Born in Brooklyn, NY

Founded in 2018, Aanika is revolutionizing how products are tracked through supply chains.

Our mission

Using customized microbial-based tags, we help companies gain valuable insights about their supply chains, help their customers make better consumption choices, and create a more sustainable world.

Our story

Biology meets tech

Imagine ordering fresh, ethically sourced seeds and receiving stale, contaminated products instead.

This happened to Aanika co-founder Vishaal Bhyuan, who discovered that the costly, wasteful experience of destroying sub-standard goods is worryingly common.

Could this problem be solved by applying some sort of identifier that would authenticate and trace products through supply chains?

Enter molecular biologist Dr. Ellen Jorgensen, who partnered with Vishaal to create Aanika.

Together they have figured out how microbial-based technology can be used to trace and authenticate products as they move through supply chains - solving Vishaal’s original problem.

Now the expanded Aanika team is bringing this biotechnology to market, so that companies around the world can reduce waste and bring more integrity and efficiency to their supply chains.

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen CSO at Aanika
Vishaal CEO of Aanika
Core values

The way we work

High performance

We focus on impact and delight in devising creative, ingenious and ground-breaking solutions to real-world problems.


We win and grow as a team every day, understanding that it is a diversity of perspectives that bring richer solutions to life.

Respect for others

We provide a safe and empathetic workplace and appreciate the contributions of everyone on the team.


High principles are not negotiable. We do the right thing at all turns, even when no one is looking.

Our team


Want to join us? 

We’re hiring

Entrepreneur & Executive

Daniel Jay Simon



Dan has a proven, established process for building shareholder value and operating portfolio companies, and has been an active private company investor since 1997. Currently, Dan is an operating partner at GLC Advisors, leading a public food company’s restructuring efforts. He is also the operating partner at Bessemer Trust on a large investment in a public energy and agricultural processing company.

His global investments, executive leadership, board memberships, and advisory positions are in the areas of energy, life sciences, manufacturing, construction / infrastructure, agriculture, bio / pharma, and technology. Companies he has been involved in include NCH Corporation, Kiewit/TIC, Bessemer Trust and Hicks Holdings, Nutrinsic Corporation, Mars Inc., Biofuel Energy Corp (Nasdaq: BIOF), some of which run to  hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year. Dan has served as a Chairman and/or Board Member to more than 10 public and private companies and universities.

Founder and CEO, Giphy

Alex Chung



Alex Chung has an extensive background in the field of technology. He is the founder and CEO of GIPHY, the world’s first and largest GIF search engine as well as the world’s third largest search engine. Over 500 million people send more than 7 billion GIFs every day on GIPHY. That adds up to 11 hours of GIFs viewed every single day. GIPHY is where thousands of artists, brands, and content partners make today’s expression a little more moving. On GIPHY, users can not only search for their favorite GIFs and Stickers but post, embed, share, and more.

Before founding GIPHY, he worked on hardware at Intel and music videos at MTV as well as over a dozen startups over the last 20 years.

He was named on Business Insider’s Top 25 most influential technologists in New York, Ad Age’s 50 most creative people, Fast Company’s most creative people in business right next to Beyoncé, and has degrees in philosophy, engineering, and graphic design.

Founder, Vistronix

Deepak Hathiramani



Deepak Hathiramani is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of SteeleHarbour Capital Partners, a real estate investment management firm focused on middle-market strategic equity, preferred equity and debt investments with a primary focus on multifamily and office properties in high growth markets in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States.

Prior to SteeleHarbour, Mr. Hathiramani was the founder of Vistronix Intelligence and Technology Solutions, a national security solutions provider until its recent acquisition by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) Federal Holding Company in August 2016. In the past, Mr. Hathiramani served as the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and president of Vistronix and was a member of the Audit and Compensation Committee.

Mr. Hathiramani has more than 25 years of experience with privately funded and venture-funded high-tech start-ups. Prior to Vistronix, he worked with high-tech start-ups including Nx Networks (NetrixCorporation) through its Initial Public Offering and Cinnabar Software until its acquisition by publically

traded KMW Systems.

Mr. Hathiramani serves on the Advisory Board of Blue Delta Capital Partners, Mike Shane Memorial Fund and several government contractors. He is a member of George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering Advisory Board, the University of Texas at Austin Department of Computer Science Advisory Council and the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Senior Advisory Board. Mr. Hathiramani also served as a past member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Professional Services Council (PSC).

Professor of Genetics, Harvard

George Church


Scientific Advisors

George’s 1984 Harvard PhD led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing methods and companies. His lab's work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics and synthetic biology / therapeutics.

He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ELSI, environmental and biosecurity policies. He is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS and NAE - and the Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has co-authored 537 papers, 156 patent publications and one book.

He is Director of the Personal Genome Project, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental and Trait data (GET).

Co-Founder of Biotia and Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine

Christopher Mason


Scientific Advisors

Christopher completed his dual post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School in genetics and a fellowship at Yale Law School. He obtained his PhD in Genetics from Yale University, and his dual BS in Genetics and Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As an award-winning geneticist, he has 150+ peer-reviewed articles and has been featured on the covers of several science publications. His lab develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics and metagenomics. The group also works closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards. These methods are also being integrated for longitudinal multi-omic profiling of NASA astronauts and for genetic and epigenetic diagnostics on the International Space Station.

Christopher has won awards from the NIH, the CDC and the WorldQuant Foundation. He was named as one of the ‘Brilliant Ten’ Scientists by Popular Science, and has been featured as a TEDMED speaker.


Sameer Vaswani



Sameer is a serial entrepreneur, skilled at setting businesses up from scratch. As an investor in several consumer wellness brands in the UK and US, he has deep expertise in full scale food manufacturing and management systems, building teams and brands, organizational development, HR management, sales and marketing, international trade and logistics, and crisis management. After training as a chef, Sameer’s first venture was an Asian fusion restaurant in London.

He later founded a confectionery business which produced the household-name Haansbro product range, and which sold to United Biscuits (U.K.) Ltd after amassing sales of over $150m. Sameer’s next venture, Prodigy Snacks Ltd., brings healthier confectionary choices to the UK and EU markets. He also founded clean sports nutrition brand One Pro Nutrition.

President of Humane Genomics Inc.

Andrew Hessel


Scientific Advisors

Andrew Hessel is the President of Humane Genomics Inc., a seed-stage company developing synthetic viruses, starting with virus-based therapies for canine cancers. He is a co-founder and Chairman of the Genome Project-write, the international scientific effort working to engineer large genomes, including the human genome. From 2012-2017 Andrew was the Distinguished Researcher at Autodesk Life Sciences. He has been Singularity University faculty since 2009. His goal is to help people better understand and use living systems to meet the needs of society.

Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology U Miami

Sapna Deo


Scientific Advisors

Sapna Deo is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Deo is also a Graduate Program Director of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of Molecular Medicine Pathway, and Education Director of the Dr. John T. McDonald Foundation Bionanotechnology Institute at University of Miami. Her research group has a robust program related to nanotechnology with focus on design and preparation, characterization of nanomaterials for a variety of applications, including sensing, imaging, nanoformulations for drug delivery, and targeted delivery systems. Dr. Deo has over 20 years of experience in molecular diagnostics development, biomaterials, and drug delivery. She has worked in the area of protein, stem cell, small molecule, and siRNA delivery using bionanotechnology approaches. Dr. Deo also has research interest is in the development of novel nanobioanalytical techniques for the detection of microRNAs and RNA molecules based on luminescence and quantum dots for application in biomedicine, diagnosis, and pathogen detection. She is an author and co-author of over 100 scientific publications and several patents. Dr. Deo is an editor of the book Photoproteins in Bioanalysis.

Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School of Medicine

Sylvia Daunert


Scientific Advisors

Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, MS, PhD is the Lucille P. Markey Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School of Medicine and the Associate Director of the JT Macdonald Foundation Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute of the University of Miami. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Dr. Daunert was the Gill Eminent Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Daunert was also a Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts & Sciences and a University of Kentucky Research Professor. Among others, she is a Fulbright Scholar, an ELAM Fellow, and the recipient various prestigious awards in the field. Her research interests are in Bionanotechnology. Specifically, her group designs new molecular diagnostic tools and biosensors based on genetically engineered proteins and cells that find applications in the biomedical, environmental, and pharmaceutical fields. Additionally, the research of the group focuses on the development of targeted and responsive drug delivery systems. Dr. Daunert’s work has been featured in over 250 publications, patents, and highlighted by the scientific media and popular press.

Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI)

Alexander Titus


Scientific Advisors

Alexander Titus is the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) where he is part of the leadership team working to advance the U.S. regenerative manufacturing industry, as well as develop technologies for disaster preparedness. Alexander’s career is focused on the intersection of technology and public benefit, with experience spanning the private and public sectors, as well as non-profits and academia.

Prior to his role as CSO at ARMI, Alexander was the inaugural Assistant Director (AD) for Biotechnology within the Office of the CTO at the Department of Defense (DoD). As the AD for Biotechnology, Alexander was the DASD-level senior executive in charge of the DoD’s enterprise strategy for biotechnology, where he led the team developing the biotechnology modernization roadmap for the DoD.

Alexander joined the DoD from McKinsey & Company, where he was a management consultant and a member of the inaugural cohort of Defense & Security Specialists working with the national security community on high-priority issues related to organization effectiveness, leadership, and analytics.

On the technical side, Alexander is a trained data scientist with an expertise at the intersection of AI and biology. Prior to consulting, Alexander was a data scientist at the venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, as a member of their B.Next group, as well as a data scientist at Amazon on the Alexa AI team and at Dartmouth in the Geisel School of Medicine.

Alexander holds a PhD in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences from the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies at Dartmouth, as well as a BS and BA in biochemistry and biology (respectively) from the University of Puget Sound.

Professor of Advanced Biotechnology in the Department of Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Chris Voigt


Scientific Advisors

Voigt is the Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology in theDepartment of Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technoloy(MIT). He works in the developing field of synthetic biology. He is theCo-Director of the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT and the Co-Founder of theMIT-Broad Foundry. His research interests focus on the programming of cells toperform coordinated and complex tasks for applications in medicine,agriculture, and industry. Prof. Voigt obtained his Bachelor’s degree inChemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a PhD inBiochemistry and Biophysics at the California Institute of Technology. Hecontinued his postdoctoral research in Bioengineering at the University ofCalifornia, Berkeley. His academic career commenced as an Assistant andAssociate Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at theUniversity of California-San Francisco. Chris Voigt joined the Department ofBiological Engineering at MIT as Associate Professor in 2011.

CEO, Co-Founder

Vishaal Bhuyan



Vishaal co-founded Aanika Biosciences with Ellen in 2018. He began his career on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and co-authored and edited three books on financial derivatives linked to longevity risk, overfishing and water. Vishaal spent over a decade in the investing space, managing a portfolio of esoteric derivatives for a group of family offices.

He also previously served as a portfolio manager of a $1 billion multi-strategy hedge fund. Vishaal has been featured in a number of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, FOX Business, and CNET and has delivered talks at various conferences around the world. In 2017, he used the seeds of a rural Asian plant to create a snack product that is available at a number of retail locations and offices around NYC.

Vishaal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a B.A. in the History of Science.

CSO, Co-Founder

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen



Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is our Chief Science Officer and co-founder. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from New York University and has spent over 30 years in the biotechnology industry.

In 2009 she co-founded Genspace, the world’s first community bio lab where she became a worldwide voice for hands-on public engagement with biotechnology. Fast Company named Genspace one of the World's Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education and featured Dr. Jorgensen as one of their Most Creative Leaders in Business in 2017. She is a SynbioLEAP fellow, recipient of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant, and an alumnus of the THNK School of Creative Leadership.

Her work has been chronicled by Nature Medicine, Science, Discover Magazine, Wired, Make, BBC News, The Washington Post, Dan Rather Reports, PBS NewsHour, The Discovery Channel, and The New York Times. Her two TED talks have had over three million views.

CFO, Co-Founder

Nirmal Roy



Nirmal Roy is one of Aanika Biosciences’ co-founders and our part-time CFO. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania - and has a long career in investment finance. He began his career as an investment analyst at Starwood Capital Group, where he focused on the global acquisition of real estate assets and publicly traded real estate companies. He then took an investment analyst position at Silver Point Capital, an $8 billion hedge fund focused on distressed credit investments.

During his time as an associate at Meadow Partners, Nirmal underwrote and closed six transactions totalling approximately $400 million. He was also a partner and investment analyst at BHR Capital, a hedge fund which specialises in special situation investments, with a focus on bottom-up fundamental analysis across the capital structure. In addition to his CFO role at Aanika, Nirmal serves as a Managing Member of Foundation Capital Partners.

Head of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs

Kevin Gillies



Senior Vice President of Underwriting

Catherine Bessleman



Senior Vice President of Sales

Christopher Ryan



Chief of Staff

Josh Koch



Head of Research and Development

Jamie Richards



Senior Scientist

Vera Pisareva



Fermentation Scientist

Farshad Khademi



Scientist II

Christine Scaduto



Scientist I

Jasmin Philip



Senior Laboratory Technician

Arjeta Markasevic



Laboratory Technician

Hope Kenmore



Laboratory Technician

Sanil Khare



Laboratory Technician

Gurleen Sahansra



Laboratory Technician

Tamia Cline



Office Manager

Amy Chan



Amy has a CIS degree from Baruch College and 10 years of administrative experience.  She keeps the lights on here and make sure everything around the office runs smoothly

When she's not in the office, you'll find Amy either binge watching something on a streaming platform or PC gaming in Tom Clancy's The Division 2.

Scientific advisory


Want to join us? 

We’re hiring




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