Clear Labs Team

Meet the Clear Labs Team

Clear Labs was founded in 2014 by a group of software engineers and genomic scientists to bring NGS technologies to the food safety industry. We are helping the world’s most respected food brands and service labs ensure the quality and safety of their products. We are based in Menlo Park, CA.

Sasan Amini

Sasan Amini

Co-founder and CEO

Bio
Mahni Ghorashi

Mahni Ghorashi

Co-founder & CCO

Bio
Kazu Ohno

Kazu Ohno

CFO

Bio
Ramin Khaksar

Ramin Khaksar

Head of Science

Bio
Joe Schroeter

Joe Schroeter

Head of Global Sales

Bio

Meet Our Board of Directors

Nick Roelofs

Nicolas H. Roelofs, Ph.D. has more than 19 years of experience in the Life Sciences and Diagnostics industry and served in several roles in R&D, business development, sales, and business management.

Nick spent 7 years at Agilent Technologies Inc., first as a VP and general manager for the Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis group and then as SVP and President of the Life Sciences Group. Before Agilent, Nick was at Bio-Rad where he worked on protein separations and analysis for genomics and the food science industry.

Nick received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno and an M.S. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Iowa.

Mostafa Ronaghi

Mostafa is an experienced life sciences entrepreneur and was involved in the start-up of four life sciences companies including Avantome (acquired by Illumina); NextBio, a search engine for life science data (acquired by Illumina); ParAllele Bioscience (acquired by Affymetrix, Inc.), and Pyrosequencing AB, which was renamed to Biotage in 2003.

Mostafa was a principal investigator at Stanford University from 2002 until 2008 and focused on the development of novel tools for molecular diagnostic applications. He earned his Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. He holds more than 50 pending and issued patents and has written more than 70 peer-reviewed publications in journals and books.

Sasan Amini

Sasan has a passion for applying new technologies to solve real world problems and promote healthy living. After many years of experience in the life sciences, he decided to combine his passion and expertise to start Clear Labs with the mission of making food transparent. After getting his PhD in Genomics from Princeton, Sasan spent a few years in the Advanced Research department at Illumina, working on the most state-of-the-art Genomics approaches and platforms. Sasan received his B.Sc. in Biotechnology from the University of Tehran, where he entered as a gold medalist in the International Biology Olympiad. While in college, he served as the youngest Board member of the Iranian National Biology Olympiad Committee and authored a problem book on Mendelian Genetics which has been re-printed 10 times over the past decade. He holds multiple patents and publications in the field.

Gaurav Garg

Gaurav Garg is a Founding Partner of Wing Venture Capital. Gaurav is a board member at several private technology companies, including Cohesity, Shape Security, and Instart Logic. He incubated and helped build FireEye, Ruckus Wireless, and Jasper into significant businesses, serving as a board member at each for more than ten years. Gaurav has served on the boards of several other companies, including some that staged successful exits via IPOs or acquisitions such as NetScaler and MobileIron. He also worked extensively with, and co-sponsored investments in, Aruba and RingCentral.

Gaurav was a partner at Sequoia Capital from 2001 to 2010, and a Special Limited Partner at the firm from 2010 to 2012. Prior to joining Sequoia, he founded Redback Networks in 1996, and served as a board member and Senior Vice President of Product Management. Prior to Redback Networks, he held various engineering positions at SynOptics and Bay Networks.

Gaurav holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Computer Science, all from Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael R Taylor

Mike Taylor is a senior fellow at Freedman Consulting, LLC, and an advisor to the Food and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. His primary interests are food safety globally and food security in Africa and other developing regions.

Until June 1, 2016, Mr. Taylor was Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. He led the comprehensive overhaul of FDA’s food safety program Congress mandated in the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 and oversaw all of FDA’s food-related activities, including its nutrition, labeling, food additive, dietary supplement, and animal drug programs.

Prior to joining FDA in July 2009, he spent nearly a decade conducting public health policy research, most recently at George Washington University’s School of Public Health, and also served as a Senior Fellow at the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, where he conducted research on U.S. policies affecting agricultural development and food security in Africa.

In the private sector, Mr. Taylor founded the food and drug practice and was a partner in the law firm of King & Spalding, was Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Company, and served on the boards of the Alliance to End Hunger and RESOLVE, Inc.

Meet Our Advisory Board

Don Schaffner

Dr. Donald W. Schaffner is Extension Specialist in Food Science and Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University. He has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and educated thousands of Food Industry professionals through short courses and workshops in the United States and around the world. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Academy of Microbiology. He has served as an Editor for the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology since 2005. Dr. Schaffner was the president of the International Association for Food Protection in 2013-2014. In his spare time he co-hosts a food safety podcast at foodsafetytalk.com.

Gary Acuff

Dr. Gary R. Acuff holds the title of Director of the Center for Food Safety and Professor of Food Microbiology within the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Acuff’s professional memberships include the International Association for Food Protection, serving as President in 2008, as well as the American Society for Microbiology and the Society for Applied Microbiology. He is a member of the Editorial Committee for the 5th Edition of the Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods and was a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food from 1992 to 1997. He currently serves as a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Advisory Committee. Acuff has published more than 80 articles in technical journals and has authored several chapters on food microbiology in various references and textbooks.

Kent Juliot

Kent Juliot brings over 30 years of food safety and quality leadership in the food industry. Prior to Ardent Mills, where he serves as VP of Research, Quality & Technical Solutions, Kent was VP of Quality with ConAgra Foods for 11 years, where he led people and programs focused on food safety and quality for ConAgra’s commercial business unit, international operations, and customer quality liaisons for food service and private label businesses.

Kent spent the first 19 years of his career with Kellogg’s, where he served as associate director of operations quality, overseeing corporate internal auditing, laboratory analytical method standardization, manufacturing plant food safety & environmental management.

Kent holds Bachelors & Masters degrees in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Charlie Piper

Charlie spent the first 20 years of his career holding a wide variety of roles in grocery retail management and is now the President and CEO of Yottamark, where is responsible for driving the company’s strategy.

Prior to joining YottaMark, Piper was CEO of Prommis Solutions (acquired by 4 law firms), was previously CEO of ePay and DVDPlay, Inc. (acquired by NCR), SVP Operations of Blackhawk Network, Inc., and VP of Corporate Retail Operations of Safeway, Inc.

He received his MBA from Regis University.

Samuel Godefroy

Samuel Godefroy is a Full Professor of Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Systems at the Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University Laval, Québec, Canada. He is also a professor at the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at Queen's University of Belfast, in the UK. Samuel is currently leading the development of a Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (FRAREP) hosted by the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) of Université Laval.

Dr. Godefroy currently serves as a senior food science and regulatory expert on a number of advisory bodies and committees domestically and internationally, including expert advice to food safety projects led by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and serving on the International Advisory Committee of the China Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA).

Samuel authored over 70 scientific publications and book chapters and serves on a number of international editorial boards of scientific journals related to food safety and nutrition.

Dr. Godefroy received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He holds degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering from the same University and from the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris, France,

Rick Roop

Dr. Richard (Rick) Roop has been involved in the food industry for more than 36 years. He started his career in 1981 as a food product development scientist for Central Soya, Inc. and then Vice President of Technical Services for Holly Farms Foods, Inc. He joined Tyson Foods as Regional Manager of Quality Assurance in 1989 when Tyson acquired Holly Farms. He served as a Regional Quality Assurance Manager, Tyson's Director of Corporate Quality Assurance, Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance before becoming Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance in 2004.

He was responsible for the company's efforts in food safety, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, laboratory services, statistics, animal well-being, and consumer relations. Over his career, the policies and procedures developed and executed by Rick and his team of approximately 2600 impacted over 100 production and distribution facilities, 11 fresh meat laboratories, 6 corporate laboratories, and 54 plant-based testing laboratories in the United States, China, India, Mexico, and Brazil. Rick officially retired from Tyson in the Fall of 2017.

Dr. Roop holds a bachelor's degree in biology and a Ph.D. in food science from Purdue University. He has been active in several industry organizations. He has served as President of the Ozark Food Processors Association, Chairman of the Technical and Regulatory Committee for the National Chicken Council, committees or advisory boards for U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, In-flight Food Service Association, Arkansas Biosciences Institute, and served on the Board the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Meet Our Investors

We're Hiring!

We’re seeking talented individuals with background in data science, genomics, and food safety to join our growing team.