Founder, Chairman & CEO
Dr Luo is an innovator and serial entrepreneur and has spent his entire career building life science startup companies. Dr Luo is currently the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Alamar Biosciences, a company reinventing immunoassays to enable ultra-sensitive and highly multiplexed liquid biopsy analysis for the early detection of diseases. Dr Luo was the inventor of RNAscope, a breakthrough molecular detection technology that has pioneered spatial biology and become the gold standard in RNA tissue imaging. As the Founder, President and CEO of Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD), he led the company from concept to successful product launch and commercialization. Under his leadership, ACD became one of the fastest growing life science companies, and was acquired by Bio-Techne in 2016. Before ACD, Dr Luo was a co-founder of Panomics (p/k/a Genospectra), a life science company that was acquired by Affymetrix in 2008. At Panomics, he served in various roles including Vice President, Functional Genomics and Chief Scientific Officer and led the development and launch of all its flagship products. Prior to Panomics, Dr. Luo was one of the earliest senior scientists at Exelixis, now a NASDAQ company, where he led a team to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets. Dr Luo also co-founded and served as Chairman of the board of Avida Biomed, an NGS-based liquid biopsy technology company that was acquired by Agilent in 2022. Dr Luo is a Venture Partner of Illumina Ventures. Dr Luo has published numerous research papers in top peer-reviewed journals. His inventions are the subject of over 30 issued patents. Dr Luo received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Science & Technology of China and earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University.
Tod joined Alamar Biosciences in March of 2021 as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer. Previously, he was the founder and managing partner of EMA Partners, LLC, a boutique investment bank focused primarily in the life science, diagnostic and healthcare spaces. Prior to founding EMA, Tod was General Counsel, Vice President and Secretary of Packard BioScience Company. Before that, he was a transactional attorney at the Denver law firm of Jacobs, Chase, Frick, Kleinkopf & Kelley, LLC, where his practice included mergers, acquisitions, financings and securities work. Tod started his legal career as a transactional attorney in the Denver office of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll. He received his law degree from The University of Michigan Law School, where he graduated with honors.
Steve brings to Alamar over 20 years of experience in technology innovation and management in biotech and high-tech industries. Before Alamar, he was Co-Founder and COO of Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) and was instrumental in building the company from concept to a global leader in in-situ RNA analysis. Prior to ACD, Steve co-founded Genospectra, served as its CTO and led the development of its microarray instrumentation systems. Before joining industry, Steve was an Assistant Professor at University of Maryland, College Park where he conducted research in the field of optical sensors and instrumentation. His research and development work has resulted in several dozen peer-reviewed journal publications and 20+ issued patents. Steve holds a Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from University of London.
Xiao-Jun joined Alamar Biosciences in June of 2021 as Chief Technology Officer. Xiao-Jun is a successful R&D leader with more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences and molecular diagnostics industries. Most recently he served as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer in the Genomics Division of Bio-Techne, a pioneer in spatial genomics since its inception as Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD). During his 11-year tenure at ACD, Xiao-Jun led the development of a world-leading portfolio of in situ RNA and DNA detection solutions for the research and clinical diagnostics markets. Prior to joining ACD, he was Vice President of R&D/Biostatistics in bioTheranostics (formerly AviaraDx and Arcturus Bioscience and recently acquired by Hologic, Inc.). Prior to bioTheranostics, Xiao-Jun held senior bioinformatics positions at Johnson & Johnson and Monsanto/Searle (Pfizer), where he applied his multi-disciplinary knowledge in molecular biology and bioinformatics to discover novel drug targets and biomarkers. Xiao-Jun received his doctorate training in biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Iowa and post-doctoral training in molecular genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Founder, VP of Technology
Yiyuan brings to Alamar over 10 years of experience in antibody discovery and engineering. She created multiple state-of-the-art antibody platforms by harnessing the power of modern protein engineering technologies. Previously, Yiyuan spent several years at NGM Biopharmaceuticals, where she was a group leader in antibody engineering supporting all its major therapeutic pipelines. Several of her molecules went into regulatory submissions and clinical trials. Prior to that, Yiyuan did her postdoc training at Genentech, where she engineered antibody cancer therapeutics and developed a novel bispecific antibody scaffold. Her work resulted in numerous journal and patent publications. Yiyuan earned her Ph.D. in structural biology from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Witney most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Affymetrix, Inc. (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), which specialized in microarray technology and cellular analysis. Previously, Dr. Witney was President and Chief Executive Officer of Dionex Corp., a market leading ion and high-performance liquid chromatography company. Prior to that, Dr. Witney first joined Affymetrix when it acquired Panomics Inc., a quantitative biology company, which he led as President and Chief Executive Officer. He previously held the role of President of PerkinElmer’s Drug Discovery Tools division following the acquisition of Packard BioScience in 2001, where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Witney also held several positions at Bio-Rad Laboratories, leading that company’s efforts to enter the proteomic and bioassay technologies market. Dr. Witney is a member of the board of directors of publicly traded PerkinElmer, Cerus Corporation, Codex DNA, and Standard BioTools, as well as several privately held companies, and is an Operating Partner at Ampersand Capital Partners.