About Acorn Biolabs

Acorn is a Toronto-based healthcare technology company focused on giving everyone access to the future of cell-based medicine with the world’s first non-invasive, follicle-based cell collection and cryopreservation service.Our services are offered directly to consumers via at-home and in-clinic collections, with availability across Canada through our network of clinic and pharmacy partners. We also offer our cell banking service as a part of employee benefits programs for a growing list of businesses and organizations.

Our Team

The Acorn team brings a breadth of expertise in areas ranging from stem cell research, business strategy, to regenerative medicine. Not only are we committed to being your cell cryopreservation resource, but our science team is actively developing cell based therapies for you to leverage when you need them.

Drew Taylor, MSc, PhD

Drew Taylor, MSc, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

As a pioneer and entrepreneur in the field of regenerative medicine, Dr. Drew Taylor is committed to making the latest advancements in this field accessible and personalized for everyone.

Prior to co-founding Acorn in 2017, Drew spent several years as Chief Science Officer at Epic Capital Management working across the flourishing biotech start-up community. Previous to his role at Epic Capital, Drew spent time as part of the Mount Sinai Hospital Bioengineering of Skeletal Tissues Team.

Drew received his undergraduate and Master’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan and went on to complete a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Taylor has also enjoyed a successful career in professional minor league baseball as a pitcher for both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies, charting parallel paths across both professional sports and science.

Will Hall

Will Hall

Chief Operating Officer

William is a corporate strategy and finance leader with experience scaling businesses in multiple industries. Bringing years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, optimizing financial systems, and constructing efficient team, he leads commercial operations at Acorn. His broad areas of expertise include business development and growth, operational excellent, internal structure and leadership. Prior to Acorn, he was responsible for corporate development at Busbud in the travel sector in Montreal which has expanded to over 80 countries and 14,000 cities and Perativ in the financial sector in Toronto which exited to Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.

Andre De Pape

Andre De Pape

Head of Marketing

Andre is a marketing and brand leader, with a career working with category builders and brand pioneers. Having spent many years CPG, Hospitality and Entertainment; delivering high levels of customer experience, communicating a compelling brand story, and building understanding and excitement for regenerative medicine is a key focus at Acorn. Andre previously worked 10 years with Red Bull GmbH in Canada and United States with a focus on brand building activations and events. He has a BFA in New Media from Toronto Metropolitan University and sits on the board of Theatre Smith-Gilmour.

Andrew Velan

Andrew Velan

Director of Product & Technology

Andrew is the Director of Product and Technology at Acorn. He received his bachelors degree at Queen’s University in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He started his career as a developer for a marketing agency and later cofounded two companies. The first one was an interactive marketing agency specializing in augmented reality and virtual reality. The second company built an AI-based 3D lifelike avatar generator. At Acorn, Andrew leads a wide range of projects including developing and testing Acorn sample kits for transport and ensuring all of Acorns online systems are functioning well behind the scenes.

Amatullah Fatehi

Amatullah Fatehi

Facilities Operations Manager

Amatullah's passion of regenerative medicine, the power that stem cell therapeutics holds, and what we as scientists can offer to the world was passed on to her from her mom, Dr. Farida Fatehi. This passion lead her to pursue her BSc in Biochemistry and MSc in Cell Physiology at the University of Toronto.At Acorn, Amatullah is the Facilities Operations Manager and is responsible for oversight of sample collections in the lab. In addition to this Amatullah works closely with the research and development team to assign projects and build partnerships.

Dave Elliott

Dave Elliott

Director of Partner Success

Dave is a sales and service leader with 10+ years of experience overseeing sales and customer service teams in the hospitality and luxury goods space. Charged with leading the sales + events team for 5 unique properties across Toronto he’s worked with companies such as Mercedes Benz, The Royal Canadian Mint, Facebook/Instagram, as well as all of the leading major pharmaceutical brands. At Acorn, Dave is responsible for Partner Success and leads the launch of all new clinic partners, builds and conducts training modules, and acts as your day-to-day point of contact for all things Acorn. Dave is also active in the volunteer community with the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation and Parkdale Golden Age Foundation.

Muneera Fayyad, PhD

Muneera Fayyad, PhD

Research Specialist

Muneera is the Research Specialist at Acorn. She’s responsible for leading the research we do at Acorn as well working with the science team and processing cell collections. She did her Masters and PhD in neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on developing ways to diagnose and treat Parkinson's disease early on. She then started her Post-Doc at the University of Waterloo, researching why and how cellular autophagy pathways are altered in neurodegeneration.

Elahe Mahdipour, PhD

Elahe Mahdipour, PhD

Research Specialist

Elahe is a Research Specialist at Acorn, where she leads research development and works closely with science and commercialization teams. Her research interests include stem cell biology, cell therapy, skin regeneration, and understanding the mechanisms of aging. She has over ten years of experience in stem cell and tissue regeneration research.

Hetal Patel

Hetal Patel

Digital Marketing Manager

Hetal is a digital marketer with a background in biology and biotechnology. At Acorn, she is responsible for driving brand awareness and demand through digital channels. She has a BSc in Biology from University of Waterloo and a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Guelph. Prior to joining Acorn, she worked in the life science industry at a biotech startup and preclinical research equipment company.

James McDaniel, PhD

James McDaniel, PhD

Lab Manager

James is the Lab Manager at Acorn’s Torrance Facility. He has a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2019) and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Lynchburg (2012). As a Ph.D. candidate, his research was fundamentally focused on evolutionary biology. Over the course of multiple summers, James studied a diverse group of orchids situated in cloud forests of the Andes Mountains. After receiving his Ph.D., James taught biology and environmental science at Edgewood College for 2.5 years. From there, he spent a year in a coordinator role thereby overseeing a BSL-2 laboratory, training laboratory technicians, genotyping cows and pigs to identify genetic disorders, and assisting with research and development projects. At Acorn, James is currently tackling tasks such as grant writing to secure funding opportunities, content writing through the marketing team, and overseeing the construction of Acorn’s Torrance Facility.

Christopher Han

Christopher Han

Lab Technician

Chris is a Lab Technician at Acorn. He has a BSc and MSc in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto. During his Masters, Chris worked on pre-clinical phase drug development. He has previously worked as a Laboratory Manager in Dr. Peter Roy's lab at the University of Toronto where he was responsible for lab operation, maintaining cryopreserved samples, regulatory compliance, and training new staff. At Acorn Chris's responsibilities range from developing and optimizing viability assays and cryopreservation processes to building a cloud-based quality management system.

Destinee Thomas

Destinee Thomas

Lab Technician

Destinee is a Lab Technician at our Torrance facility. She graduated from Tuskegee University with a BSc in Clinical Laboratory Science specializing in clinical chemistry. She started her career as a stem cell processing specialist at California Cryobank (CCB), focusing on analyzing, processing, and  cryopreserving umbilical cord blood. While working at CCB headquarters, she became interested in understanding the schematics behind tissue regulations, leading her to pursue an M.S. in Regulatory Science from Johns Hopkins University(JHU). She's most excited about working at Acorn to apply her clinical laboratory and regulatory science skillset to ensure Acorn is committed to delivering a healthier future for its patients usingregulated guidelines.

Anikah Kapur

Anikah Kapur

Lab Technician

Anikah is a lab technician at Acorn and specializes in commercial processing and research. Her role at Acorn is part of a science internship program. She is currently working towards completing her Honours Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences with a major in Physiology at the University of Western Ontario. At UWO, she’s President of the MEDLIFE Western club, a university peer mentor, and volunteers at the hospital. Prior to her internship at Acorn, Anikah worked at Kai Aesthetics to provide PPE to frontline workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Advisors

Working with today’s leaders in personalized regenerative medicine.Meet our advisors. They are a group of experts in regenerative medicine and are as passionate about making regenerative medicine accessible to everyone.

Dr. Nowell Solish

MD, FRCP (C)

Assistant Professor and Director of Dermatologic Surgery at the University of Toronto, Co-Director of the Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Clinic at Women College Hospital.

Aesthetics

Dr. Jean Carruthers

MD, FRCSC, FRC (OPHTH)

Globally recognised for her research and clinical work in cosmetic surgery, including pioneering the cosmetic use of botulinum A exotoxin.

Aesthetics

Dr. Steve Yoelin

MD, University of California, Irvine

Board Certified Ophthalmologist and World leader in Medical Aesthetics.

Aesthetics

Dr. Gregory Buford

MD, FACS

Owner, Beauty by Buford | 3X published author | Named one of America’s top surgeons by Consumers’ Research Council of America

Aesthetics

Dr. Jason Smith

MD

Orthopedic Surgeon, Toronto Blue Jays | Orthopedic Surgeon, Scarborough Health Network

Orthopedics

Dr. Rahul Gawri

MD, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, McGill University

Orthopedics

Dr. Joseph Amritha De Croos

PhD, MSc

Regulatory Advisor, Director Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance, Molli Surgical

Regulatory

Dr. Aleksandra Poole

PhD

VP Product Development Lineage Cell Therapeutics | VP R&D Aivita Biomedical

Stem cell biology

Dr. Campbell Rolian

PhD | Associate Professor, Anatomy

Dept. of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, University of Calgary

Stem cell biology