Board of Directors


Joe McMahon

Joe McMahon is the President and CEO of Bioventure Partners, a growth advisory and investment firm, serving high-impact, technology driven organizations. Previously, Joe was President and CEO at KBI Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical CDMO, from 2002 until 2016. Before KBI, Joe was a Vice President with Covance Biotechnology Services, a biopharmaceutical CDMO, from 1996 until 2002.


Sue Mahony, Ph.D., MBA

Sue Mahony, Ph.D., is a corporate director for Horizon Therapeutics Inc., Assembly Biosciences Inc., Zymeworks Inc., Vifor Pharma, and Cereius Inc. Sue spent 18 years at Eli Lilly and Company, leading organizations in commercial, product development, human resources and general management in Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan and China. Sue earned her BS in Pharmacy, her Doctorate of Philosophy in Pharmacy, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Aston, UK. She also received her MA in Business Administration from the London School of Business.


Christopher Sims, MD

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.


Sam Franklin, MD

Sam Franklin, MD, is a private investor and member of VentureSouth, a Greenville, South Carolina group of angel investors located across the Southeastern United States. He previously worked as a clinical nephrologist and medical entrepreneur in Charleston, South Carolina. Sam attended medical school at UNC Chapel Hill and postgraduate training at Washington University in St Louis.


Ben Scruggs, Ph.D.

Ben Scruggs, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer at Altis Biosystems. He is an experienced leader in the biotechnology industry and has been involved with building transformative healthcare companies in a wide range of areas, including inflammation, oncology, neurodegeneration, ophthalmology, cell therapy, and gene therapy. Ben also serves as a principal at Hatteras Venture Partners. He previously led strategic initiatives at Tune Therapeutics. Ben completed his postdoctoral training in the Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology Laboratory at NIH/NIEHS, earned his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, and holds a BE in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University

Board Observer


Scott Albert

Scott has over 35 years of venture capital and operating experience, primarily working with early stage and growth companies. He is currently a Venture Partner with two early stage venture capital firms in the RTP, NC, The Aurora Funds, Inc. (Aurora) and Cofounders Capital. In addition, Scott is a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where he teaches several classes in the entrepreneurship area.

Scientific Advisors


Nancy Allbritton, Ph.D., MD

Nancy Allbritton, Ph.D., MD, is a Co-Founder of Altis Biosystems. Dr. Allbritton’s research and commercialization efforts are directed to the development of new technologies by bringing to bear methods from engineering, chemistry, physics, and biology to address biomedical problems. Currently Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Washington, Nancy was the Kenan Professor and Chair of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and North Carolina State University (NC State). She obtained her Ph.D. in Medical Physics/Medical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University.


Yuli Wang, Ph.D.

Yuli Wang, Ph.D., is a Co-Founder of Altis Biosystems, where he works with Dr. Allbritton and Dr. Sims in developing new technologies to address important biomedical problems. He has experience in entrepreneurship development activities and obtained his Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine.


Scott Magness, Ph.D.

Scott Magness, Ph.D., is the Co-Founder of Altis Biosystems and a scientific advisor. 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.