About Us

Aurora Spectral Technologies is developing a state-of-the-art microscope imaging tool under the Trademark OptiMiS for rapid analysis of complex multicolor fluorescent images.  These systems have utility in multiple markets including basic biological research, prenatal and cancer diagnostics, and drug screening.  As example of one specific end use, this system enables for the first time structural determination of protein aggregates in living cells. This leads to potential uses as a drug screening tool in pharmaceutical research.  In addition, this new system allows identification of rare cell types in blood and enables the development of diagnostics system for both prenatal screening and cancer.

Management Team

Thomas J. Mozer, Chief Executive Officer

For the past 30 years, Thomas Mozer has been leading efforts to identify and develop promising new technological advances into products and viable businesses. The technologies include development of new instrumentation, chemistry, molecular biology, and software for use in research products, medical devices, and medical diagnostics. He was a founder and CEO and President of Nerites Corporation, a medical device company developing adhesives and coatings for use in surgery. He also founded and led the corporation Vysis, a leading molecular device company in the field of cancer and prenatal diagnostics now owned by Abbott Molecular, and developed the Genetic Identity business of Promega Corporation into a leader in the field of forensics and a significant corporate earnings and growth center. He has extensive experience in licensing and university/corporate partnerships, intellectual property development and management, and general operations in the setting of start up businesses. Tom earned his BA in chemistry at the University of Montana, PhD in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, and postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis in plant molecular biology.

Dr. Valerica Raicu, Chief Technical Officer

Vali Raicu holds a PhD degree in Biophysics from the University of Bucharest, Romania. Between 1991 and 2004, he has held research and academic positions at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Romanian Academy (Bucharest), Kochi Medical School (Japan), and University of Toronto (Canada). Since 2004, Prof. Raicu has been at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), where he currently holds an Associate Professor position in the Department of Physics and an adjunct position in the Department of Biological Sciences. Professor Raicu has authored or co-authored over forty papers and book chapters on various topics in biophysics, biochemistry, and medical physics, two patents, as well as a book (“Integrated Molecular and Cellular Biophysics, Springer, 2008). He has also given numerous invited and contributed talks at scientific meetings and academic and research institutions all over the world. Prof. Raicu’s main research expertise is in development of techniques and mathematical models for the study of biological systems. These include optical microscopy and dielectric spectroscopy instrumentation, theoretical models for FRET in molecular complexes, and dielectric models of biological systems. He is a co-inventor of OptiMiS – optical microspectroscopy systems developed by AST, LLC – and co-founder of AST.

Visit Prof. Raicu’s UWM web page.

Dr. Uwe Muller,
Senior Vice President Diagnostic and Clinical Applications

Dr. Uwe R. Müller has 22 years experience in industrial research and development that includes positions as Chief Science Officer of NeoClone Biotechnologies, Exec. V.P. for Product Development at Banyan Biomarkers, V.P. for Applied Science at Nanosphere, Technology Director at Corning, Inc., and Director of Advanced Technology at Vysis, Inc. (now Abbott Molecular). His research and development activities have focused on assay and instrument approaches for DNA and protein based diagnostics, including DNA probes for fluorescent in situ hybridization, the development of array based assay systems for genomic, expression and SNP analysis, the development of antibody arrays, and nanoparticle-based detection systems. He has led assay research, engineering, and instrument development teams, often with international composition and involving multiple companies. Dr. Müller received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Kansas State University and postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From 1979 to 1988, he was a faculty member at the ECU School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina, where he received tenure in 1984. He has authored/co-authored over 50 research publications in peer-reviewed journals, co-edited a book, and holds 8 issued US patents.

Board of Directors

Jeff Rusinow, Chairman of the Board

Jeff Rusinow has been an active member of the early-stage venture capital community in the Midwest since 2000, when he founded Milwaukee’s first angel network, Silicon Pastures. He earlier spent 22 years in retail management, holding senior executive positions at Macy’s, Gimbel’s, the Hudson Bay Company and, most recently, Kohl’s Department Stores, where he served as an Executive Vice President until leaving corporate mainstream in 2000. Jeff has been on the Board of Directors of a number of private and public companies, as well as non-profits, over the past several years. Most recently, he was Chairman and lead investor of Internet retailer BUYSEASONS, Inc., which owns and manages the largest retailer of costumes in the world, BuyCostumes.com. BUYSEASONS was acquired in 2006 by Liberty Media. Jeff is currently Chairman and lead investor of the privately held ModernMed , a healthcare services company. He is also on the board of Death’s Door Sprits, based in Madison, Wisconsin. Jeff has both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Virginia. He resides in Scottsdale, Arizona and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Thomas J. Mozer, Board member

Valerica Raicu, Board member