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Etalon Scientific Advisors

Dr. Samantha Brooks

Samantha Brooks, PhD.- A lifelong horsewoman, Dr. Samantha Brooks was diverted from vet school by a budding passion for equine research. Following a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr. Brooks remained at the University of Kentucky to study at the Gluck Equine Research Center. While there she earned her PhD in Veterinary Science, specializing in Equine Genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Ernest Bailey. Following her PhD she was awarded the Paul Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the expression of inflammatory genes in horses affected with laminitis. At Cornell University she was responsible for the Equine Biology and Management course for six years. Recently, she moved to the University of Florida to join a thriving equine science program, and is now a member of the UF Genetics Institute. The Brooks Equine Genetics Lab explores a variety of topics relevant to horse health and performance using modern genomic tools like RNA-seq, genome wide association mapping, and genome resequencing. In particular, genome sequencing allows us to explore diversity both within genomes, and across populations. Previously her research group discovered genetic mutations and markers for many traits including coat colors, height, sarcoid tumors and two neurological conditions.  For a list of Dr. Brooks' publications, please click here.  For the latest news or articles of interest please click here.

Dr. Russell Kerschmann

Russell Kerschmann, MD. - A physician and biomedical executive, Dr. Kerschmann's specialties include clinical laboratory services, life science research and medical device development. He is presently the Medical Director and CLIA license holder for several prominent Silicon Valley laboratories, including Crescendo Biosciences, Ascend Clinical, Diagnostic Laboratories and Notable Labs, being responsible for the medical quality of over 20 million laboratory tests per year. Dr. Kerschmann also served as Chief of the Division of Space Biosciences at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where he managed more than 100 civil service scientists, engineers, contractors and technicians conducting biomedical research on the Space Shuttle, Russian Space Agency Bion biosatellite, and International Space Station; and he continues as a consultant to the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. Dr. Kerschmann was CEO of Resolution Sciences Corporation, where he founded and fostered an innovative digital tissue imaging service laboratory and instrument sales effort from technical/scientific concept to product commercialization. Dr. Kerschmann has over 46 scientific papers and has displayed a scientific curiosity that will serve to stimulate Etalon’s continued growth.


Dr. Carlos Bustamante

Carlos Bustamante, PhD., MS. is currently Professor of Genetics and Founding Director, Stanford University Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics and now Chair, Big Data Biosciences, Stanford. He is a graduate of Harvard University with a post-doctoral credential in mathematical genetics. Dr. Bustamante’s research interests focus on analyzing genome wide patterns of variation within and between species to address fundamental questions in biology, anthropology and medicine. Working with over 50 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, Dr. Bustamante’s group works on a variety of organisms and model systems ranging from humans and other primates to domesticated plants and animals. As a geneticist, Dr. Bustamante is especially skilled in understanding the interactions between telomeres and DNA and its implications on the effects of stress, overall health and biological age. Dr. Bustamante has authored over 125 scientific papers and has been the recipient of numerous scholastic honors.  To see Dr. Bustamante's publications, please click here.  For the latest news or articles of interest, please click here (Article on The Iceman Mummy).


Dr. Meredith Carpenter 

Meredith Carpenter, PhD.  has been on the Advisory Board of Etalon Dx since 2014 and is also Director of Assay R&D at Arc Bio, LLC. She has a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley and performed her postdoctoral research in the Genetics Department at Stanford University. Dr. Carpenter is passionate about applying the tools of molecular biology and genomics to improve healthcare, and she specializes in developing novel methods for sequencing nucleic acids in forensic and clinical samples. She has published over 10 papers and she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Stanford Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow, and an NIH NRSA Fellow. At Etalon, Dr. Carpenter is closely involved with the development of core technologies as well as exploring new avenues for equine genetics research. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, Crossfit, and spending time with her family.
Click here to see Dr. Carpenter's publications and the latest news about her work here:  We Sequence Dead People.

Dr. Jon Oatley

Dr. Jon Oatley is a professor and the Director of Washington State University’s Center for Reproductive Biology. The majority of his research career has focused on the regulation of undifferentiated spermatogonial maintenance and differentiation in mammals. His studies were among the first to identify critical genes regulating the maintenance of spermatogonial stem cells and revealed key cytokines that specifically influence the self- renewal fate decision. His team has honed the skills for isolating spermatogonial stem cells, maintaining the cells in vitro for extended periods of time, manipulating molecular pathways in the cells, and transplanting the cells to determine effects on biological function. Recently, Oatley has been working on a project that he calls ‘surrogate sires,’ ”. “What it is, is we’re trying to generate male livestock that don’t produce their own sperm.” With the use of an advanced gene editing technique called CRISPR, famously used in next-generation cancer research, he is able to “knock out” the gene that creates the starting point for sperm production. Once the sterile pig matures, researchers can inject it with the genetic material of a different pig with superior traits, allowing the genetically modified hog to act as a surrogate father for a pig with desirable genetics. Oatley is working alongside Etalon on a longer-term project that involves global problem solving for disease, food-chain, and more. 

Learn more about Dr. Oatley here. 


Dr. Adam Freund

Adam Freund, PhD., is a molecular biologist and biochemist at Calico following a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford studying the mechanisms that regulate telomerase and telomere maintenance. After an undergraduate degree in Materials Science from Stanford, Dr. Freund jumped across the bay to UC Berkeley, where he earned a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology for his investigations into the role of chronic inflammation in cellular aging and senescence. The long-term goal of his research is to understand the causes of aging at a cellular and molecular level. Dr. Freund has proven to be a key advisor to Team Etalon in the areas of scientific innovation, sample data management as well as the daunting task of translating the complexities of genetics into real-world "English". 

 More information and publications from Dr. Freund can be found by clicking this link.  News and articles of interest can be found here.

Dr. Heather Holl

Heather Holl, PhD. - Originally from Maryland, Dr. Holl graduated from Otterbein College in central Ohio with a B.Sc. in Equine Science and Molecular Biology, followed by a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Animal Science.  Her dissertation work focused on the use of newer genomic technologies to study the equine genome, involving traits such as chromosomal abnormalities, laminitis, and white spotting patterns.  She is especially interested in the genetics of the development of coat color.  As a key advisor to Etalon, Heather's love of horses and genetics are the perfect fit and we enjoy her immensely.  She is currently at the University of Florida, continuing to work with Dr. Brooks as a postdoctoral researcher. More information and publications from Dr. Holl can be found by clicking this link.

Dr. Henry Lopez

Henry Lopez is currently President and CSO at MuriGenics (founded in 2001). He formerly directed the Phenotyping Core at Pfizer Global Research Alameda CA.; was Director of Phenotyping at Park Davis Laboratory for Molecular Genetics; and was Manager Physiology Department Glycomed. While at Pfizer he co-developed the first complete mouse congenic panel and acquired the first commercially available micro CT scanner, used in phenotyping mice. Henry has over 25 years in Biotechnology and has collaborated with national and international scientific/academic organizations.



Dr. Laura Patterson Rosa

Laura recently joined Brooks Equine Genetics lab as a Ph.D. student. She graduated as a Veterinarian in Brazil, at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, in early 2015. She worked in the lab back at Cornell University for a summer, for the Veterinary Investigator Program, and fell in love with the field of equine genetics. She's currently researching gait and anhidrosis. When not working, she loves riding and showjumping horses, cooking and spending time with her husband and dogs.

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