About Sierra Molecular


Hans G. Franke
President & Chief Executive Officer |  | h.franke@sierramolecular.com

Hans Franke brings a wealth of diverse experience to the leadership of Sierra Molecular. As a scientist, he ran one of the most rigorous research and development programs in the chemical industry. As an executive, he has run both huge, international enterprises and innovative star-ups. He has invented path-breaking technologies, perfected the innovations of others, and helped to bring both to the marketplace.

Dr. Franke received dual Ph.D. degrees in Organic Chemistry and Business Administration from the University of Frankfurt, where he also completed post-doctoral research. From there, he began a distinguished twenty-five year career Standard Oil of California, which later became Chevron Corporation.

From his earliest days as a Research Chemist, Dr. Franke has been focused on deploying scientific rigor and creativity within the strictures of clear-eyed commercially viability. His work as Manager of Chemical Research in Chevron's Ortho Division included not only direction of all research and development operations, he also oversaw the construction of the company's new state-of-the-art laboratories. In 1985, Dr. Franke was appointed President Directeur General of Chevron Chemical Company SAF, in Paris, France, where he served for seven years. Following his return from France, his responsibilities for Chevron included global corporate planning as well as negotiating and implementing worldwide joint ventures.

In 1992, after retirement from Chevron, Dr. Franke returned to his roots as a scientist at the invitation of Free Flow Packaging Corporation, a Dutch company struggling to make inroads in the emerging field of biodegradable plastics. He invented a starch-based biodegradable loose-fill packing material which has provided a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to polystyrene "peanuts". He has gone on to develop a number of patented materials and processes in biodegradable plastics, and founded two companies to exploit these technologies.

Dr. Franke was named President and CEO of Sierra Molecular Corporation from its founding in October of 2006.
Tony Baker
Chief Technology Officer  |  t.baker@sierramolecular.com

Tony Baker has been working at the leading edge of microbiology since obtaining his degrees from Northern Arizona University in the late 1960's; and from the moment that PCR revolutionized analysis of genetic molecules, Tony understood that effective assay platforms were but one element in successful molecular inquiry. The other critical factor is the ability to preserve labile nucleic acids and proteins for ex vivo examination. This insight took him into the laboratory to develop the patented reagent chemistries that have become Sierra Molecular's AssayAssure™ technologies.

Tony's vast experience in experimental design and researcher's penchant for rigor have shaped Sierra Molecular's AssayAssure™ technologies into flexible, robust, essential tools for molecular analysis.

Tony's career has taken him though many areas of microbiology research. After completing a distinguished tour of duty in Vietnam as leader of a medical platoon in the U.S. Marine Corps, he began his practice as a hospital microbiologist, with particular emphasis in parisitology, and worked as a staff microbiologist leading quality assurance teams at Stuart Pharmaceuticals.

From 1972 through 1987, Tony led a variety of significant research and development projects at Merck Sharp and Dohme. His principal responsibilities at Merck involved overseeing the development of all antibiotic, antiviral, and bacterial vaccines in Merck's Western U.S. Laboratories. This entailed the selection and qualification of investigators, setting up and monitoring phase I-III clinical trials, developing protocols for data collection and analysis, and conducting quality audits of clinical data. Tony's other major projects included management of Merck's in vitro NCCLS data program for antibiotics (Cefoxitin, Imipenem and Noroxin) and the clinical development of antibacterial and antiviral vaccines (Pneumovax and Heptavax). Tony served as the technical liaison between research and the marketing team for antibiotics and viral vaccines. He was also in charge of the post-marketing resistance surveillance program for the Imipenem beta-lactam antibiotic. Tony also served as the microbiology delegate on Merck's biotechnology evaluation and acquisition team.

Tony left Merck in 1987 to become Vice President of Product Development for Gentrans Technology, a biotechnology start-up. During his years at Gentrans, Tony developed the company's monoclonal antibody technology into a line of in vitro diagnostics for infectious diseases, cancer identification, and tumor markers. In this role, Tony designed and implemented all FDA clinical trials for 510K approvals.

In 1991, Tony was named Director of Infectious Disease Immunoassay Development at Sigma Diagnostics, Inc. His focus involved autoimmune immunoassay development and FDA approval of assays. He also had primary responsibility for microbiology product development and manufacturing.

Tony's interest turned to pure research, and he took a position with Genentech developing and implementing laboratory studies in support of Genentech's therapeutic agents produced by recombinant DNA technology, such as Activase and Pulmazyme.

In 1997, Tony turned his attention to the problem of sample preservation for molecular analysis, founding Sierra Diagnostics LLC. From his laboratories at Sierra Diagnostics, Tony not only formulated and tested the chemistries which would mature into the present line of AssayAssure™ technologies, he had complete oversight of manufacturing, research and development, and quality assurance systems for FDA cGMP (QSR) and ISO certification. He also directed the clinical trials which earned FDA 510 K approvals for the company's Neisseria gonorrhea assay.

Tony has continued to guide the development and validation of the AssayAssure™ chemistries as the Chief Technology Officer of Sierra Molecular, since the company's inception in September of 2006.
Michelle Kleier
Chief Financial Officer |  m.kleier@sierramolecular.com

Michelle fulfills several important roles Sierra Molecular. As our Chief Financial Officer, she deploys skills garnered over the past decade as a private consultant to major publicly traded companies, handling their fiscal management, financial reporting, securities administration, and shareholder services. As our Director of Governmental Compliance, she continues the work she began as a consultant for Sierra Diagnostics, Inc., the company in which the AssayAssure™ technologies were originally developed. As Director of Administration, she draws on more 10 years of experience of management-level administrative experience in the employ of HS Resource, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed company, and The Information Store, a subsidiary of Dialog, Inc.

Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her MBA in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She is often in demand to share her knowledge and expertise, serving as an instructor for NASD securities licensing review courses.
Mark B. Jacobs
Executive Vice President & General Counsel |  m.jacobs@sierramolecular.com

Mark Jacobs brings twenty years of legal experience to Sierra Molecular, which informs not only his management of the company's legal matters, but also his role in helping to develop and effectuate business strategy.

A founding partner of San Francisco's boutique intellectual property and litigation firm, Harvey Siskind Jacobs LLP, Mark developed a reputation as a litigator whose trial experience was both broad and deep. It covered cases involving trade secret theft, unfair competition and other business torts, contract disputes, products liability, toxic injury claims, investment fraud, and professional negligence. He served for nearly a decade on the prestigious Products Liability Advisory Council.

Mark developed particular expertise in handling cases that require the lay jury to master complicated fact patterns or to learn esoteric technical information to render a correct verdict. Mark tried cases for such companies as Exxon Mobil Corporation, Otis Elevator Company, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric Corporation, the University of San Francisco, as well as many others. Now these skills are deployed in helping to introduce Sierra Molecular's revolutionary AssayAssure™ technologies to the diagnostics, pharmaceutical, and medical genomics communities.

Mark studied philosophy at Cornell University, before earning his law degree at University of California, Hastings College of the Law. While at Hastings, he served as Articles Editor for the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. He studied jurisprudence at The London School of Economics and Political Science, where he wrote on the implications of linguistic theory, philosophy of language, and epistemology on the development of the common law. He is an alumnus of Tahoe-Truckee High School, where he was a member of the California  Nevada Bi-State Champion Alpine Ski Team.

Mark devotes substantial time to non-profit activities. He is an active volunteer and managing board member of CharityFocus, an international service organization that focuses of nurturing volunteerism while building institutional capacity in other nonprofit organizations.  He is a member of the executive board of Friends Without Borders, an imaginative India-Pakistan peace initiative which empowers children to break the cycle of international enmity. He has worked in the refugee camps of Darfur, Sudan as a member of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Darfur Cookstove Project team. He has served as President of the KALW Foundation, an institution providing financial and technical support for San Francisco's most progressive, inventive public radio station. He also served on the Northern California Advisory Board of the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School, which provides leadership training and confidence building for teens through the acquisition of advanced wilderness skills. He was a founder and co-Director of SOMAsala, a community space for non-profit activities and cultural events in San Francisco. He has done pro-bono projects directed to child welfare and education for dozens of nonprofit organizations, both in the United States and in India. He has lectured at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, the Haas School of Business Administration at UC Berkeley, and the Tokyo 2004 Conference on Information Technology in the Non-Profit Sector on innovative approaches to collective volunteerism.