Lina Abi Mosleh, Ph.D.Vice President/Principal Scientist
Lina is the Vice President and Principal Scientist at Ayass Bioscience, LLC with the responsibility to oversee, manage, and lead daily operations in both the clinical and research laboratories. Prior to joining Ayass Bioscience, her career was focused on basic science research in academic institutions where she served as a faculty member. The opportunity presented at Ayass Bioscience allowed her to utilize her skills and dive into the world of translational research by bridging science to patient care. She is involved in the design, development, and validation of high complexity molecular testing from next generation sequencing to array-based genotyping assays. She is also part of a research team that develops aptamers for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, utilizes nanotechnology for diagnostics applications, and identifies and clinically validates new biomarkers for autoimmune disease. One of the company’s most recent projects involved the development of a Thrombosis Risk Assessment Tool called “MoNet”. MoNet is an advanced biological tool that uses CAI (Cognitive Artificial Intelligence) to collect and analyze data from hundreds of molecular tests conducted on thousands of patients at Ayass Bioscience to identify clinical associations between biomarkers and generate a prediction score for an individual’s risk of thrombosis.
Lina earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Cell Biology at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Upon moving to the U.S., Lina received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in the laboratory of Nobel laureates Drs. Michael S. Brown and Joseph L Goldstein.
Natalya Griko, Ph.D.Senior Scientist
Natalya is the Senior Scientist at Ayass Bioscience, LLC with the responsibility to oversee and manage high-complexity genetic testing and lead numerous research projects. She has multiple years of of experience in protein chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and functional and structural biology in both academia and biotech industry settings. At Ayass Bioscience, she is involved in the design, development, and validation of high-complexity molecular testing ranging from next generation sequencing to array-based genotyping assays. Her major research project is the development of aptamers against coagulation disorder biomarkers. She has successfully developed an aptamer for the detection of D-dimer levels in blood sample and a Thrombin aptamer as a potential anticoagulant agent. Currently she is involved in the development of the aptamer-based Lateral Flow Assay as a point-of-care test for assessing an individual’s risk of clot. She is also part of the proteomics team for identification and validation of new biomarkers for autoimmune diseases, cardiac diseases, coagulation, and other disorders.
Natalya earned her Master’s degrees in Biophysics at Saint Petersburg State University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Institute of Protein Research in the scientific center of the Russian Academy of Sciences near Moscow. After receiving her Ph.D., Natalya worked as Senior Research Scientist at the Biological Center of Russian Academy of Sciences. Subsequently, she moved to the U.S. where she worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Texas, Dallas, and then worked as a Senior Research Scientist for a biotechnology company before joining Dr. Ayass’s team as their Molecular Biology Scientist.
Gul Nowshad, MD, Ph.D, MPHDirector of Research
Gul Nowshad is a physician and a health services researcher at Ayass BioScience with a passion for health care quality improvement, health care innovation and delivery redesign. She earned her PhD in Health Services Research/Health Economics and MPH in Healthcare Policy from University of Texas, at Houston, Texas. She had the opportunity to serve institutions such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Aga Khan University, USAIDs Program and other organizations in developing countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan for the last twelve years to improve healthcare systems. She received recognition and scholarly awards for her work such as Henry Christian scholar’s award, New Investigator in Global Health, and International Business Women’s award for scholarship and excellence. Dr. Gul joined Ayass Lung Clinics as a Research Manager envisioning the potential for precision medicine and opportunity to contribute in advancement of medical innovation. In her current position as a Director of Research she leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers in study design, data acquisition, database management, analysis, and interpretation She performs complex statistical analyses of clinical laboratory tests, genomics, and proteomics data to identify novel biomarkers for autoimmune diseases, cardiac diseases, coagulation disorders, and other diseases. She is involved in marketing and also develops strategies for accomplishing research and entrepreneurial objectives of the institution.
Victor Pashkov, Ph.D.Research Scientist
Victor is a Research Scientist at Ayass Bioscience, LLC with the responsibility to conduct high-complexity genetic testing and participate in research projects. He has multiple years of experience as a biomedical research scientist with expertise in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and genotyping. He is involved in the design, development, and validation of high-complexity genetic testing such as Pharmacogenetics and Hereditary Cancer Assessment. He demonstrates advanced skills in biological and biotechnological systems through the optimization of several protocols for DNA and RNA extraction, PCR, genotyping by mass-spectrometry, and data analysis. Victor is a valuable member of the Ayass Bioscience research team. He participates in all research projects utilizing his knowledge in biochemistry, immunochemistry, and molecular biology. Among his contributions, Victor developed binding assays to confirm the binding of aptamers to the target molecules. Victor earned his Master’s degree in Biophysics at Lomonosov Moscow State University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Victor worked in the Biological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After he moved to the U.S., he held a research scientist position at the Cornell University Medical Center and at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. He joined the Ayass BioScience team as a Research Scientist.
Kevin Zhu, M.S.Bioinformatics Specialist
Kevin is part of the Bioinformatics team at Ayass Bioscience, where he works to improve understanding of clinical data through computational and statistical methods. As a member of the Ayass Bioscience team, he manages the data and data analysis for various projects at the company, including aptamer research, development of genetic and other lab-developed tests, proteomics research, and many others, along with providing consultation on the computational aspects of these projects. He also helps to prepare SOPs and validation reports for some of the tests, as well as assisting in identifying targets for testing of various diseases. Additionally, Kevin conducts statistical analysis on the results from clinical laboratory tests, providing insight into the connections between biomarkers and identifying trends among the patient populations. He has developed software tools both to help analyze data from various sources as well as to improve efficiency in various aspects of the business and is one of the primary contributors to the development of the MoNet software. He is involved in the marketing parts of company as well, helping to arrange direct-to-consumer products and prepare informational resources.
He joined Ayass Bioscience after receiving his Bachelor’s in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University and his Master’s in Bioinformatics from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Yougui Xiang, Ph. D.Bioinformatics Specialist
Yougui is a Bioinformatician at Ayass Bioscience, LLC with responsibilities to conduct research using computational biology theory and methods in areas of genomics, epigenomics, and omics in addition to designing databases and developing algorithms for processing and analyzing genomic information and other biological information. He is involved in analyzing large molecular data sets from NGS sequencing data for clinical and basic research purposes, creating novel computational approaches and analytical tools as required by research goals, developing software applications, data models and databases to meet specific scientific project needs.
Yougui earned his Ph.D. in Genetics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China and worked at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas as a post-doctoral researcher and then as an instructor. His research was focused on cell necroptosis, immunoglobulin gene V(D)J recombination and gene expression regulation. His expertise is in molecular biology, bioinformatics and molecular immunology. He joined Ayass Bioscience, LLC after receiving his Master’s in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Mohammad Hossein Tootoonchi, Ph.D.Flow Cytometry Scientist
Hossein is the Flow Cytometry Scientist at Ayass Bioscience, LLC. He is responsible to design and validate multi-color flow cytometry panels. There are many diseases that are of interest to the research team at Ayass Bioscience and the growing library of flow cytometry panels aims to increase our understanding of them. Alongside design and development of new panels, Hossein is in charge of implementing them in our clinical laboratory facility. Before coming to Ayass Bioscience, Hossein was a Senior Development Scientist at Beckman Coulter Life Science at Miami, FL. He was part of Reagents Laboratory team, working on multiple reagent standards that are used in Beckman Coulter’s flow cytometry instruments worldwide. Hossein’s prior appointment was at Diabetes Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami. He was working at Dr. Christopher Fraker’s Tissue Engineering lab on projects spanning from oxygen producing particles to drug delivery using emulsions. Hossein’s interest is in biochemistry/biotechnology and their application in advancing human health.
Hossein earned his Bachelor in Materials Science at Shiraz University in Iran. He continued his studies in Materials Science at Sharif University of Technology, in Tehran, Iran. He then moved to Miami, Fl to get his PhD in Chemistry, working on molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry under supervision of Prof. Angel Kaifer.
Negar Firoozi, Ph.D.Molecular Biology Scientist
Negar is working on aptamer modification and production of pseudotyped particles to study SARS-CoV-2. Negar is part of the Ayass Bioscience research team and she is involved in cell culture, bacterial transformation, plasmid construction, purification, digestion, cloning, construction of ACE2 stable cell line, nucleic acid extraction and purification, ELISA-based binding assay, PCR, and other experiments.
Before coming to Ayass Bioscience, Negar was a postdoctoral research associate at UN Medical Center, studying the regulation of stem cells and their use in treating blinding diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Negar earned her Bachelor in Materials Science & Engineering at Shiraz University in Iran. She continued her studies in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tehran in Iran. After receiving her master’s, Negar worked as a research assistant at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. She then moved to Florida to get her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, working on novel biomaterials for tissue regeneration and drug delivery.
Nazanin is a Molecular Biology Technologist at Ayass Bioscience, LLC with the responsibility to conduct high-complexity genetic testing and participate in research projects. She is involved in the development, and validation of high-complexity genetic testing such as Pharmacogenetics and Hereditary Cancer Assessment. Nazanin is part of the Ayass Bioscience research team. She participates in numerous research projects, performing SDS-PAGE, Western Blot, ELISA-based binding assay, immunoprecipitation, and many others experiments. She was involved in the Thrombin aptamer development process and she is now an active participant in the development of the aptamer-based Lateral Flow Assay as a point-of-care test for assessing an individual’s risk of clot. She is also involved in sample preparation for Mass Spectrum analysis for the proteomics project. Nazanin earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees of science in Agricultural Biotechnology at the Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran. After receiving her first master’s, Nazanin worked as a research assistant at a Plant Biotechnology company in Tehran, Iran. She moved to Dallas where she received her second master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Texas in Dallas. She joined the Ayass BioScience team as a Laboratory Technician. After joining the company, Nazanin obtained her MB (ASCP) Technologist certification.
Marcos Alejos, M.S.Molecular Biology Technologist
Marcos earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Texas. Then, he continued at UNT to pursue his Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Marcos conducted research in Dr. Brian Ayre’s lab on somatic embryogenesis in upland cotton. His project goal was to accelerate somatic embryogenesis in cotton tissue culture transformation by transient expression of transcription factors involved in embryogenesis. There, he learned professional skills such as plasmid construction, purification, digestion, and cloning; nucleic acid extraction and purification, analyzed Sanger sequencing data; bacterial transformation using heat shock and electroporation; plant transformation by Agrobacterium-mediated and injection; and epifluorescence and confocal microscopy. Marcos worked as a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Biology I Laboratory, and Biochemistry lab, where he gained experience teaching and mentoring students. He joined the research team at Ayass Bioscience, LLC as a Molecular Biology Technician with the responsibility to conduct viral RNA extraction of COVID-19 patient samples and the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in extracted patients’ samples by using RT-qPCR technique.
Tutku earned her bachelor’s degree in bio engineering from both Montana State University and Istanbul Technical University with a dual degree program. Then, she pursued her master’s degree and graduated Fall 2019 from Montana State University with a master’s degree in Immunology and Infectious Diseases. During her education, she worked as a Research Assistant in Lei Lab in Montana State University. In Lei Lab Tutku conducted research on pathogenesis of Group A Streptococcus virulence factors, ScpA and SpeB, where she learned valuable professional skills such as recombinant DNA construction, creating site-directed mutagenesis, interpreting the sequence alignments, protein purification by using ion exchange chromatography and so on. Also, Tutku have gained experience working with pulmonary mouse models. Fall 2019, she worked as a Teaching Assistant for Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab, where she gained the ability to lead and teach students. Tutku joined Ayass BioScience Research team in February, 2020 as a Research Technician and involved in DNA extraction from human biological samples for next generation sequencing, performed SDS page gel, Western-Blot Analysis, immunoprecipitation, Pierce Rapid Gold BCA and Micro BCA Protein Assays. She is currently responsible of viral RNA extraction of COVID-19 patient samples and the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in extracted patients’ samples by using RT-qPCR technique.
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