Meet Our Team

Nina Dudnik, PhD

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Nina works at the intersection of science and global development. She began the effort to build Seeding Labs as a graduate student in 2003. She was a finalist in the 2006 MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and was awarded an Echoing Green fellowship in 2007 to formally launch and expand Seeding Labs.

Nina received a 2017 “Innovation All Star” award from the Boston Business Journal, a 2016 Passion in Science Humanitarian Duty Award from New England Biolabs, and in 2015, was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American Worldview magazine. She received the 2014 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, was a 2010 TEDGlobal Fellow and a 2010 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow, and received the 2010 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Young Professional award.

Nina has experienced science on a global scale; she worked for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research in Italy where she provided advice on the integration of molecular genetics techniques into conservation and plant breeding activities. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2000 at the Africa Rice Center in Côte d’Ivoire studying rice introgression using molecular markers. Nina obtained her PhD in molecular biology from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a BSc in biochemistry from Brown University.


Andrea Imperato

Finance & Operations Manager

Andrea oversees financial and administrative operations for the Seeding Labs team and is responsible for the implementation and compliance of internal operational strategies. She has 10 years of experience working in the biotechnology and healthcare industries, facilitating both domestic and international scientific research. As a senior grant administrator and finance specialist, she provided post-award and financial monitoring services for federal and non-federal grants issued to over 200 research departments at Brigham and Women’s, Massachusetts General, McLean, and Spaulding hospitals. She has also managed the authorship of several successful standard operating procedures related to grant subcontract invoice payment processing. Andrea graduated summa cum laude from Lasell College with a BS in fashion merchandising.


Chiudo Ehirim

Atlas Corps Fellow

Chiudo is spending a year with Seeding Labs as an Atlas Corps Fellow and is working with the global partnerships team. Before his fellowship, Chiudo worked in environmental management consulting as head of projects at Rumines Limited, an environmental technology and management consulting company in Nigeria. He was also country manager for Nigeria with Climate Scorecard, a US-based organization that monitors how the top 25 greenhouse gas emitting countries implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. Chiudo earned a BS in pure and industrial chemistry from the University of Nigeria and a Master’s of Science in environmental technology and management from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.


Christina Viola Srivastava

Metrics & Evaluation Manager

Christina collects and analyzes information to document the impact of Seeding Labs programs and to identify opportunities for improvement. She has more than 10 years of experience as an evaluator of research programs and portfolios. As a consultant at the Science and Technology Policy Institute and Abt Associates, Inc., she managed evaluation, technical assistance, and science policy projects for government research funders and facilitators including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to entering the consulting world, Christina worked for the Boston-area nonprofits Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Urban Ecology Institute. She holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Swarthmore College.


David Qualter

Vice President of Operations

David is responsible for logistics at Seeding Labs. He joined Seeding Labs from Image Arts, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, where he provided logistics direction for the company with $110 million in annual sales. He brings 20 years of supply chain management experience with in-depth knowledge of international logistics, warehouse execution, and distribution center operations. Originally an art student at Southeastern Massachusetts University, David now uses his creative talents to develop logistics strategies that produce operational efficiencies and quality customer service.


Leah G. Lindsay

Director of Communications

Working across the Seeding Labs team, Leah helps bring the Seeding Labs mission to life through communications strategy and outreach. Prior to joining Seeding Labs, she led external relations for City Connects, an education nonprofit based at Boston College. At the PR firm Solomon McCown, she represented nonprofit and healthcare organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation. Her experience in scientific storytelling began at the Harvard Medical School Office of Public Affairs, where she publicized the faculty’s research findings. Leah holds a BS in journalism from the Boston University College of Communication.


Melissa P. Wu, PhD

Global Partnerships Director

Melissa oversees academic partnerships for Seeding Labs, including the university participants in the Instrumental Access program. She first became involved with Seeding Labs as a volunteer while a graduate student. Through the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School, she mentored young scientists. As a copy editor for the Journal of Emerging Investigators, and through her previous work at American Journal Experts, she aided scientists in communicating their scientific results for publication. Melissa obtained her PhD in cellular and developmental biology from Harvard University for work in muscle development at Boston Children’s Hospital and holds an SB in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Robert Lillianfeld, PhD

Director of Corporate Relations

Robert works with Seeding Labs’ corporate partners to set up donation and volunteer programs that fit best with their corporate social responsibility, sales, and marketing goals. These partnerships, in turn, help fulfill the equipment needs of Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program. In addition to experience as a research scientist, Robert has helped fellow scientists build their experimental setups as a sales engineer at Janis Research Company. Robert was a visiting scholar at Purdue University and a postdoc at the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory at MIT after receiving his PhD in experimental physics from Virginia Tech.


Robin Watters

Chief Operating Officer

Robin oversees operations for Seeding Labs and joined the team after retiring as a two-star US Navy admiral. He served in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and in several senior commands in the Far East. His final assignment was as the Chief of Staff to the senior military commander of all US forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Robin was also a vice president for the high-tech company Sonalysts, Inc. At Sonalysts, he was a business developer and led a series of advanced technology initiatives in areas such as training, decision-making tools, anti-submarine warfare, and mine warfare. Robin has an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Bryant College.


Teresa Ventura

Development Associate

Teresa is working to expand and strengthen Seeding Labs’ portfolio of national and international partners and funders. She joined the team from Northeastern University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in international affairs and minors in Middle East studies, Arabic, and business. She brings cross-sectoral research and operational support experience from her internships in both nonprofit and government sectors through Northeastern’s Co-op program. She supported financial and administrative operations at Root Cause, a nonprofit consulting firm, and at the US branch of INTERPOL in Washington, DC, she assisted in case creation and analysis for the Economic Crime Division.