Learn about Rhinostics
Defining a new era in streamlined swab technologies
COVID-19 cast light on the urgent need to improve or eliminate laboratory workflow deficiencies and bottlenecks. Rhinostics was born to meet the moment. Our united mission is to revolutionize swab test workflows through automated methods and more. We improve nasal swab and nasopharyngeal swab sample collection comfort and performance while removing costs and time compared to traditional swab sample collection and intake.
Our groundbreaking swab technologies include new materials, new collection types, and rapid, automated accessioning, decapping, and capping steps as well as hands-free swab sample processing. This enables robust high-throughput swab sample workflows with minimal human intervention so that users can focus on higher-value tasks.
Beyond COVID test needs, our novel swabs, and especially our groundbreaking automated swab technologies, can ease bottlenecks and improve efficiencies in numerous markets and test needs.
• Respiratory pathogens
• Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
• Influenza (Flu)
• Human papillomavirus (HPV)
• Genetic testing (DNA testing)
• Human identification
• Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
• Sexual assault evidence (SAE)
• Paternity testing
• Food testing
• Animal testing
Meet The Team
Cheri Walker brings more than two and half decades of experience working in life science tools and diagnostics with companies ranging from startups to large multi-nationals, and has closed more than 45 transactions ranging from large partnerships, licenses, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. She has held a variety of operating and corporate development roles at bell weather companies including Invitrogen, QIAGEN, Charles River Laboratories, and most recently as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Abcam. Additionally, Dr. Walker has significant startup experience, holding the position of Chief Financial Officer at Kailos Genetics, currently as a director at Cell IDx, and consulting with many early-stage companies. She began her career as a stock analyst at Deutsche Bank, covering life science tools companies. Dr. Walker holds a PhD in Human and Molecular Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine and a BA in Biology from Swarthmore College.
Mike Springer is an Associate Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, an Associate member of the Broad Institute in Boston, and a member of the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology (LSP) at Harvard Medical School. Recently, he was involved in developing and implementing Harvard’s high throughput COVID-19 testing assay and workflow. Dr. Springer has substantial interdisciplinary training including chemistry, ecology, synthetic biology, molecular biology, and genetics and has an impressive record of technology development in multiple areas. He is a recipient of NSF CAREER and a NIH R01 grant, was a co-investigator on an ARRA grant, DARPA BRICS2, IARPA FELIX, DARPA FoF, DARPA COVID, DARPA Biostasis and has received several awards. The DARPA and IARPA work involve the rapid and inexpensive detection of rare organism and nucleic acid sequencing in a population, both natural and engineered. This work has led several patents and the launch of multiple companies including one involved in food provenance, one in point-of-care testing for COVID, and Rhinostics. He holds a PhD from University of California, San Francisco, and BSc from Stanford University.
Richard Novak, PhD is a Lead Staff Engineer at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University where he has led the Microengineering Team for 7 years to apply engineering principles and design tools for enabling novel diagnostics and therapeutics and transition them out of the lab into commercial use. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he leveraged his one and half decades of bioengineering expertise to improving the diagnostics supply chain short term and revolutionizing access, cost, and time to diagnosis, leading to cofounding of Rhinostics, and repurposing of drugs through DARPA COVID. With a BS in Biology from Emory University, Richard realized his true passion lay in developing tools to answer completely new questions and perform new types of analyses. He obtained a PhD in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, where he developed cutting edge microfluidics platforms and assays for single cell analysis and ultrasensitive genetic diagnostics, and he has consulted to leverage microfluidic systems for point-of-care diagnostics. In parallel, he founded and leads Future Scientist, a nonprofit organization that for the last decade uses hands-on science and engineering education to teach resource-poor communities to achieve health and economic sustainability.
Richard Hamermesh is a Baker Foundation Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School. Currently, Dr. Hamermesh is the faculty co-chair of the HBS/Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator and Accelerating Innovation in Precision Medicine Executive Education program. He has created and taught multiple MBA courses and was the founding Faculty Chair of the HBS Healthcare Initiative, expanding the role of healthcare in MBA education and faculty research. Dr. Hamermesh spent eleven years as member of the faculty of the Harvard Business School followed by cofounding and acting as a Managing Partner of the Center for Executive Development. He has spent his career as an active investor and entrepreneur, having participated as a principal, director and investor in the founding and early stages of over 20 organizations, including startups, leveraged buy-outs, industry roll-up, and non-profit foundations. In addition, he was the founding President of the Newton Schools Foundation and served on the editorial board of the Harvard Business Review. Dr. Hamermesh has served on numerous Boards of Directors and has chaired the Audit Committees of two public companies, and was the founding Chairman of Synthes Spine Inc. He is also the author or co-author of five books, numerous articles, publications and more than 100 case studies. He received his AB from the University of California and his MBA and DBA from the Harvard Business School.
Stefan is a performance-driven executive leader with 21 years of experience in the InVitro Diagnostics and Life Science Tools Industries. Prior to joining the Covid Apollo Project Stefan acted as President and CEO of Biomerieux Inc. from 2014 until 2020. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Chief Legal Officer for the Biomerieux Group and led the acquisition of Biofire Diagnostics. Before that he was 10 years in legal, business development and strategic portfolio development roles at Roche Diagnostics. Stefan is an Attorney by training with bar admission in Germany and New York. He holds a Master Degree in International Business Transactions from George Washington University and is a 2013 graduate of the Advanced Management Program from INSEAD.
Covid Apollo Project
"Covid Apollo invested in Rhinostics to rapidly impact COVID-19 testing through their innovative technology. The investment matches our mission to bring together the expertise and capital necessary to scale the most promising COVID-19 diagnostic opportunities with the aim to bring these rapidly to market. Covid Apollo was organized and funded under the leadership of RA Capital in collaboration with Redmile Group, Samsara BioCapital, Perceptive Advisors, and Bain Capital."
Stefan Willemson, Chief Executive Officer at Covid Apollo
"Avestria is thrilled to be an early investor in Rhinostics and to support much-needed innovations to sample collection products and workflows. I have personally worked with Cheri for decades and believe that she and the rest of the incredible Rhinostics team are highly experienced, deeply passionate, and poised for success."
Linda Greub, Founder and General Partner at Avestria
Safeguard DNA Diagnostics
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