Jerel Davis, Ph.D., Chairman
Managing Director, Versant Ventures
Jerel is a Managing Director at Versant Venture Management, LLC, a healthcare investment firm. He has played a critical role in Versant’s company creation strategies and has been heavily involved in a number of public and private biotech companies such as Crispr (CRSP), BlueRock (sale), Repare (RPTX), Akero (AKRO), Graphite (GRPH), Chinook (KDKY), Inception 4 (sale), Inception 5 (sale), Northern (sale), Rayze, Ventus, Turnstone, and Tentarix. Prior to joining Versant, Jerel was an Associate Principal at McKinsey and Company where he advised healthcare corporations in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and molecular diagnostics. He has worked in a number of healthcare markets globally, including the U.S., Europe, China, and Russia. Jerel earned his doctorate from Stanford University, where he also completed post-doctoral research.
Brendan Bulik-Sullivan, Ph.D.
Brendan is a partner at GV focusing on life sciences investments. Before GV, Brendan worked on applied statistics and machine learning research in genetics and biotechnology. Brendan led machine learning at Gritstone Oncology, where he designed machine learning models for personalized immuno-oncology therapeutics. Prior to that, he worked at the Broad Institute where he developed statistical methods for human genetics research. His research has been published in top journals including Nature, Science, Nature Biotechnology, and Nature Genetics.
Brendan holds a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in statistical genetics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
John Cassidy, Ph.D.
Investment Director, SoftBank Vision Fund
John is an Investment Director at SoftBank Vision Fund 2, focused on life sciences and health tech. Before joining SBIA, he was an investor at biotech venture firm Arix Bioscience and a consultant in the life sciences practice of L.E.K. Consulting. John has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University College London and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Imperial College London, and he has published scientific articles in PNAS, Nature Communications, the Journal of Neuroscience, and eLife.
Jane Pritchett Henderson
Chief Financial Officer,
Jane has an extensive track record of financial and corporate strategy leadership, including financing private and public companies, partnering and M&A, and building teams and operations. She has a combination of corporate, board and investment banking experience growing public and private biopharmaceutical companies. Jane has served as Apogee Therapeutics’ Chief Financial Officer since January 2023. Prior to joining Apogee Therapeutics, Jane has held executive level roles in finance and corporate development at numerous biotechnology companies, including Adagio Therapeutics, Turnstone Biologics, Voyager Therapeutics, Kolltan Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celldex) and ISTA Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Bausch + Lomb). In addition to her industry experience, Jane's extensive healthcare investment banking experience includes the execution of more than 95 mergers and acquisitions, and advisory and financing deals as managing director and other senior roles at HSBC Holdings plc, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Lehman Brothers, and Salomon Brothers. Ms. Henderson holds a B.S. in psychology from Duke University and currently serves on the board of directors of several companies, including Akero Therapeutics, Inc. since April 2019 and IVERIC bio, Inc. since January 2018.
Steven P. James
Steven James has over 35 years of biopharmaceutical experience and has been involved in building and leading numerous successful companies and the discovery and development of important approved drug products. Mr. James was most recently president and Chief Executive Officer and director of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics until its acquisition by Ikena Oncology. Previously, he was president and CEO of Labrys Biologics until it was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Labrys, Steve was president and CEO of KAI Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Amgen. He has held leadership positions at Exelixis, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and began his career at Eli Lilly. He holds a Masters in Management from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Brown University. Steve is currently a director of Allakos Inc. and Lyterian Therapeutics. He was formerly a director of Ocera Inc. (acquired by Mallinkrodt) and Cascadian Therapeutics (acquired by Seattle Genetics).
Nandita Shangari, Ph.D.
RA Capital Management
Nandita is a Managing Director at RA Capital Management. Prior to RA Capital, Nandita was a Managing Director at Novartis Venture Fund (NVF), a life science investment firm affiliated with Novartis, where she led the NVF US team and focused on early stage and company creation investment opportunities. Prior to NVF, she held various positions at Novartis in Business Development and Licensing and as a key member of the Kymriah Global Program Team, helping to bring this novel cell therapy to market. Nandita also held strategic and group head roles in the Novartis Preclinical Investigative Toxicology organization. She received a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Dolca Thomas, M.D.
Venture Partner, Samsara BioCapital
Dolca is a Venture Partner at Samsara BioCapital and an independent director at Chinook Therapeutics. She served as the Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at Equillium from January 2021 through February 2022. Previously, she served as Principia’s Chief Medical Officer from 2018 until its acqusition by Sanofi in September 2020. Prior to Principia, Dolca was Vice President and Global Head of Translational Medicine for Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease at Roche; Vice President of Clinical Development and Clinical Immunophenotyping at Pfizer, and Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the Biosimilars Research and Development Unit at Pfizer. Dolca began her industry career at Bristol-Myers Squibb as Director of Global Clinical Development in Immunology, where she was involved in late-stage clinical drug development, including the approval of the immunomodulatory drug Belatacept.
Prior to her career in drug development, Dolca was a tenured track faculty member at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Nephrology and Transplantation Medicine. Dolca received a B.A. in sociology and a M.D. from Cornell University. Dolca resides in the San Francisco, Bay Area in California.
Markus Warmuth, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer,
Monte Rosa Therapeutics
Markus has over 20 years of experience in data-driven drug discovery and precision medicine. He joined Monte Rosa Therapeutics from Third Rock Ventures, where he worked as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and played an integral role in the venture capital firm’s formation of new biotech companies. Markus is the Chief Executive Officer at Monte Rosa Therapeutics. Prior to his role at Third Rock Ventures, Markus spent seven years as the Chief Executive Officer of H3 Biomedicine, a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the discovery and development of genomics-based precision oncology treatments. Markus has also previously served in multiple roles at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), including as the Director of Kinase Biology, Head of Oncology Pharmacology. While at Novartis, he and his teams were involved in the development of Ceritinib and Ribociclib as well as the discovery of allosteric inhibitors of SHP2 and Abl, amongst others. He also currently serves as a Venture Partner at Versant Ventures. He earned his M.D. from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany and currently resides in Boston, MA.
Marcelo Bigal, M.D., Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Marcelo is the President and CEO of Ventus Therapeutics, and has extensive experience in neurology. He has published over 330 peer-reviewed papers in the field of neurology, as well as five books. He has been recognized by the American Academy of Neurology with the Harold G. Wolff Award for excellence in research in neurology.
Marcelo has over 15 years of pharmaceutical experience spanning R&D, medical affairs, and scientific affairs. Prior to Ventus, he was CMO and CSO at Teva Pharmaceuticals, leading the team that developed fremanezumab (Ajovy) for several forms of migraine, as well as deutetrabenazine (Austedo) for the treatment of Huntington's disease and Tardive Dyskinesia, as well as other medicines in neurology, psychiatry, pain, and respiratory diseases approved in the US, Canada, and EU.
Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Marcelo was a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Neurology, as well as the Director of Research at New England Center for Headache and Director of Research at Montefiore Headache Center.