Roland Green
Co-Founder, Nimblegen Systems

Education and Training:
1994 – B.S. Biological Sciences – Colorado State University
1999 – Ph.D. Environmental Toxicology, minor Chemistry – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professional Experience:
October 1999 – Co-Founded NimbleGen Systems
NimbleGen Systems was founded to commercialize the Maskless Array Synthesizer (MAS) technology that Dr. Green co-invented as his thesis project. The MAS instrument used photochemistry to synthesize DNA on glass to make DNA microarrays

October 1999 to August 2007 – CTO and VP of R&D – NimbleGen Systems
Dr. Green was a founder and the first employee at NimbleGen Systems. He oversaw all technical development from the founding of the company until its acquisition by Roche for $272.5 million. He built and led the R&D team that developed the world’s leading high-density, long oligo microarrays using photochemical DNA synthesis on glass slides.

February 2004 to August 2007 – CTO and VP of R&D and Head of Manufacturing, Engineering, Quality Assurance Chemistry – NimbleGen Systems
In 2004 Dr. Green was given responsibility for managing all manufacturing operations, all engineering operations, all quality operations and all chemistry operations. At the time of the acquisition by Roche, Dr. Green had > 80 reports and managed 3 sites: Reykjavik, Iceland – Manufacturing; Waldkreiberg, Germany – Chemistry; and Madison, USA – R&D, Engineering and Quality Assurance.

March 2008 – Founder, CEO and President – GreenStone Technologies
In March 2008, Dr. Green founded GreenStone Technologies to develop dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). His experience at NimbleGen with photochemistry on glass surfaces and his product development experience moving technology from the laboratory to commercial products while managing interdisciplinary teams make him particularly well suited for the task of commercializing the DSSC technology.

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Q How did you come to help start NimbleGen and serve as chief technology officer and head of R&D?

A The technology was based on my thesis project as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. As Nimblegen grew, I gained responsibilities. Eventually I headed up the engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and chemistry divisions. We had a chemistry division in Germany and a manufacturing division in Iceland. At the time of the acquisition, I had 80 people under my control - about two-thirds of the company reported to me.

Q Who were the other founders?

A Three University of Wisconsin professors - Francesco Cerrina, Michael Sussman, and Fred Blattner - and two venture capitalists, Bob and Tom Palay, who took very active roles in managing the company. The Palay brothers were the initial money behind the company but they also each served as CEO at different times.

Q Affymetrix had the original idea of light-directed DNA chemistry, but you took it further. NimbleGen had the idea of building instruments to allow labs to create microarrays. Instead it became a services company selling DNA testing and eventually expanded into product sales.

A Professor Cerrina thought up the idea of using micro-mirrors. The existing microarrays were quite expensive and could not be changed once they were made. Right away we recognized that the use of digital light control was a great idea.

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