meet the team that’s changing the world

One molecule at a time

Meet our executive Team

About the company

Driven by a passion for measuring the small.

Apton Biosystems, a multiomics, molecular diagnostics company, is focused on bringing ultra-sensitive cancer treatment monitoring and early cancer screening tests to market. Founded in 2012 by Bryan Staker, Apton is driven by his passion for “measuring the small” coupled with the knowledge that if we can measure a single molecule of cancer, then we can impact the lives of millions by catching cancer at its earliest stages. Apton’s rich IP portfolio and seed money in 2015 from Khosla Ventures drove the development of a commercial grade super-resolution scanner. 


Heiner Dreismann, Ph.D. Chairman of the Board

Heiner has over 35 years’ experience in the global leadership of high-growth life sciences and healthcare businesses. Dr Dreismann was previously the President and CEO of Roche Molecular Systems, the world leader in molecular diagnostics, where he made significant contributions to the organizational and financial growth of the company’s molecular business area. Other senior positions he held in Roche included Head of Global Business Development, Roche Diagnostics and Member of Roche’s Global Diagnostic Executive Committee. Since leaving Roche he has served on the board of a number of private and public biotechnology and healthcare companies in the United States, Europe and Israel.

Geoff Smith, Ph.D. Board Member

Geoff Smith, PhD is a leader in genomics technologies and applications. Geoff was Vice President of Technology Development at Illumina, where he served for over 10 years, having joined the company through the acquisition of Solexa. Geoff led the invention of many aspects of the core sequencing technology including the MiSeq and HiSeq2500, and paired endsequencing, and pioneered many sequencing-based applicationsthat are now commonplace, such as whole human genome sequencing, human microbiome, and tracking infectious disease outbreaks. Prior to Solexa, Geoff was Head of Research at AdProTech, a company he also joined from start-up. Geoff has a first degree and PhD from Cambridge University, and did postdoc research in molecular immunology at HHMI UT Southwestern, and phage displaytechnology with Nobellaureate Sir Greg Winter, and Andrew Griffiths, at MRC Cambridge, UK. Geoff most recently served as CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix, and now works as an advisor to a group of companies pursing first-in-class products.

Rajesh Swaminathan Board Member

Rajesh is a Venture Partner at Khosla Ventures. Rajesh brings with him two decades of experience assisting and investing in deeptech startups across Semiconductors, Advanced Optics, AI, AR/ VR, Silicon Photonics, Medical devices, 3D Printing and Energy. Rajesh has served at Applied Ventures LLC, Third Point LLC and at Lucent’s Bell Labs. He has received his MBA at Harvard Business School and an M.S. from the University of Maryland at College Park. Rajesh received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.

Bryan Staker Founder, CTO

Bryan Staker serves as Chief Technology Officer and Founder at Apton Biosystems. Bryan is a seasoned biotech and high-tech startup veteran with over 25 years of experience at previous startups including Complete Genomics (Dir. of Hardware), Glimmerglass Networks (Chief Technologist) and Silicon Light Machines (Sr. Engineer). He has been an integral part of leading teams that have successfully brought technologies from scratch to market in disparate fields such as DNA sequencing, optical telecommunications, display and print. Bryan is skilled in electrical, silicon, optical and mechanical engineering with a strong background in algorithm development, multi-physics modeling and software. He has an M.S. degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and B.S. degree in Physics from Brigham Young University. He has 30+ issued and 20+ pending U.S. patents.