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Management Team

Norma Jean Nowak PhD

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Nowak is recognized as a leader in the field of human genomics.  Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. Dr. Nowak is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Empire Genomics. In 2015, Dr. Nowak was named executive director for the University at Buffalo (UB) New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and holds the rank of Professor of Biochemistry. Dr. Nowak was appointed to the Empire State Stem Cell Board in 2014.  She also serves as Principal Investigator, UB Center for Advanced Technology in BIG Data and Health Sciences, as of the July 1, 2017 redesignation.

Among her major achievements, Dr. Nowak has authored landmark papers describing the cloning of several heritable cancer disorders, including a form of Ataxia Telangiectasia (Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome). Her work on the Human Genome Project was published in the 2001 landmark genome issue of Nature describing the sequencing of the human genome. Dr. Nowak led and coordinated the three groups for the NCI extramural Cancer Chromosome Aberration Project. As part of this project, Dr. Nowak also developed BAC based array CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization), a microarray-based method for identifying numerical differences in DNA between tumor and normal cells and cells from individuals with genetic disorders, including autism and other developmental disorders. The results of this work were published in Nature Genetics.

Dr. Nowak's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than $70 million in funding for research and infrastructure and she has authored or co-authored 145 research articles in leading scientific journals.  She also has served on the editorial board of Cytogenetics and Genome Research as well as an Associate Editor of Physiological Genomics. Read her full bio here

Andy Watson

Chief Executive Officer

As the new Chief Executive Officer, Andy Watson brings more than two decades of leadership experience in developing, managing and commercializing innovative genomics technologies. Previously, Mr. Watson was the CEO at Genturi, a genomics technology start up company, and the Chief Commercial Officer at RainDance Technologies, a leading provider of microfluidic targeted sequencing and digital PCR technologies that was acquired by Bio-Rad Laboratories. Prior to Raindance, he was the Vice President of SOLiD Sequencing Product Management at Life Technologies, where he was responsible for business strategy, marketing, and product management for next generation sequencing. Mr. Watson led Applied Biosystems’ (now part of Life Technologies) $550M capillary electrophoresis (CE) sequencing business, including instruments, reagents, and software. He has raised over $140 million from corporate partnerships, venture capital, debt, and government grants has been a key player in M&A with deals up to $725 million. He is an inventor on 16 patents and author of 10 peer-reviewed publications including landmark human genome and C. Elegans genome sequencing.

Anthony Scarpello

Chief Commercial Officer

Mr. Scarpello is responsible for directing the commercial business development activities for Empire Genomics. Since joining Empire Genomics in 2009, he has been a contributor to the growth of the company through establishing relationships with customers, guiding product and service line extensions as well as entry into new markets.

Mr. Scarpello has extensive experience in both the life sciences and clinical lab markets. Prior to joining Empire Genomics, he held numerous senior management roles with Enzo Life Sciences for over 17 years. During this time, he built the commercial team and drove the expansion of the business development practice, leading up to the successful acquisitions of Axxora, BioMol and Assay Designs. He also managed the company’s first large scale agreements with Affymetrix, Roche, Amersham/GE, Abbott, Leica & Dako.

Mr. Scarpello served as a member of the US Army’s Airborne Combat Team. He holds a BS in Biology and Chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.