RockStep Team

Our Start

RockStep’s team is driven by a passion to save lives by helping get drugs and vaccines to market faster.

The team recognized that preclinical drug discovery and in vivo research operations were in a state of data chaos and the problem was increasing rapidly. Until the release of Climb(tm), academia and industry had no good tools for managing data and operations for in-vivo research. A typical research organization used email, share-folders, spreadsheets, binders, and legacy point solutions to manage crucial data and complex lab operations.

Backed by the National Institutes of Health through an SBIR Award (GM112206),  RockStep spent several years working with a tier-1 pharmaceutical company, a large public biotech, and the lab of a Nobel Laureate (Dr. Prusiner at UCSF), to design and create a platform that is now widely adopted by world-leading biomedical research and drug discovery organizations.

With vast industry experience, three innovation awards, and a passion to do something important, RockStep’s founders built an elegant, modern, comprehensive, but easy to use, informatics platform for pre and non-clinical research called Climb(tm).

RockStep has also won awards from Microsoft to conduct co-development projects and to access advanced technologies in the Azure cloud. In spite of the fact that Climb runs on all platforms, RockStep has recently be been awarded the coveted Microsoft ISV designation.

RockStep continues to work with frontier scientists and engineers on some of the world’s most advanced technologies to ensure Climb leads the industry with a platform for the lab of the now and the lab of the future.

Leadership Team

Chuck Donnelly

Chuck Donnelly

CEO/BOD

Co-founder of RockStep, Chuck has a degree in Computer Science. Prior to RockStep, Chuck was Director of Computational Sciences at the Jackson Laboratory (JAX), where he led work on intractable computational problems for numerous disease areas including cancer, and diabetes..  Chuck’s work at JAX was funded by the NIH, HHMI, and JAX. Prior to JAX, Chuck was in the Space Astrophysics Group at UC Berkeley where he directed development of software systems for NASA orbiting platforms, worked on the Space Shuttle ground control, and led development of software for imbedded systems, and, algorithms for radio astronomy. Chuck has published articles and papers in peer reviewed journals, and presented at conferences around the world. As CEO, Chuck brings a wealth of business experience, leadership, and management experience to the RockStep team.

Julie Morrison

Julie Morrison

President/BOD

Co-founder of RockStep, Julie has a degree in Microbiology. Prior to joining RockStep, she worked at IDEXX labs developing assays for detecting contamination in public water supplies and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developing assays for detecting biological surface contamination for deep space missions. For RockStep, Julie works closely with researchers in industry and academia to understand their needs. She uses this knowledge to manage the product roadmap and position Climb within drug discovery research. As President of RockStep, Julie manages all company operations and works closely with the CEO to develop the company’s strategy, financial models, and investment portfolio. Julie has published articles on information systems for research and lectured at industry conferences.

Ray Pawlicki

Ray Pawlicki

Board Director/Advisor

In his former role as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at BiogenIdec and a member of the Executive Committee, Ray Pawlicki was instrumental in restructuring the IT organization, and transforming IT into a strategic asset pivotal to the $8 billion biotech company’s success. Prior to BiogenIdec he worked for eight years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, A.G., serving as both CIO of the U.S. affiliate and Global CIO of the Switzerland-based, $27 billion enterprise. For RockStep, Ray works closely with the RockStep team providing deep strategic guidance.

Dave Canatsey

Dave Canatsey

Director of Software Engineering

Dave brings 25 years of SaaS technology experience, shepherding growing companies from startup, through growth, and enterprise-level stages.Before RockStep, Dave co-founded Certify, Inc., an enterprise travel & expense management platform (acquired in 2017 by K1 Investment Management) as well as Recruiternet, the first online SaaS recruitment platform (acquired in 2005 by First Advantage Corporation).He is using his deep knowledge of software development, cloud architecture, and technical leadership to help RockStep achieve its goals in the evolving bio-informatics space. Furthermore, his experience in product management, vendor/customer relationship management, audit, as well as M&A, will help RockStep realize success.

Tom Arneman

Tom Arneman

Board of Directors/Advisor

Tom Arneman was Founder and President of Ceiba Solutions (managing invention of Lab IT services and application externalization for Pharma RD IT) and Weka Solutions (a Digital Health incubator helping Pharma create new value from internal technology investment). Tom took both companies to exit and is now immersed in helping technology startups succeed and scale. Tom brings significant experience to RockStep in taking companies from startup to scale in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Richard Clark

Richard Clark

PT/CFO

Richard brings years of strategic and tactical experience in finance and operations to RockStep where he is now helping the company focus on accelerating growth and creating enterprise value.  He has a diverse background with experience in multiple industries including high tech manufacturing, software, and life sciences.  Richard works closely with RockStep’s CEO and BOD on growth strategy, tactical plans, forecasts and budgets with full GAAP based financial reporting. He also has extensive experience raising growth capital, and designing/implementing infrastructure and systems to support rapid scale-up.

Senior Team

Ben Walton

Ben Walton

Software Engineer

Ben has a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Maine. Before joining RockStep Solutions, Ben worked at the Jackson Laboratory in the Computational Sciences Group developing algorithms for bioinformatics analysis. While at Jackson, Ben developed a strong interest in software engineering. He joined RockStep with a passion to work on emerging technologies in a company with a mission to help bring cures to market faster.

Catherine Chipman

Catherine Chipman

Software Quality Assurance and Release Manager

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 over 7 years of user support experience and over 4 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. 

Gennae Lynch

Gennae Lynch

Customer Engagement Manager

Gennae obtained her Master’s degree in Technology Management specializing in Project Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. 

For the past 10 years, Gennae has been working in the capacity of as Business Analyst and Project Manager for enterprise migrations, enterprise implementations and IT infrastructure development for both corporate, academic, healthcare systems and government initiatives. Gennae joined the RockStep team with enthusiasm of contributing to the customer experience from on-boarding to the implementation and go-live of Climb in their environment.

Corin Balan

Corin Balan

Product Specialist

 Corin earned his B.S. in Biology from Colby College
While at Colby, Corin worked as a research assistant, studying novel chytrid fungus infections in local amphibian populations.

Before joining RockStep Solutions, Corin held several support positions at IDEXX Laboratories. While at IDEXX, Corin developed a passion for how technology drives improvements in science. 
Corin joins the RockStep team eager to work with customers to improve product as well as helping customers adopt technologies as they go through their digital transformations. 

Rob Cole

Rob Cole

User Support Specialist

Rob earned his B.A in Psychology from the University of Maine. Before joining RockStep, Rob worked for IDEXX Laboratories  providing technical support to veterinarians. Prior to IDEXX Rob worked in specialty pharmacy, for five years, where he developed customer support skills and knowledge of the research to market process for pharmaceuticals. Rob brings strong technical and customer support skills to the RockStep Team.

Ashlie Reker Ph.D.

Ashlie Reker Ph.D.

Senior In Vivo Research Liaison

ssAshlie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology focused in neuroscience from the University of Kentucky. She continued her studies of behavioral neurobiology in Australia, where she obtained her Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Melbourne and her PhD from Deakin University in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, Minnesota. Ashlie employed her expertise in translational animal models at Louisiana State University, Shreveport, investigating alcohol addiction. Most recently, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, where she developed and optimized an assay to assess pain tolerance in small rodents. As Senior In Vivo Research Liaison at RockStep Solutions, Ashlie guides researchers in utilizing Climb for their research studies.

Riley Karp

Riley Karp

Software Engineer

Riley earned her B.A. in Computer Science with a minor in Physics from Colby College and her B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Dartmouth College. Prior to joining RockStep, Riley worked as a software developer at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, where she created a web application for scientists to explore environmental DNA data. Riley is excited to be part of the RockStep team, where she can combine her passions for software engineering and biotechnology to help create an innovative product that fosters meaningful improvements in biomedical research efficiency.