Altis Team


Michael Biron
CEO & Co-Founder

Michael Biron, MBA, is the CEO, co-founder and Chairman of the Board 
of Altis Biosystems. He is a former U.S. Army Officer, with experience in project management, logistics, and leadership development. Prior to the military, Michael spent several years as a top sales representative. He also worked in project management and was responsible for overseeing 
a variety of projects valued up to $26M. Michael has a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State and an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, with a concentration in entrepreneurship.


Christopher Sims, MD
President & Co-Founder

Dr. Christopher Sims, MD, is the President and a co-founder of Altis Biosystems and is a Professor at the University of Washington. He holds 
a BS in Physical Sciences (Chemistry) from Auburn University and an MD from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a medical residency at the Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard University, and postdoctoral clinical fellowships in medicine and in rheumatology at Stanford University Hospital. His postdoctoral research work was in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine where he remained on faculty until his move to UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007. His current research is aimed at the development of cell-based assays and microfabricated technologies for clinical and biomedical applications, particularly in the field of stem cell research. Dr. Sims has been the scientific co-founder of three prior companies: Cell Biosciences (currently Protein Simple); Intellego, Inc.; and Cell Microsystems, Inc.


Scott Magness, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Scott Magness, Ph.D., is the Chief Science Officer and a Co-Founder of Altis Biosystems. At Altis, he advises on primary gut cultures and the biology underlying RepliGut®, and his expertise is in stem cell biology, intestinal physiology, single-cell genomics, and high-throughput platforms to study factors that influence GI stem cell maintenance and differentiation and the microbiome. He obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics & Molecular Biology from UNC Chapel Hill and is also an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and North Carolina State University (NC State), and Departments of Medicine, and Cell Biology & Physiology at UNC.


Ron Laethem, Ph.D.
Director of Biology

Ron Laethem, Ph.D., is the Director of Biology at Altis Biosystems and is a drug disposition scientist with nearly 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas with expertise carrying out in vitro ADME studies. Ron comes to Altis Biosystems from BioIVT where he was the Director of ADME Services Operations, responsible for setting up and overseeing the in vitro ADME group focusing on non-GLP, drug-drug interaction studies for IND and NDA filings.


Niki Heinz
Director of Business Development

Niki Heinz is the Business Development Director at Altis Biosystems and has been successfully selling into the pharmaceutical and biotechnology research space for over 10 years. Niki formerly worked for Asterand Bioscience and BioIVT and has also worked as a QC and R&D chemist in the detergent industry, as well as with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a Naturalist. Niki has a BS in Biology and is an active member of the Henry Ford College Biotechnology Advisory Board.