Meet Our Leadership Team.
Sage Aronson PhD
Co-Founder and CEO
Sage is the CEO and Co-founder of Swab56. At Swab, he’s focused his efforts on engineering and R&D helping to drive product development. Sage is the founder and president of Neurophotometrics, a manufacturer of plug and play fiber photometry systems which enables research labs to record data from multiple moving animals or brain regions simultaneously. He led efforts in growing the company from $10K initial investment to installations in over 100 neuroscience labs worldwide.
Sage received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego. During graduate school, Sage developed and perfected a method for recording from distributed circuits throughout the brain using thin fiber optic cables. He designed and built the hardware to perform this technique. Sage received his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience (with high honors) from Oberlin College. He has published in top journals including Nature, Neuron and PNAS.
Co-founder and CTO
Kelsey is Swab56’s Chief Technical Officer and co-founder. The focus of her work at Swab56 has been moving the product to the medical device market and expanding clinical testing and integration at sites across the country. Kelsey’s efforts have resulted in the swab transitioning from a prototype to an FDA registered medical device. Prior to taking on the role as Swab56’s CTO, Kelsey was the Executive Vice President at Neurophotometrics, and has been helping their fiber photometry systems reach over 100 labs and a dozen countries.
Kelsey is a student in the MD-PhD program at UC San Diego, currently on leave to help the COVID crisis through her work at Swab56. For her thesis work, Kelsey studied at the Salk Institute in the lab of Sam Pfaff. Kelsey graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Kentucky when she was 14 and spent three years as a as a Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awardee at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Veronica Pessino PhD
Veronica is Swab56’s Chief Operating Officer. The focus of her work at Swab56 has been in leveraging her organizational skills and scientific background to help develop scalable and efficient manufacturing methods for swab assembly. Veronica’s efforts have resulted in the significant increase in production and yield for Swab56 since beginning operations in mid-April. Prior to taking on the role as Swab56’s COO, Veronica was the managing scientist at Neurophotometrics, where her primary focus was management of the scientific research team.
She was most recently a post-doctoral researcher at the Salk Institute in the lab of Sam Pfaff. She did translational research in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Veronica completed her PhD in Biophysics at UCSF where she worked in Bo Huang’s lab. Her doctoral work focused on super-resolution microscopy, while studying molecular-signaling pathways responsible for proper cellular function.
Autri is is Swab56’s Chief Strategy Officer where his focus is on managing business operations, developing strategy and working with the team on operational growth plans. Prior to joining the Swab team, Autri has been working as Sr. Director of Investments at FundRx, a network-driven early stage healthcare venture capital firm. At FundRx, Autri leads sourcing and diligence efforts across health technology, services and life sciences investments. Prior to FundRx, Autri was an associate in the life sciences strategy consulting practice of Frankel Group / Huron Life Sciences in NYC.
Autri will completed his Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the Dartmouth Institute. He double majored in Biology and History with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. At Duke he worked in neuropharmacology research labs and his senior honors thesis focused on the WHO’s Smallpox Eradication Campaign.