Our Team

We are One team that stands behind One belief, One mission:

“Making materials that start mankind’s contributions to a sustainable, carbon-negative world”

Tandem Repeat is more than just a team of individuals with a common interest. We are a community of leaders that aims to solve one of the main concerns of the century. Here is where we started our steps towards our single mission.

Leadership Team

Dr. GÖZDE SENEL-AYAZ, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Senel-Ayaz received her Biomedical Engineering Ph.D.in 2012 from Drexel University. She has significant experience in materials and biomedical engineering techniques. Gözde has an interest in translational research, early-stage technology commercialization, and entrepreneurship. She participated in the Investments and LifeSciences Advisory Committee of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of southern Pennsylvania. She also worked in a medical device company, Infrascan, Inc that is developing next-generation hand-held brain imaging tools. She has peer-reviewed publications and issued a patent on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Dr. BENJAMIN ALLEN, Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Allen, Ph.D. from CalTech, is an expert in designing protein libraries both computationally and experimentally. Prior to joining Tandem Repeat, he was a research assistant professor at Penn State, and also served as Chief Technology Officer at Protabit, LLC, a protein design start-up company spun out of Caltech. He was the primary developer of the protein design program PHOENIX and developed efficient and broadly applicable algorithms for protein engineering. Recent developments include advanced tools for homology modeling, loop design, the inclusion of multiple sequence alignment data, and the incorporation of experimental assay data directly into the protein design process.

DENNIS WERGER, Chief Financial Officer

With over 30 years of very diversified experience in the medical device industry, he started his career with KPMG and then developed a 23-year career with CR Bardas as VP of Finance, Plant Manager, and VP of Marketing. Dennis was also a VP and general manager for the GI division of Conmed Corporation and the COO of two successful start-ups where he worked closely with the scientific inventors to refine their designs for market acceptance and then identified manufacturing partners and coordinated all supply chain activities. Dennis has significant experience with the regulatory process for new devices and manufacturing requirements for the FDA and ISO.

Board of Director

Dr. MELIK DEMIREL, Co-founder

Prof. Demirel, the Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Endowed Chair in Biomimetic Materials, is a scientist and innovator with expertise in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and materials science. Dr. Melik Demirel is the director of CRAFT Center (Center for research on advanced fiber technologies) and endowed chair professor of Engineering, Materials Research Institute, and Huck Institutes of Life Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University. Prof. Demirel’s achievements have been recognized through his receipt of a Young Investigator Award from the Department of Defense, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, as a WyssInstitute Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, and more.


Come along for the journey!

Interested in what we are up to? Want to see where you can support our effort?