The Canopy Startup Session | Innovations in Microbiome | Sept 26, 6:30pm-9:...

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Canopy City, 3rd floor

14 Tyler Street

Somerville, MA 02143

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description


The Canopy Startup Sessions are held once per month and feature up to six tech and life sciences focused startup companies. The focus of the event is to help early stage founders validate and iterate their ideas. (Investors also view the event as a great forum to scout for early stage ideas.)

Each company demonstrates their idea, business model or prototype. After the demonstration, the audience is encouraged to ask questions, give feedback and support the founders in their journey.

For the September 26th Session, Canopy is teaming up with the MIT Microbiome Club, the student-run branch of the MIT Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics, and Johnson & Johnson to host a special event and showcase the microbiome field, identify its key challenges, and forecast its future.

In the field of life sciences, micobiome is on the forefront and is an area of study that will drive a new approach to addressing pressing illnesses such as mental illness, auto-immune disorders and the world's most pervasive healthcare challenges. Not since blockbuster fields of research such as monoclonal antibodies, pluripotent stem cells and RNA interference has there been such optimism in research centers around the world. We believe that investors will be flocking to this field seeking access to the increasing abundance of opportunities.

Join us for what is sure to be a fun and inspiring evening!

Food and beverages will be served.


Eric Alm, Ph.D., MIT Director, Center For Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics

Eric Alm earned his Bachelors from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), his Masters from the University of California (Riverside), and his PhD from the University of Washington (Seattle). He held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California (Berkeley) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab before joining the faculty at MIT. His research group is an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, computational biologists, molecular biologists, and microbial ecologists.

The Alm lab focuses on the use of data science, quantitative analysis, and novel molecular techniques to answer questions and solve problems in microbial ecology that have the potential to improve human health, develop sounds bioremediation strategies, and uncover the global history of microbes. The lab emphasizes a systems-level approach to microbial ecology, combining theory and experiment where necessary to answer questions, whether fundamental or applied.

Jessica R. Allegretti, MD, MPH, Director of Clinical Trials, BWH Crohn’s and Colitis Center

Dr. Jessica Allegretti is an attending gastroenterologist at the BWH Crohn’s and Colitis Center, where she also serves as the center’s Director of Clinical Trials. Dr. Allegretti is extremely dedicated to providing high quality patient care while also conducting important clinical research that will advance the field and provide important opportunities for her patients.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities and caring for patients with IBD, Dr. Allegretti is the director of the fecal transplant program for recurrent clostridium difficile at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has also participated in multiple clinical trials investigating the use of fecal transplants in other diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. She is also leading several research projects assessing the treatment of inpatients with ulcerative colitis, and rational de-escalation of infliximab doses in patient with Crohn’s disease.

Mark Smith, Ph.D, CEO, Finch Therapeutics

Mark graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a BA in Biology and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from MIT.

Dr. Matthew Henn, Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery and Bioinformatics, Seres Therapeutics

Matthew Henn is the Senior Vice President and Head of Drug Discovery & Bioinformatics of Seres Therapeutics, Inc. He has more than 16 years of combined research experience in microbial ecology, genomics, and bioinformatics that spans both environmental and infectious disease applications.

Dr. Henn’s research has focused on the development, implementation, and application of genomic technologies in the area of microbial populations and their metabolic functions. Prior to joining Seres, he was the Director of Viral Genomics and Assistant Director of the Genome Sequencing Center for Infectious Diseases at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Patrick Rivelli, Director of the Life Sciences Track at MIT Angels

Patrick Rivelli has been a medical device entrepreneur and investor for over 25 years. He is currently President and CEO of Sonogenix, Inc., a clinical stage medical device company; as well as Co-Director and Life Sciences Track Lead at MIT Angels, an angel investor group. He was previously founder and CEO of Smart Therapeutics (acquired by Boston Scientific) & Bioabsorbable Therapeutics (acquired by Multi Cell Corporation).

Patrick holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and a MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School. He also holds 9 issued patents.

Dirk Gevers, Ph.D, Global Head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI)

As the Global Head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), Dirk deepens the Janssen R&D’s leadership, scientific understanding and capabilities in this emerging and exploding area of science.

Dirk joined from his most recent role as Senior Group Leader of Microbial Systems and Communities at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In this position, Dirk served as a scientific liaison between different organizational components, including the Broad Institute’s data generation platforms and both clinical and analytical collaborators on a number of microbiome-related projects. Dirk’s research efforts at the Broad Institute included the characterization of the microbial imbalance associated with diseases such as Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes and colorectal cancer. He was also involved with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Microbiome Project (HMP), holding a leading role in the Data Analysis Working Group, consisting of over 50 investigators focused on human microbiome research.

Dirk received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ghent University (UGent), Belgium, and completed postdoctoral training at UGent and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in bioinformatics, comparative and evolutionary genome analysis and microbial ecology.

Partner: MIT Microbiome Club

MIT Microbiome Club

Sponsored by Boston Angel Club and Johnson & Johnson

Boston Angel Club



Canopy City is accessible via Red Line Porter Square (on Bus 83 Route), Red Line Davis Square (on Bus 87 Route), Bus 83, Bus 87, Bus 85, Bus 86, and Hubway Bike.


Street Parking

Or parking lot in front of Rite Aid on Somerville Ave, the spots along the fence facing the street, address: 530 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

Share with friends

Date and Time


Canopy City, 3rd floor

14 Tyler Street

Somerville, MA 02143

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved