Diagnostics have been my passion since high school Science Olympiad and I got interested in malaria specifically after a childhood friend contracted the disease. As a Masters Student, I was working on a low cost ventilation system for malaria bed nets, when I became introduced me to the extent of the disease and began working with a team of physicists and biologists on the device, as I wanted to be a social entrepreneur to commercialize diagnostics for real impact. When I saw our first prototype, which we built with off-the-shelf components, work with for the first time with synthetic hemozoin, it was a very profound moment and I haven't looked back since.
John R. Lewandowski (Founder/CEO) works full-time on DDG in addition to being a PhD student at MIT in the Mechanosynthesis Group underneath Prof. John Hart, focusing on low-cost diagnostics leveraging the physics of microparticles, optics, magnetism, and self assembly. His interest in disease diagnostics goes back all the way to high school, where he was a two-time state champion in Disease Detectives in Science Olympiad. He graduated in 2012 from Case Western Reserve University with bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering, entrepreneurship, economics, and business management, continuing on with a Masters of Engineering and Management degree from CWRU. He has experience in medical device design and commercialization with internships at Cleveland Clinic, General Electric, CWRU, as well as a drug-delivery start-up Recon Therapeutics. He’s also been Managing Partner at Lew & Dowski Capital, LLC for the past four years, scaling a boutique investment fund based on an innovative supply and demand model in a niche market with a quickly growing NAV of $500,000. He has been recognized as a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Hertz Foundation Fellowship Finalist, a Tata Fellow, a Don Richards Fellow, a Tau Beta Pi Fellow, a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society, a Forbes 30 under 30 nominee, distinguished in Think Magazine’s 30 under Thirty and Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Thinkers, and a Lemelson-MIT Prize Inventor. He’s been an author on a dozen papers and holds one patent on drug reconstitution.
Mark E. Lewandowski (CTO) also works over 40 hours a week on DDG while doubling as a Mechanical Engineering student at Case Western Reserve University. Mark is currently conducting research in the Biomanufacturing and Microfabrication Laboratory at CWRU under Dr. Umut Gurkan. He is researching the behavior of thin film magneto-elastic materials installed in micro-fluidic devices with applied magnetic fields, excitation and interrogation for blood coagulative analysis, diagnostic, and point-of-care applications. His interests include researching robust mechanical solutions, featuring the effects of magnetic fields and photonics, to apply to innovations across various industries. He has been co-authored on a number of papers regarding his research on additive manufacturing and the effects of laser treatment on materials that share metallic and magnetic properties.
Alphonse F. Harris (COO) is our third full time employee. He is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, and a graduate of Boston College Law School and Denison University, where he double majored in physics and economics. Alphonse’s role at DDG overseeing operations and managing the Company’s contracts and IP combines his interests and experiences in the areas of law, work that furthers the public interest, and optics. He has experience working in a variety of legal settings, ranging from the in-house legal department at Northern Trust to the Cybercrime Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and is also familiar with international and European Union law, having studied international and comparative law at the King’s College Dickson Poon School of Law, London. Prior to law school, Alphonse spent a year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at a legal aid non-profit, helping the organization build its online intake system and database for grant reporting. As an undergraduate, he co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics detailing the use of a thermoreflectance technique to determine cross-plane thermal diffusivity of a vertical cavity surface emitting laser.
Additionally, DDG works with between 4-10 interns at any given time and has received support on specific projects from PhD and MBA students at Harvard and MIT who have experience and interest in global health and/or biomedical devices. We will be looking to expand our team by hiring researchers who have expertise in conjugating nanoparticles, a sales and project management team who are familiar with the WHO's bidding process, and engineers for manufacturing and prototyping.