Our Story

We are a group of enthusiastic scientists and engineers who noticed in the mid-2010s that most biology labs still use manual methods to conduct life sciences research. We set out to create higher throughput, more reproducible, and efficient technologies to streamline lab experiments. Biology is an expensive field, though, so we chose to use a well-established, low-cost biological model that still has world-changing potential, the nematode C. elegans. Aging is a global challenge for humanity, and anti-aging drugs are hard to develop due to the lack of rapid and affordable whole-life screening systems. C. elegans is the most suitable model to create a whole-life screening technology due to its short lifespan and well-known biology. By 2019, we laid the foundation of the C. elegans screening platform, and we were ready to commercialize the technology. Then we started our journey to tackle the anti-aging drug development challenge and, most recently, to revolutionize chemical safety and efficacy testing. Relying on our engineering and science proves NemaLife is going to operate in a constant cycle of innovation, with the potential to transform several industries.

Our Leadership Team


Siva Vanapalli

PhD, Co-founder & CEO

Siva is a co-founder and our Chief Executive Officer. He has over 15 years of experience in engineering microfluidic technologies, which has led to high-content phenotyping of C. elegans to probe its locomotion, muscle physiology, and aging. These efforts from his laboratory at Texas Tech University led to co-founding NemaLife, Inc. He and his team of collaborators are working with NASA Space Biology to fly NemaLife’s core technology to the International Space Station to identify mechanisms that cause muscle wasting in microgravity, an accelerated aging environment.

Siva obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a B. Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He has published over 65 journal articles and has received many awards, most notably the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and the Rising Star award from the BMES Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Group.


Kushal Sinha

Director of Data Platform


Mizanur Rahman

PhD, Co-founder & CTO

Mizan is a co-founder and our Chief Technology Officer. He obtained his PhD from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Science from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. His efforts have led to the development of NemaLife’s core microfluidic technology for aging and health span investigations in C. elegans. He has successfully led research collaborations on C. elegans with Rutgers University, University of Cambridge, and University of Nottingham.

Mizan previously worked at Unilever and rolled out innovation projects in their personal care products sector. Most recently, he was the Entrepreneurial Lead in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program, which led to commercialization of the Infinity Desktop Screening System. He received the TechConnect World Innovation Award for this technology.


Nicki Vanapalli,

MS, Co-founder & CFO

Nicki is a co-founder and our Chief Financial Officer. She received her BS in Biochemistry from Purdue University and MS in Food Science at Penn State University. She worked for The Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, MI, before taking some time off her career to raise her family. She heads accounting, payroll, and business strategy for NemaLife.


Marton Toth

PhD, Chief Business Officer

Marton is responsible for business development, investor relations, and sales development. He received his PhD from Eotvos Lorand University. During his postdoctoral training at Rutgers University and Texas Tech, he published high impact original research publications in Nature, Lab on Chip, and Journal of Neuroscience.

In graduate school, he developed a lab management system, and he worked on a clinical social network with Semmelweis Innovations. He polished his business skills with multiple startups before joining the NemaLife team.


Siddhartha Gupta

PhD, Principal Software Architect

Siddhartha is a passionate engineer with a doctorate in Digital Holography from Texas Tech University (TTU). He developed the image processing software that powers NemaLife’s screening platform. He also developed and implemented automated image processing with parallel computing for large scale applications, and he is currently developing a data science pipeline based on machine learning to enable real-time insight and analysis of multi-dimensional data. Siddhartha’s primary responsibilities include continuous software improvements, working with stakeholders to troubleshoot client issues, and realizing cost reductions with the constant optimization of the high throughput Infinity platform.


Kellen Ketchersid


MS, MB (ASCP), Director of Operations

Kellen is our Director of Operations and manages the screening workflow of NemaLife's technology platform. He has seven years of industry experience and holds a Master of Science in Molecular Pathology from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. He is also an alumnus of the Molecular Genetics Program at the Mayo School of Health Sciences.

Kellen is trained and certified in Lean and is passionate about continuous improvement. He has extensive experience in clinical diagnostics, medical devices, regulatory affairs, and lab management. Kellen is a proud husband and father of three. In his spare time, he enjoys attending Texas Tech sporting events, traveling to new places, and spending time with his family.

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PhD, Director of Research and Innovation

Dhaval leads the team that designs our research projects for clients in industry and academia. His team is also responsible for developing new assays and services for our clients. He obtained his Ph.D. and BSc from University College London. In addition, he has held research positions at the University of Washington, King’s College London, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dhaval has over 20 years of experience using C. elegans to study aging biology using various tools such as fluorescent molecular reporters, microfluidics, and genome-wide RNAi screens. As NemaLife’s service offerings continue to grow, he is excited about ensuring our clients get fast, cost-effective actionable data that help them accelerate their R&D timelines.

Dhaval Patel

And many more

NemaLife is more than the leadership team. Our rapidly growing company is developing a diverse ecosystem of in-house talent, science, business and engineering advisors, business and academic partnerships. We want to do well by doing good and doing it together!