Board of Directors
Jay Flatley - Director and Chairman of the Board
Jay joined the Iridia Board of Directors in August 2017 and serves as Director and Chairman of the Board.
In addition, Jay is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Illumina. He led Illumina as CEO from 1999 until 2016, as Executive Chairman through 2019 . During his tenure as CEO, he took the company from $1.3 million in sales in 2000 to $2.2 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate of 64 percent. He oversaw the company’s expansion from microarrays into next-generation sequencing with the acquisition of Solexa in 2006, and from research into clinical and applied markets. Under his leadership, Illumina was named multiple times to the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists, as well as to the Forbes 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies (2007, 2009 and 2010), the Fortune 100 Fastest-Growing Companies (2010 and 2011) lists, and recognition by MIT Technology Review as the World’s Smartest Company in 2014.
Currently, Jay serves on the Boards of Directors at Coherent and Denali; Board of Trustees at The Salk Institute; Lead Independent Director at Zymergen and Chair at Wellcome Leap. Previously, he served as CEO of Molecular Dynamics which was successfully acquired by Amersham (GE Healthcare).
Jay received a B.A. in economics from Claremont McKenna College and a B.S. and M.S. (summa cum laude) in industrial engineering from Stanford University.
James P. Linton, Ph.D., M.B.A. - Director, Co-founder and CEO Emeritus
Dr. Linton co-founded Iridia in 2016 and led the company as CEO and President through Q4 2019. During that time he oversaw the assembly of the company’s Board, Advisory Board, operating team, financial management team and was directly responsible for raising the Company’s $8M Series A capital. He has over twenty-five years of entrepreneurial and executive experience in the biotechnology space, co-founding five previous companies, as well as leading the fund raising and business development efforts in several companies. He has successfully raised over $350M in capital, negotiated over $400M in deals, and has had multiple successful exits including Protometrix, Axiom Biotechnologies and Owl Biomedical. Early in his career, Dr. Linton was a post-doctoral fellow at Merck Research Laboratories working on molecular cloning of genes responsible for FK-506-induced immunosuppression. He obtained his M.B.A. from the University of California at Davis and his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Emory University.
Peter Longo, M.B.A. - Director
Peter has been a Director for Iridia since April 2017. He brings to the company his wealth of experience in management and fundraising in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. Peter is a Senior Managing Director of Investments at Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CI) and has spent over 22 years in numerous roles at CI. He is currently responsible for evaluating investment opportunities, structuring investments and monitoring portfolio companies through active board participation. His past investments include: Achillion Pharmaceuticals (IPO), Cardium Health (acquired by Centene), CYA Technologies (acquired by enChoice), eTouches (acquired by HGGC), NeuVis (acquired by Rational Software), Nufern (acquired by Rofin-Sinar), SilverSky (acquired by BAE Systems), PCC Technology Group (acquired by Clearview Capital), and Post-N-Track. He also serves on the board of the Yale Innovation Fund and serves on the University of Connecticut Patent Review Committee. Peter is a certified public accountant and a chartered financial analyst. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Hartford. Peter also served six years in the Connecticut Army National Guard.
Steve Barnard, Ph.D. - Director
Dr. Barnard contributed significantly to the founding and growth of Illumina and is currently the Vice-President of Technology & Development in the Research organization. He is responsible for all phases of research that feed the Product Development funnel with market leading innovations in array technology for genotyping and next generation DNA sequencing. He holds over 90 issued patents globally, more than 20 pending patents as well as 2 trade secrets. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the biotechnology industry. He has worked at Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland and Ciba-Corning Diagnostics located in Medfield, Massachusetts where he was the Project Leader and Senior Staff Scientist respectively, responsible for developing and managing optical sensors with novel chemistry and materials. Dr. Barnard received his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the mentorship of Professor David R. Walt (currently the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School) at the University of Tufts in Massachusetts.
Paul Yook - Director
Paul has over 20 years of healthcare investment and finance experience and in 2017 founded LifeSci Venture Partners and serves as CIO and Portfolio Manager. In 2014, Paul launched the BioShares biotechnology ETFs (NYSE: BBC & BBP) which utilize innovative and sector-specific passive index strategies and have delivered the strongest performance metrics (Sharpe ratio and total return) in their class. He previously worked at Galleon Management, as a research analyst and healthcare hedge fund portfolio manager, and in the healthcare investment banking groups of Goldman Sachs and UBS.
Paul is a passionate surfer, having lived for 3 years in Hawaii, is a mediocre but improving chess player in an effort to keep up with his two young kids, and makes an outstanding açaí bowl. He earned a B.S.E in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.A. in Biochemistry from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.
Murali K. Prahalad Ph.D. - Director, President & CEO
Dr. Prahalad brings over eighteen years of executive and entrepreneurial experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining Iridia, he served as President and CEO of Epic Sciences, Inc. (EPIC), a venture backed company that builds predictive, blood-based tests of drug response in cancer. While at Epic, Dr. Prahalad helped advance the company’s functional cell profiling technology platform, develop, launch and obtain Medicare reimbursement for its leading test in metastatic prostate cancer and raise over $128M in venture financing. Prior to Epic, Dr. Prahalad also held various roles at Life Technologies Corporation, a global leader in reagents and instruments for biomedical research. His final role at Life Technologies was VP, Corporate Strategy which culminated in the strategic sale of Life Technologies to ThermoFisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) in 2013 for $15.5B – the largest non-pharmaceutical acquisition in the biotechnology space. Prior to Life Technologies, Dr. Prahalad was VP of Business Development for Sequenom, Inc., a pioneer in blood-based, pre-natal diagnostics. Dr. Prahalad received his B.Sc. with Honors from the University of Michigan and Doctorate in Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology from Harvard University.