Sarah Richardson


A computational and molecular biologist, Dr. Richardson specializes in genomes. Dr. Richardson earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Maryland College Park; with the support of a prestigious DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship she earned a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow of Genomics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory she worked on massive scale synthetic biology projects and the integration of computational genomics with experimental genomics. In 2015, she was named a SynBio LEAP Fellow based on her “leadership potential and vision for shaping a future in biotechnology.” In 2015 she was also one of five promising young female scientists to receive a postdoctoral fellowship award from L’Oréal USA; she proposed to study CRISPR systems and the domestication of non-model bacteria.

Jeff Anderson

President & Co-founder

Jeff earned an LL.M. in energy & environmental law from Pace University and an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University. He has deep experience in creating, growing, and turning around impact driven for-profit, non-profit and civil society organizations. Recently he served as the founding managing director at Activation Energy – the non-profit that jointly operates Cyclotron Road with Berkeley Lab; before that he was the founder and President of CalCharge, a groundbreaking energy storage R&D consortium; and before that he was the managing director of the California Clean Energy fund.

Dr. Margaret Brown

Margaret Brown

Founding Scientist

Trained in chemistry and biochemistry, Dr. Brown specializes in understanding the intracellular proteomic environment and its bioengineering. She received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Anthropology from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the guidance of Professor Michelle Chang where she investigated the lignin-induced transcriptomic and proteomic response of lignin-degrading bacteria as well as novel biochemical mechanisms for the oxidation of lignin and lignin-like molecules. Her post-doctoral studies were performed in the laboratory of Professor Jay Keasling engineering bacteria to degrade chemical warfare agents as a source of carbon.

Jessica Schaffer

Molecular Biologist

Trained in molecular biology and microbiology, Jessie is a super-fan of bacteria and all their quirks. After discovering the world of microbiology as an undergraduate at MIT, she received her PhD for her work detangling genetic circuits in Dr. Bonnie Bassler’s lab at Princeton University. Dr. Schaffer’s postdoctoral studies in Dr. Melanie Pearson’s laboratory at New York University Medical Center elucidated a novel pathway for bacterial colonization of the urinary tract in the pathogen Proteus mirabilis. Most recently, Dr. Schaffer was a scientist in the Microbiome Discovery group at DuPont Pioneer.

Harry Zuzan

Primary Statistician

Harry Zuzan received a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics and a PhD in Statistics.  His doctoral research was in the area of cryo electron microscopy where he developed analysis methods used for 3D reconstructions of biological macromolecules from high resolution transmission electron micrographs.

His postdoctoral research was in the study of whole transcriptome profiles of breast and ovarian tumor samples.  Also signal processing of scanned DNA hybridization surfaces that produce these profiles.  He has written analysis methods for Affymetrix SNP and cytogenetic microarrays that remain central to analyses of these data.  An example is the hidden Markov model for DNA copy number analysis.

Harry enjoys integrating statistics, computing and biology
especially where Bayesian models are implemented.

Juan Cristobal Vera


Cris started his professional life as a typical geneticist-in-training at the Pennsylvania State University in Professor Jim Marden’s lab, but soon switched to the computational side for his dissertation research in the bioinformatics and functional transcriptomics of non-model insect populations. After graduating, he worked at Leidos Biomedical Inc as a bioinformatics analyst attached to the Sequencing facility and genomics core at the NCI Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. There, he worked mostly in the development of methods to elucidate the viral integration mechanisms involved in cancer genomics. His next position was bioinformatics scientist at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign, where he designed NGS bioinformatic pipelines to investigate the evolutionary genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa/phage interactions within immune-compromised patients and flu infection heterogeneity at the individual cell level.

Elsa Marconi

Research Associate

Elsa earned a B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and minor in History from UC Santa Cruz in 2016. Prior to MicroByre, Elsa worked in the Microbiome Discovery group at Corteva Agrisciences researching plant growth-promoting microbes.

Chickens inspired by Geobacillus stearothermophilus, a bacteria noted for thermotolerance and food enzyme production. See more of Karen’s work