About Us


Since its establishment in 1992, KTI has enjoyed over 25 years of participating in a wide range of biotech/clinical research projects working with many regional and national biotech businesses and governmental agencies. Dedicated to excellence in advancing fields of biotechnology and biomedical research, KamTek has always attracted talent and derived its strength from a highly innovative and professional team with expertise in newly evolving areas of Molecular Biology, Immunology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Virology, and Tumor Biology.  KamTek also maintains a perfectly equipped bio-repository designed to manage safety and integrity of bio-specimens, a crucial ingredient of any biomedical/biotech research operation.

  

At KamTek state-of-the-art biotech projects are executed by highly trained and dedicated staff in collaboration with instrumentation experts, information technology professionals and various other service providers working as a cohesive team. KTI operates efficiently with a diligent team, many of whom are cross-trained, and a highly experienced group of close, collaborative ASSOCIATES...

 

KTI’s ever-evolving, state-of-the-art services have allowed it to maintain a sound financial base. The company has also attracted angel investments to supplement government funding and uses internal resources to support its key projects. KTI has also received grants from National Institute of Health under SBIR program. BACKGROUND...


Core Team

Sharan VedBrat, PhD

President and Founder

  

Dr. Sharan VedBrat, formally trained as a cell biologist, has over 30 years of combined administrative and broad basic and applied biotech research expertise. She has undertaken business development, bio-technical and management operations of research activities, clinical laboratory and product development operations of federally as well as privately funded projects in the form of grants or contracts.  Dr. VedBrat technical expertise includes basic research in cell biology, carcinogenesis, retro-virology, immunology, microbiology and molecular biology. She has supervised multi-disciplinary staff, managed large-scale, multi-year national and international projects on cancer and AIDS research making significant contributions to these areas of biology.  In past years, she has been successful in securing and translating two separate SBIR grants into dedicated services offered by KTI to the greater life sciences community. She has always stayed at the cutting edge of technology and successfully procured and managed large corporate accounts.
 
Currently she has embarked upon antibiotic drug development program through repurposing of generic antibiotics. The first one is ‘EK101’ project that repurposes an old generic anti-leprosy, anti TB antibiotic Clofazimine (CFM) to tackle the national health emergency threat of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) and associated potentially fatal disease (CDAD).  In the process, she has KamTek participate in antibiotic surveillance program by repurposing antibiotic with almost non-existent record of inducing resistance to tackle indication which is primarily a result of resistance to many antibiotics.  She has continued to make significant progress in this enterprise through getting KamTek IP rights and as one of the co-inventors on the patent, the use of SBIR program and NIH program, as well as, through private funding. Taking advantage of the I-Corps program, she has established consulting expertise in each and every area of drug development ecosystem reflected in team of associates of KTI.  She is intimately involved in planning strategies to commercialize CFM for CDAD and coordinates team activities and manages different functions of KTI in most judicious manner possible staying focused on the final goal and constantly moving the projects forward.


Wolf Prensky, PhD

Director of Research and Development

 

Over 30 years in basic and applied research, clinical laboratory operations and product development. Dr. Prensky is a highly accomplished scientist having led successful efforts as Director of the HIV Lab at St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City and as a scientific consultant for a number of private investment firms.
 
Dr. Wolf Prensky plays a key role as KTI advisor, having pioneered the use of I125 for detecting low level RNA-DNA hybrids, applied to gene localization experiments by in situ molecular hybridization, as well as the first fingerprinting mammalian RNAs. He was pivotal in the acquisition by Enzo Biochem of Yale University’s patent for the use of the biotin/avidin system for DNA-RNA labeling. He is also a co-inventor of “DNA dendrimers,” a novel class of reagents capable of high levels of signal amplification in DNA and RNA hybridization experiments (marketed by Genisphere Inc. Hatfield, PA). As a principal of ELONA Pharmaceutical, an investment firm decided to invest in Clofazimine treatment of Clostridium difficile infections and associated disease project to undertake initial studies, help file for provisional patent, is co-inventors on the final patent and is constantly giving guidance on practical aspects of the project.


Ashok Dhawan, PhD

Biotechnologist & Senior Consultant

 

Dr. Ashok Dhawan has 35 years of experience in the areas of Biotechnology and Physiology. His widely respected discovery, as a part of the team at Australian National University, establishing the occurrence of “G-substances” as a new class of growth regulator, finds a place in classic text books. As a partner in National Mission projects of Government of India, his innovations lead to understanding of mechanisms of low temperature tolerance and development of PCR based markers to identify specific alleles of sucrose synthase-2 and invertase genes.  His work at the University of California Davis proposing a new mechanism for nitrate reduction has been widely acknowledged.  


He has been a Dean at the Central University of Punjab, Dean (Academic) National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, and Director (Technical) in the Haryana State Department of Science and Technology.  He has published 143 research papers and presented 75 papers at conferences around the globe, including as lead speaker at World Biotechnology Congress, Chicago. A scientist of renown, he is a Fellow of two professional bodies and has been conferred with Neol Deer Award (2008) by President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.  Dr. Dhawan’s wide vision and deep understanding of research and administrative needs of R and D organizations helps KTI in various aspects of its research, services and operations.


Randeep Ghariyal, PhD

Senior Scientist & Quality Manager

 

Academic and industrial research experience with strengths in drug development, microarray and next-gen sequencing. Dr. Ghariyal manages biorepository and cell culture projects and is instrumental in maintaining the quality standards of KTI according to GLP and GMP guidelines. She has been with KTI for 10 years and has been a lead on many past and current service and R&D projects.
 
Dr Ghariyal has 10 years of Academic and industrial research experience and has been a lead on many past and current service and R&D projects at KTI. Currently, she operates as total quality lead for biorepository and all laboratory operations of the company.  She is instrumental in maintaining the quality standards of KTI according to GLP and GMP guidelines. In addition, she works in advisory capacity for cell culture operations.


Rossio Kersey, PhD

Senior Scientist

 

Dr. Rossio Kersey is a trained microbiologist and molecular biologist with 20 years of experience in the biotech industry, including in the design, development, implementation and validation of sequencing procedures and clinical diagnostics assays for infectious diseases. She developed and patented the first and only commercial molecular test to detect multiple multi-drug resistant organisms.  She led the development and validation of a CD-genotyping assay for CD outbreak investigations bringing an in-depth knowledge and technical lab experience of management of CD epidemics.

 

Prior to joining KTI, Dr. Kersey was a co-founder of the non-profit organization “BIOCONTROL,” an International Center for the Biological Control of Pests and Pathogens in Lima, Peru, and a founder of the first microarray core facility at the Agronomy and Horticulture Department at New Mexico State University.  Dr. Kersey currently leads KTI’s microbiology lab and works closely with Drs. VedBrat and Prensky in EK101 project for C. difficile infection treatment. With her participation in I-Corps program along with Dr. VedBrat and Mr. Howell, her basic research approach includes product development considerations for EK101 project.  With her wealth of expertise in sequencing using different platforms, she is also involved in establishing sequencing procedures for KTI.


Paul Howell, MBA

Financial, Technical Data and Operations Manager

 

Mr. Paul Howell has 12 years of experience in developing and growing programs in translational cancer research, public and private-sector biorepository management and commercial business management. As KTI’s Financial and Administrative Manager he makes sure that all activities are performed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. In his three years at KTI, he has been responsible for management of the biorepository; whole genome DNA sequencing operations; computer/IT systems; client/contract management; company bookkeeping, budgeting and accounting requirements and recently, training and orienting full time book keeper hired for the job. Instead, he has taken the task of updating KamTek website, with continual developments on Clofazimine-Clostridium project. His experience in computer applications and networking is utilized as both in-house IT manager and Biospecimen inventory system manager, handling all biorepository sample and storage data, as well as, sample tracking between client sites and KTI. Having gone through the NIH I-Corps program, he assumes primary role of working with consulting team to accomplish FDA regulatory, outside investment and commercialization aspects of drug development process.


Nalini Manohar

Senior Technical Manager, Microbiology Lab

 

Ms. Nalini Manohar with training in veterinary biology as well as microbiology lab tech, she has been actively working on microbiological operations for the Clostridium-Clofazimine project. She performs hands on experiments along with Junior microbiology technician. She has successfully worked with ATCC-BEI program to procure microbial specimens used for the project, placing them in KamTek inventory, reviving the cultures to perform microbial susceptibility assays.  She also coordinates at the experimental level with Animal Facilities to make sure samples are transferred to testing lab or our repository without losing their identity integrity, and functional and structural integrity of the specimens and data is received in orderly fashion on time. She performed quick check assays to detect the presence of Clostridium antigen and Toxin B in the cecum contents of animals used for in vivo efficacy testing. She is fully conversant with other microbiological procedure and is a great asset to accomplish goals of this project.


Marianne Subleski

Senior Technical Manager, Cell Biology Lab

 

Ms. Marianne Subleski is trained molecular biology lab tech and many years of work experience on such projects. She assists KTI to fulfill molecular biology requirements and to work on microbiome studies. She has successfully performed on fluid content of cecum samples. Her experiments concluded the same correlation as seen by ‘Quick check’ assay for C. difficile. She worked on DNA isolation part of cell line development work of Roche project. Currently, she is working with Mr. Howell to establish SOPs for library preparation part of the microbiome analyses of cecum and stool samples collected from In-vivo efficacy experiments.  Ms. Marriane Subleski is responsible for inventory of biological samples used for KTI projects and works closely with Mr. Howell for certain aspects of bio-repository management projects as well.