Mahima Agochiya, PhD, Business Development & Program Manager, SPARK Translational Research Program, Stanford University
Mahima Agochiya completed a PhD in Cancer Research, followed by eight years of postdoctoral fellowships in the US, UK and Canada. She also has an MBA in healthcare and has been focused on commercialization of technology in the past 6 years of her career through various positions including her current one as a Business Development Lead at the SPARK program within the Stanford School of Medicine.
Katherine Andersen, Senior Market Manager, Head of East Coast & Central, Life Science & Healthcare, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)
Katherine Andersen manages Healthcare Corporate Finance in addition to the East and Central regions for SVB’s national Life Science practice. Prior to SVB, Katherine was a Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank leading the Life Sciences business development and relationship management efforts for the New England region. Before that, she was a Director at Wells Fargo Capital Finance focused on front-end business development and underwriting of structured loans, ultimately totaling over $3.0B in commitments. Prior to Wells, she held various positions across mergers and acquisitions, finance, equity derivatives, audit, and management while at Affiliated Managers Group, Merrill Lynch, GE Corporate Audit Staff and GE Capital.
Katherine has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Virginia Tech. She has also completed Dartmouth’s Tuck Executive Leadership and Strategic Impact Program, Wells Fargo’s Transformational Leadership Program, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the GE Capital Financial Management Program.
Away from work, Katherine serves on the Finance Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business and the Corporate Council for the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge. She lives in Winchester, MA with her husband and three children.
Vinay Bhaskar, PhD, Principal, MPM Capital
Vinay Bhaskar, Ph.D. is a Principal at MPM Capital, where he serves as an investment professional and on the board of directors for MPM portfolio companies, such as Amphivena Therapeutics and Werewolf Therapeutics. Vin joined MPM in 2016 after leading External R&D for the Oncology therapeutic area at Amgen. In this role, Vin was instrumental in forging collaborations with companies such as Kite Pharma, Merck and Xencor. During this time he also led internal immuno-oncology strategy discussions and served as executive sponsor and/or board observer for several Amgen Ventures investments, including Surface Oncology, Precision BioSciences and Tizona Therapeutics, a company founded by MPM. Vin joined Amgen through its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he led preclinical search, evaluation and diligence for licensing and acquisition opportunities on the Asset Acquisition Team.
Prior to joining Onyx, Vin held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in Discovery Research at Portola Pharmaceuticals, XOMA, PDL Biopharma and Eos Biotechnology. In these roles, he initiated and led multiple preclinical project teams and functional groups focused on biologies that spanned oncology, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease. Through these endeavors, Vin has gained broad expertise across all phases of drug discovery, early development and process sciences. Vin holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCLA and a B.S. in Biochemistry from UC Davis.
Janice Bourque, Managing Director, Life Sciences, Hercules Technology Growth Capital
Janice Bourque is Managing Director of Life Sciences for Hercules Capital, a premier specialty finance company providing debt and equity to venture capital and private equity backed, and small cap public life science companies at all stages of development with $5.9 billion committed to over 350 life science, technology and renewable energy companies. Deals include BIND Bioscience, Brickell, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Concert Pharmaceutical, Cranford Pharmaceuticals, Dance Pharmaceuticals, deCode Genetics, Gamma Medica, Glori Energy, Medrobotics, Metuchen Pharmaceuticals, Ninepoint Medical and Pulmatrix.
Previously, Ms. Bourque provided strategic corporate investor fundraising for Commons Capital and Oxford Bioscience Partners for innovative healthcare investments for emerging and developing countries and was Senior Vice President, Group Head-Life Sciences for Comerica Bank. While at Comerica, notable deals included deals that led to several M&A exits including Hypnion/Eli Lilly; Adnexus/Bristol Meyers Squibb; and Morphotek/Eisai Pharmaceuticals.
Ms. Bourque was President/CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) which was at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution as the first biotechnology association in the world. Ms Bourque held senior managerial positions at Cambridge Medical Technology Corporation and Coopers & Lybrand Emerging Technology Group.
Ms. Bourque is on several boards: Poxel Inc, The Village Bank, Commodore Builders, Forsyth Institute, Emeritus Director of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Springboard Enterprises Life Science Council and is a member of Women on Corporate Boards and the Women’s Forum. She is also active in Newton and serves as co-president of the Crystal Lake Conservancy and Board member of The Hyde Community Center. Ms. Bourque is a trustee for a privately developed community home for differently-abled young working women and men. She was named one of Boston Magazine’s 100 most influential women and Newton Living Magazine’s 10 most influential women. Ms. Bourque received her MBA degree in finance and accounting and her BS degree in veterinary science from the University of New Hampshire.
Jason Camm, Chief Medical Officer, Thiel Capital LLC
Jason Camm is Chief Medical Officer of Thiel Capital, and co-leads a team focused on early-stage breakthrough life science investments. He previously founded several healthcare related companies and worked for ultra-high net worth individuals advising on their personal healthcare and investment portfolios. Jason currently sits on the board of numerous biotechnology companies as well as the board of Tuft University's Freidman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
John Chambers, President and Head of Investment Banking, H.C. Wainwright & Co.
Mr. Chambers currently serves as President and Head of Investment banking at H.C. Wainwright and Co. Mr. Chambers joined HCW from Roth Capital Partners where he had been Vice Chairman and Head of Healthcare Investment Banking. In his 28-year career, Mr. Chambers has played a senior role in the Life Sciences/Healthcare Investment Banking groups at Rodman & Renshaw, Cowen, Lehman Brothers and UBS Securities.
Alice Chen, PhD, Vice President, Accelerator Life Science Partners
Dr. Alice Chen has been a vice president at Accelerator since 2017. She initially joined Accelerator in 2013 as a principal to support portfolio company operations and to provide executive oversight of preclinical development activities across the portfolio. She is actively involved in sourcing and scientifically evaluating emerging biotechnology investment opportunities, and has played an instrumental role in the formation and oversight of several Accelerator portfolio companies.
Dr. Chen has more than 15 years of research and drug development experience, principally in small molecule therapeutics. Before joining Accelerator, she served as a scientific consultant and drug development project leader for several venture-backed biotechnology companies. Prior to that, she served as Director of Technologies at Qwell Pharmaceuticals, a venture-backed biotechnology company developing novel, small-molecule drugs focused on cancer and inflammation. She also contributed to partnership and M&A initiatives.
Dr. Chen completed her doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Chaitan Khosla at Stanford University where she focused on protein engineering and protein characterization. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. She served as an Engineering Fellow at Merck & Company and is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program. Dr. Chen currently serves on the Evergreen Fund Advisory Committee for the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center and the board of Life Science Washington, the state’s life science trade association.
Jung Choi, Chief Business & Strategy Officer, Global Blood Therapeutics
Jung E. Choi has over 20 years of executive, transactional, and commercial leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, and has led or managed over 50 transactions exceeding $13 billion in value. Since 2015, she serves as Chief Business and Strategy Officer for Global Blood Therapeutics, a publicly-traded late clinical stage biotech company focused on sickle cell disease and other serious blood disorders. She leads corporate and business development, strategy, patient advocacy, and government affairs and policy. She previously served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for InterMune during the company’s acquisition by and integration into Roche/Genentech in 2015. Ms. Choi previously led corporate and business development for Chimerix, Inc., as its Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. From 2001 to 2010, she held various management positions at Gilead Sciences, including leadership of business development, licensing, corporate strategy, and mergers and acquisitions for the company. During her tenure, she built and oversaw the corporate development group, and played a leading role in Gilead’s numerous transactions and company acquisitions. She also served as director of marketing, leading the U.S. commercial launch of Hepsera. Prior to Gilead, Ms. Choi was Vice President at Bay City Capital, a life sciences venture capital firm, and an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. Ms. Choi holds a B.A. in Human Biology and a M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Shelley Chu, MD, PhD, Partner, Abingworth
Shelley joined Abingworth in 2015 and invests across a broad range of therapeutic areas and stages of development from start-ups to late-stage. She serves on the Board of Directors for Tizona Therapeutics, SFJ Pharmaceuticals, and VenatoRx, and co-led Abingworth’s investment in IFM Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb). Shelley has over 15 years of operating and investment experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including most recently Gilead where she led R&D Strategy and Business Development in Oncology, Immunotherapy and Hepatitis B. Previously Shelley invested and co-founded biotechnology companies at Frazier Healthcare Ventures. Earlier in her career she was an investment professional at Flagship Ventures and a management consultant to healthcare and biotech companies at McKinsey.
Shelley holds an MD and PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from UCSF, and received her BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. She is a first author of publications in Science and other prominent journals, a Co-Chair of the Princeton Alumni School Committee.
Douglas Crawford, PhD, Partner, BioInnovation Capital
Douglas Crawford’s goal is to help entrepreneurial scientists create successful startups. To this end, Doug and his colleagues have systematically lowered the barriers between great ideas and successful companies. For instance, Doug created and manages MBC BioLabs. This state-of-the-art co-working laboratory program in San Francisco allows entrepreneurs to rapidly generate data without getting bogged down in facility management. Rather than spending months getting a facility up and running, MBC BioLabs startups can generate important data in their first week.
In the first 4 years, this program has helped launch 104 companies that have raised over 1.76B. This incubator program reflects Doug’s passion for startups and his eagerness to help entrepreneurs overcome challenges.
Doug is also the Managing Director of Mission Bay Capital and has overseen the investment in 40 companies, 6 of which have already enjoyed successful exits (Calithera, iPierian, Redwood Biosciences, True North, Zephyrus, and Cell Design Labs). He is a board member of Avexegen, Circle Pharma, Epiodyne, Graphwear, Invenio, Magnamosis, Magnap, SiteOne (observer), and Tangible Sciences.
Doug received his PhD in biochemistry from UCSF.
Rajeev Dadoo, PhD, Partner, S.R. One Limited
Rajeev joined SR One in 2003 and is an alum of the Kauffman Fellows Program. Rajeev has been involved with SR One’s investments in True North, Illuminoss, Avhana, Setpoint, iPierian, Cydex, Hypnion, Predix and Pinnacle. In addition to his role at SR One, Rajeev spent time with the Competitive Excellence group within GSK working on company-wide strategic projects for GSKs Corporate Executive Team. Prior to SR One, Rajeev worked at Genentech, where his role included technology and clinical development, and at Bio-Rad Laboratories in a product development role. In addition, Rajeev has worked at Genome Therapeutics in the business development role. Rajeev was a co-founder of Unimicro Technologies, a company that was created to develop and commercialize instrumentation for biomedical analysis. Rajeev received his BA degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Knox College, his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University.
Gini Deshpande, PhD, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, NuMedii
Gini is founder & CEO of NuMedii, a pioneer AI driven biopharma company focused on the discovery of new precision therapeutics. As CEO, she structured critical partnerships with several large pharma companies and raised Series A from top tier VC firms. Previously, she helped Affymetrix and other start up companies with market development strategies for their ground breaking technologies. She led innovation at Children's Hospital Boston for the creation of new devices for the tiniest of patients. Gini helped commercialize early stage technologies in research tools, diagnostics & therapeutics and has closed licensing deals worth several million. Gini received her MS from the University of Pune (India), her PhD in Biological Sciences from Purdue University, and did post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Tao Huang, PhD, JD, Venture Partner, Cenova Capital
Tao has over 20 years of combined experience in biomedical research, legal, and business in academia and the life sciences industry. Prior to Cenova, Tao was an attorney at several prestigious law firms in the US, including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich &Rosati and Morgan Lewis &Bockius. Tao has been advising companies and investors in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries on a broad range of business and legal issues, including patent counseling, licensing, litigation, VC financing, M&A and IPO. Tao has provided legal representation to several notable business transactions, including Takeda's licensing and collaboration deal with Alnylam(valued at $1 billion),Ion Torrent's acquisition by Life Technologies ($375 million), and QuantaLife's acquisition by Bio-Rad Laboratories ($162million). Tao received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Peking Union Medical College/Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Tao is a registered United States Patent and Trademark Office attorney in the state of California.
Charlotte Hubbert, PhD, Partner, Gates Foundation Venture Capital
Charlotte Hubbert is a Partner with Gates Foundation Venture Capital, investing in innovative technologies that support The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiatives in Global Health and Agriculture. Charlotte currently serves on the board of directors of Synlogic, Sera Prognostics, Lodo Therapeutics, Omniome and Vir Biotechnology. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Charlotte was a Vice-President at H.I.G. BioVentures investing broadly in healthcare. Charlotte started her career in early stage biotech investing at Accelerator Corporation, where she was part of the founding team and management of five companies, Oncofactor, Groove Biopharma, Acylin Therapeutics, Xori and Pharmselex.
Charlotte was recently honored as a Fierce Woman in Biopharma 2016 by FiercePharma, and as a leading Woman in Life Sciences 2016 by Life Science Washington. She serves on the BOD of Life Science Washington and the steering committee of the Fred Hutch Cancer Institute’s Evergreen Fund. Charlotte earned a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology from Duke University. She did her post-doctoral work in stem cells and regenerative medicine at the Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at the UW. Charlotte is a member of the Kauffman Society of Fellows (Class 14).
Margaret Kim, Executive Director, Life Sciences, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Margaret Kim is an Executive Director with the Life Sciences banking team, serving companies primarily located on the US West Coast. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Margaret was a Senior Vice President with 16 years of experience in life sciences venture debt and venture capital practices. She also has a background in healthcare venture capital with insights into specialty pharma.
Ravi Kiron, PhD, Head, BioPharma External Innovation, EMD Serono
Dr. Ravi Kiron based in California, USA is an experienced pharma/biotech executive with decades of experience in discovery R&D through late-stage clinical development, intellectual property and regulatory, technology & business development, strategy and product commercialization, negotiating and executing partnerships by leveraging his extensive global business development networks in CVMD, Oncology, CNS, Wound Healing, Microbiome and Diagnostics.
He was a tenure-track faculty member at Cornell University Medical College and adjunct faculty at University of Rhode Island. Dr. Kiron served in various operational & management roles at Pfizer Inc., and J&J/ALZA, in Cardiovascular R&D, Oncology clinical development (Tarceva), strategic business development and M&A (acquisition of WLA, PHA & other biotechs). Dr. Kiron has consulted for several dozen global life sciences companies, founded and led multiple companies/new ventures, served as an EIR at SRI Ventures, ShangPharma Innovation and advises company and non-profit boards. Dr. Kiron earned a BS in Chemistry, MS in Microbiology from the University of Mumbai, a PhD in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, India and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, USA.
Currently, Dr. Kiron is Head, BioPharma External Innovation at the Merck KGaA/EMD Serono’s Silicon Valley Innovation Hub in Menlo Park, California and is exploring cutting edge game changing technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Microbiome, Biosensors etc.) to have an impact on pharma/biotech product development and launches.
Jennifer Landress, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Biocom
Jennifer Landress, CMP, an experienced executive with more than 15 years' experience in budget management, membership, marketing and event development and execution is the Sr. VP and Chief Operating Officer for Biocom. Prior to this she held the position of Vice President of Corporate Relations.
Jennifer oversees the budget, management and goals development for the organization. Additionally, she leads the organization's marketing and events departments to identify opportunities for increased visibility for Southern California life science companies as well as the expansion of the southern California life science community. She is also responsible for Capital Development, Board management, Strategic Planning and the International initiative.
Prior to her employment at Biocom, she was Director of Operations for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world's largest biotechnology organization with more than 1,200 members worldwide.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Bucknell University and is a Certified Meeting Professional. She resides in San Diego with her husband, Bo, and three children
Sabrina Martucci Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Daré Bioscience
Sabrina Martucci Johnson is a life sciences executive with a record of achievement in capital formation, business development, and commercial leadership. Highlights from her 20+ year career include equity raises, a business development deal sheet comprised of in-license, out-license, and M&A, and executing numerous successful product launches. Sabrina’s unique background spans finance, global marketing, product development and bench research.
Sabrina is committed to advancing innovations in women’s health. She is the Founder and CEO of DARÉ Bioscience (NASDAQ:DARE), a healthcare company committed to the development of innovative products in women’s reproductive health. Prior to founding DARÉ, Sabrina was President of WomanCare Global Trading, a global provider of women’s health products, and CFO/CAO of the California Institute for Biomedical Research.
Sabrina was formerly a key member of the executive management team at Cypress Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYPB) where she most recently served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. She previously held marketing and sales positions with Advanced Tissue Sciences and Clonetics Corporation. She began her career in the biotechnology industry as a research scientist with Baxter Healthcare, Hyland Division, working on the recombinant factor VIII program.
In the community Sabrina serves on the board of organizations that advance the economic well-being and health of women and girls and promote education. She serves on the YWCA of San Diego County Board of Directors as immediate past-president, Clearity Foundation Board of Directors, Athena Board of Directors as Co-Chair, Tulane University School of Science & Engineering Board of Advisors, University California San Diego Librarian’s Advisory Board, Project Concern International Audit Committee, and Sabrina is the immediate past co-president of Women Give San Diego.
Sabrina has a Master of International Management with honors from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird); a MSc. in Biochemical Engineering from the University of London, University College London; and a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University, magna cum laude.
Carolyn Ng, PhD, Principal, Vertex Ventures HC
Carolyn Ng is a Principal of Vertex Ventures HC, a Temasek-anchored global venture capital fund specializing in early stage life sciences investments globally. At Vertex, Carolyn is responsible for driving venture investments across biotechnology, medical devices and health technology fields. Carolyn currently serves on the board of Obsidian Therapeutics and Bicycle Therapeutics, and is a board observer for Visterra, Earlens and Nuvaira. She also closely supported Vertex’s investment into Twelve (acquired by Medtronic). Working across the US, Europe and Asia, she plays an active role in expanding the geographical reach of Vertex HC and its portfolio companies for cross-border collaborations, business development and syndication.
Carolyn started her healthcare training in the oncology pharmacy department of the National University Cancer Institute of Singapore, where first hand clinical experience inspired her to pursue scientific research in oncology. As an oncology scientist, she is deeply passionate about innovation that impacts patients’ lives. Prior to joining Vertex, Carolyn was also a Pharma Strategy Consultant at Deallus Consulting, a specialized London-headquartered life sciences consulting firm where she led global strategic projects for clientele comprised of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies.
Carolyn Ng holds a PhD in Cancer Molecular Biology from the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Technology (NGS), where she was a recipient of the prestigious NGS PhD Scholarship. As an inventor and patent holder of a novel small molecule nuclear receptor activator indicated for the treatment of neuroblastoma, her research work was awarded the AAPS-NUS Prize (American Association of Pharmaceutical Society-National University of Singapore). She also holds a BS degree in Pharmacy with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, where she received the PSS Prize for Pharmaceutics awarded to the top graduating student in the class.
Outside of Vertex, Carolyn is a retired competitive squash player, a high intensity interval training enthusiast, and an inspiring but untalented oil painter.
Sara Radcliffe, President and Chief Executive Officer, California Life Science Association (CLSA)
Sara Radcliffe was appointed the president and chief executive officer of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) in December 2014. She formerly served as the Executive Vice President for Health at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Previously, Sara served as Senior Director, Biologics & Biotechnology at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). She also served in the Alliance and Technology Group at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals as a Research and Development Policy Analyst, working on evaluation and communication of the promise, ethics, and impact of rapidly-developing technologies in DNA Research. In addition she worked for the Core Services Committee of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Sara holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College.
Stephen Ritoch, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Blaise Group International
For the past eighteen years Stephen M. Ritoch has been the founding Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Blaise Group International, Inc. (BGI), a global leading retained executive and board search and strategic services firm exclusively focused in the Life Sciences.
Prior to co-founding BGI, Mr. Ritoch served on the senior executive search team of a national executive search firm. Mr. Ritoch helped the company obtain a larger market-share for a desired IPO. Previously, Mr. Ritoch was an operations and business development specialist with a focus on growth strategies, corporate partnering, talent acquisition and organizational development. He has served in many high profile capacities with a variety of domestic and multi-national companies.
Mr. Ritoch has been an entrepreneur with two prior start-up companies. Mr. Ritoch is a noteworthy executive advisor and coach to many high profile and influential senior executive leaders within industry, academia and government institutions. He is an investor and collaborative partner in several pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. Mr. Ritoch has been published in the business community, internal corporate enterprises, philosophy and ethics sectors.
He had previously served on the Boards of MyPage, Inc. and Sports Zombie, Inc. Mr. Ritoch was also an Advisory Council member to Hope Funds For Cancer Research.
Mahendra G. Shah, PhD, Managing Director, Vivo Capital
Dr. Shah is a highly successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur and executive. He is also the founder and executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Shah currently serves on the board of Soleno Therapeutics, Impel NeuroPharma, and a member of the board of trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a 12 board member and charter member of EPPIC and a charter member of TIE.
Before joining Vivo in 2010, he was the founder, chairman and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric focused specialty pharmaceutical company. From 1993 to May 2003 he was the chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company. From 1991 to October 1999, he was vice president of E. J. Financial Enterprises, Inc., which manages a fund that invests in healthcare companies.
Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University and his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Pharmacy from L.M. College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India.
Komathi Stem, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, monARC Bionetworks
Komathi Stem, MS is passionate about transforming drug development by rethinking the way clinical trials are designed and executed. As an entrepreneurial systems thinker, she is focused on sparking an ecosystem change that accelerates research through greater collaboration across the healthcare ecosystem. She is currently the Founder and CEO of monARC Bionetworks, a healthcare data collection
and analytics company focused on helping patients share their health and digital data to accelerate research and participate in clinical trials anywhere, anytime.
She has 24 years of pharmaceutical and biotech industry experience as a senior global leader at Genentech, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly, where she built and led multi-functional global departments. As a Global Innovation Leader for Genentech, she has tested and transferred into the business, patient centric solutions for accelerating clinical research and reducing costs. Several of these solutions have sparked new startups focused on accelerating recruitment in clinical trials by leveraging mobile technologies and telemedicine for decentralized clinical trials.
Komathi is a biomedical engineer with diverse pharma/biotech leadership experience ranging from global clinical operations, strategic innovation, portfolio management, medical affairs and sales/marketing. She has extensive experience in multiple therapeutic areas including: Oncology, Neuroscience, Endocrine, Immunology, Cardiology, Respiratory, Infectious Disease, Gastroenterology and Rare Diseases.
Alex de Winter, PhD, Managing Director, GE Ventures
Alex de Winter is a managing director at GE Ventures, where he has led investments in Labcyte, RainDance Technologies, Syapse, and Veracyte. Alex joined GE Ventures from Mohr Davidow Ventures, where he served as a board observer for CardioDx, Corventis, Crescendo Bioscience, DVS Sciences, and Personalis. He started his career as a research scientist with 454 Life Sciences and Pacific Biosciences. Alex has an MBA from UC Berkeley, a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford, and graduated from Amherst College.
Samuel Wu, MD, PhD, Managing Director, Acuris Partners
Sam has been a healthcare venture capital investor since 2002. He is a founding partner at Acuris, which was recently launched by the MedImmune Ventures team out of AstraZeneca. Previously he was the managing director of MedImmune Ventures' West Coast office from 2010 to 2016, and a principal at SV Life Sciences, where he invested in a broad range of biopharmaceutical, platform and medical device companies. Sam is or has been a board member of Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (NASDAQ:AGTC), Cerapedics, Hydra Biosciences, Ocular Therapeutix (NASDAQ:OCUL), and the California Life Sciences Institute. Prior to his VC career, he was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company, leading teams of consultants serving life science clients on M&A, portfolio analysis and other strategic issues.
Sam holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Biochemistry from Harvard University, attended Stanford University School of Medicine where he earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry as a Howard Hughes Fellow, and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Asish Xavier, PhD, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.
Asish is based in the Johnson & Johnson California Innovation Center in Menlo Park, CA. Asish focuses on venture investments in biotechnology and diagnostics. Asish joined JJDC in 2004, and has led or co-led investments in over 20 biotech, diagnostics and medtech deals.
Asish previously worked in business development at BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corporation (King of Prussia, PA) which was acquired by Pfizer in 2007. While at BioRexis, he assisted the company in raising a $30 million round of financing. Asish has worked in business development at Structural GenomiX, Inc. (San Diego, CA), acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008; and, was a project leader at Message Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Malvern, PA).
Asish received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and a MBA 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. Asish was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University.
Matthew Yates, PhD, Vice President, Corporate Business Development, Eli Lilly and Company
Currently, Matt is a vice president in Eli Lilly and Company’s Corporate Business Development group where he focuses on the integration of external Innovation. He works across scientific and business areas with the goal of advancing science and impacting Lilly’s portfolio. His role focuses on bringing together scientists from inside and outside the company to bring new medicines to the patients who need them.
Prior to his current role, Matt spent over 15 years in Lilly’s Small Molecule Design and Development organization where he led teams of cross functional scientists delivering diverse portfolios of projects. Most recently he led the technical teams responsible for delivering the commercial processes and regulatory packages of four Phase 3 programs, including the recently approved Verzenio™. He had responsibility for a team of scientists at the discovery interface focused on bringing the best molecules into cinical studies, supporting the small molecule portfolio through clinical proof-of-concept, and supported human exploratory (Phase 0) projects aimed at providing early mechanistic insights. Matt earned his bachelor of science in chemistry at Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Rice University.