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Empiri Inc Houston

About Us

Our Story


The EMPIRI Story

EMPIRI was established in the Texas Medical Center with a vision to build a first-in-class instrument which will disrupt current practices in cancer diagnosis and drug development. 

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 cytotoxic effects of individual drugs or drug combinations using live patient tumor tissues. To make the greatest impact with this novel methodology, we decided to automate our proprietary method to minimize operator errors and be operational in any clinical setting.  This eventually led to the design and functional ideas behind Cal.


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 8 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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Advisory Board




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


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


Sang has over 30 years of business strategy and managing experience.  He will provide senior leadership in building and guiding Empiri, Inc.


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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