Life Scientists, Engineers, Clinicians, Dreamers

Meet the Cytovale Team

Advancing Early Detection Technologies to Improve Human Health

Cytovale started with an obvious question: Why do so many people die every year from sepsis?

Part of the answer is that sepsis, like many acute diseases, is incredibly fast moving and devastating. The other part of the answer is that, until now, diagnosis just took too long for critical care providers to intervene in time. So like all diligent life scientists, we started asking ourselves even more questions: How many lives would we help save if we could diagnose diseases faster? Is there a different way? What are we not seeing?

What followed is over a decade of insatiable curiosity, collaborative research, and determined development to diagnose disease by unlocking immune state in real time to redefine the patient journey.

At Cytovale, we are an extraordinary team of biologists, data scientists, engineers, former care providers, financiers, and just plain caring people with a vision for how to make very complex, critical diseases come into sharp and present focus. And that’s why we will never stop working together, striving to make our technology stronger, faster, and easier-to-implement so that every person who arrives for medical care is quickly screened and appropriately treated for fast-moving diseases while there is still time to act.


Ajay Shah, PhD CO-FOUNDER & CEO LinkedIn
Henry Tse, PhD CO-FOUNDER & CTO LinkedIn
Bill Blackledge CFO LinkedIn
Christopher Slachta, Ph.D, MBA COO LinkedIn
Chris Pfaff EVP, Commercial LinkedIn
Fe Batara EVP, People LinkedIn
Rachel Rorke EVP, Sales LinkedIn

Board of Directors

Ajay Shah, PhD CO-FOUNDER & CEO LinkedIn
Zack Scott Healthcare General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners LinkedIn

Key Investors


Get to Know Us

Since joining Cytovale, Chris has led our single-use cartridge verification team, co-led cartridge design transfer, and is now eagerly planning for future cartridge iterations! He joined Cytovale because he recognized that the team was extremely passionate and capable. Chris is excited about not only bringing products to market that help people, but also working to improve HOW those products are brought to market. He feels that at Cytovale that mindset is more of the rule than the exception. Outside of work Chris enjoys improving his golf game, learning how to race sailboats (J24s), and trying to up his reading game (15 book goal this year).
Chris Collins Senior Systems Engineer
Dennis is leading engineering efforts for commercialization of and improvement to the IntelliSep product. He brings over 15 years of experience in Medical Device Systems and Test Engineering, developing radiation therapy systems (Siemens) and diagnostic and automated viral screening system solutions for Siemens and Grifols. Dennis joined Cytovale to contribute to an innovative and collaborative team bringing timely and effective solutions for both customers and patients. Outside of work, Dennis can be found with his family, on the bay area trails, or learning something new.
Dennis Cody Director, Engineering
Bhushan joined Cytovale as Sr. Manufacturing Engineer with experience in plastics injection molding and advanced manufacturing for companies such as Cepheid and Beckman Coulter. He is leading activities that will lay a foundation for Cytovale’s commercial manufacturing and supply chain. Bhushan chose to join Cytovale given its potential to make a long-term impact in the medical industry. He intends to use his skill sets in lean and advanced manufacturing to help roll out a product for the real-world problem of sepsis. In his free time, he is passionate about trying new adventures in the Sierras and socializing with friends across California.
Bhushan Bandiwadekar Sr. Manufacturing Engineer
Jackie is a Systems Engineer working on our ongoing verification and validation efforts, which include working closely with Cytovale engineers across disciplines to design tests and ensure full coverage and documentation of the system’s requirements and risks. She chose Cytovale because it feels like a community, where everyone is driven and working towards a common goal. As a growing startup, Cytovale provides a great learning environment, and has allowed her to take on exciting new responsibilities. Outside of work, Jackie enjoys travelling, reading, baking, and exploring the outdoors with her fiancé and their 4-year-old rescue pup.
Jackie Marlin Senior Systems Engineer
Thoai supports monitoring, inspecting, and proposing measures to correct and improve Cytovale’s final products to meet established quality standards. He enjoys working at Cytovale because it feels like a family, where everyone works hard towards common goals but never forgets to cheer and appreciate each other. The work culture is the main reason why Thoai chose to work at Cytovale, and he has been given the opportunity to expand and develop via many other exciting projects within Quality. Outside of work, Thoai enjoys traveling with his partner, outdoor activities, and spending time with Boba, his adopted cat. 
Thoai Tran Quality Assurance Specialist, Regulatory & Quality
Currently, Carissa leads the IntelliSep Cartridge roadmap and engineering teams. She came to Cytovale full-time in 2019 to shepherd systems/product integration efforts; and, for two years prior to that, she served as lead engineer for Cytovale’s Cell Imaging instrument module with a design consultancy. Carissa came to Cytovale for the smart, hardworking, pleasant team members. She stays because every day is fun and challenging. Carissa lives in Colorado with her husband, daughter, and cat. When she’s not performing songs for her toddler, she likes to hike and ski and do projects around the house.
Carissa Colegrove Associate Director, Product Development

Our team is our most valuable asset! Cytovale recognizes that our strength is our people and has created an empowering and collaborative culture where everyone feels valued.

Our company is a blend of experienced and diverse backgrounds from around the world. Cytovale is committed to recruiting, developing, and promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce while offering unique opportunities and career paths for our employees.

Cytovale achieves excellence in organizational development by encouraging the professional and personal growth of our employees, and we’re proud to offer a competitive benefits package. Our commitment to the health and happiness of every employee is demonstrated in the following programs:

Cytovale Perks:

COMPENSATION - Competitive base salary, performance bonuses and equity for each employee

FULL BENEFITS - Comprehensive Health Insurance including Medical with Wellness Resources, Dental, Vision and Life Insurance for all employees and their qualified dependents. Employer paid Short Term and Long Term Disability Coverage.

RETIREMENT - Traditional and Roth 401(k) Plans

GENEROUS TIME OFF - 11 Paid Holidays, Paid Sick Days and Ample PTO, we strive to have a 3-day weekend every six weeks!

LUNCHES - Lunch catering x2 per week and stocked kitchen

WORK LIFE BALANCE - Family-friendly and flexible work arrangements




EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER - Cytovale is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, religion, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or protected veteran status.

E-VERIFY - Cytovale participates in the E-Verify program. E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. E-Verify uses information reported on an employee's Form I-9, employment eligibility verification, to determine the identity and employment eligibility.

Statement to ALL Third-Party Agencies and Similar Organizations: Cytovale accepts resumes only from agencies with which we formally engage their services. Please do not forward resumes to our applicant tracking system, Cytovale employees or hiring managers, or send to any Cytovale facility. Cytovale is not responsible for any fees or charges associated with unsolicited resumes.

Are you perfect for our team? We're hiring!

Cytovale requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of their start date. This requirement is a condition of employment and applies if you are working in the office or are remote. If you are unable to receive the vaccine due to a disability, serious medical condition, or because it is prohibited because of your sincerely held religious beliefs, you will have an opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation.

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