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Meet Tom O’Brien and Jim Ross of Axion BioSystems in Midtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom O’Brien and Jim Ross.

Jim and Tom started the company in 2008. Jim was finishing his PhD in Neuroengineering and Tom had recently sold a business. With an idea from Jim and funding from the National Institutes of Health, we started Axion BioSystems (Axion). Our objective was to develop products that improved human health. Axion’s first product is a microelectrode array (MEA) system used to evaluate heart and brain cells. Essentially, our product enables the evaluation of heart beats and brain activity in a dish (in vitro). With the rapid advances in stem cell technology combined with our innovative products, scientists can evaluate drug toxicity, develop new drugs and create disease models of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, ALS, and many others.

They have grown from two people in a lab at Georgia Tech to 50 people in an 18,000 FT2 facility in Atlanta.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We are developing new technology, so we expected a bumpy road. The key was responding to the bumps in a way that kept our business growing. Finding the right people has been key, and we seem to have found a formula to hire and retain incredibly talented people.

Axion BioSystems – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As mentioned earlier, we enable the evaluation of heart beats and brain activity in a dish using human cells. While the technology has been around for decades, Axion was the first to introduce this technology in a multiwell format. Now, rather than doing one experiment at a time, we enable up to 96 at once. This advancement in throughput makes the technology practical for pharmaceutical companies and prominent academic labs. We are most proud of the fact that companies are using our product in their efforts to uncover the mystery behind some very unpleasant and chronic diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS, epilepsy, and more.

What sets us apart is our team. We provide the industry’s best, most comprehensive software, robust platform, continuous innovation and an unparalleled culture of support.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Revenue growth, a team motivated by meaningful work and opportunities, and happy customers.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1819 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 350,
    Atlanta, GA 30309
  • Website:
  • Phone: 404-477-2557
  • Email:

Image Credit:
Axion BioSystems, inc

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