Leanna M. Levine, Ph.D.
Dr. Levine, founder, of ALine, Inc. is an entrepreneur, technologist, and inventor. She has a unique blend of technical expertise in both bioanalytical science and manufacturing process development. The need for scalable processes for prototyping microfluidic devices was her founding vision. This vision was realized in ALine’s proprietary engineered laminate fabrication platform which informs a set of design rules for microfluidic device design. Prior to founding ALine, Dr. Levine was involved in the development of bioanalytical technology to support life science research. She has 9 years experience in Monsanto's corporate R&D where her lab led the industry in the application of fluorescence polarization for high throughput screening of enzyme targets, leading to a patent. In 1998 she joined Spectrum Laboratories as Director of Manufacturing and Product Development. During her tenure at Spectrum she developed a novel fabrication method for hollow fiber membranes, and improved the manufacture of Spectrum's hollow fiber membrane products. In 2001, she became Director of Applications Development at Nanostream, leading an effort to develop a microfluidic product for the life sciences laboratory for which she is a co-inventor. Dr. Levine earned her Ph.D. at Washington University, St. Louis (1986), and her B.S. in Biochemistry and BA in German from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (1982). In 2003 she was a visiting scholar at the UCLA Anderson School of Business. In 2000 she was the chair of the Gordon Conference on Bioanalytical Sensors. She is the co-author on a dozen publications, and several patents.
Stefano Begolo, Ph.D.
Stefano Begolo has been a key player in the development of the patented microfluidic slip-chip technology for medical diagnostic applications while at the California Institute of Technology. Stefano has expertise in the design and development of 3D printed microfluidic components, and specialized skills in embossing, lithography, and UV cure laminate devices. His materials expertise ensures the incorporation of surfaces compatible with a variety of biomolecular interactions and specialized fluidic functions. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics in 2011 from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He obtained a B.S. in Material Science and a M.S. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Padua (Italy). His graduate work focused on the use of droplet microfluidics for detecting DNA and proteins, and on the development of innovative technologies for the production of microfluidic devices. He is co-author of seven publications and several patents.
Justin Podczerviensky, B.S.
Justin Podczerviensky earned a dual degree in Applied Physics and Mathematics from the University of California Santa Cruz. His passion is analyzing and providing simple and unique solutions to real world problems. After joining the ALine team in 2010, his focus has been to solve interesting manufacturing problems to expand ALine’s offering as well as increase throughput and quality. Justin has developed a method for solvent assisted thermal bonding of simple microfluidic devices as well as a method for thermal lamination compatible with ALine’s on-board pump and valve technology. He is responsible for developing manufacturing and quality control processes for customer products, troubleshooting design and fabrication issues, as well as developing a roadmap for making prototypes amenable to volume manufacture within target cost and timeframe.
Said Ehrlich, M.S.
Said obtained a B.S. in Physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Afterwards, he moved to Saudi Arabia to engage in an Electrical Engineering graduate program at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. His M.S. degree was awarded upon completion of thesis work focused on bonding thermoplastic materials for the fabrication of microfluidic devices. He joined ALine at the end of 2012 as a Lead Engineer. Said is interested in expanding the reach of ALine’s Integrative Polymeric Platform by broadening the range of offered materials and incorporating different fabrication techniques to the existing processes. His work is involved with the characterization of ALine’s on-chip functional capabilities as well as planning, design, and fabrication for custom engineering projects.
Jason McDowell, B.S.
Jason McDowell has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from California State University Long Beach. In college, he studied digital logic and electronic systems to measure standard biosignals. Jason joined ALine in 2011 as an biomedical engineer. He has experience in techniques to measure and control process variability in microfluidic manufacturing, and in instrumentation for point-of-care diagnostics. Jason created ALine's ADEPT instrument and is responsible for implementing ALine's manufacturing automation roadmap. He is currently working wtih clients to develop breadboard instrumentation for a variety of applications including PCR, blister actuation, pumps, and pneumatics as well as electrometers for potentiometric measurements.
Board of Directors
Robert Randelman, Ph.D.
Dr. Randelman is an experienced international senior executive with strong technical expertise and management experience. He has a demonstrated track record of growth in a variety of technically-based businesses. As company Chairman and CEO/President, drove strategy in M&A, IP licensing, market expansion and technology development that resulted in double digit organic growth. Successful in developing the international markets of Latin America, Europe and China. Industry successes include photonics, technology equipment, petro-chemicals, and basic science.
Steve Schaefers, MBA, SSBB
Operations executive with 15+ years of experience helping medical device companies research, develop, scale and launch new products into the market. Possess a unique and deep understanding of technology transfer and method development to align research, facilities development and design to capitalize on opportunities and optimize manufacturing processes.He has Six Sigma, Black Belt Certification, and started his career as Journeyman Machinist, with skills in Progressive Tool and Die Design and CNC Programmer/Operator. Steve has special skills in Electro-mechanical automation design and development, Precision machine tooling design and development, fixture design and development, sheet metal components, springs, stampings, and wire forms.
Neelima Firth, MBA
Neelima Firth is an innovative Senior Executive and Board Member with more than 30 years of success spanning biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Leveraging extensive experience in strategic leadership in life science organizations, Neelima provides insight into leadership and commercialization strategies. Her broad areas of expertise include problem solving, big picture perspective, marketing and commercialization, strategic planning, project management, financial forecasting, and business development. Neelima has held leadership positions with Amgen, the Alfred Mann Foundation, Bristol Myers Squibb and GSK.
Science Advisory Board
Antonio J. Ricco, Ph.D.
Antonio J. Ricco is Chief Technologist for Small Spacecraft Payloads and Technologies at NASA's Ames Research Center, on leave from Stanford University. Ricco received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1980) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1984). He developed chemical microsensor technologies and systems at Sandia National Laboratories from 1984 to 1998. From 1999 to 2003 at ACLARA BioSciences, he led development of single-use plastic microfluidic systems for genetic analysis, high-throughput pharmaceutical discovery, proteomics, and pathogen detection. He was Director of Stanford's National Center for Space Biological Technologies from 2004 to 2007; since 2007, he has been at NASA's Ames Research Center, on leave from Stanford. Dr. Ricco is the co-author of over 200 presentations, 140 publications, and a dozen patents. He is a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society, past Chair of the Sensor Division of The Electrochemical Society, and a recipient of that division's Outstanding Achievement Award.