LitLab is built by educators, for educators.

At LitLab, we believe that reading practice can be incredibly delightful and be true to the science. We are building LitLab to help teachers easily differentiate content while engaging every early reader.

The Team

Varun Gulati-portrait

Varun Gulati


Co-founder & CEO

Favorite Children's Book:

“Strega Nona” by Tomie DePaola

Taught in:

New Orleans, Louisiana

Sebastian Belmar-portrait

Sebastian Belmar


Co-founder & Head of Engineering

Favorite Children's Book:

“Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” by Duskey Rinker

Taught in:

San Francisco, California

Christie Chu-portrait

Christie Chu


Co-founder & Head of Learning

Favorite Children's Book:

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo

Taught in:

Oakland, California

Bastian Escarate-portrait

Bastian Escarate


Software Engineer

Favorite Children's Book:

“Papelucho y el marciano” by Marcela Paz

Sarah Fleming-portrait

Sarah Fleming


Lead Engineer

Favorite Children's Book:

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket

Ben Bergstein-portrait

Ben Bergstein


Founding Engineer

Favorite Children's Book:

“Squirrels on Skis” by Hamilton Ray

Drew McCann-portrait

Drew McCann


Lead Learning Designer

Favorite Children's Book:

“Arthur Adventure” series by Marc Brown

Taught in:

Brooklyn, New York

Jessica Valarezo-portrait

Jessica Valarezo


Senior Software Engineer

Favorite Children's Book:

“The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister

Taught in:

Manhattan, New York

Research advisors


Young-Suk Grace Kim

Research Advisor

Ed.D., Harvard University, Human Development and Psychology

Dr. Young-Suk Grace Kim is an award-winning professor and the Senior Associate Dean at the School of Education, University of California at Irvine. She was a former classroom teacher in San Francisco. Her scholarship focuses on understanding language and literacy development and effective instruction for racially, ethnically, economically, and linguistically diverse children, and helping them build strong foundations to support their success in school and beyond. Her areas of research include reading comprehension, reading fluency, listening comprehension and oral language, dyslexia, higher-order cognitive skills, written composition, and reading-writing relations. She has worked extensively with monolingual children from various linguistic backgrounds and multilingual children in the US. Her work was recognized by several awards, including the 2012 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Barack Obama.

Literacy Luminaries (teacher advisors)

Katy Wyborny-portrait

Katy Wyborny

Literacy Luminary

Katy currently works as an Elementary Learning Facilitator with three schools in the Johnson County Public Schools in North Carolina. She helps teachers by providing resources, professional development, and curriculum support.

Brigid Lanigan-portrait

Brigid Lanigan

Literacy Luminary

Brigid Lanigan is an Assistant Principal at Nashville Classical Charter School, focusing on culture and instruction in Kindergarten - 4th grade.

Romi Messer-portrait

Romi Messer

Literacy Luminary

Romi is a K-5 educator currently working as a reading interventionist. She believes that literacy is the foundation of education, and she works to boost reading skills and confidence in her students.

Madeline Herrera-portrait

Madeline Herrera

Literacy Luminary

Madeline Herrera is a co-founder and director of Limestone Community School in Lawrence, KS. She is passionate about connecting children to learning through play and authentic exploration.

Dana Clarkson-portrait

Dana Clarkson

Literacy Luminary

Dana Clarkson is a lifelong learner and Learning Experience Designer at Design39Campus. She has a passion for human-centered design and creating meaningful learning experiences that matter to children.

Emma Colona-portrait

Emma Colona

Literacy Luminary

Emma has taught K, 2nd, and 3rd grade for nearly a decade and now serves as the Head of K-8 Humanities at Nashville Classical Charter Schools. She holds an M.Ed. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Sociology of Education.