We’re a team of professionals from Google, Intuit and LinkedIn. In 2012, we developed a software application which delivered insights for technology companies. With a presence in six countries, our customers included 23andMe, LinkedIn and Tribune.
In summer 2014, our spouses suggested that we develop an application for Medical Affairs (one of our wives works in Medical Affairs at a large pharmaceutical company, while another works in pediatric oncology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University). Our spouses believed there was an unmet need for applications which are specifically designed to showcase the value of Medical Affairs.
Since we had little experience in pharmaceuticals, we researched how Medical Affairs delivers value to the organization. In autumn 2014, a director of MSL field operations shared this insight with us:
“At the moment, our only option is CRM which was designed for Commercial. But we’re not salespeople, we’re scientists…and we need a better way to showcase the value of Medical Affairs.”
As a result, we decided to develop software for Medical Affairs only.
Avikk Ghose, CEO
Avikk is co-founder and CEO of kernel. Previously, he directed strategic mobile initiatives at Intuit where his team was responsible for product strategy, mergers & acquisitions and best-practice innovations in the wireless ecosystem. Before Intuit, Avikk was vice president, marketing and business development at Mercora and worked in corporate development at RealNetworks.
Avikk received an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Washington and an MBA from New York University.
Ryan Idryo, VP of Engineering
Ryan is co-founder and VP of engineering at kernel. Previously, he was lead engineer and director of development at Electronic Arts (EA) and principal mobile software engineer at Openwave. His specialties include artificial intelligence, C++, Java, engineering management, multithreaded development, and web development.
Ryan received a dual bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT with an undergraduate thesis at the Media Lab in personalized news and notifications. He also has a master's degree in computer science from the University of Michigan with a focus in artificial intelligence.
Eric Kowalchyk, VP of Product Management
Eric is co-founder and VP of product management at kernel. Previously, he was senior product manager at LinkedIn and mobile product manager at Intuit. At LinkedIn, he built the billing and payments platform and led the company's revenue systems through IPO.
At Intuit, Eric launched and commercialized GoPayment, a mobile payments application, for which he received the annual Scott Cook Innovation Award.
Eric has an undergraduate degree in international business from the University of Wisconsin.
ricardo marquez, vp of ux and design
Ricardo is co-founder and VP of user experience and design at kernel. Previously, he was design manager at Google and head of user experience at Telefonica Digital. At Google, he led the UX team in new, strategic initiatives to redefine the online and mobile shopping experience for Google.com.
At Telefonica, Ricardo directed the user experience/interaction design team in developing delightful, coherent and consistent experiences across product portfolios and within the end-to-end experience of each product.
Ricardo studied computer and systems engineering at the Universidad de Los Andes, received a bachelor's degree in visual communications and advertising at Universidad Central in Colombia, and a master's degree in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon University.
J. LYNN BASS, PHARMD, RPH
Dr. Bass is Director of MSLs, Americas at Santen Pharmaceutical. Previously, she was Director, Medical Affairs and Global Grants Manager at Jazz Pharmaceuticals. She has over 16 years of experience in the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) professon with tenures at Baxter BioScience, Lilly, Amgen, and most recently Jazz Pharmaceuticals. She has been an active member of the MSL community for over 14 years and has co-authored numerous MSL surveys. Currently, she serves as chair of the DIA Medical Science Liaison Community.
Dr. Bass received a bachelor's degree in biology and Pharm.D. from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.
LISA DANZIG, MD
Dr. Danzig is Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at PaxVax. She joined PaxVax in early 2015 as a Special Advisor for Clinical and Medical Affairs, following 18 years with Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, most recently as Global Head of Medical & Scientific Affairs, Diagnostics (acquired by Grifols).
Dr. Danzig is an expert in vaccines. She has contributed to the development of meningococcal vaccines (Menjugate®, Menveo® and Bexsero®) and has worked in Siena, Italy, Cambridge, MA and Hangzhou, China. During her two years as an EIS officer with the CDC, she investigated outbreaks of healthcare associated infections and taught epidemiology in Cote d’Ivoire to district health officers in West Africa.
Dr. Danzig received her medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University and completed residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases in San Francisco. She is an independent director at OrSense, and serves on the boards of the Merola Opera Program and the Karuna Foundation and is an advisor to the Lemelson Foundation and The Batchery.
DONNA HOLDER, PHARMD
Dr. Holder provides expertise to major multinational pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical companies. She has over 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Most recently, Dr. Holder was Senior Director, Global MSL Excellence at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (AZ), where she was accountable for setting the strategic direction for the Medical Science Liaison (MSL) function. In this role, she led the development, delivery and measurement of initiatives and tools to strengthen the MSL capability worldwide.
liza pizarro-white, LPW Training services
Liza is founder and President of LPW Training Services. Liza's extensive experience in pharmaceutical technology training, strong work ethic, and "can do" attitude have proven successful in building LPW Training Services to be an industry leader in technology training.
Before branching out on her own business venture, Liza was a training manager for two of the top CRM software companies, training clients in the United States, Canada, and England. Liza's history and education are rich in solid training fundamentals and real life experiences that are proven to be successful in the classroom, and set the standard for which all LPW Training Services trainers follow.
Rick sternquist, viata cloud
Rick is Chief Configuration Officer at Viata Cloud, which helps pharmaceutical companies get the most out of their Veeva CRM systems. Viata Cloud specializes in advanced Veeva CRM configuration, solution architecture, iRep and CLM deployment and custom data integrations. As subject matter experts, Rick and his firm have a proven track record of working with clients’ senior management, technical architects, and executives to map business requirements to Veeva CRM functionality.
mike abbadessa, PHARMD
Dr. Abbadessa is CEO at Opx Insights, a consulting firm founded by medical affairs experts to build innovative solutions for medical affairs organizations. Before launching Opx Insights, Mike was Senior Director, Medical Affairs Strategy, Operations, and Alliance Management at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Mike held multiple roles at Takeda including National Director, MSLs, Regional Associate Director and MSL. Mike started his career in acute care hospitals as pharmacist, director and chief operating officer.
ryan mcclellan, PHARMD
Dr. Ryan McClellan is an Associate Director, Analytics and Technology, US Medical Office Management and Operations at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Dr. McClellan leads the Data Innovation Center of Excellence and manages data analytics within the US Medical Office. He also engages and supports digital strategy opportunities, and oversees a variety of IT related systems. Dr. McClellan has held various roles within Takeda including Field Scientific Lead and Executive MSL, where he supported medical activities in various therapeutic areas, including gastroenterology, rheumatology, pediatric endocrinology, and neuroscience. Prior to Takeda, Dr. McClellan was an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Drake University and a critical care clinical pharmacist within the VA Medical System. In addition to his PharmD degree from Drake University, Dr. McClellan also holds an ASHP Accredited Specialty Residency in Primary Care and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a Business Analytics Certificate from Loras College.
We'd also like to thank our friends for their invaluable guidance and inspiration:
Dr. Michelle Chernock, Dr. Sopida Cheunkarndee, Dr. Bruce Cooper, Dr. Dennise Dalma-Weiszhausz, Dr. Sherman Ho, Sachin Kadakia, Suresh Khemani, Steve Lemon, Zorba Lieberman, Dr. Rolf Linke, Gabriel Manjarrez, Connie Moreadith, Luis Robbio, Dr. Mitra Sadeghi and Dr. Alexander Tolmachev.