Management Team

NanoString’s leaders bring decades of diverse experience and a history of success. With business insight and industry expertise, these executives lead NanoString’s talented employees to create innovative products and pioneering solutions that enable our customers to have confidence in their research and work.

R. Bradley Gray has served as a member of the board of directors and as President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2010. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Gray held various positions at Genzyme, a biotechnology company acquired by Sanofi in 2011. He served as Vice President of Product & Business Development for Genzyme Genetics, the diagnostic services division of Genzyme, from June 2008 to May 2010, leading the development of molecular diagnostics and partnering activities. From September 2006 to June 2008, he served as Vice President of Business & Strategic Development for Genzyme Genetics, leading growth efforts through partnerships and licensing. Mr. Gray joined Genzyme in October 2004 as Director of Corporate Development, supporting business development and leading Genzyme Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of Genzyme. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Gray was a management consultant in the healthcare practice of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, from September 2000 to October 2004, where he worked with senior healthcare executives in the United States and Europe on a broad range of issues including pharmaceutical and diagnostic product strategy, post-merger integration, organization design, and operational turnarounds. Mr. Gray received a B.A. in Economics and Management from Oxford University, where he studied as a British Marshall Scholar, and an S.B. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mary Tedd Allen, Ph.D. has served as Senior Vice President, Operations since May 2017, and previously served as our Vice President of Operations from February 2016 to May 2017, and as our Vice President of Manufacturing from March 2007 to February 2016. Prior to joining our company, Dr. Allen served as the Director of Research and Programs at the Washington Technology Center, Washington state’s non-profit technology-based economic development enterprise, from February 2006 to February 2007. Before joining the Washington Technology Center, Dr. Allen was Vice President of the Advanced Manufacturing and Development group at Applied Biosystems, a publicly-traded biotechnology company acquired by Invitrogen in November 2008 to form Life Technologies, from February 2002 to August 2005. Dr. Allen has more than 20 years of experience managing product development and manufacturing groups for both semiconductor and biotech applications. She received a B.A. in Chemistry from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester.

Joseph M. Beechem, Ph.D. has served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development since April 2012. Prior to joining our company, Dr. Beechem held various positions at Life Technologies, a publicly-traded biotechnology tools company, most recently as Vice President, Head of Advanced Sequencing and Head of Global Sequencing Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biophysics from January 2010 to April 2012. From December 2007 to December 2012, he served as Chief Technology Officer of Life Technologies. During his career at Life Technologies, he led the design and development of multiple genetic analysis technologies, the latest advanced SOLiD sequencing technology and the single molecule nano-DNA sequencing technology. Prior to joining Life Technologies, Dr. Beechem was Chief Scientific Officer at Invitrogen, a publicly-traded biotechnology company that acquired Applied Biosystems in November 2008 to form Life Technologies, from August 2003 to December 2007 and Director of Biosciences at Molecular Probes, a biotechnology company acquired by Invitrogen in 2003, from August 2000 to August 2003. Prior to his industry experience, Dr. Beechem led an NIH-funded research laboratory for 11 years as a tenured associate professor at Vanderbilt University. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in diverse fields such as biomathematics, physics, chemistry, physiology, spectroscopy, diagnostics and biology. Dr. Beechem is also named on nearly 40 U.S. patents or patent applications and has served on a number of editorial and scientific advisory boards. He received a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Northern Kentucky University and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University.

David W. Ghesquiere has served as Senior Vice President, Corporate & Business Development since November 2013. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Ghesquiere was the founder and managing director of Adrenaline Venture & Advisory LLC, an international advisory firm, from August 2012 to November 2013. Prior to founding Adrenaline Venture & Advisory, Mr. Ghesquiere served as Senior Vice President, Corporate & Business Development at Dendreon Corporation, a biotechnology company, from 2011 to 2012. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Ghesquiere held a variety of executive positions at OSI Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Astellas Pharma in 2010, including Senior Vice-President of Corporate & Business Development and Managing Director of OSI Investment Holdings GmbH and OSI Investment Management GmbH, OSI’s wholly owned, Switzerland-based subsidiaries, where he played a key role in establishing OSI’s venture capital arm. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ghesquiere served as Director of Global Business Development for Aventis Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Sanofi in 2004, and worked in product marketing at Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Ghesquiere received an M.B.A. from The University of Western Ontario’s Ivey School of Business and a B.A. in economics from The University of Western Ontario.

James A. Johnson has served as Chief Financial Officer since October 2012. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Johnson was Chief Financial Officer of Relypsa, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, from May 2011 to September 2012. From September 2009 to October 2010, Mr. Johnson served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of ZymoGenetics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in October 2010. Mr. Johnson served as ZymoGenetics’ Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from July 2007 to September 2009 and as ZymoGenetics’ Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from February 2001 to July 2007. Mr. Johnson served as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of Targeted Genetics Corporation, a biotechnology company, from 1994 to February 2001, as its Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration, from January 1999 to February 2001, and as its Vice President, Finance, from 1994 to January 1999. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Johnson served as Vice President, Finance, and, from 1988 to 1990, as Director of Finance, at Immunex Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Johnson received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington.

Barney Saunders, Ph.D. has served as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing since March 2015, and previously served as our Senior Vice President & General Manager, Life Sciences from September 2012 to March 2015 and our Chief Commercial Officer September 2010 to September 2012. Prior to joining our company, Dr. Saunders served as Chief Commercial Officer of Microchip Biotechnologies (now IntegenX), a manufacturer of automation systems enabling microsample preparation and analysis for the life sciences, from September 2005 to June 2010. Prior to joining Microchip Biotechnologies, Dr. Saunders served as General Manager at Agilent Technologies, a publicly-traded measurement company providing core bio-analytical and electronic measurement solutions, from 2000 to 2004, where he led the team that launched the first commercially-available, complete genome arrays for human, rat and mouse and also entered the array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) market. Dr. Saunders began his career with Amersham International, a pharmaceutical company specializing in Diagnostics and Life Sciences which was acquired by General Electric in 2004, where he held a variety of commercial positions, of increasing responsibility, in the United States and Europe from 1988 to 2000. Dr. Saunders received a B.Sc. Hons in Biological Sciences and Ph.D. in Rice Resistance Gene Expression from Birmingham University, England.

Alessandra Cesano, M.D., Ph.D. has served as Chief Medical Officer since July 2015. Prior to joining our company, Dr. Cesano was Chief Medical Officer at Cleave Biosciences, Inc. From 2008 to 2014, she served as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operations Officer at Nodality, Inc., where she built and led the R&D groups, while providing the overall clinical vision for the organization. In addition, Dr. Cesano has held various management positions at Amgen, Biogen Idec and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where she helped to advance various oncology drugs through late stage development and FDA approvals. Dr. Cesano spent 12 years researching tumor immunology, including nine years at the Wistar Institute, an NCI Basic Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds membership in several professional and scientific societies, and has been an author on over 100 research publications. Dr. Cesano received an M.D., a Board Certification in Oncology and a Ph.D. in Tumor Immunology from the University of Turin. She holds a B.S. in Science and Economics from Istituto Tecnico Commerciale.

Kathryn Surace-Smith has served as Vice President and General Counsel since February 2013. From April 2011 to February 2013, she was a legal consultant to medical technology and global health companies in Seattle, including NanoString from August 2012 to February 2013. From October 2002 to January 2011, she was Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of SonoSite Inc., a NASDAQ-listed medical device company specializing in hand carried ultrasound systems, where she managed matters relating to intellectual property, litigation (including patent litigation), compliance, contracts, licensing, acquisitions, securities, board governance, investor relations and reimbursement. From December 1996 to August 2002, she was Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Metawave Communications, a NASDAQ-listed telecommunications equipment provider, where she was part of the management team that took the company public. Prior to that, Ms. Surace-Smith served as International Counsel for Alcatel Telecom in Paris and as Counsel at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, where she advised on a variety of cross border transactions. Ms. Surace-Smith began her career in private practice with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She received an A.B. in politics from Princeton University and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.