Telomere Diagnostics, Inc. is a privately held molecular testing company founded in 2010 by a group of four scientists including Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009 for her pioneering work in telomere biology. The company recently launched TeloYears, a simple genetic test that reveals the cellular age encoded in your DNA so you can know how well you’re aging. Our lab in Silicon Valley, California is regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) as qualified to perform high complexity clinical testing. There, we measure parts of chromosomes called telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of DNA strands that tend to shorten and fray with age. We use our own proprietary quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay, which is the world’s leading method of measuring Average Telomere Length (ATL). Beyond TeloYears, the company is actively developing other potential uses of ATL to address unmet clinical needs in cardiovascular disease, oncology, and in-vitro fertilization.

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Management Team

JASON SHELTON

Chief Executive Officer

Bio

Jason joined Telomere Diagnostics in 2014 with nearly two decades of start-up, medical device, and consumer healthcare experience. Most recently, Jason was CEO of EarLens Corporation where he led the company’s efforts in product development, regulatory affairs, and operational milestones. Prior to joining EarLens, he served as Vice President of Marketing, Health Policy, and Clinical Affairs for Sonitus Medical, a medical device company marketing the SoundBite™ Hearing System. While at Sonitus he helped achieve critical milestones including product design, development, clinical trials, FDA clearance, reimbursement, and commercial launch in the US and Europe.

Jason also held leadership positions at  BioForm Medical, Align Technology, and SmithKline Beecham, Inc. (now GlaxoSmithKline). Jason received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

TODD WOODRING

Vice President,  Operations

Bio

Todd came to Telomere Diagnostics in June 2014, bringing over 29 years of experience in the medical diagnostics industry. In his previous position, Todd served as Vice President of Manufacturing Operations for Antech Diagnostics, the largest veterinary clinical laboratory in North America. His responsibilities included establishing the manufacturing division that developed 14 different LDT assays, realizing over $50MM in annual revenues.

Before Antech, Todd spent 6 years with Quest Diagnostics as the Site Leader of Operations at Nichols Institute Diagnostics division, where he was responsible for the manufacture of reagents and instruments for their immunoassay products. Todd also worked as Director of Operations at Bayer/Chiron Diagnostics and held leadership roles at American Hospital, Baxter and Dade Behring. He is a certified Green Belt in Six Sigma.

Todd received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis and continued with post graduate work in epidemiology, immunology and microbiology culminating in a Clear Ryan Teaching Credential.

JONATHAN ROMANOWSKY

Vice President, Commercial Operations

Bio

Joining Telomere Diagnostics in 2015, Jonathan has spent almost 15 years commercializing and marketing novel, high value molecular diagnostic tests, taking them from development to launch to standard of care. While at Veracyte, Jonathan led both US and international launch efforts for the Afirma® Gene Expression Classifier, a test that reclassifies thyroid nodules with inconclusive diagnoses as benign. Jonathan also led the launches and subsequent growth for novel gene expression tests at two other molecular diagnostics companies–CardioDx and XDx (now CareDx).

Prior to a career in molecular diagnostics, Jonathan pioneered electronic prescribing at iScribe (acquired by AdvancePCS, now part of CVS). Jonathan began his career as a strategic consultant for Bain & Company.

Jonathan earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and his MBA from Stanford, where he focused on medical technology innovation.

CALVIN B. HARLEY

Chief Scientific Officer

Bio

Dr. Harley is a Co-founder of Telomere Diagnostics and is a world-renowned expert in telomere biology and aging, being among the first to link cellular aging to telomere loss during cell division in human cells. His team developed the telomerase assay when he found that cancer cells escaped mortality by activating the telomerase enzyme.

Prior to starting Telomere Diagnostics, Cal spent 15 years at Geron Corporation, a pharmaceutical company with major programs in telomere biology for aging and cancer. While at Geron, Cal held roles as CSO, Vice President of Research, and Director of Cell Biology. Prior to Geron, Cal was a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster University where he led research programs on mortality and immortality in human cells.

Dr. Harley received a Bachelor of Science degree from Waterloo University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at McMaster University. He completed postdoctoral research at UCSF in molecular biology and at the University of Sussex in evolutionary biology. Additionally, Cal served as an executive for the Canadian Association on Gerontology, and has published extensively on the medical applications of telomere research. He is an inventor on a number of key patents related to telomere biology, telomerase, and the diagnosis and treatment of disease, and has received numerous awards for his work.

Scientific Advisors

Dr. DREW WATSON

Genomic Health

Bio

Dr. Watson has served as Vice President of Biostatistics¸ Data Management and Medical Operations of Genomic Health, Inc., since February 2003. He was instrumental in the development of Oncotype DX®– a diagnostic test that has revolutionized personal medicine by quantifying the likelihood of disease recurrence in women with early-stage breast cancer, and providing individualized estimates of chemotherapy benefit. Prior to Genomic Health, Dr. Watson  was the Chief Executive Officer of Novation Biosciences.  Dr. Watson also held various roles at Incyte Genomics, including General Manager of Incyte’s Microarray Division, Vice President of Corporate Development, and Vice President of Computational Biology. Prior to that he was Director of Non-Clinical Biostatistics for Chiron Corporation.

Dr. Watson has published extensively in the area of oncology clinical research, genomics and personalized medicine, and is an inventor on a number of key patents related to genomics, algorithm development, and molecular diagnostics.

Dr. Watson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from California State University, East Bay, a Master of Science degree in Computational Statistics from Stanford University, an MBA from Golden Gate University and a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from UCLA.

Dr. RICHARD CAWTHON

University of Utah

Bio

Since 1987, Dr. Cawthon has been in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, working first in cancer genetics and then concentrating exclusively on aging, longevity, regenerative medicine, and rejuvenation. Dr. Cawthon has broad research interests in the genetics of aging and longevity, and has a body of significant work including:

  • demonstrating that longer telomeres in people aged 60 years or older are associated with longer life, and that shorter telomeres are associated with increased mortality rates from heart disease and infectious disease;
  • inventing the first quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method for measuring telomere length in DNA samples, now in routine use in laboratories around the world;
  • using computerized Utah genealogies to find genetic variants that slow both reproductive and general somatic aging;
  • identifying gene expression profiles that predict the remaining lifespan of the donors.

Dr. Cawthon holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in Biochemical Sciences. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Yale University. He was the 1996 recipient of the AlliedSignal Award for Research on Aging.

Dr. JUE LIN

University of California, San Francisco

Bio

Dr. Lin is a Research Biochemist in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. She did her postdoctoral work with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel Laureate in telomere research, investigating telomerase function and regulation.

For the past 12 years, her work has focused on using telomere maintenance as a biomarker for aging and aging-related diseases in human studies. Dr. Lin and her team developed a high throughput telomere length measurement suitable for large scale clinical studies and pioneered telomerase activity measurement in unstimulated immune cells suitable for clinical studies. Working for Dr. Blackburn, she has led over 40 collaborative projects that examine the role of telomere length and telomerase activity in health and human diseases, and has published seminal articles on telomere biology.

Dr. Lin obtained her Ph.D. in molecular biology at Cornell University.

Partners

Telomere Diagnostics partners with other diagnostic and biotechnology companies, research laboratories and other healthcare organizations on clinical and research programs.  Interested parties can contact us at busdev@telomeredx.com

Lab Certifications

CMSLicense TypeLicense NoExpiration Date
CLIACertificate of Registration05D20410025/19/2017
StateLicense TypeLicense NoExpiration Date
FloridaClinical Chemistry80002740510/21/2016
PennsylvaniaClinical Chemistry0333388/15/2016
Rhode IslandClinical ChemistryLCO0089312/30/2016
MarylandClinical Chemistry20626/30/2017
CaliforniaClinical ChemistryCLF 003427135/6/2017

Careers

Telomere Diagnostics is always looking for people with a passion for science and how it intersects with patient care. If this sounds like you, submit your resume to careers@telomeredx.com.