Leadership

Dr. Jian Han

Founder, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Han earned his MD from Suzhou Medical College in China and his PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). At UAB, Dr. Han was an Assistant Professor and served as Clinical Molecular Laboratory Director. He is a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist. In 1996, Dr. Han started Genaco Biomedical Products, where he developed a multiplex molecular assay for profiling pathogens associated with respiratory infections. Dr. Han developed Genaco’s core technology, tem-PCR and this won the Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation and Leadership award and Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation award. In 2006, Qiagen acquired Genaco. Following the sale to Qiagen, Dr. Han joined the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology where he developed the next generation multiplex PCR technology, the arm-PCR method, which is the core technology for iCubate.

Jeff Bertrand

Chief Engineer

Mr. Bertrand is the Chief Engineer for iCubate. Mr. Bertrand attended the University of Dayton where he received his Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology in 1981. Mr. Bertrand worked as a Senior Electronics Engineer for General Dynamics in San Diego on various projects for the nation’s space program including the Galileo Probe to Jupiter. In 1988, Mr. Bertrand become a Senior Project Engineer for SCI, Incorporated in Huntsville. During his 10 years with SCI, he developed expertise in digital and analog design as well as power supply design. This work was focused on Department of Army rotary wing projects including the Apache Helicopter and the A12 Advanced Tactical Fighter. Upon accepting a position as an Electronics Engineer at ADTRAN, Inc., a global provider of network and communication equipment, Mr. Bertrand furthered his skills in digital and analog design. At the request of ADTRAN co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Lonnie McMillian, Mr. Bertrand left ADTRAN to join iCubate as a Senior Research Engineer. Mr. Bertrand was the project lead for the critical hardware and software that became the iCubate Processor, Reader and Cassette. The instrumentation has been awarded multiple patents with Mr. Bertrand playing key roles in each patent. Now serving as Chief Engineer, Mr. Bertrand continues as a leader within the company.

Phillip Ewing

Senior Engineer

Mr. Ewing is the Senior Design Engineer at iCubate. Mr. Ewing received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1984. Mr. Ewing has over 40 years of electronics experience in areas including design of automated functional test instruments and systems; software development utilizing multiple programming languages; development of embedded control system hardware and firmware; analog and digital system design; RF and telecommunications test system development; and board-level debug and troubleshooting. Prior to joining iCubate, Mr. Ewing worked for GTE, Intergraph Computer Systems, and ADTRAN Telecommunications, where he was awarded a patent for a multi-unit test and instrumentation system. At iCubate, Mr. Ewing has a myriad of key roles and responsibilities including software development; hardware design; circuit board layout; product development; hardware manufacturing; test system development; the development of product and process Quality Assurance documentation; and has primary responsibility for the production and support of the iC-Processor and its derivatives. Mr. Ewing is a co-inventor and patent holder for key areas of the iCubate system. Using his management experience of engineering and software teams and with substantial project management expertise, Mr. Ewing is a valued and vital member of the iCubate team.

Katie Heflin Hahnemann, PhD

Product Development & Regulatory Affairs Manager

Dr. Heflin Hahnemann is the Product Development and Regulatory Affairs Manager for iCubate. Dr. Heflin attended Auburn University, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 2005. Dr. Heflin pursued her interests in biochemical studies at The Johns Hopkins University. As a predoctoral student under Dr. Caren Freel Meyers, Dr. Heflin’s thesis work focused on uncovering the chemical and kinetic mechanisms of a bacterial enzyme with the specific goal of selectively inhibiting the enzyme and its essential pathway. In 2015, Dr. Heflin received her Ph.D. in Chemical Biology. Dr. Heflin joined iCubate as a Quality Systems Associate before transitioning to her current role as Product Development and Regulatory Affairs Manager in 2016. In this key position, she guides new iCubate assays from design and development through the FDA clearance pathway. Dr. Heflin played a critical role in achieving iCubate’s major milestones of FDA Clearance of the first two bloodstream infection assays. More recently, Dr. Heflin led the effort on the company receiving “Breakthrough” designation on a third assay for the detection of non-tuberculosis mycobacteria. Dr. Heflin is the author of multiple publications and has presented at scientific conferences including the American Society of Microbiology and American Association of Clinical Chemistry.

Hongna Liu, PhD

Assay Developer

Dr. Liu is the Senior Scientist for assay development at iCubate. In 2010, Dr. Liu earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Southeast University in Nanjing, China. Dr. Liu has over 15 years of molecular biology experience in areas including the development of assays for infectious disease detection; development of automatic nucleic acid extraction methods from complex biological samples; development of hybridization methods based on glass slide microarray or magnetic beads; synthesis, characterization and functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles; development of SNP genotyping approaches based on different PCR techniques; development of automated MagStation and its application in semi-automated SNP detection and mutation analysis. Dr. Liu has published 10 peer-reviewed publications as first author and holds four patents. Dr. Liu was the principal assay developer for iCubate’s first FDA-cleared product, the iC-GPC Assay™ for potentially pathogenic gram positive bacteria. She leads or is a key collaborator on the development of the company’s gastrointestinal, mycobacterium and respiratory assays. Additionally, Dr. Liu regularly works with iCubate’s engineering and software team on a variety of design, development, analysis and troubleshooting projects. Over nearly a decade with iCubate, Dr. Liu has mentored and trained many interns and lab technical personnel.