A Mission of Discovery
Powered by a deep love for dogs and a passion for understanding everything about them, Ryan and Adam Boyko have spent the last decade learning everything they could about dogs – how did they first get humans to fall in love with them, how did humans and dogs change each other in the years since then, and how can we best care for our furry family members?
In the course of their quest to understand the domestic dog, Embark's founders have discovered many of the things that make every breed and every individual dog unique. Their pioneering work revealed an origin of the domestic dog near Central Asia over 15,000 years ago and the history of dog populations around the globe.
Adam's lab has also uncovered the genetic basis for many dog diseases and traits. While they have enjoyed working in remote corners of the world and in the lab, Adam and Ryan have always wanted to share their work and improve the lives of pet dogs everywhere. Partnering with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the leading veterinary school in the country, and Matt Salzberg, a direct-to-consumer business icon, they founded Embark to bring cutting-edge science and insights directly onto your phone and desktop.
Owners and their pets can immediately benefit from all the newest and most advanced science. They can also contribute to advancing scientific discoveries every day. By continually sharing new insights while collecting more data, our dogs can benefit from the best care.
Embark with Us
We invite you to join us in making new discoveries in dog health, wellness, care, and understanding via our research questions, continual results updates, blog posts, social media, and events.Order now
Who We Are
Ryan founded Embark after a decade spent using novel analytical approaches to tackle tough questions in public health, ecology, and industry. From Ebola outbreaks to retailer analytics to social evolution and sports science, Ryan has worked and published across a number of fields. Throughout that time, Ryan traveled the world collecting dog samples and contributing to a number of scientific studies. Ryan founded Embark to bring the insights from that research to dog owners and unlock the potential for Big Data to improve the lives of dogs and humans the world over. He has a BA in Computer Science from Harvard and graduate degrees in public health and ecology from Yale and the University of California at Davis.
Adam is an associate professor in Biomedical Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, focused on the genomic investigation of dogs. Adam’s research has addressed fundamental questions of dog evolution and history, disease and trait mapping, and advancing genomic tools for canine research. Adam has coauthored over 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers, including research in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Morris Animal Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and received an MS in Computer Science and a PhD in Biology from Purdue University before his postdoctoral work at Cornell and Stanford.
Matt is driven by curiosity and passion for solving business problems and understanding technology. He built a successful technology consulting practice, and has helped companies around the world to solve their most difficult strategic problems. He studied Computer Science and Manufacturing Engineering at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge. He is excited to be applying genetic science to improve health and wellness, and to be a part of advancing the frontiers of science.
Isabelle Plante has a long track record of building high growth consumer brands that disrupt industries in the US and around the world. Prior to Embark Isabelle co-founded a digital consultancy, scaled global brand advertising for Tripadvisor, led marketing at Treatwell, and was a key member of the early Care.com team. Isabelle has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance from Babson College. In her free time she mentors startups through MassChallenge and Backstage Capital.
Adam joins Embark from edX where he was President and co-CEO overseeing day-to-day management of operations including product, marketing, engineering, content, sales, finance, and HR. Prior to edX, Adam spent 13 years at TripAdvisor where as SVP, Global Product he helped grow TripAdvisor into a global, public company with over 400 million monthly users and $1.5 billion in revenue. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Mightier and was previously a Board Director at Wordstream before its sale to Gannett. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Steve is an accomplished finance and operations executive who loves being part of the excitement, energy and team spirit of growth stage companies. He has been a leadership team member of numerous venture backed companies in the software, services and consumer internet markets including Care.com, OpenPages and others. Steve is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Emily is a customer-obsessed product leader with a knack for delivering value through delightful & intuitive ecommerce products and tools. She has a track record of success driving change management through rapid scaling during a 9-year tenure at Wayfair. She also has a passion for organizational behavior--frequently writing and speaking about the role trust and psychological safety play in organizational creativity, risk-tolerance, and resilience. Prior to joining Wayfair, Emily had a previous career in professional theatre production and received an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Tali is a People-First HR Leader with international biotech and start-up experience. She is passionate about recruiting great people, developing leaders, and designing cultures and organizations that unleash potential and deliver results.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:David Botstein, PhD
Dr. David Botstein is the Chief Scientific Officer at Calico Life Sciences and an expert in the genetics of aging. His prestigious academic career includes his role as Director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University and Chairman of the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Botstein was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1981 and to the Institute of Medicine in 1993. He has received numerous awards, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:Carlos Bustamante, PhD
Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante is a population and computational geneticist with expertise in the application of data science and genomics to problems in biology and medicine. He is the founder and CEO of Galatea Bio, Inc., Venture Partner at F-Prime Capital, and Board Observer at Embark. He is Professor of Biomedical Data Science, Genetics, and Biology at Stanford University (on leave) where he was Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics (CEHG) and Inaugural Chair of the Department of Biomedical Data Science. He is also Adjunct Professor of Business Technology at the University of Miami Herbert Business School.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: Jerry Lanchbury, PhD
Dr. Jerry Lanchbury is a human geneticist and specialist in molecular diagnostic medicine. As the Chief Scientific Officer at Myriad Genetics, he led teams in the development of major molecular diagnostic innovations in oncology, urology, rheumatology and neuroscience. Previously, he was the head of the Molecular Immunogenetics Unit at King’s College London and Director of Dunhill Medical Research Laboratories at the United Medical and Dental Schools of the University of London.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:John Novembre, PhD
Dr. John Novembre is an expert in population genomics and Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on developing computational tools to analyze genetic diversity with an emphasis on geographic and temporal variation. He has served as a scientific advisor for AncestryDNA and he was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015. He earned his PhD in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley and did his postdoctoral training in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:Roberta Relford, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM, DACVP
Previously the Chief Medical Officer at IDEXX Laboratories, Dr. Roberta Relford has over 30 years of veterinary experience that spans private practice, university teaching, research, and commercial diagnostics. Dr. Relford earned her DVM from Auburn University before obtaining a second doctorate with a PhD in veterinary pathology from Texas A&M University, where she also pursued advanced training in small animal internal medicine. She is certified by both the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:Jasper Rine, PhD
Dr. Jasper Rine is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and Distinguished
Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development at UC Berkeley. He founded the Dog Genome Project and led the team that developed the first complete map of the canine genome. Dr. Rine served as President of the Genetics Society of America. He is a former director of the Human Genome Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has founded and directed multiple successful biotech companies.
Tracing the Origins of the Dog
Knowing village dogs worldwide was key to unlocking the story of dogs and improving the lives of dogs across the globe, Adam and Ryan started studying them in 2007. Eventually, they convinced National Geographic, the National Science Foundation, and others to send them across the world, studying dogs in 40 countries on every inhabitable continent. Their work has resulted in a new understanding of the Asian origin of dogs and provides unique insight into the genetic diversity of dogs worldwide.
Forefront of Research
In a study published in 2016 in Nature Communications, Adam describes how his laboratory analyzed nearly 5,000 DNA samples from the
Cornell Veterinary Biobank and succeeded in finding new associations with hip dysplasia risk, colitis, body size, and fur shedding. From this work, it is now possible to accurately predict how big an adult dog will be from its genetics.
Partner with Us
Embark was founded to improve the lives of dogs for generations to come. We believe in collaborating with the best researchers and veterinarians worldwide to better dog health and wellness.
If you are a researcher and would like to collaborate with us please contact us at email@example.com
If you are a dog breeder or breed club interested in working with Embark to improve the genetic health of your breed please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org