Will Alaynick, Ph.D., Managing Partner

Will has 14 years of research experience in four Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratories that spans neuroscience, development, genomics, molecular endocrinology, and electrophysiology of the heart and spinal cord.  He is a Founder of ScholarNexus, LLC and NanoCellect, Inc.; on the Advisory Board at SweetSpot Diabetes Care, Inc; and on the Board of Trustees at Arroyo Paseo Charter High School.  Will has a BA from the University of Washington in History of Science and received his PhD from University of California, San Diego while performing nuclear receptor research at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in spinal cord development at The Salk and was a Research Associate with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.


Nathaniel Heintzman, Ph.D., Managing Partner

Nate Heintzman is on the faculty of UC San Diego’s Department of Medicine, where he directs the Diabetes Informatics & Analytics Lab (DIAL). He is a serial start-up entrepreneur, a judge for the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, and a Glass Explorer for Google. In 2008, Nate was named a prestigious UC Discovery Fellow with the San Diego division of the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (now the Qualcomm Institute), and his research has been published in Nature. In addition to his academic contributions to diabetes research, Nate serves on the Board for Insulindependence, a San Diego-based national non-profit organization that he co-founded to provide fitness and recreation programs for people with diabetes. Nate received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from UCSD and his BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

Morachis_Headshot_Oct2013 copyJose M. Morachis, Ph.D., Managing Partner

Jose co-founded ScholarNexus, LLC where he has been a managing partner and consultant for diverse projects in biotechnology, information technology, and business development. He currently advises and co-leads several portfolio companies. He has been CEO of NanoCellect since late 2009, leading a diverse group of engineers and biologist to develop next generation flow cytometry technology. He has published numerous research articles on cancer research, nanotechnology, and drug discovery. Morachis brings broad biomedical research and clinical training from his postdoctoral training at UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, previous research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Med-into-Grad fellowship program, and industry experience at Amgen, Inc. Jose holds a PhD in Biology from UCSD and a BS in Biochemistry from UC Riverside.

Ian Quigley, Ph.D., Consultant
Ian brings broad knowledge of molecular biology, developmental biology, cell biology, imaging, and genomics to the team. He received his BA in biology from Rice University, his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and obtained additional training at Baylor College of Medicine. At the Salk Institute for Biological Studies he focused primarily on the genomics of transcriptional regulation. He also worked on biochemical methods development to capture novel nucleic acid features and the computational tools to examine them. He has been with ScholarNexus since 2011.




A. Taylor Bright, Ph.D., Consultant

Taylor is an expert in genomic sciences focusing on using high-throughput sequencing technology to address real world biomedical questions. Taylor’s previous work has ranged from whole genome sequencing of the malaria parasite to identify genes involved in drug resistance to proteomics analysis of a leishmania diagnostic product as part of an FDA submission. Additional expertise includes RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and protein sequencing. Additionally, he is the co-founder of Novoron Bioscience, Inc. and a founder/principal at Nassau Waterford Investments. Taylor received an AB in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from UCSD.



Lisette Acevedo, Ph.D., M.B.A., Consultant

Lisette received her PhD in Pharmacology from Yale University and her MBA from UCSD Rady School of Management, bringing both scientific and management experience. As a scientist she has over 16 years experience in cancer research, stem cell biology, neuroscience, and vascular biology. Currently Lisette is working as a business development consultant for biotech companies in the San Diego area.