Drug Discovery

Meet Our Drug Discovery Team

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Annabel Romero, PhD

Annabel Romero, Ph.D., is the director of drug discovery and molecular modeling at SFL Scientific, leading the design and implementation of custom AI solutions for healthcare and life sciences clients. From target identification to FDA filing of novel drug patents, Annabel understands the current need to streamline and accelerate the process of finding candidate molecules in this complex domain, and serves as an expert in the field with over 10 years of focused research. At SFL, Annabel connects the needs of industry clients with novel AI and machine learning methodologies to radically transform the current state of their internal R&D processes.

Prior to joining SFL Scientific, Dr. Romero worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was a fundamental part of developing a monoclonal antibody cocktail against SARS-CoV-2, the virus for the COVID-19 disease. She has solved several structures of proteins relevant for disease treatment within small molecules and monoclonal antibodies. With a background in structural biology, biochemistry, genetics, and neuroscience, Dr. Romero is passionate about life’s essential motto, “structure reveals function,” and brings together protein structure and the various ‘omics’ data through AI in order to augment the current understanding of disease characterization.

Dr. Romero earned her BS in Biochemical Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, her MS in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico City, and a P.hD. in Biological Sciences from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

Benjamin Letson, PhD

Benjamin Letson, Ph.D., is a data scientist and the Director of AI Solutions for Healthcare and Life Sciences at SFL Scientific, working as a full-stack programmer and AI engineering consultant with innovative start-ups and S&P1000 organizations. He is an expert in helping healthcare and life sciences organizations develop novel tools and optimizing clinical and research operations, leveraging structured and unstructured patient data. Benjamin earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in Applied Mathematics with a focus on geometric phase space analysis tools for biological modeling. While in Pittsburgh, Benjamin won the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Research Fellowship. His work has appeared in numerous dynamical systems publications with his thesis developing a novel approach for understanding the organizing geometric structures in dynamical systems, receiving the Thomas C. Hales Distinguished Research Award from the University of Pittsburgh.

At SFL Scientific, Benjamin has focused on clinical data science and developing new tools for assessing the health of clinical trials and automating data review. Benjamin specializes in topological data analysis, data embeddings, and outlier detection and is an expert in Python, SQL, TensorFlow, and Spark.

Ben Letson

Christopher Hayduk

Christopher Hayduk is a data scientist and solutions architect at SFL Scientific. In this role, he provides strategy, direction, and technical development for operational and R&D groups that focus on applied data science and rapid prototype methods. Combining his experience in math, science, and data analytics with a passion for translating the language of machine learning and innovation into approachable, real-world applications, Chris identifies technical strategy and project design and leverages design thinking approaches.

Prior to joining the team at SFL Scientific, he earned a Master’s in Mathematics from The City College of New York and a Master’s in Applied Statistics from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. Chris is passionate about understanding the theory behind machine learning models and using this knowledge to select the best analytics tools possible for clients. His main interests lie in natural language processing and computer vision, having done previous work in mathematical linguistics and CNNs applied to biometric data.

Brandon Muir

Brandon Muir is the director of AI partnerships for SFL Scientific, driving the expansion and strengthening of relationships with partners like NVIDIA, Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, and HPE. He is responsible for identifying, architecting, and managing business relationships with partner organizations that enhance our client’s ability to leverage emerging AI technology.

Brandon brings a background in SaaS consulting with time at Deloitte alongside management roles with several non-profit organizations and retail clients. He has extensive experience as an integrator of people and missions, building vibrant on and offline communities. Brandon is also deeply engaged in several charitable causes. A former collegiate golfer, he serves on the Board of Directors for the George Washington Athletic National Advisory Council, he founded an athletic mentorship program at GWU and he is the President Pro Tempore for the State Society of Arizona in Washington, DC.

Brandon holds a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University and in his free time, he’s likely to be found playing competitive golf or growing backyard peppers in the fertile Charleston, SC soil.

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