Meet Our Team


Erik Gunther Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Gunther left his research faculty position at Yale University School of Medicine to launch ProteoWise, driven by years of frustration with the current state of the art in proteomic science and a deep sense of compassion for biological researchers who must contend with those limitations throughout their careers. With Dr. Mikhail Kostylev, he pioneered the ProteoWise foundational technology with the goal of easing biological bench work and accelerating the conduct of biomedical science.


G. Thomas Roth Chief Technical Officer

A veteran of multiple biotech instrument companies, Tom oversaw the successful development of the Personal Genome Machine (PGM) as VP of Engineering at Ion Torrent and the Genome Sequencer FLX instrument at 454 Life Sciences. Tom brings to ProteoWise his proven track record of building new technologies from concept through feasibility and into mass production and worldwide launch. Equally adept at managing programs and groups of any size as at technical contributions, he is well-prepared to develop the core, novel technologies of ProteoWise as well as all of the supporting technologies required to bring the technology to market (electronics, fluidics, software, mechanics, systems, and instrumentation).

Mikhail Kostylev

Mikhail Kostylev Chief Science Officer

Dr. Kostylev rose from graduate student to research faculty member at Yale University, where he developed the technological advancements upon which ProteoWise is based.


Stephen M. Strittmatter Chair, Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Stephen Strittmatter is Professor of Neurology and Chair of the Neuroscience Department at Yale University School of Medicine, Director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Director of the Yale Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic. He has conceived, overseen, and commercialized the discovery and development of therapeutic pharmaceuticals to treat traumatic spinal cord injury and Alzheimer’s disease. Steve has founded several biotech companies based on the seminal discoveries made in his lab about the molecular mechanisms of diseases, and has served on the scientific advisory boards of multiple biopharmaceutical companies. As co-founder, he brings a wealth of wisdom and insight to ProteoWise.


Daniel Wagner Member, Board of Directors

Senior Managing Director, Investments at Connecticut Innovations (CII), lead investor at ProteoWise. Mr. Wagner is responsible for evaluating healthcare/life science investment opportunities, structuring investments and monitoring portfolio companies through active board participation. Dan has led or assisted with Connecticut Innovations’ investments in Affomix (acquired by Illumina), AlloMek Therapeutics (acquired by Pasithea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KTTA), Arvinas (NASDAQ: ARVN), AxioMx (acquired by Abcam), Biohaven Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BHVN), Biorez (acquired by CONMED), Cara Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CARA), CyVek (acquired by Bio-Techne), HistoRx (acquired by Genoptix/Novartis), IsoPlexis (NASDAQ:  ISO), Kleo Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals), Medically Home Group (acquired by Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente), Melinta Therapeutics, formerly Rib-X (NASDAQ: MLNT), and Rallybio (NASDAQ:  RLYB).  

ben comb

Benjamin D. Comb Member, Board of Directors

As Senior VP of Corporate Strategy at Cell Signaling Technology, Ben is responsible for devising and executing an inorganic growth strategy. Ben began his career researching the mechanisms underlying lung and gastric cancers – and after a number of years at the bench, transitioned from the drivers of cell growth to the drivers of business growth. Joining the Corporate Development team at CST as an Analyst, Ben has served in escalating management roles. Ben received his BS in biomedical sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA and MS in biotechnology from the University of Queensland, Australia.


David Smoller Member, Board of Directors

General Partner of Cultivation Capital Life Sciences Fund, a venture fund focused on life science investing with 26 portfolio companies ranging in areas of therapeutics, diagnostic instruments, healthcare IT, research tools and agriculture; and an Entrepreneur in Residence at the St. Louis BioGenerator, the investment arm of BioSTL, an evergreen fund that creates, grows, and invests in promising companies and entrepreneurs in the St. Louis region. In 2022, he co-founded Solis Agrosciences, and in partnership with Telegraph Hill Partners co-founded Panome bio. 2016 Dave cofounded, in partnership with the team at BioGenerator, Canopy Biosciences. Canopy, grew from 2 founders to over 50 employees in less than 5 years and was acquired in 2020 by Bruker Corporation (BRKR).Dave founded SAGE Labs in 2013, a leader in developing and maintaining transgenic rodents. As Chief Executive Officer of SAGE, Dave partnered with Telegraph Hill Partners, a private equity firm, to acquire the company from Sigma Aldrich, developed its business and technical strategy in new areas of growth within core and adjacent product areas, acquired cutting edge technology from Caribou Biosciences and Broad Institute grew the top line- double digit through to a sale to Horizon Discovery in 2014.