Vala Leadership

Jeffrey H. Price, M.D., Ph.D.

Founder, President & CEO

Jeffrey Price is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vala Sciences. He is widely recognized as a pioneer in high throughput microscopy research.  His work is focused on creating drug discovery techniques built on novel microscopy imaging tools, and advancing in vitro preclinical hiPSC-derived disease-in-a-dish drug discovery models for heart and neurodegenerative diseases. These bioengineering efforts include advancing fundamental aspects of instrumentation such as increased speed, resolution, and data interpretation and management, to speed preclinical drug discovery.

In 1999, Dr. Price founded Q3DM which was acquired by Beckman Coulter Inc in 2003. Subsequently, he founded Vala Sciences in 2004.  He is the author of several refereed publications and is the inventor of record on multiple high throughput microscopy patents. Dr. Price is also a Professor at Scintillon Institute for Biomedical and Bioenergy Research where he is Principal Investigator at Price Lab. Previously, he served as Associate Professor (2004-2014) and Adjunct Professor (2015-2018) at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and as a Research Scientist in the Department of bioengineering at UCSD (1996-2004).

Dr. Price received his B.S. in Biomedical (Electrical) Engineering from the University of Southern California, his M.D. from Loma Linda University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in bioengineering from UC San Diego.

Patrick M. McDonough, Ph.D.

Chief Research Officer

Dr. McDonough received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and has held appointments in cell and molecular biology at the University of California, San Diego Medical School, and San Diego State University Department of Biology. Dr. McDonough’s expertise is focused in subcellular structure and dynamics of cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, fibroblast, astrocytoma, nerve, kidney, and cervical tumor cells using fluorescence microscopy.

Ramses Agustin, Ph.D.

Director of Engineering

Dr. Augustin oversees Vala’s instrument manufacturing, quality control, and hardware and technical support, bridging the gap between biologists and engineers involved in basic science, drug discovery, and screening. He is an expert in image processing, particularly automated image analysis for high-throughput microscopy and high-content screening. He has practical experience with a variety of imaging techniques such as confocal laser-scanning microscopy, deconvolution microscopy, as well as with flow cytometry. Dr. Agustin also has extensive experience doing tissue culture for mammalian cell lines and optimizing immunofluorescence. He has implemented QC workflows for evaluating autofocus performance and image quality for automated microscopes, especially Z-factor and SSMD for high-content screening. Dr. Agustin has implemented algorithms to correct for illumination distortion and chromatic aberration and have developed methods to do image registration among multiple cameras that corrects for translation, rotation, and magnification differences.

Dr. Augustin holds a B.S from University of California, Davis in Mechanical Engineering, and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of California, San Diego

Randy Ingermanson, Ph.D.

Director of Software Engineering

Dr. Ingermanson is currently the main software architect of CyteSeer, Vala Sciences’ image processing platform.  Dr. Ingermanson received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at Berkley, in elementary particle theory and is an expert software engineer and mathematician. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Ingermanson has developed sophisticated software for scientific applications in areas such as plasma physics, electrical circuit analysis, and chemical and mechanical engineering, and has developed general C++ class libraries for modeling complex interacting physical systems with tens of thousands of non-linear equations.  He is also a multi-published author, with one nonfiction book, six novels, and about a dozen writing awards to his credit.

Scientific Advisory Board

Mark Mercola, Ph.D.

Professor, Stanford University

Michael A. Mancini, Ph.D.

Professor, Baylor College of Medicine