About Us

Leading a new front against cancer

We improve patient lives by unlocking the tissue phenome

In oncology, therapeutic strategies have shifted from a direct assault on cancer cells to recruiting the immune system for that purpose. Our mission is to accelerate breakthroughs for this approach by helping scientists leverage Tissue Phenomics to deepen understanding of disease biology and immune system mechanisms, to bring multi-omics data into a cancer-relevant context, and to facilitate the translation of new insights into novel therapies and treatment strategies. Our vision is to create unique patient profiles for an individualized standard of care, where patients experience fewer side effects and live longer.

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We offer a powerful quantification system to transform tissue image data into insights, paired with unique data-mining methods that open new opportunities for biomarker discovery.

Integrate all.

Our work is the essential link to integrate all ‘omics data with clinical outcomes. We bridge molecular events and phenotypic effects to create validated tissue signatures that match patients and therapies.

Rely on us.

From the seed of an idea to its launch as a product, we support every step with meaningful knowledge and powerful tools that advance drug or diagnostic development and their transfer to the clinic.

How we partner

Our work model builds on a simple premise: Tissue Phenomics strengthens results, from biomarker discovery to clinical development and meaningful diagnostics. We bring Tissue Phenomics to you, seamlessly integrate into your processes, and act as your reliable, science-driven partner along the way.

Our history

Taking a ground-breaking technology that dramatically improves the information that can be extracted from histological images, Nobel Laureate Dr. Gerd Binnig founded Definiens in 1994. The goal? To create new opportunities for discovery and advances in oncology and immuno-oncology. Since then, Definiens technology has been used in thousands of projects, yielding results that have accelerated drug development and produced over 650 peer-reviewed publications. In 2013, Frost and Sullivan recognized Definiens as Company of the Year for Global Tissue Diagnostics and Pathology Imaging.

Definiens is now an international company with over 100 employees worldwide, and headquartered in Munich, Germany and Cambridge, USA.

A thought leader and technology innovator, Definiens brings the power of Tissue Phenomics to developments in oncology and immuno-oncology to improve patient, disease and treatment outcomes.

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Team

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Careers

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Contact

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Executive Management Team

Executive Management

Thomas Heydler Photo

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas Heydler

Thomas P. Heydler joined Definiens in 2004. He brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial expertise and in-depth knowledge of the global software business to Definiens.

Mr. Heydler was President and CEO at Barcelona Design Inc. based in San Jose, USA. Before joining Barcelona, Mr. Heydler served as President and CEO for InterPro Business Solutions, Inc., USA. He was Vice President and Executive Officer at Documentum Inc., a leading software and solutions provider with specific focus on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.

He built and drove Documentum’s European operations and assumed worldwide responsibility for Marketing and Documentum’s Application Business subsequently. Prior to this engagement, he served as Vice President and General Manager Europe for Cadence Design Systems and held senior leadership positions at Siemens AG.

Mr. Heydler holds a Diplom-Ingenieur degree in Electric Engineering and Computer Science from the Technical University in Munich.

Christiaan Neeleman Photo

Chief Operating Officer

Christiaan Neeleman

Christiaan Neeleman joined Definiens in 2013. He brings more than 25 years of general management experience, with a focus on healthcare imaging, to the company.

Prior to joining Definiens, Mr. Neeleman was the COO Product Group Lithography Applications for ASML. He also was responsible for the global X-Ray Systems Business and the Components Business of Philips Healthcare for 8 years. During his tenure at ASML and Philips Healthcare, Mr. Neeleman transformed businesses towards profitable growth, focusing on new markets, new technologies, efficiency, and teamwork. Mr. Neeleman has also held management roles in Philips’ mobile display businesses, and prior to that in Mettler Toledo.

In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Neeleman is responsible for leadership of research, development and professional services activities.

Mr. Neeleman has an MSc degree in Micro Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University Delft and an MBA from INSEAD.

Markus Rinecker, MD  Photo

Chief Financial Officer

Markus Rinecker, MD

Dr. Markus Rinecker joined Definiens in 2009. He brings more than 10 years of entrepreneurial and finance experience as well as in-depth clinical expertise to the company.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Rinecker served as Managing Director at one of the leading surgical hospitals in Munich. While managing 350 employees with full P&L responsibility, he established a new department for open heart surgery and streamlined organizational processes to increase the organization’s profitabiligy. For the hospital chain Humaine Kliniken GmbH he evaluated potential acquisition targets and participated in multiple share deal transactions. He was also actively involved in the start-up venture ProHealth AG, which opened Europe’s first full clinical proton radiation center for cancer therapy, in March 2009.

Dr. Rinecker holds a Doctoral Degree in Medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich as well as a Masters Degree in Business Administration of INSEAD, France and Singapore.

Ralf Huss, MD Photo

Chief Medical Officer

Ralf Huss, MD

Dr. Ralf Huss joined Definiens in 2013 and has more than 20 years of training and experience in histopathology and cancer research.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Huss served as Global Head of Histopathology and Tissue Biomarkers at Roche Diagnostics, where he was involved in identifying new tissue biomarkers to stratify cancer patients as part of a global Personalized Healthcare strategy. Dr. Huss also co-founded the biotech company APCETH. He has training and experience in immunology, transplantation biology and stem cell research, has published more than 100 papers, and has worked with the Nobel Laureates Rolf Zinkernagel and E. Donnell Thomas.

In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Huss plays a key role in expanding Definiens’ image and data analysis into Tissue Diagnostics and Clinical Digital Pathology.

Dr. Huss holds global academic appointments at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA. He is also a Professor of Systems Biology at the University College Dublin.

Thomas Nifong, MD Photo

Executive Vice President, Predictive Tests

Thomas Nifong, MD

Dr. Nifong joined Definiens in 2014. He brings more than 15 years of experience in clinical diagnostics development and operations, laboratory medicine, and project engineering.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Nifong was Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations for Metamark Genetics, where he successfully led efforts to translate quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence research protocols into robust, reproducible laboratory developed tests (LDTs) for clinical use. He spent 10 years as a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center where he gained extensive experience in molecular pathology, clinical laboratory medicine, and laboratory validation and management.

In his role as Executive Vice President of Predictic Tests, Dr. Nifong is responsible for regulated product development and commercialization for all clinical diagnostic projects incorporating Definiens technology. Dr. Nifong holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and an MD from the University of Rochester. He completed his residency training in Clinical Pathology and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pathology and a Fellow of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the College of American Pathologists.

Michael Rasche Photo

Global Head of Sales and Business Development

Michael Rasche

Michael Rasche joined Definiens in 2015 bringing 25 years of experience in the healthcare arena, with particular focus on diagnostics and pharma.

He joined Definiens from AYOXXA Biosystems where he was Corporate Vice President of Global Commercial Operations. Prior to that he was Corporate Vice President of Global Marketing and Business Development for Dako (now Agilent Technologies). During his career he has held leadership positions with Roche and Bayer Diagnostics in Europe, the US, and Latin America across 9 different countries. Michael Rasche is excellent at building and mobilizing high-performing international teams who view it as their mission to deliver business critical projects. In his role as Global Head of Sales and Business Development, Mr. Rasche is responsible for continuing the momentum of Definiens driving sales in the strategic expansion from Research into the Clinical Development and Diagnostics Space.