Norma Jean Nowak PhD
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Nowak is recognized as a leader in the field of human
genomics. Her research contributed directly to the Human
Genome Project, as well as to genomic based approaches to
understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Dr. Nowak is the
founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Empire Genomics. In 2015,
Dr. Nowak was named executive director for the University at
Buffalo (UB) New York State Center of Excellence in
Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and holds the rank of Professor
of Biochemistry. Dr. Nowak was appointed to the Empire State Stem
Cell Board in 2014. She also serves as Principal
Investigator, UB Center for Advanced Technology in BIG Data and
Health Sciences, as of the July 1, 2017 redesignation.
Among her major achievements, Dr. Nowak has authored landmark
papers describing the cloning of several heritable cancer
disorders, including a form of Ataxia Telangiectasia (Nijmegen
Breakage Syndrome). Her work on the Human Genome Project was
published in the 2001 landmark genome issue of Nature describing
the sequencing of the human genome. Dr. Nowak led and coordinated
the three groups for the NCI extramural Cancer Chromosome
Aberration Project. As part of this project, Dr. Nowak also
developed BAC based array CGH (Comparative Genomic
Hybridization), a microarray-based method for identifying
numerical differences in DNA between tumor and normal cells and
cells from individuals with genetic disorders, including autism
and other developmental disorders. The results of this work were
published in Nature Genetics.
Dr. Nowak's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than
$70 million in funding for research and infrastructure and she
has authored or co-authored 145 research articles in leading
scientific journals. She also has served on the editorial
board of Cytogenetics and Genome Research as well as an Associate
Editor of Physiological Genomics. Read her full bio here.
Chief Executive Officer
As the new Chief Executive Officer, Andy Watson brings more than two decades of leadership experience in developing, managing and commercializing innovative genomics technologies. Previously, Mr. Watson was the CEO at Genturi, a genomics technology start up company, and the Chief Commercial Officer at RainDance Technologies, a leading provider of microfluidic targeted sequencing and digital PCR technologies that was acquired by Bio-Rad Laboratories. Prior to Raindance, he was the Vice President of SOLiD Sequencing Product Management at Life Technologies, where he was responsible for business strategy, marketing, and product management for next generation sequencing. Mr. Watson led Applied Biosystems’ (now part of Life Technologies) $550M capillary electrophoresis (CE) sequencing business, including instruments, reagents, and software. He has raised over $140 million from corporate partnerships, venture capital, debt, and government grants has been a key player in M&A with deals up to $725 million. He is an inventor on 16 patents and author of 10 peer-reviewed publications including landmark human genome and C. Elegans genome sequencing.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Scarpello is responsible for directing the commercial
business development activities for Empire Genomics. Since
joining Empire Genomics in 2009, he has been a contributor to the
growth of the company through establishing relationships with
customers, guiding product and service line extensions as well as
entry into new markets.
Mr. Scarpello has extensive experience in both the life
sciences and clinical lab markets. Prior to joining Empire
Genomics, he held numerous senior management roles with Enzo Life
Sciences for over 17 years. During this time, he built the
commercial team and drove the expansion of the business
development practice, leading up to the successful acquisitions
of Axxora, BioMol and Assay Designs. He also managed the
company’s first large scale agreements with Affymetrix,
Roche, Amersham/GE, Abbott, Leica & Dako.
Mr. Scarpello served as a member of the US Army’s
Airborne Combat Team. He holds a BS in Biology and Chemistry from
the State University of New York at Stony Brook.