Brian McKernan

Hello! And thanks for visiting our website!  Our mission at Medicinal Genomics, and its sister holding company Courtagen Life Sciences, is very simple: to change the world for the better.  Our team of fantastically talented scientists, geneticists, physicians, and business people decode the DNA of really sick patients, as well as the genetics of cannabis, to merge the power of personalized medicine with the therapeutic potential of the endocannabiniod system.  Our expertise in personalized medicine, genomics and cannabis science affords us the ability to positively impact the lives of millions of people for generations to come.  And that is exactly what we intend to do!  I have a couple of degrees from big named universities (who cares right?!), but to be honest, those educational journeys pale in comparison to the experience of building Agencourt, Agencourt Personal Genomics, Courtagen, and Medicinal Genomics.  Please visit us if you are in the Boston area!

Kevin McKernan
CSO & Founder

I have spent my career researching and developing various DNA sequencing technologies in both the research and clinical industries. In addition, I have a parallel interest in driving the tools used for personalized medicine into the world of cannabis medicine. In fact, the intersection of personalized medicine, genomics, and cannabis is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting growth opportunities in our lifetime.  My experience spans the gamut of working with incredibly bright scientists at the Whitehead Institute to entrepreneurs and business professionals from the most successful and innovative life science companies in the world. When I am not decoding DNA and unraveling the mysteries of cannabis medicine, I enjoy boating, skiing, and gardening.

Brendan McKernan

I have spent my career utilizing world class operating principles in the life science and clinical diagnostic industry.  Our MGC team’s attention to detail ensures that we can fulfill our commitment to produce the finest quality products in the world.  This approach has been part of our culture and one of my passions.  I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly bright scientists, entrepreneurs and business professionals while building Agencourt Bioscience, Agencourt Personal Genomics, Courtagen Life Sciences and Medicinal Genomics.  

When I am not pushing for lean manufacturing concepts, I enjoy boating, martial arts, boxing and volunteering my time to help Avon Old Farms School, Boston Harbor Angels and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute.  And let’s not forget to mention my trusty old pup, Addison.

Jeff Forward

I have spent most of my career working in high-growth industries either as an employee or consultant. Due to the mounting evidence of the medicinal benefits of the plant, the cannabis industry has become the fastest growing industry in the US. Medicinal Genomics provided me the opportunity to help build a business from the ground up in this fascinating field.

Elizabeth Holland
Vice President, Human Resources

I have long been an advocate of cannabis legalization, cannabis safety, and ensuring people know exactly what strain they are using to make it most beneficial for their specific condition. Being a part of a team of people who are bringing state-of-the-art technology to cannabis plant genetics is very exciting for me. I have over 20 years of experience building teams and human resource capabilities for start up organizations, and I am thrilled I can apply this expertise to MGC.

Joe Lillis
Director, Regulatory Affairs

I joined Medicinal Genomics with over 20 years of knowledge and experience as a food industry CEO where I had extensive involvement with food safety and industry government affairs. My background allows me to truly understand the regulatory, industry, and patient needs in the medicinal cannabis space. I am able to relate to all of the industry stakeholders and facilitate the ongoing creation of sensible regulations that ensure consistent and safe products for patients. I live in Boston with my wife Amanda and enjoy golf, cooking, travel, and staying active.

Chris Ganzer
Director, Law Enforcement Outreach

I am a retired Connecticut State Police Sergeant, after having served 21 years in the agency. I am also a United States Air Force veteran, after having worked for nearly 10 years as a military working dog (K-9) handler and security forces member. As a retired law enforcement officer, it goes without saying that I have plenty of experience working in government agencies to curtail the use of cannabis. After researching the subject and witnessing the benefits of medical cannabis for close family members with terminal neurological diseases, I have become an advocate for cannabis reform. I am a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and welcome other law enforcement members to join me in this cause.

Chris Manthous
Director, Sales

As a member of the Courtagen Life Sciences (CLS) team, our next generation sequencing technology enabled us to help physicians, families, and children find answers and treat their complicated neurological disorders. While working at CLS, I also earned my MBA from the University of Strathclyde, which focused on developing entrepreneurial leadership skills in uncertain, fast changing, and emerging markets. Medicinal Genomics offers me the opportunity to incorporate this business experience with my educational training to help make advancements in the nascent cannabis industry, while providing the medical community safe and effective treatment options for patients.

Len May
Industry Consultant

I am a visionary coach and cannabis industry pioneer with over 20 years of experience. I am directly responsible for launching and operating over 15 cannabis brands and operations. I am an expert in industry compliance, business development, and operate with a deep knowledge of successfully navigating cannabis related ventures. I am also a past President of the Cannabis Action Network.

Matt Parisi
Vice President, Operations

Like many others, I have been personally affected by the sickness of a family member who could have benefited greatly from medicinal cannabis. That, along with my 17 year career working in genomics for successful organizations like the Broad Institute, Agencourt Bioscience, and Courtagen Life Sciences, has made me very excited about building Medicinal Genomics into a burgeoning organization focused on an exciting emerging market. Our expertise of applying world class manufacturing techniques to scientific and technical workflows is both challenging and inspiring; it will enable Medicinal Genomics to be a market leader.

Tim Olcott
Vice President, Customer Relations & Logistics

For the last 15 years I have worked in the genomics space alongside many of the MGC team members. From Agencourt, to Beckman Coulter Genomics, to Courtagen Life Sciences I have been focused on building a world class sequencing laboratory operation and managing all aspects of order management and customer support. I believe that we’re only scratching the surface of cannabis research and development of medical marijuana.  I am excited to see the industry grow, and to see Medicinal Genomics Corp. grow with it. When out of the office I can usually be found on a golf course.

Mike Catalano
Sr. Director, Marketing

For the past 25 years I’ve been developing, selling, and marketing products for innovative companies in the life sciences and diagnostics businesses – some startups, some huge – including Packard Bioscience / Perkin Elmer, Protedyne, 454 Life Sciences / Roche Diagnostics, and now Medicinal Genomics. I like common sense solutions to problems … medical cannabis makes sense, and needs to be considered, properly researched, and safely applied as a potential solution to a host of problems. While I was at 454, we helped Kevin McKernan in his mission to unlock the Cannabis genome, and now working at Medicinal Genomics gives me a chance to support that mission full-time.

Jason Warner
Sr. Director, Bioinformatics

I received my B.A. from Cornell University and my Ph.D. from Tufts University. The Human Genome Project inspired me to become a Bioinformatician where I can help improve the human condition through the analysis of large sequencing datasets.

John Geanacopoulos
National Sales Support Specialist

I joined the Medicinal Genomics team because I want to help bring the incredible medicinal properties of cannabis to as many people as possible and in the safest way possible. I love working with the patient groups, cultivators, scientists, and safety testing labs who all work so passionately to bring this natural medicine to the millions of people who need its healing powers.

Heather Ebling
Sr. Applications Scientist

The Cannabis industry is an ever changing and highly interesting space. Working with the very talented Medicinal Genomics team allows me to be part of this exciting and groundbreaking field. With a background in molecular biology and technical customer support, I am able to train and support our customers, allowing them to obtain accurate results in a timely manner. When a product is going to help someone in pain or struggling with an illness, these two things are extremely important.

Doug Smith
Senior Research Director, Genomic Services

The functions of the human endocannabinoid system and their potential applications in medicine are truly remarkable. Becoming immersed in this field after a quarter century at the forefront of human genetics and genome sequencing research, I am amazed by the possibilities. My background includes contributions to the first human genetic linkage map, the first commercially sequenced genome, and the sequencing and analysis of the human genome. The tools that we developed and applied to understanding the genetic basis of human disease and the interdependent web of interactions with the microbial world can now be applied to cannabinoid medicine. Developing a precision medicine approach to unlock the potential of the Cannabis pharmacopeia for the treatment of human disease is the next big challenge.

Ryan Lynch
Sr. Scientist

After finishing the first ever Cannabis biology based PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2015, I joined the MGC team to continue research and Cannabis industry involvement—seeking to improve the efficacy and safety of Cannabis-based therapies thorough the application of DNA sequencing technologies.

Yvonne Helbert
Sr. Scientist

I have over 12 years of R&D experience in DNA/RNA purification and qPCR assay development. I joined the Courtagen Life Sciences R&D team in 2011 and was instrumental in the development of the mtSEEK and nucSEEK assays. My expertise in DNA purification and qPCR assay development has been key to producing high quality products for Medicinal Genomics.

Wendell Orphe

Being a part of the Medicinal Genomics team has given me the opportunity to work closely with cannabis research. One of the primary reasons I wanted to learn more about this medicinal plant was because my two siblings, who suffer from sickle cell anemia, have been looking for alternative pain treatments outside of the addictive opioid medications. My work in cannabis research combined with my education and 10 years of experience in molecular biology allow me to contribute in finding the medicinal properties from different strains, as well as developing assays that assist in better testing. Our work at the company not only helps create more awareness to this growing market but also provides patients with a safe and effective alternative treatment.