Cell Microsystems History

The CellRaft® Technology was developed in the lab of Dr. Nancy Allbritton at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Cell Microsystems was founded by Dr. Nancy Allbritton, Dr. Chris Sims, and Dr. Yuli Wang in 2010 to develop and commercialize product applications for the CellRaft Technology.

In 2017, the first CellRaft AIR® System prototypes were developed and introduced to the market. In the second half of 2018, Cell Microsystems invested resources to be dedicated for commercial purposes and the first AIR Systems were sold. Cell Microsystems continues to develop novel research tools supporting the critical research behind scientific and medical discovery. Products based on the CellRaft Technology enable applications to make the isolation, imaging, recovery, and analysis of single cells available for every lab.

Cell Microsystems believes firmly in the inherent value to match cell imaging with downstream analysis – and believes researchers across many fields and techniques can improve their understanding of the fundamental unit of life with a multi-omic approach to biology.

Meet Our Founders

Dr. Nancy Allbritton

Nancy Allbritton, M.D., Ph.D., Founder

Dr. Allbritton is the Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. Previously she was the Chair of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University and the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Allbritton is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of biomedical engineering and analytical chemistry.  She has founded three previous biotech start-ups: Protein Simple (acquired by Bio-Techne in 2014), Intellego (eventually licensed to Amkor), and Altis Biosystems.  She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors.  Dr. Allbritton obtained her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sims Head Shot 2

Christopher Sims, M.D., Founder

Dr. Sims is a Professor at the University of Washington with joint appointments in the departments of Bioengineering and Medicine.  He founded Cell Biosciences (now Protein Simple) along with his colleague, Dr. Allbritton in 2002.  Drs. Sims, Allbritton and Wang were also founders of Intellego Corporation which became a subsidiary of Amkor Technology and Altis Biosystems.  Dr. Sims earned his M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University followed by a medicine residency at Harvard and fellowships at Stanford.


Yuli Wang, Ph.D., Founder

Dr. Wang is a senior Research Scientist in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle.  He works with Drs. Allbritton and Sims to develop biomedical microdevices for cellular and tissue analysis and isolation.  Dr. Wang previously cofounded Intellego and Altis Biosystems, Inc.  Dr. Wang obtained his Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine.


Gary Pace, Ph.D., J.D., Founder

Dr. Pace has been CEO at Cell Microsystems since 2014, and led the reboot of the Company to focus on product applications and automated instrumentation.  Beginning in 2015 he built a team of talented scientists and engineers to develop the CellRaft AIR System and its line of innovative consumables.  The first sale of the AIR System in November 2018 led to an expansion of commercial operations, early stage investment, and subsequent purchases by leading academic, government, and pharma research organizations.  Dr. Pace is looking forward to further expansion of the Company to combine its existing products and technology with new innovations into a next generation system of automation and consumables and a growing list of validated research applications.