Meet Sandstone



the Status Quo.

Sandstone’s mission is to make high-quality medical testing available anywhere.

We are scientists, engineers, and professionals committed to solving some of healthcare’s biggest challenges with innovative technologies that empower patients and caregivers.



Sandstone was founded in 2012, in part by scientists from Sandia National Labs who had invented and developed the point-of-care SpinDx platform for biodefense applications.

In 2017, Sandstone launched the Trak Male Fertility Testing System – the only FDA-approved device that enables men to measure and track sperm count and semen volume at home. Trak was named the #1 New At-Home Health Test by Men’s Health Magazine, and is currently available at,, and other distributors. Trak is also used in some of the top ongoing studies of fertility and pregnancy to collect important data on men’s sperm quality at home.

Since 2019, Sandstone’s Torq Zero Delay Centrifuge technology has been pioneering new decentralized capabilities in blood sample collection by enabling plasma and serum separations anywhere, anytime.

Sandstone has been featured in numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek, Men’s Health, Popular Science, and The Observer. With offices in the Bay Area and Midwest, Sandstone is a proud member of several startup accelerators and communities including Startup Health, StartX, gener8tor, and the Medical Alley Association.

Meet Our Team

Gary Altman, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Gary is an accomplished CEO, COO, VP and GM with more than 20-years’ experience in start-ups and global businesses including diagnostics, therapeutics, genomics, and life sciences. Gary's past positions include roles at Beckman Coulter, Human Longevity, and Sequoia Pharmaceuticals in addition to an expansive consulting career leading business and strategy initiatives for many small to mid-sized companies. Throughout his career, Gary has launched products, led turnarounds, expanded markets, raised Angel and Venture Capital, and managed budgets up to $250M.

Greg Sommer, PhD

CoFounder and Executive Vice President

Greg has over 15 years experience developing point-of-care diagnostic tools. Prior to cofounding Sandstone, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories where he led R&D in point-of-care diagnostic technologies for biodefense and emergency preparedness applications. Greg is a co-inventor on over 20 issued patents, a co-author on 15 peer-reviewed publications, was named a 2015 Bay Area "40 Under 40", and earned his Mechanical Engineering degrees from Iowa State University and the University of Michigan.

Ulrich Schaff, PhD

CoFounder and Chief Technology Officer

Ulrich leads design and development of Sandstone's new products from concept phase through validation and clinical trials. In addition, as a registered patent agent, he is responsible for managing and expanding Sandstone's IP portfolio. Prior to Sandstone, Ulrich was a Research Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories where he invented the SpinDx point-of-care diagnostic platform. Ulrich is an inventor on over 15 issued patents and earned his degrees in Biomedical Engineering from UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and UC Davis.

Brian Awabdy

VP of Operations and Quality
Brian is an experienced technical development and engineering leader, specializing in hands-on process and product development, continuous improvement, cross-functional project management, and engineering management. Prior to Sandstone, Brian held executive roles at Spirosure, CellScape, and Apieron where he managed a multi-year project to successfully commercialize and enhance the first biosensor-based Class II IVD medical device approved by the FDA. Brian earned his MS and BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Paul Manners

Finance Director

Paul is a Senior Finance and Operations Executive with deep experience ranging from early stage startups to Fortune 100 companies. Paul's past experience includes Finance roles at Novartis and Johnson & Johnson.

Kyungjin Hong, PhD

Senior Bioengineer
Kyungjin is a Biomedical Engineer with a data-driven mindset. With interdisciplinary backgrounds ranging from surface modification chemistry, nano- and microfabrication to microfluidics and biosensing, she designs and develops medical devices from early concept, prototyping, testing to production. As an ardent learner, Kyungjin is always seeking new learning opportunities and enjoys wearing different “new” hats at Sandstone. Kyungjin earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis.

Gabriella Iacovetti

Associate Scientist

Gabriella’s primary role is leading Sandstone’s bioscience efforts. While everyone at Sandstone wears many hats, some of hers include clinical coordination, experimental design and execution, and leading on the job training for the R+D team. Prior to Sandstone, she studied biology at Azusa Pacific University and worked at Donor Network West where she partnered with hospital staff throughout California and Nevada to facilitate tissue donation for transplantation and research. She enjoys combining her passion for biology with her fast-paced clinical experience as a part of Sandstone’s innovative team!

Bhumika Harshita

Sr. QA Associate

Bhumika Harshita earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is a certified ISO 13485 :2016 Auditor. Her excellent 15+ years of experience and background in Quality Management Systems from Medical Devices companies like Johnson and Johnson, Corning Life Science and few start ups.

Jon Epperson

Operations and Research Associate
Jon joined Sandstone in 2013 after graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Cell and Molecular Biology. Jon has been heavily involved in the development, clinical trials, and manufacturing scale up of Sandstone's Trak Male Fertility Testing System, and supports Sandstone's operations, quality systems management, and manufacturing activities.

Maggie Cruz

Office Manager
Maggie Cruz began her career in finance as CFO in the print advertising industry. She earned a scholarship to attend Pepperdine’s Grazadio Business School. Leading to a career in business operations and administration. She is currently Sandstone’s Office Manager. She has extensive experience in the start-up space and has assisted 4 companies through growth, mergers, and acquisitions.

Jason Ragar

Mechanical Engineer

Jason recently earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from San Jose State University. At Sandstone, he assists with process development and secondary operations. Jason enjoys making things, whether it is something simple or complex, and he also likes to learn more about the world around him.

Shannon Setzer

Research Assistant

Shannon recently received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She works in the lab on the biological side of the Research and Development projects here at Sandstone. She loves learning new skills and is always excited to tackle whatever new challenge comes her way.

Board of Directors

Gary Altman, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Greg Sommer, PhD

CoFounder and Executive Vice President

Bob Easton

Co-Chairman at Bionest Partners

Beto Pallares, PhD

Managing Director, Hunt Family Holdings

Faith Charles, JD

Partner, Corporate Transactions & Securities Practice/Chair, Life Sciences Group at Thomson Hine LLP

Scientific Advisory Board

Michael Eisenberg, MD

Director of Reproductive Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center

Steven Lipkin, MD PhD

Professor of Medicine, Clinical Genetics, Weill Cornell Medicine

Elizabeth Hutt Pollard

Director of Reproductive Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center

Priya Balachandran

Chief Operating Officer at Applied Silver, Inc.

Joseph Alukal, MD

Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Langone Health Department of Urology