Management Team

Fred Kielhorn


Mr. Kielhorn started his career in 1988 with DuPont and held positions in catalysis R&D, process development, logistics and market development over a 15 year period.  In 2000, he had the opportunity to co-found NanoDrop Technologies Inc. along with Charles Robertson, Patricia Robertson and Lynne Kielhorn.  During his time as president of NanoDrop, the company developed and launched three successful products for life science research.  In 2007, NanoDrop was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific and he then formed the venture capital firm, Kielvest LLC.  Over several years, Kielvest made many investments into early-stage technology companies and Fred sits on the board of directors of several of these.  Fred holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla (now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology).



Kevin Kelley

Business Director

Mr. Kelley has over 25 years of experience in technical sales and managerial roles with companies that manufacture engineered products. His career began at Dow Chemical where he advanced through manufacturing and capital project engineering, culminating as a lead engineer for multi-million dollar capital projects.   Kevin gained expertise in specialty process equipment and chose to pursue a technical sales career with the Germany-based company SGL Group. While at SGL, Kevin’s positions included direct sales, sales team management, Americas territory sales management, six sigma project lead and global technical coordinator for one of SGL Process Technology’s key business areas. In 2008 Kelley joined Kielvest LLC, a venture capital firm, and led due diligence and investment placement with multiple companies. Kelley joined Kielhorn to launch DeNovix in 2012. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Missouri (1991).


Deborah Conklin

Technology Manager

Deborah brings over 25 years of academic and pharmaceutical research experience to the team. Her lab expertise was in the development and implementation of new protocols in the areas of cell biology, cancer research and neuropharmacology. At Roswell Park Cancer Institute, she optimized a novel, patented purification process for alpha interferon. Deborah worked for five years with Pfizer’s Molecular Biology and Cancer Research Groups in Groton, Connecticut and was responsible for the development and characterization of cell lines expressing ras and src oncogenes used in primary drug screening campaigns. After 10 years of cancer research, Deborah transitioned to the field of neurobiology. She joined DuPont (subsequently purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb) with the primary responsibility for the molecular and pharmacological characterization of 23 GPCR receptors. Deborah then joined AstraZeneca where she developed high throughput protocols for automated potassium ion channel assays using atomic absorption spectroscopy. In 2004, Deborah joined NanoDrop Technologies and brought her scientific expertise to both the product development and the technical support teams. She joined DeNovix in 2012. Deborah earned her BA in Biology degree from SUNY Geneseo in 1979.


Dave Ward

Engineering Director

Dave has over 30 years of software engineering and architecture experience with an expertise in software, firmware, micro-controller design, USB devices, C#, VB.Net, ASP.Net, Windows Services, WCF and SQL Server. He has led multiple teams to successful delivery of complex systems at Exxon, DuPont and Personal Communication Systems. Dave was the co-founder/inventor and VP of Product Development of PhoneTree Inc.  In this role developed the server-based, centralized system utilizing custom designed telephony hardware. While at DuPont, Dave designed a multi-processor based system that controlled an automated wet-chemistry product for the food analysis industry. During his years at DuPont Imaging, Dave was the team leader of the control systems group for the ‘Direct Digital Proofer’ and lead a team of 8 engineers, programmers, technicians and support staff to successfully deliver a sophisticated control system for an advanced liquid electro-photography printing device. Dave joined DeNovix in 2012 to lead engineering efforts.  Dave earned his MS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


David Ash

Applications Manager

Dave brings over 20 years of molecular biology experience to the DeNovix team. His molecular work began during his undergraduate career at the University of Delaware Plant and Soil Sciences department creating SAGE libraries to profile the mRNA population in Z. Mays. Dave graduated from the University of Delaware in 2000 with a BS in Plant Science. After graduation he joined the E. W. Jabs group for craniofacial research at Johns Hopkins University where he helped characterize gene expression for human rhombomere and early mandible development. Results from the libraries he co-develop were published on the Craniofacial and Oral Gene Expression Network (COGENE) as searchable sequence tag databases. In addition to gene expression profiling Dave was involved in mutation screening of genes suspected to be involved craniofacial disease. He joined NanoDrop Technologies as an Applications Scientist in 2004. Dave joined the DeNovix team in January of 2012. Dave graduated from Johns Hopkins University in May of 2004 with an MS in Biotechnology.