Team

Our Start

Recognizing that preclinical research operations and data management were still largely conducted with spreadsheets or legacy  database systems, the RockStep founding team focused on creating a platform that could be widely adopted throughout biomedical research to revolutionize drug discovery.

With vast industry experience and a passion for innovation, RockStep’s founders built an elegant, modern, comprehensive, but easy to use, informatics platform for preclinical research called Climb(tm).  To launch the company, RockStep applied for and won several highly competitive innovation awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The awards (GM112206) were based on transformative ideas for building a pure cloud lab informatics system that is now revolutionizing the way preclinical laboratory workflows are managed. 

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.

In 2015, RockStep partnered with Nobel Laureate, Dr. Prusiner’s lab at UCSF, and began developing and testing Climb with the direct input from this world-class research group.  RockStep also worked with researchers at the Jackson Laboratory, Columbia University, MIT, and several industry labs focused on improving ROI through digital transformations.

RockStep continues to work with frontier scientists and technology 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 & President

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, diabetes and many others.  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 as well as imbedded systems, and, algorithms for radio astronomy. Chuck has published opinion articles, papers in peer reviewed journals, and presented at conferences around the world. Chuck brings his wealth of experience, excellent leadership, and management experience to the RockStep team.

Julie Morrison

Julie Morrison

Executive Vice President

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. With RockStep, Julie works closely with researchers in industry and academia to understand their pain points. She uses this knowledge to manage the product roadmap and position Climb within drug discovery research. As VP of RockStep, Julie manages 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

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.

Senior Team

Abigail Ames

Abigail Ames

Director of Technology

Co-founder of RockStep, 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.

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.

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. 

Mike Largay

Mike Largay

Sr. Account Executive

Mike has a degree in Finance from Thomas College.  He joined RockStep in 2018 to focus on developing the company’s commercial sales pipeline.  Mike has over 10 years of direct software sales experience in various industries from biomedical research and business systems to software security. Prior to RockStep, Mike worked at Certify, Inc., a SaaS expense management company, where he was successful in multiple roles with increasing responsibilities. Outside of RockStep, Mike stays busy with his twin daughters and Bassett Hound in tow.