Cheri Ackerman, PhD

2012 Hertz Fellow
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Cheri Ackerman is a co-founder and the CEO of Concerto Biosciences.

Cheri is passionate about studying and harnessing complexity and heterogeneity in biological systems. She founded Concerto Bio to create products that take advantage of the complexity of the microbiome. Using a novel screening platform that Cheri worked on during her postdoc, Concerto Biosciences builds microbial ensembles to treat disease and improve farming.

Prior to founding Concerto Bio, Cheri was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Paul Blainey at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she built technologies to partition, recombine, and sort small volumes of liquids and gels in order to make combinatorial experiments high-throughput. She applied these technologies to problems in viral detection and microbial ecology.

Cheri earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry as a Hertz Fellow under the mentorship of Prof. Christopher Chang at the University of California, Berkeley. Her graduate thesis focused on copper metabolism in vertebrates, including the development of mass spectrometry imaging methods to map copper localization in tissue and the discovery of copper-accumulating megamitochondria in zebrafish retina. Her undergraduate research included galectin nuclear-cytoplasmic transport with Professor Eric Arnoys at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) and proteins governing mitochondrial fusion-fission with Dr. Jeff MacKeigan at the Van Andel Research Institute (Grand Rapids, MI). She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Spanish from Calvin College.

In her spare time, Cheri spends as much time outdoors as possible and is always game for a hike or some pickup volleyball. She also loves to travel.

(Photo: William S. Dixon)

Hertz Foundation Role

Board of Directors

Graduate Studies

University of California, Berkeley
Chemical Biology
Detecting, Measuring, and Manipulating Copper in Biological Systems

Undergraduate Studies

Calvin College


2020, Harold Newman and David Galas Entrepreneurial Initiative, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation

Related News

Mar 8, 2024
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation today announced the election of five new members to its board of directors: Cheri Ackerman, Co-Founder and CEO, Concerto Biosciences; Steven Lipner, Executive Director, SAFECode; Max Mankin, Co-Founder and CTO, Modern Hydrogen; Michael Schnall-Levin, CTO and Founding Scientist, 10x Genomics; and Alfred Spector, Visiting Scholar, MIT, and Senior Advisor, Blackstone.
Mar 8, 2024
The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation announced the election of Cheri Ackerman, co-founder and chief executive officer at Concerto Biosciences, to its Board of Directors.
Nov 30, 2022
Hertz Fellow Nathan Myhrvold, visionary technology and business leader, reflects on the anonymous $5 million gift that will fund a Hertz Fellowship in his honor.
Cheri Ackerman
Nov 12, 2020
Cheri Ackerman, CEO and cofounder of Concerto Biosciences, will use the prize to help her company find solutions for human health and agriculture using unique ensembles of microbes.
Aug 10, 2020
During the Hertz Foundation’s 2020 Summer Workshop, Hertz Fellows came together to shed light on the effects of COVID-19 on the nation's healthcare system and discuss new solutions that could offer up some relief amidst the throes of the global pandemic.
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Hertz Fellows Cheri Ackerman and Cameron Myhrvold's technology can perform thousands of tests simultaneously to detect viruses and return same-day results, with enormous potential for public health impact.