Phase 1 submissions were evaluated by a judging panel. The judging panel recommended 10 Phase 1 winners based on the official evaluation criteria. Phase 2 judges will be announced at a later date.

When evaluating submissions, the judging panel assigned each submission 1 to 5 (5 being the highest; 1 being the lowest) points for each of the seven criteria, for a maximum of 35 points.

An expert panel conducted an initial review of eligible submissions and determined a subset for judge evaluation.

Phase 1 judges:

Holly Ahern, M.S., M.T. (ASCP)

Holly Ahern, M.S., M.T. (ASCP)

Associate Professor of Microbiology
SUNY Adirondack

Holly Ahern, M.S., M.T. (ASCP), is Associate Professor of Microbiology at SUNY Adirondack, where she teaches laboratory courses in Microbiology and Human Anatomy and Physiology and mentors undergraduate research students. She is the author of nationally published textbooks, including the first microbiology laboratory textbook available to students as an open educational resource (OER). As a result of her family’s experience with Lyme disease, Ahern co-founded and is vice-president of the NYS-based 501-c-3 advocacy organization Lyme Action Network, and additionally serves as Scientific Advisor for Focus on Lyme Foundation in Arizona. Ahern served on subcommittees of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tickborne Disease Working Group in 2018 and 2022, and accepted a commission to serve on the New York State Lyme and Tickborne Disease Working Group in 2022.

Nadine Bowden, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Nadine Bowden, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Program Officer for Lyme disease and other Borrelioses
National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases

Nadine Bowden, D.V.M., Ph.D., serves as the Program Officer for Lyme disease and other Borrelioses in the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Prior to joining NIAID, Dr. Bowden worked at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a scientific reviewer in the Division of Microbiology Devices (DMD) where her portfolio included regulatory review of in vitro diagnostics for the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Dr. Bowden’s other engagements with the Lyme community include attending regional and international conferences on Lyme disease, being a member of government working groups focused on Lyme and other tick-borne disease, and serving on the programmatic review panel of Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) for the Tick-Borne Disease Research Program (TBDRP).

Christine Green, M.D.

Christine Green, M.D.

Board certified family physician

Christine Green, M.D., is a board certified family physician practicing in the San Francisco Bay area for over 35 years. Returning patients to excellent health often requires “medical sleuthing.” Understanding the physiology of the body and its interaction with infection (pathophysiology) led Dr. Green to her expertise in chronic vector-borne diseases, including persistent (chronic) Lyme disease. She has devoted her time to understand how to best diagnose and treat sick patients and to share that understanding by developing evidence-based curriculum to provide other physicians continuing medical education. Over the past twenty-five years Dr. Green has treated thousands of patients with persistent tickborne disease. She serves on the boards of multiple Lyme organizations, speaks at conferences in the U.S. and Europe, and is currently a director on the board and serves as Education Coordinator of Invisible International. Dr. Green considers the whole patient, the scientific evidence, the clinical evidence and applies best practices on an individual basis. Patient care is her passion, evidence is her foundation, and respect and awe for life is her driver.

Adriana Marques, M.D.

Adriana Marques, M.D.

Chief of the Lyme Disease Studies Unit at the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health

Adriana Marques, M.D., is the Chief of the Lyme Disease Studies Unit at the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Her major areas of research focus on investigating pathogenic mechanisms in Lyme disease and post treatment Lyme disease syndrome; the development of better tests for diagnosis of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections; and the characterization of the host responses to B. burgdorferi. Her research also includes investigating critical aspects of the host responses to tick bites, including mechanisms of tick resistance.

Paul S. Mead, M.D., M.P.H.

Paul S. Mead, M.D., M.P.H.

Chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Paul S. Mead, M.D., M.P.H., is the Chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch (BDB), Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Dr. Mead earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado and completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth Medical Center, followed by an Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Mead joined CDC in 1994 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch. After working for nine years to control outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, he joined DVBD in 2003. As chief of BDB, Dr. Mead works to protect the American public from bacterial diseases spread by ticks, fleas, and lice, including plague, tularemia, and Lyme disease. Dr. Mead is Board Certified in Infectious Diseases and has authored or co-authored more than 175 scientific publications and book chapters.

Jenny Rooke, Ph.D.

Jenny Rooke, Ph.D.

Founder and Managing Director
Genoa Ventures

Jenny Rooke, Ph.D., is the Founder and Managing Director of Genoa Ventures, where she leverages her unique toolkit of genetics domain expertise, strategic business acumen, and venture investing to launch and empower the next generation of category-defying companies at the convergence of biology and technology. She has over fifteen years of investing experience, beginning at Fidelity Biosciences in 2006 as a Kauffman Fellow. After Fidelity, Dr. Rooke helped establish the investing function at the Gates Foundation, funding companies in genetic engineering, diagnostics, and synthetic biology. Dr. Rooke began her own investing practice in 2014, building the largest life sciences syndicate on AngelList, and achieving one of the highest-performing AngelList syndicates of any sector. Her prior investments include Zymergen (NASDAQ:ZY), Caribou (NASDAQ:CRBU), Intabio (acquired by Danaher Sciex), Accuri (acquired by Becton Dickinson), and Topaz (acquired by Sanofi). Prior to her investing career, Dr. Rooke was a management consultant with McKinsey for the pharma and biotech sector. She also served in executive management roles at U.S. Genomics, leading Corporate Development and Research & Development. Dr. Rooke studied physics and software engineering at Georgia Tech and has a Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Kristian Roth, Ph.D.

Kristian Roth, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Division of Microbiology Devices, Office of In Vitro Diagnostics
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Kristian Roth, Ph.D., is the Deputy Director, Division of Microbiology Devices, Office of In Vitro Diagnostics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of California Riverside then completed a postdoc at the University of California Santa Barbara. Afterward, he worked 7 years in the IVD industry developing infectious disease diagnostics. In 2011, he started at FDA as a scientific reviewer in the Division and then later served as Branch Chief then Deputy Director. Dr. Roth has been a stakeholder in the emergency response to the Ebola, Zika, COVID and Monkeypox outbreaks.

Jinyu Shan, Ph.D.

Jinyu Shan, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
Phelix Research & Development

Jinyu Shan, Ph.D., earned his Ph.D. in molecular microbiology from University of Warwick, U.K. He is currently a Chief Scientific Officer for Phelix Research & Development and a Research Fellow at University of Leicester, U.K. He has expertise in the field of molecular diagnosis of bacterial infections in general and use of phages as diagnostic markers for detecting bacteria in particular. Dr. Shan safeguarded the journey of developing and validating a phage-based marker from an academic exercise to a commercially viable diagnostic test. Dr. Shan is very knowledgeable about pre-clinical studies of phage therapy, particularly the interactions between phages and human cells. Apart from a strong scientific knowledge base, he also has skills and experience in good laboratory practice, quality management system (ISO), and quality control. Dr. Shan is enormously interested in exploring pathways to move molecular diagnostics from the lab to the bedside.