Acuamark Diagnostics is dedicated to developing technology which allows for blood-based screening and early detection of cancer.



Our Mission

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in developed countries, and the biggest single cause of death worldwide, with 8.2 million deaths in 2012. Cancer cases worldwide are forecasted to rise by 75% and reach close to 25 million over the next two decades. Cancer deaths are expected to rise to 13 million per year. Our mission statement as a company is guided by the realization that the global battle against cancer won’t be won by treatment alone. Effective preventative measures are urgently needed to stem the escalation of cancer cases the world faces.

We are a team of scientists and business people that are unified towards contributing to this global fight. Drawing from our combined experience, we are attacking this problem by developing technology which analyzes blood samples to accurately screen and detect cancer at the earliest possible stage. We are currently on-track to develop an accurate, scalable and economical blood-based screening solution in the near future.

(The) Global battle against cancer won’t be won with treatment alone. Effective prevention measures (are) urgently needed to prevent (a) cancer crisis.
— WHO, World Cancer Report, September 3, 2014

An extraordinary group of scientific inventors, assay developers and business professionals



Our team

Founded by a group of scientific inventors and business professionals, Acuamark Diagnostics has a strong, multidisciplinary team in place. Our scientific team has over 20 years experience in DNA mutation detection, DNA microarrays, DNA sequencing, and colorectal cancer (CRC) genomics. Members of our team combined hold over 140 issued US patents, and have pioneered the real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (rtPCR or TaqMan), Ligase Chain Reaction (LCR), Ligase Detection Reaction (LDR), UniTaq Assay, Zip-coding and the Universal Array.

These assays are currently widely adopted in the diagnostics industry by top companies including Roche, Abbott Labs, Thermo Fisher and Quest Diagnostics. In addition to the scientific team members, based out of Weill Cornell Medicine, we have a core team of experienced officers, a highly experienced board of directors and a team of scientific advisors to provide guidance and leadership. Acuamark Diagnostics is based in New York City, NY.

Scientific Team

Francis Barany, PhD

Professor - Weill Cornell Medicine. Rockefeller University in 1981, Post-doc Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Innovator in DNA diagnostics and molecular profiling of colon cancer, 52 issued patents have generated over $7 billion. Co-founded BlinkBio, Inc. (Coferon, Inc.), 2009.

Steven M. Lipkin, MD PhD

Professor - Weill Cornell Medicine. University of California San Diego in 1995, Board Certified. Internal Medicine Duke University, Board Certified. Clinical Genetics National Human Genome Research Institute, Recognized authority on colorectal cancer genetics.

Steven A. Soper, PhD

Professor - The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Professor - Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology. The University of Kansas in 1989. Post-doc Los Alamos National Laboratory. Development of ultrasensitive detection methodologies and rare cell analysis tools for biological discovery.


Eugene Spier, PhD

Latvian Academy of Sciences in 1989, Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine. Senior Director roles at Life Technologies and Fluidigm. Lead bioinformatics pipeline for Taqman assays, Applied Biosystems. Founded UniTaq Bio to commercialize novel methods for highly multiplexed qPCR for diagnostics.


Acuamark Diagnostics Team

Bernard Peperstraete, MD MBA
President / Chief Executive Officer

Previously: Acting President, CEO of ACT Biotech (Eddingpharm); Partner at NGN Capital; Board Exosome Diagnostics (observer); Board Potentia Pharma (Alcon/Apellis); healthcare executive, medical entrepreneur; investor. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Harvard Business School.

J. William Efcavitch, PhD
Technology Officer (Consulting)

Ohio University in 1978; Postdoctoral fellow University of Colorado, Boulder; Sr. Director R&D, Applied Biosystems Inc.; SVP Product Development & CTO, Helicos BioSciences Corp.; SVP R&D, Affymetrix; Independent Consultant.

William O. Wick, MBA CCM
Director Of Finance

CFO & COO Vivaldi BioSciences, CFO Vision Capital; Previously founding CFO (Softbank), and 20 years of senior roles with National City Corporation in US, UK and Asia.

Board Of Directors


Michael Gargano, JD

Chairman; Managing Director at Argent Ventures LLC; Board Director of Coferon Inc.; Board of Directors of the Fund for Public Health of New York, a Public-Private Partnership; Experienced biotech investor, financial professional and real-estate investor.

William Gedale, JD MBA

Cofounder of NGN Capital; Co-founder and Chairman of Promosome; Chairman of PIN Pharma; Previously, CEO General American Investors; Warburg Pincus Capital Management, Trustee NSI (La Jolla, CA), Director of GAMCO, Bioreliance, Unilab, Allied Clinical Lab. Experienced financial professional, biotech founder and investor.

Howard Johnson, MBA

Vice President, Corporate Development at Lion Biotechnologies, an oncology company developing immunotherapies based on patient-specific T-cells. Entrepreneurial executive with thirty-years of experience in operations, finance, business development, and investor relations at biotechnology companies. A founding investor and initial Board Member of Acorda Therapeutics.


Bernard Peperstraete, MD

President/CEO; Previously: Acting President, CEO of ACT Biotech (Eddingpharm); Partner at NGN Capital; Board Exosome Diagnostics (observer); Board Potentia Pharma (Alcon/Apellis); healthcare executive, medical entrepreneur; investor. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Harvard Business School (MBA).


Joseph Smith, Esq

Previously, Executive VP BD and General Counsel of Cepheid (now Danaher), Sr. VP BD at Applied Biosystems (ABI), VP Intellectual Property at ABI and PE Biosystems (Perkin-Elmer). Responsible for building and designing ABI's IP acquisition strategy, expanding its IP estate in fields such as PCR thermal cyclers, PCR reagents and DNA sequencing.


Advisory Board 


Haywood Cochrane

Previously, CEO of CHD Meridian Corp (now a unit of Walgreens), Allied Clinical Labs and Take Care Employer Solutions. Senior executive and board positions at LabCorp, Roche Biomedical Labs, DARA BioSciences, Premise Health Holding, Tripath Imaging, EV3, American Esoteric Labs, Sonus Corporation, Ameripath, and Unilab Corp.

Olivier Elemento, PhD

Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, Associate-Director of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine. Head, Cancer Systems Biology Labs, co-Assistant Dean for Scientific Computing and co-Chair of the Genetics, Epigenetics and Systems Biology Program at the Meyer Cancer Center.

Paolo Fortina, MD PhD

Professor of Cancer Biology and Medical Oncology at the Jefferson Medical College. Director of the NCI-funded and CLIA-certified Cancer Genomics Laboratory at the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University.


David Gelfand, PhD

Inventor of the real-time PCR or "TaqMan" Assay. Previously, Vice President, Discovery Research Division and Director for the Program in Core Research at Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. CSO of WaferGen BioSystems, Inc., and currently, a consultant at the Centre National de Génotypage in France.



Kenneth Offit, MD

Chief of Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Member of the Program in Cancer Biology and Genetics at the Sloan-Kettering Institute Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the Weill Cornell Medicine. 

Larry J. Kricka, PhD

Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Director of the General Chemistry and Critical Care Laboratory at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.




Mark Pochapin, MD

Sholtz/Leeds Professor, Director of Gastroenterology, Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. Advanced gastrointestinal endoscopy, and the prevention, early detection, and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.

Christopher Mason, PhD

Associate Professor Computational Genomics at Weill Cornell Medicine, with appointments at Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Meyer Cancer Center, Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute. WorldQuant Foundation Research Scholar. Affiliate Fellow of Genomics, Ethics, and Law, ISP, Yale Law School.


David Weavil, CPA

Previously, founder, CEO and President of Solstas Lab Partners (sold to Quest). Prior to that, CEO of Specialty Laboratories (sold to Quest), Chairman and CEO Unilab Corporation; Earlier, helped build Biomedical Reference Labs into Roche Biomedical Labs, which merged with National Health Labs to form LabCorp.