginetix (acquired by AstraZeneca), ZuvaChem (merged with BioSyntha) and AgriMetis (cofounded with Syngenta Ventures).  In parallel he co-founded Acidophil LLC, an innovation partnership, with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner, and Red Abbey Venture Partners, a health care private equity fund.  His interest in approaches for understanding genomics began with the sequencing of tobacco mosaic virus in 1982 as part of his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge. He followed his graduate studies with postdoctoral research into neuroscience at Columbia University.

Jonathan Karn, Ph.D.

Board Member

Jon is the Reinberger Professor of Molecular Biology and Chairman of the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at the Case School of Medicine and Director of the Case Center for AIDS research.  His research focuses on the control of gene expression and latency in HIV, and strategies for viral eradication.  Dr. Karn’s commercial experience includes founding and serving as the Chief Scientific Officer of RiboTargets Holdings Plc and acting as a consultant to numerous companies, including Ciba-Geigy, Molecular Tool, Inc., Orchid Biosciences, Inc., and Merck. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2011.

Mel Kronick, Ph.D.

Board Member and Intellectual Property management

Mel currently serves as a Board member and, since 2011, has been a consultant to PGT helping manage the company’s operations and, in particular, development of the Company’s patent portfolio. He worked closely with PGT management to refine PGT’s early business focus and fundraising activities and then served as PGT's chief executive officer of PGT from 2008 to 2011. Mel, who has a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University, was a division R&D manager at both Agilent Technologies and Applied Biosystems. In these previous positions Mel was responsible for multiple product development programs that have resulted in commercially successful products using DNA sequencing and DNA microarray technologies. He also serves as a board member and consultant to TheraBiol, Inc., a start-up company in San Francisco focusing on novel immunotherapy approaches to infectious disease therapeutics.

Alan, a former CEO of PGT, works as a biotechnology consultant and is leading on PGT’s IP sales efforts. In addition to his consulting experience, Alan served as CEO of 14M Genomics, as Director of Science Funding at the Wellcome Trust and was global Vice President Technology Development at GlaxoSmithKline. Preceding these roles, he led the genetics business unit as Vice President, Genetics at Incyte, and was a co-founder and Director of Biology at Hexagen, a functional genomics company acquired by Incyte. Alan has also conducted research on various human diseases in the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge, and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington, USA, and obtained a PhD from the University of Southern California School of Medicine for research in human genetics.

Alan Schafer, Ph.D., FRSB

Business Development Management


PGT was founded with by Compass Genetics, with investment through Compass Genetics Investors LLC and grant support from the Wellcome Trust.  Since its formation, PGT has also received investment from these founders as well as Auriga Partners, Beringea and Syngenta Ventures.  PGT is currently funded by equity investment from its founders (Compass Genetics Investors) and Auriga Partners in addition to licensing fees.

Auriga Partners

Auriga Partners are a Paris based investment group that have been supporting software and life sciences entrepreneurs for more than 20 years, returning world-class performances through countless trade-sales and IPOs.

Compass Genetics Investors LLC

An innovation and investment partnership between Sydney Brenner, Sam Eletr and Philip Goelet.