BIO Investor Forum Advisory Committee

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See below for the 2013 BIO Investor Forum Advisory Committee.  

Srini Akkaraju, MD, PhD
General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures

Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D. was appointed by our board of directors in September 2012 to fill the vacancy on our board of directors, effective upon the completion of this offering. Since 2009, Dr. Akkaraju has been a managing director of New Leaf Venture Partners, L.L.C. From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Akkaraju served as a managing director at Panorama Capital, LLC, a private equity firm founded by the former venture capital investment team of J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC, a private equity division of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Prior to co-founding Panorama Capital, he was with J.P. Morgan Partners, which he joined in 2001 and of which he became a partner in 2005. From 1998 to 2001, he was in business and corporate development at Genentech, Inc. (a wholly owned member of the Roche Group), a biotechnology company, most recently as senior manager.

Prior to joining Genentech, Dr. Akkaraju was a graduate student at Stanford University, where he received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology. He received his undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University. Dr. Akkaraju serves as a director Seattle Genetics, Inc. a publicly traded biotechnology company. Previously, Dr. Akkaraju served as a director on the boards of SynaGeva Biopharma Corp., Barrier Therapeutics, Inc. and Pharmos Inc., all of which are publicly traded biotechnology companies, and Amarin Corporation plc, a foreign publicly traded biotechnology company.

Katrine Bosley 
CEO, Avila Therapeutics

Katrine Bosley is the former CEO of Avila Therapeutics, which established multiple alliances and advanced two programs into clinical development prior to its acquisition by Celgene in early 2012. Before Avila, Katrine was VP, Business Development at Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb). She joined Adnexus from Biogen Idec where she held roles in business development, commercial operations, and portfolio strategy in the U.S. and Europe and led the in-licensing of Tysabri® (natalizumab) among a number of other transactions. Earlier, she was part of the healthcare team at the venture firm Highland Capital Partners. Katrine currently serves on the Boards of Galapagos NV, Genocea Biosciences, and Coco Therapeutics and is a consultant to The Wellcome Trust.

John Chambers
Managing Director & Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, ROTH Capital Partners

John Chambers, a Managing Director and Head of Healthcare Investment Banking group, joined ROTH Capital Partners in December 2009. Chambers was formerly the head of Merriman Curhan Ford’s Heath Care and investment banking team. Prior to joining Merriman, Chambers was co-head of investment banking at Rodman & Renshaw. He has also held senior-level health care and biotechnology banking positions at SG Cowen, Lehman Brothers, UBS and Salomon Smith Barney. Chambers has executed a significant number of banking transactions, strategic transactions and restructurings across all health care sectors.

Chambers earned his MBA from Columbia Business School and his BS in mechanical engineering from Union College.

Ashley Dombkowski, PhD
Managing Director, Bay City Capital

Ashley joined 23andMe in July 2011 as Chief Business Officer with global responsibility for pharmaceutical and medical device partnerships. Prior to joining 23andMe, Ashley was managing director at MPM Capital, a healthcare-dedicated venture capital firm where she spent eleven years advancing the work of innovative, entrepreneurial healthcare companies. Previously she was a healthcare equity analyst for Tiger Management and Dresdner RCM Global Investors. Dr. Dombkowski holds a PhD in Mathematics from Rice University and received a BA in Mathematics from Wellesley College.

Todd Foley
Managing Director, MPM Capital

Todd Foley is a managing director in MPM Capital's Boston office where he manages the MPM-Novartis Strategic Funds in addition to investing MPM's main funds. His currently active investments include: Aires, Celladon, Chiasma, Proteon, Selexys, Valeritas, and Zalicus (NASDAQ: ZLCS). Prior to joining MPM in 1999, Mr. Foley worked in Business Development at Genentech and management consulting with Arthur D. Little. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from MIT and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Gail Maderis
President & CEO, BayBio

Gail Maderis is President & CEO of BayBio, the industry organization representing and supporting Northern California’s life science community. As a former biotech CEO, Ms. Maderis brings deep experience and commitment to supporting the industry through enterprise development, peer-to-peer experience sharing, advocacy and support of education and workforce development. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Maderis served as President and CEO of Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held protein discovery and development company. At FivePrime, she successfully funded the company’s rapid growth through substantial private equity financings and corporate partnerships and took the company’s first novel cancer therapeutic from discovery into clinical trials. Prior to FivePrime, Ms. Maderis held senior executive positions at Genzyme Corporation, including founder and president of Genzyme Molecular Oncology (GZMO). Ms. Maderis practiced management and strategy consulting with Bain & Co. She currently serves on the boards of BayBio, NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY), a publicly-traded anti-infective company, Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA), a publicly-traded cellular immune-mediated disease company, the Mayor’s Biotech Advisory Council of San Francisco and the HBS Healthcare Initiative. She received a BS in business from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Janis Naeve, PhD
Director, Amgen Ventures

Dr. Naeve joined Amgen in 2005 as a Director in the Company's corporate venture capital fund. She directs the fund's investment in early-stage biotechnology companies focused on discovering and developing human therapeutics. From 2002 to 2005, Dr. Naeve was director of Corporate Development at X-Ceptor Therapeutics which was acquired by Exelixis. Prior to this she was director of Business Development at Aurora Biosciences where she led transactions for the ion channel technology business unit and managed the collaborations with Pfizer, Merck, Lilly and Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Naeve holds a Ph.D. in Pathology from University of Southern California and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.

Bryan Roberts, PhD
Partner, Venrock

Bryan Roberts, Ph.D. joined Venrock as a Kauffman Fellow in 1997. He is based in Venrock's Palo Alto office and focuses on a broad range of healthcare investments. Bryan is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Achaogen, Castlight Health, and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD) and also serves on the Board of several other private companies, including Ariosa Diagnostics, Ikaria, Intarcia, and Kyruus. Past investments include athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), CodeRyte (acquired by 3M), Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), Sirna Therapeutics (acquired by Merck) and Xenoport (NASDAQ: XNPT). Bryan was named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute in 2006 and has been the highest-ranking healthcare investor on Forbes’ Midas List since 2008.

Immediately prior to joining Venrock, Bryan received his Ph.D. in Chemistry & Chemical Biology from Harvard University. He previously held positions in corporate finance at Kidder, Peabody & Co and received his B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Eugene Rozelman
Managing Director, Biopharma Investment Banking, Canaccord Genuity

Eugene Rozelman is a Managing Director and senior member of Canaccord Genuity’s Global Life Sciences Investment Banking team. He is responsible for transaction origination and execution in the Emerging Therapeutics space. Eugene joined Canaccord Genuity from HSBC where he was a member of the Global Healthcare Investment Banking group. He has over 13 years of investment banking experience advising biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining HSBC, Eugene was with Wells Fargo Securities where he focused on Life Sciences sector coverage. He began his career in Life Sciences investment banking at Robertson Stephens. Eugene received a M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business and holds a B.A. in Biology from New York University.

Francesco De Rubertis, PhD
Partner, Index Ventures

Francesco is a Partner in the firm's life science practice which he helped create in 1997. He has served on the board of directors of numerous companies. The list of companies that Index has been involved with from very early stages include; Genmab (GEN DC), PanGenetics (sold to Abbott ABT US), Addex (ADXN SW), Parallele (sold to Affymetrix), Bioxell (sold to Cosmo COPN SW), Aegerion (AEGR US), Cellzome and Molecular Partners. Prior to joining Index, Francesco was involved in post-doctoral research in Genetics at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also the author of several publications in international scientific journals. Francesco has a BA in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Pavia and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva. He is a CFA charterholder and is also a member of the Strategic Board of the University of Geneva.

Geeta Vemuri, PhD
Vice President, Head, Baxter Ventures

Geeta Vemuri joined Baxter in January, 2012 as Senior Managing Director - Baxter Ventures, the corporation’s $200 million venture fund. Prior to joining Baxter, she was a General Partner at Quaker Partners, where she spent the last 8.5 years leading investments in Biopharmaceutical and Healthcare companies and being integral part of the team in raising capital for the funds. Dr. Vemuri's role in building and mentoring portfolio companies has helped lead their exit through either acquisition or through Initial Public Offering. Some of her representative Quaker portfolio board member or observer responsibilities include Protez, Cempra, Corridor, Regado and Tranzyme Pharma.

Prior to Quaker, she was an Associate at Toucan Capital, where she was responsible for investments in seed-stage and start-up biotech opportunities. She participated in raising capital and helped start several portfolio companies by identifying technologies from universities. Prior to that, she was an Associate Equity Analyst at SalomonSmithBarney and First Union Securities covering specialty pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors. Geeta was also a research scientist at The Wistar Institute and completed her postdoctoral fellow program at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Vemuri received her M.S. from Central University in India, her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Sciences, and her M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Until recently she served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Southeast BIO, and the Advisory Committees of BioAdvance Greenhouse and the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator.

Asish Xavier, PhD 
Vice President, Venture Investments, J&J Development Corporation

Asish Xavier, PhD, Vice President, Venture Investments, joined Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) in 2004. He is based in Silicon Valley, California.

Dr. Xavier previously worked in business development at BioRexis Pharmaceutical, Inc., which was acquired by Pfizer in 2007. While at BioRexis, he assisted the company in raising a $30 million second round of financing. Dr. Xavier has worked in business development at Structural GenomiX, Inc., acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008, and was a project leader at Message Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Xavier received a PhD from the University of Houston and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors. He received a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. Dr. Xavier was also a postdoctoral research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.

Barbara Yanni 
Vice President & Chief Licensing Officer, Merck

Barbara Yanni is Vice President and Chief Licensing Officer of Merck. She leads the Corporate Licensing group which is responsible for negotiating agreements to acquire compounds, programs and new technologies to complement Merck's research programs and pipeline. Barbara works closely with her scientific and marketing colleagues at Merck to ensure that the company has access to discoveries that will enhance Merck’s ability to bring new medicines to the market. Barbara and her team have played a major role in the significant increase in Merck's external relationships in recent years. In the past five years, Merck has executed more than 250 significant licensing transactions spanning the range from technologies and early research collaborations to Phase III development candidates.

Before joining Corporate Licensing, Barbara was Executive Director of Corporate Development at Merck where she negotiated acquisitions, divestitures and other business arrangements. Barbara has also worked in other positions in Merck’s Finance area including Financial Evaluation and Analysis, Treasury and Tax. She joined Merck in 1985 as Domestic Tax Counsel after working as a tax lawyer for several years at Bristol-Myers and in private practice. Barbara graduated from Stanford Law School and Wellesley College. She also holds a Masters of Law in Taxation from New York University.

Krishna Yeshwant
General Partner, Google Ventures

Dr. Krishna Yeshwant is a physician, programmer, and entrepreneur who has been working with Google Ventures since its inception. He first joined Google as part of the New Business Development team. Prior to Google he helped start an electronic data interchange company that was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and a network security company that was acquired by Symantec (SYMC). He also co-authored the business plan for Diagnostics For All, which won both the Harvard Business School and MIT $100k business plan competitions. Previously, Krishna published several book chapters and journal articles in the field of computer guided surgery, has completed research in tissue engineering, and has developed and licensed multiple surgical devices. He has worked with the technology transfer offices of MIT, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Krishna has a B.S. in computer science from Stanford University. He also earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is completing his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.