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Empiri Inc Houston

About Us

Our Story

The EMPIRI Story

Accumulating evidence in cancer studies and tumor immunology highlight the importance of dynamic interactions between tumor microenvironment and cancer cells in tumor progression and treatment response.  Yet none of the existing drug sensitivity assays account for this critical aspect of cancer biology. EMPIRI’s novel 3D culture method (E-slices) that retains the integrity of each patient’s native cancer ecosystem was developed to address this major need. Our innovative culture method measures treatment response of individual drugs or drug combinations, including immunotherapies, using live patient tumor tissues.



Kyuson is a co-founder of EMPIRI and a world-renowned expert in cancer biology, including cancer stem cells, in vivo cancer modeling, and genetics/genomics. She received her B.S. and Ph.D. from Caltech in Biology and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF.  She held independent faculty positions since 2006 at The Jackson Laboratory, Houston Methodist Research Institute and Weill Cornell Medical College. She holds three patents, including the methodology for ex vivo tumor slice culture.  Dr. Yun is an American Cancer Society Research Scholar and serves as a Scientific Advisory Council member for the American Brain Tumor Association and an Editorial Board member for Nature Scientific Reports. 

Founder, Inventor, Cancer Researcher

Kyuson Yun, PhD


David is a co-founder of EMPIRI with over three decades of experience in engineering and business management.  He received his B.S. from Caltech and M.S. from Stanford in Mechanical Engineering.  He holds 10 patents from three different industries, including two in the field of microbiology. David co-founded EMLab in 1997, which was later acquired by TestAmerica. He now serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Empiri Inc. and also leads the engineering team in building Empiri's new cancer diagnostic instrument. 

Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder, Operation and Engineering lead

Dave Gallup

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Linus joined Empiri as the Chief Medical Officer in September 2019. Prior to joining the company, Linus worked for over 20 years in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he was an active clinician researcher. Linus established multiple clinical trials and also served as the vice-chairman of the institutional review board. Linus received a B.A. in zoology and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MD/PhD in cancer biology from Stanford University. He also completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology/medical oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and post-doctoral research training at Harvard Medical School before becoming an instructor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and eventually moving to MD Anderson.

Chief Medical Officer, Clinician scientist, clinical lead

Linus Ho, MD, PhD


The Advisory Board

Dr. Kopetz is currently Deputy Chair of the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Program Leader of the GI Program of the Cancer Center Support Grant at UTMDACC and for the Colorectal Cancer Moonshot program. He serves as chair of the Colon Cancer Task Force, and is Vice-Chair for Colon Cancer in the NSABP/RTG/GOG (NRG) Cooperative Group. Scott has developed a translational and clinical trial program in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer, which has resulted in addition of combination therapy with a BRAF inhibitor to the current treatment guidelines.  He also co-lead the clinical trial resulting in the FDA-approval of nivolumab and ipilimumab for mismatch repair-deficient tumors.  

Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD


Corporate Consultants

Rebecca Goodman is a registered patent attorney specializing in intellectual property, licensing and complex research transactions.   She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Columbia University, her law degree from the University of Southern California and a Masters in Business Administration from New Jersey Institute of Technology.   With over 25 years of legal experience including significant law firm, in-house and academic tech transfer roles in the clinical diagnostics, biotech and pharma industries, she provides critical guidance to Empiri related to its propriety technology and business strategy.

Rebecca Goodman, J.D., M.B.A


Steven Daniel is a highly experienced professional with a strong background in biotechnology, genomics, and diagnostics. With over 30 years of industry experience, he has excelled in various roles encompassing sales, business development, product development, and research. Following his educational journey including a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University, Steven has served in key technical sales and business development leadership roles at Affymetrix, Adaptive Biotechnologies and Akoya Biosciences, where he contributed to global business development strategies, implementation and IP generation, with six issued patents to date.

Steven Daniel

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Warren Lazarow is internationally recognized as one of the market’s leading advisors to technology companies and investors.Named four times to Forbes Magazine’s prestigious “Midas List” of the technology industry’s top dealmakers worldwide, Warren is a boardroom-level corporate lawyer who helps founders, management teams, boards of directors, and investors shape and execute business strategies that drive the growth of innovative companies. He provides experienced counsel on legal and business issues ranging from day-to-day corporate, commercial, and regulatory matters to high-stakes strategic initiatives.


Business leader in medical device and cancer diagnostics. He has  served in CEO and COO roles for over 25 years. Has raised over $160M in equity and debt financings and led a series of companies through successful exits.  He has served on several industry Advisory Boards and Boards of Directors.

David McDonald

Advisory Board


Sang has over 30 years of business strategy and managing experience with start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.  He provides senior leadership in building and guiding Empiri, Inc. in multiple aspects.


Sang Yun

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Viridiana Leyva-Aranda completed her Chemisty PhD at Rice University in October 2023.  She joins Empiri Inc. as a scientist.


Viridiana Leyva-Aranda, PhD

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Federal Compliance

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