About

Our Story

Climb was born out of frustration with the state of the lab information management industry.  The decades old mold of how to build lab information systems had stagnated without signifiant change for nearly 30 years.

“You put data into a information bucket, and if you were lucky you could get it out again. The interfaces were terrible, and people hated using them!”

Big vendors had lost incentive to innovate and small vendors were copying the models of the big vendors in silo slices.  Our goal was to rearchitect from the ground up with state of the art technologies and best engineering practices.

Our company works with frontier scientists to understand their needs, and some of the world’s most advanced technologies to ensure our system is state of the art, scalable, secure, low maintenance, at incremental costs to our customers.

Our Start

While the idea began in a kitchen in Bar Harbor, ME, the turning point was in 2014. RockStep was selected for an innovation award from NIH, based on transformative ideas around building lab information systems to disrupt the way laboratory workflows were managed.

RockStep then partnered with Microsoft to begin developing advanced technologies, in the Azure cloud, into Climb.  In 2017, the core of Climb was released to the public and has been adopted by a number of large research labs including a Nobel Laureate lab at UCSF and labs at The Jackson Laboratory, Columbia University, and many more.

Climb is also now used in biopharma, where companies are focusing on rapid transition to cloud infrastructure.

Leadership Team

Chuck Donnelly

Chuck Donnelly

CEO and President

Chuck graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Computer Science. He has spent the last decade as Director of Computational Sciences at the Jackson Laboratory, where he lead the Jax Colony Management System (JCMS) team and several other large scale laboratory information management projects. Prior to Jackson, he worked in the Space Astrophysics Group at UC Berkeley directing development of software systems for NASA spaceflight. Chuck brings his excellent leadership and management experience to the RockStep team.

Abigail Ames

Abigail Ames

Director of Technology

Abigail holds a degree in Biology from Shippensburg University. She has spent most of her 15 year software engineering career designing, building, and maintaining software systems for The Jackson Laboratory.  Abigail served as the lead developer on the Jackson Laboratory’s Information Management System (JaxLIMS) and has contributed to the development of JCMS.   She brings to the team an in-depth knowledge of information systems and data architecture, as well as a passion for building great software.

Julie Morrison

Julie Morrison

Director of Sales and Marketing

Julie earned her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Maine.  Her past research includes developing detection sensors and assays for Bacillus spores, coliform bacteria, and viral potato pathogens at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, IDEXX, and UMaine.  She brings both inbound and outbound sales and customer relationship experience to the team, as well as experience in creating digital marketing campaigns.  Julie is passionate about implementing integrated marketing strategies that bring solutions to the scientific community.

Senior Team

Travis Emery

Travis Emery

Senior Research Analyst

Travis brings over 10 years of technical and research administration experience to the team. Prior to joining RockStep, Travis managed a neuroscience research laboratory at MIT, served as IT officer for a research funding organization, and conducted field biology for the US Forest Service. He is intimately familiar with the challenges of animal research, and is passionate about empowering researchers by streamlining their workflows and ensuring they have access to the data they need, when they need it. Travis holds a Master’s degree in IT from Harvard University Extension School and a BS from Bates College.

Catherine Chipman

Catherine Chipman

User Support Specialist

Catherine earned her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine at Machias and her A.S. in Applied Marine Biology and Oceanography from Southern Maine Community College. Catherine spent time building ocean surface drifters and researching genetic drift in local populations of Osmerus mordax. Catherine has 5 years of user support experience as well as two years of software training and documentation experience. When Catherine is not working in the Portland office, she is testing the elevation boundaries of Climb by checking in from the summits of the New England 4,000 foot mountain peaks.

Kevin Stone

Kevin Stone

Senior Software Engineer

Kevin brings to the team his 9 years of solid web development experience, as well as a commitment to continuous learning, curiosity, and best software practices. For much of his career he developed front-end systems and data visualizations for the Mouse Genome Informatics group at The Jackson Laboratory, gaining first-hand experience solving many of the unique challenges in writing software for the biological community. Kevin holds a BS in Computer Science from the The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Keith Sheppard

Keith Sheppard

Senior Software Engineer

Keith has over ten years of professional software development experience. Before working as a Software Engineer on bioinformatics problems, Keith started his career in the defense industry as a Research Engineer.  Keith enjoys the bioinformatics field, because it is both intellectually challenging and offers the potential to make a significant positive impact. Keith loves learning about technologies like: Computer Vision, Machine Learning and HTML5 and applying this knowledge to solving meaningful problems. Keith holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz.

Michael Rosenstein

Michael Rosenstein

Senior Software Engineer

Michael has over 20 years of experience in creating complex web applications and data architectures. He has particular expertise in developing elegant data models and intuitive user interfaces. Prior to joining RockStep, he led software and database efforts at the MDI Biological Laboratory, the Jackson Laboratory, Zentropy Partners, LivePerson, and Sony Music Entertainment. He began his data-architecture career at AT&T’s Downtown Digital after working as a corporate and securities attorney at Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman.

Michael earned a certificate in Relational Database and Structured Design from Columbia University, a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a B.A. in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia. He is passionate about running, cycling, photography, cats, and clean code.