Our Team

Rick Birkmeyer, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Rick-BirkmeyerRichard Birkmeyer is a seasoned executive and an accomplished entrepreneur with a proven track record. Before joining Tangen Biosciences, Rick was CEO at CD Diagnostics, Inc. The company developed diagnostic tests for biomarkers. The company won numerous awards and the tests are the gold standard in the orthopedic industry.  The company was purchased by Zimmer Biomet in 2017.

Prior to CD, Rick founded Strategic Diagnostics, Inc. a leading provider of biotechnology-based detection solutions for a broad range of food, water, agricultural, industrial, environmental and life science applications.  As its CEO, Rick grew revenues to $26 million and operated the business profitably.  Rick established and implemented highly successful strategic corporate partnerships with Fortune 100 companies, raised venture capital financing, and completed six acquisitions including utilizing a financial reverse merger in 1996 to create a publicly traded company NASDAQ: (SDIX) and liquidity for SDI’s venture capital investors.

Prior to founding Strategic Diagnostics, Rick was employed by E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company, most recently as a Manufacturing Product Manager responsible for production of 26 immunoassays for the clinical diagnostics market. Rick also serves as a general partner for Leading Edge Ventures.

Rick received his B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and immunology from the State University of New York, Binghamton. Rick also completed post-doctoral research in immunogenetics at Iowa State University.

John Davidson, PhD

Chief Science Officer 

John-DavidsonJohn Davidson co-founded Tangen Biosciences in 2013 with John Nobile. John has focused on bringing to market the TangenDx System, a highly sensitive molecular platform for rapid diagnosis of infectious disease. John received his PhD from Harvard University in 2000 and followed up with a post-doctoral research fellowship in Cancer Biology at the University of Washington, where he developed processive DNA polymerase proteins to reduce error rates during PCR. John joined Blue Heron Biotechnology in 2003, where he invented a novel cell-free DNA error correction method, and implemented it into an automated gene synthesis platform. John joined Ion Torrent in April 2008, before the company had demonstrated proof of concept and prior to acquisition by Life Technologies in 2010. John’s expertise in polymerase engineering and molecular biology was instrumental in developing and bringing to market the first semiconductor-based DNA sequencing instrument – The Ion Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM™) System. As the senior Director for R&D, John was the technical lead for the Ion Proton™ System platform which successfully launched in 2012 together with a suite of automated sample preparation solutions. 

Richard J. Carroll, PhD

Vice President, Business Development

Richard-CarrollDick Carroll has over 40 years’ experience in diagnostics, from Sales and Marketing to Research and Development. Since joining Tangen in 2014, Dick has been charged with setting up the Clinical Studies for the Candida BSI Panel Assay and for Business Development.  Previously, Dick was President of ViveBio in Atlanta. As VP, Business Development for HistoRx, Dick managed the application of AQUA® digital pathology technology. AQUA® was acquired by Novartis.

Dick was VP, R&D, with Cascade Medical, developing the Fibrinet autologous fibrin & platelet system, which was acquired by ConMed Corporation. From 1997 to 2002, as a VP at Visible Genetics, he initiated the clinical study of the TRUGENE HIV-1 Genotyping Kit, the first sequencing technology cleared by the FDA, which was subsequently acquired by Bayer.

At Becton Dickinson, Dick invented and obtained FDA clearances of the Vacutainer® CPT™ and PPT™ blood collection devices. The PPT is used to screen all donated blood units for infectious agents. Dick was a Senior Research Scientist at Corning Medical in the 1980’s. Dick has 5 patents and numerous publications.

Noemí Olivo, MSN/Epidemiology, CCRP

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Noemi-OlivoNoemí Olivo, Vice President Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs has over 25 years’ experience in diagnostics. She is responsible for overseeing clinical affairs, managing clinical studies and grant applications, and creating documentation for Regulatory requirements. 

Noemí’s experience includes clinical research, regulatory affairs, and quality assurance including: Independent CRO at CRO Services, Hamden, CT; Director of Research and Grants Management at Amida Care, NY, NY (largest healthcare provider for HIV+ persons in NY State); Senior Director Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at ViveBio, Alpharetta, GA (biological specimen transportation device); Senior Director, Clinical Research and Quality Assurance at HistoRx, Branford, CT (tissue-based cancer diagnostics); Project Coordinator and Data Manager of clinical trials for NIH ACTG at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, Bronx, NY; Research Project Manager at the Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education,
Palo Alto, CA; Project Director of Clinical Trials at Visible Genetics, Suwannee, GA (DNA sequencing systems); Assoc. Director for Prevention Services, Center for Native American Health, Tucson, AZ; and Nurse Epidemiologist/Nurse Consultant for DHAP, CDC, Atlanta, GA. Noemí has dual Master of Science degrees in Nursing from University of New Mexico and in Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology from University of Wisconsin, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin. She is a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP®) and a member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) and Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS).

Brian Chirico

Vice President, Operations

Brian-ChiricoBrian Chirico has over 30 years of Life Sciences Operations experience for both analytical and diagnostic instrumentation and reagents at Perkin Elmer, 454 Life Sciences, and Roche Diagnostics.  As part of the 454 team, he spearheaded the scale up of manufacturing for next generation sequencing systems including MRP, Quality Systems, Documentation Control, and Supplier Qualification.

As part of the Roche team, Brian’s focus was integrating newly acquired pre-commercialized IVD businesses and ensuring successful launch activities which included support of clinical trials, customer support, documentation, labelling, Operations Gap Analysis, and reliability assessment. Brian has a BSEE from the University of Bridgeport and is 6Sigma Black Belt Certified.

Robert McNamee, CCRP

Director, Quality Assurance

Bob-McNameeRobert McNamee has over 25 years’ Quality Management expertise in early phase development, implementation and management of FDA 21 CFR part 820 and ISO 13485 compliant Quality Management Systems.

Robert has a reputation for being a “hands on” manager and respected leader in areas of Quality Assurance, Compliance, Risk Management, Deviation Management, Corrective and Preventive Action, Continuous Quality Improvement, Key Performance Indicators, Analysis of Quality Metrics, Clinical Site Monitoring, Process Validation, Supplier Qualification and Internal Audit.

Robert’s previous employers include: 4Catalyzer, an accelerator for Butterfly Network, Hyperfine Research and LAM Therapeutics, 454 Lifesciences a Roche Company, DIANON Systems, a LabCorp Company, Diagnostic Oncology, CRO and United States Surgical Corporation.

Robert holds certifications as a Clinical Research Professional and ISO Lead Auditor.

Paul Maxted, PMP

Program Manager

Paul-MaxtedPaul Maxted is a Product Development Specialist, developing new and successful products in a number of industries for his whole career. Paul cut his teeth with over a decade as a mechanical engineer in the Industrial Design consultant industry, working in commercial, medical, telecommunications and consumer industries. This gave him an in-depth experience of quickly learning requirements and taking concepts into commercialization efficiently.

Paul then moved into the aerospace industry for several years mastering how to take products through their entire life cycle in a regulated industry, including government contract projects. In recent years he has focused on Program Management for medical device companies with a successful track record of bringing new products through FDA clearance and transferring into commercialization.

Paul has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a systems engineering concentration and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  He is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Kristopher Panaro

Senior Engineer

Kristopher PanaroKristopher Panaro joined Tangen in 2015 as an Electrical Engineer and has over 17 years of professional experience in the fields of Aerospace, Consumer Electronics, and Medical Devices. He has 12 successful products designed and delivered to market.  He is driven by a curiosity of how things work and a desire to create great products that have a positive impact to the end user.

Kristopher believes education is the foundation to the strength needed for continued success and strives to both learn and teach whenever possible.  A team with a strong foundation is a team that delivers a great product. Kristopher has a BSEE, SUNY Buffalo, 2002.

Bernard Puc

Director, Software Engineering

Bernard-PucBernard Puc is the Director of Software Engineering at Tangen Biosciences. Bernard has over 20 years’ experience using his software engineering expertise to bring innovative technologies to market in a 30-plus year career developing instrumentation technologies.

He has lead software engineering teams in several successful start-up ventures in the biotech industry. He developed software for the GS-20 and GS FLX, the first-to-market next-generation genomic sequencers at 454 Life Sciences, as well as the PGM, Proton, and S5 sequencing systems at Ion Torrent Systems.

Before turning to software development, Bernard worked in hardware development in the aerospace industry working for NASA on projects such as Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, Mars Observer, and Chandra X-ray Observatory. Bernard has a B.S. in Physics from The College of William and Mary and an M.S. in Technology Management at the University of Maryland.