our team.

Thomas Klein

Founder & CEO of PIRCHE

Thomas has more than 25 years of experience and expertise as an entrepreneur working with companies that have a strong technological base. He is the founder of PIRCHE and was the co-founder and former CEO of the biopharmaceutical company “NOXXON Pharma” (EPA: ALNOX), also based in Berlin. In 2004, Thomas was co-founder of Arcway (Berlin), the first spin-off from the Hasso-Plattner Institute in Potsdam and served as its chariman until it was sold in 2010. Additionally, he served from 2006 to 2020 as the business development advisor and legal representative for all clinical trials in Europe of “Pluristem” (NASDAQ: PSTI), Haifa, a leading provider of cell therapy products. Thomas holds a Magister Artium (M.A.) degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich in History and Political Sciences.

Eric Spierings, PhD

Scientific Advisor and Inventor of the PIRCHE Algorithm

Dr. Spierings is the inventor of the PIRCHE algorithm which allows the prediction of HLA-derived T-cell epitopes and he has been leading in the process of bringing the PIRCHE concept from prototype to production. Since 2008, he has operated as an independent principal investigator at the Center of Translational Immunology and as an EFI accredited lab director of the HLA laboratory of the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. In this combined position, he merges diagnostic histocompatibility testing with research and teaching. His research has a strong focus on T cells and T-cell responses in relation to organ- and stem-cell transplantation with the aim to translate new knowledge into clinical practice.

Eric is also the (co-) author of more than 90 publications in national and international scientific journals and he currently has an h-index of 29. He has been project leader of the minor H antigen projects within the 14th and 15th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshops and is currently co-chair of the upcoming International HLA & Histocompatibility Workshop with a special focus on the definition of the immunogenic and non-immunogenic HLA epitopes.

Bethany L. Dale, PhD

Vice President - Global Commercialization

Bethany holds a PhD in Molecular Physiology from Vanderbilt University and was trained in transplant immunology at The Johns Hopkins Immunogenetics Laboratory. As Vice President Global Commercialization, she brings, in addition to her exceptional scientific background, an outstanding professional history built over several years working for one of the industrial leaders in the field. This includes over a decades’ worth of experience in the HLA typing, antibody analysis and cfDNA spaces, covering the clinical, research and industrial diagnostics domains.

Bethany’s wide ranging expertise is put to use as a core member of the leadership team and she serves as a vital driving force for PIRCHE’s business development strategy. She is responsible for guiding the company’s growth in key fields including commercial strategy, partner relationship management, communications and engagement.

Matthias Niemann

Vice President - Technology

Matthias serves as PIRCHE’s Vice President – Technology, focusing on implementing the PIRCHE web service and translating the PIRCHE algorithm from a pure research prototype to a commercial tool-suite. He supports research teams all around the globe, has co- authored multiple PIRCHE-related publications and regularly presents scientific abstracts at international conferences. Matthias holds a Masters degree in Computer Science with a major in software engineering and a minor in Bioinformatics from Berlin University (Freie Universität). While working at Charité University Hospital in Berlin, he developed a database for kidney transplantation data and worked on various laboratory information systems and research databases. His research at Charité focused on epitope matching models and machine learning in sparse clinical data sets.

 

Ben Matern, PhD

Director - Bioinformatics

During Ben’s Masters studies in Computational Biology at the University of Minnesota in the USA, he collaborated on data standards for HLA genotyping data with the bioinformatics team of the National Marrow Donor Program / BeTheMatch. In 2020, Ben completed his PhD, focused on HLA Haplotypes and long-read nanopore sequencing, in bioinformatics at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Following this, he worked in Utrecht, NL within the Center for Translational Immunology on a variety of immunogenicity projects. Ben has also been responsible for data collection and bioinformatics analysis for an assortment of HLA-focused studies for the 18th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop. His computational focus and interest in bioinformatics and HLA immunogenicity complements the goals of PIRCHE to provide epitope-focused matching services.

Andreas Schimanski

Vice President - Operations

With nearly 15 years of experience in IT Andreas’ career has covered a wide range of niches in software development from business analytics & requirements engineering through architecture & implementation up to quality assurance & infrastructure management, both in the role as engineer and manager. After working as software engineer for different companies Andreas worked for the Cytolon AG developing and certifying a HLA based stem cell matching platform supporting health care professionals in treating leukaemia patients. Following that he worked at Be the Partner building a clinical trial platform taking the role as Director of Technology. Finally Andreas joined the PIRCHE team as Director of Operations, later being appointed Vice President – Operations and covering multiple aspects in running and further developing the PIRCHE web-service and technology, as well as working closely with the PIRCHE customers, partners and community.

 

Miltiadis Katsimpras

Director - Quality Management

As Director of Quality Management, Miltiadis spearheads the development and implementation of the Quality Management System (QMS), focusing on ensuring compliance and leading the FDA submission process for medical devices. With a strong foundation in Computer Science and holding a Master’s degree from Humboldt University, his expertise bridges the gap between innovative technology and rigorous quality standards. Over the years, he has played a pivotal role in guiding other Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) through the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) process, showcasing his proficiency in Quality Assurance, Software Engineering, and Quality Management. His tenure as an internal auditor for ISO 13485 further honed his abilities to uphold and exceed the stringent requirements set forth in the medical device industry. Miltiadis’ academic research in affective computing, particularly in developing algorithms to assess stress, underscores his dedication to innovation at the intersection of technology and user well-being. This work exemplifies his commitment to leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) for the advancement of Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) applications, aiming to elevate both medical device functionality and health outcomes alongside improving user experiences.

Kendy Alvarado​

Software Architect​

Kendy is a seasoned technology professional with over 15 years of experience in various industries, including AI, logistics, finance, energy, and education. He has held multiple roles in his career, which has given him valuable experience in tackling complex problems. His educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Science.

Throughout his career, Kendy has worked on different projects for all stages of software development, including planning, design, analysis, development, testing, rollout, and maintenance. His vast experience in various industries has allowed him to develop a versatile skill set, which he can apply to different projects and problems.

Morgan Giannattasio

Associate Director - Clinical Partnerships

Morgan is a clinically trained nephrology Dietitian with advanced experience in pre-transplant preparation for end stage kidney disease patients. With her training she has worked in a variety of pharmaceutical and molecular diagnostics commercial roles within the pre & post solid organ transplant space. With Morgan’s commercial experience, she will help drive the expansion and scientific development of PIRCHE by partnering with the leaders in transplant and industry with the goal of improving patient care and center quality outcomes.

Hilary Mehler, MS, CHS

Product Owner

Hilary is a Certified Histocompatibility Specialist with 14 years of HLA laboratory experience. Throughout the years, she gained experience in all areas of immunogenetics, eventually focusing primarily on next-generation sequencing (NGS). Hilary holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics and a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

Timothy Boadi​

Senior Marketing Manager​

Timothy, our Senior Marketing Manager, is a trained economist and statistician with international experience in the financial services industry, project management, marketing and market intelligence. His areas of specialization include market analysis, business development and consumer outreach. Tim holds a Master of Arts in Development Economics from Universität Passau, a Master of Science in Financial Economics from The University of Manchester, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Botswana.

Katarzyna Gumowska

Senior Quality Manager

Katarzyna, Senior Quality Manager, is trained in the QARA (Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs) area and has international experience in implementing and maintaining Quality Management Systems. She is also an internal and external auditor in line with ISO 13485:2016, MDSAP, ISO 9001:2015. She has supported placing products on the market in the UE, UK, Switzerland, USA, Canada and other countries.

Bram Gerritsen

Senior Bioinformatics Scientist

Since receiving both his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences and his Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics from Radboud University Nijmegen, Bram has gained over 10 years of experience working as a bioinformatician with an emphasis on immunology-related projects. He received his PhD at Utrecht University where he studied high throughput sequencing data of T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires. Following this, he studied the effects of vaccination on the immune response at Yale University and, more recently, molecular changes with respect to pain in osteoarthritis and metabolic changes in age-related macular degeneration at University Medical Center Utrecht.

Selle Bandstra

Bioinformatics Scientist

Selle is a trained Bioinformatics Scientist with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and computational biology. Holding both a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Groningen and a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from the University of Amsterdam, Selle has garnered over three years of hands-on experience developing AI solutions for biological challenges at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Ifeanyi Onyejekwe

Software Developer

Ifeanyi brings extensive experience in software development with a focus on health technology. He led API integration projects in the TeleHealth sector, ensuring smooth data transfer and an enhanced user experience. He also oversaw health data management processes and ensured the robustness and high availability of the application.

He contributed to major projects where he helped transition services to a more efficient architecture, such as microservices. His career also includes developing important services and applications across various industries, including fintech, banking, and start-ups. In these roles, he consistently drove innovation and operational excellence.