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Illumina Ventures Announces Promotion and Additions to its Investment Team
Malek Faham promoted to Chief Scientist

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Foster City, Calif. – Illumina Ventures, today announced the promotion of Malek Faham, MD, PhD, to Chief Scientist having previously served as both a Venture Partner and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). In addition, Charles Lin, PhD, has joined the team as a Principal, and Dave Johnson, PhD, has joined as an Entrepreneur in Residence.

“Having Malek on our investment team for the last 4 years has been invaluable,” said Nick Naclerio, PhD, Illumina Ventures Founding Partner. “As the firm’s new Chief Scientist, his role will expand to include identifying emerging trends in genomics, leading scientific diligence on new investments, assisting with new company formations, and contributing to the success of our portfolio companies.” 

Malek has distinguished himself as both an inventor and an entrepreneur. He has been affiliated with Illumina Ventures since 2017, first as an EIR and then as a Venture Partner. Prior to Illumina Ventures, Malek co-founded and served as CSO of Sequenta Inc., focused on discovering and developing diagnostic tests based on immune cell receptor repertoire sequencing until it was acquired by Adaptive Biotechnologies (NASDAQ: ADPT). Previously, he co-founded and served as CSO for ParAllele Biosciences, whose technologies were used for polymorphism detection and genotyping by multiple pharmaceutical and academic partners, including the HapMap project, until it was acquired by Affymetrix (NASDAQ:AFFX). He also co-founded Vineti and served as a scientific advisor to a number of other privately held genomics companies including Illumina Ventures portfolio company Cernostics, which was recently acquired by Castle Bioscience (NASDAQ: CSTL). Malek received his PhD in Human Genetics, MD, and Psychiatry training from the University of California, San Francisco. He has authored 60 peer-reviewed articles and is an inventor on 40 US-issued patents.
“Adding Charles and Dave gives us additional depth and expertise as we continue to expand our portfolio of genomics and precision health investments,” said Wouter Meuleman, PhD, Illumina Ventures Partner. 

Charles brings 15 years of experience in the life science and genomics sector, most recently serving as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Element Biosciences. Previously at Illumina, he held several scientific roles and led cross-functional teams to develop microarray or sequencing applications for both research and clinical purposes, before transitioning to corporate development to focus on M&A and emerging technology trends. He holds a PhD degree in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Harvard University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Dave has a strong track record of bringing new life science technologies to the market. He most recently served as Founder and CEO of GigaGen, Inc., a novel platform for single-cell immune genomics that was acquired by Grifols (NASDAQ: GRFS). Previously, he was COO, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Natera (NASDAQ: NTRA), where he co-invented methods for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. After earning his PhD degree in Genetics from Stanford University, he completed his MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

About Illumina Ventures Illumina Ventures is an independently managed, healthcare-focused venture firm in a strategic partnership with Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN). As an early-stage, value-add investor, Illumina Ventures helps entrepreneurs develop breakthrough science and technologies into market-leading companies to transform healthcare. The firm focuses on investment in life science tools, therapeutics, diagnostics, and personal wellness. 

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