About Us


Cutting edge therapeutics at the push of a button

Founded in 2018, Nutcracker Therapeutics is bringing the combined power of high-technology engineering and advanced biosynthesis to RNA therapeutics.

We have engineered a push-button mRNA synthesis and formulation platform. Armed with this high-tech advantage, we will advance mRNA therapeutics into the clinic through strategic partnerships with clinical institutions and pharmaceutical/biotech companies.

When approved, our “GMP-in-the-box” approach to manufacturing is expected to offer significant cost, cycle time, capacity, and point-of-care execution advantages over other manufacturing approaches. Supporting our initial focus on oncology, our platform will ultimately enable the production of complex multimodal therapeutics at point of care.



Meet The Team


Igor Khandros

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Igor Khandros co-founded Nutcracker Therapeutics, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.  In founding Nutcracker Therapeutics, Igor is driven by his belief that high technology engineering, coupled with winning biochemistry, will make RNA immuno-therapies a critical component in emerging standard of care for a wide variety of human diseases.  Prior to Nutcracker, Igor was the founding CEO of Berkeley Lights, Inc. and presently serves on its Board of Directors.  Prior to Berkeley Lights, Igor founded two publicly traded companies: FormFactor, Inc, where he was the founding CEO and later Executive Chairman and Tessera Technologies, Inc, where he served in the role of Vice President of Development.  Earlier in his career, Igor served as Manager at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.  Igor holds over 200 US patents.


Benjamin Eldridge

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer

Ben Eldridge co-founded Nutcracker Therapeutics, Inc. and serves as its Chief Technology Officer.  As Nutcracker’s systems architect, Ben leads the development of a device-based platform for large scale synthesis of nucleic acids.  Prior to Nutcracker, Ben served in executive management roles at FormFactor, Inc., most recently as Chief Information Officer, previously as Chief Technology Officer.  Prior to joining FormFactor, Ben held engineering positions at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY.  Ben was awarded a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Union College and an M.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Ben holds over 200 US patents covering inventions in Electrical, Mechanical and Micro Systems Engineering.


Samuel Deutsch

Vice President, Biology

Sam Deutsch leads biological research and development at Nutcracker Therapeutics, as Vice President, Biology.  Sam orchestrates the development of Nutcracker’s gene therapeutics through close interactions between internal R&D, advisors and clinical collaborators.  Prior to Nutcracker, Sam lead the DNA synthesis platform at the Joint Genome Institute part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Sam’s experience also includes research in molecular hematology at the Geneva University Hospital, and cancer genomics at the World Health Organization.

Sam was awarded a B.Sc. in Genetics from University of Nottingham and received his Ph.D. from the University of Geneva. Sam is the author of over 65 peer reviewed papers.


Kathryn Blystone

Vice President, Administration

Kathryn Blystone manages business administration at Nutcracker Therapeutics.   Prior to Nutcracker, Kathryn served on executive management teams in start-up companies, including Berkeley Lights, Inc., PGP Corporation, and Pets.com.   Kathryn held senior leadership positions in human resources management at FormFactor, Inc., LucasArts Entertainment, Symantec and Apple.  Kathryn has had significant responsibility for global design and delivery of human resources programs in growing companies.  Kathryn attended University College, University of Oxford and was awarded a B.A. degree from Dominican University.

Meet Our Advisors

Medical Advisory Board


Dr. Peter Carroll


Dr. Peter Carroll is Professor and Chair of the UCSF Department of Urology, consistently ranked as one of the top urology Departments in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Dr. Carroll received his undergraduate degree from U C Berkeley and MD degree from Georgetown University, followed by his general surgery training and urology residency At UCSF. He completed a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center before joining the faculty of the UCSF Department of Urology. Dr. Carroll holds The Ken and Donna Derr-Chevron Distinguished Professorship In Urology and added an MPH from U C Berkeley to his academic credentials in 2008.


Dr. Lawrence Fong


Medical Advisor, Dr. Lawrence Fong is Professor of Medicine and Leader of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at the UCSF Medical Center where he pursues interests in tumor immunology and developing immune-based treatments of cancer. Dr. Fong was awarded his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his medical degree from Stanford University.  After completing an oncology fellowship at Stanford, he joined their medical staff in 1999.  He later joined the UCSF Medical Center in 2001.  Currently, he is Co-Leader, Cancer Immunity Program in the UCSF Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and holds The Efim Guzik Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Biology.

Scientific Advisory Board


Dr. Adam Arkin


Dr. Adam Arkin is Dean A. Richard Newton Memorial Professor, Bioengineering, UC Berkeley, Senior Faculty Scientist, Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Director, Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute. CEO/CSO DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase. PI and Co-Director, ENIGMA SFA. Dr. Arkin was awarded his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Carleton College and his Ph.D in Physical Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Dr. Ming Wu


Scientific Advisor, Dr. Ming Wu is Nortel Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley and Co-Director of the Berkeley Sensors and Actuators Center.  Dr. Wu’s research interests include optical MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems), optoelectronics and bio photonics. Dr. Wu was awarded his undergraduate degree from National Taiwan University and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Dr. Wu was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories and was a Professor in Electrical Engineering at UCLA.


Dr. Pei Yu Eric Chiou


Dr. Pei Yu Eric Chiou is Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, UCLA where he pursues research in a variety of areas, including design and manufacture of high speed microfluidic devices for life science applications. Dr. Chiou was awarded his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Taiwan University and his Masters in Electrical Engineering from UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.

CMC Advisory Board


Madhavan Balachandran


Mr. Madhavan Balachandran, known as Madhu, served as Executive
Vice President of Operations at Amgen. Before Amgen, he worked at various companies including Burroughs Wellcome and Battelle in technical and leadership roles. Mr. Balachandran received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; an MS degree in Chemical Engineering from the State University of New York in Buffalo; and an MBA from East Carolina University.