BIO Investor Forum Advisory Committee

  • Recommend
  • Tweet
  • Print
  • Email

John Chambers
Vice-Chairman and Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, ROTH Capital Partners

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

Chambers earned his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Union College. He is based in our New York office.

Cayce Denton
Vice President, TPG Biotech

Cayce Denton joined TPG Biotech in 2010, where she focuses on drug discovery and development, personalized medicine and healthcare services investments. TPG Biotech is part of the growth equity and venture investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With more than $1 billion under management, TPG Biotech targets investments in drug discovery and development, personalized medicine, healthcare services and industrial applications of biotechnology. Ms. Denton currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Karos Pharmaceuticals, PatientSafe Solutions and Trevi Therapeutics.

Previously, Ms. Denton managed finance for the Nutropin and Lytics franchises at Genentech, where she also spent time in a CFO Rotation Program, in R&D Finance, Financial Planning and Analysis, Audit and Treasury. Prior to Genentech, she was in Business Development at Novartis in Cambridge, where she helped execute a ~$700M partnership with Alnylam. Prior to Novartis, she worked in biotech venture capital at Atlas Venture and was an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston’s Technology Group.

Cayce holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the F. H. Shields Fellowship and co-founded the Biotech Investment Group, and a B.S. from M.I.T. in Biology.

Vikas Goyal, MBA 
Principal, S.R. One, Limited

Vikas joined SR One in January 2011, after interning with SR One since 2009. Prior to joining SR One, Vikas was a consultant at McKinsey and Co, a co-founder of Extera Partners, and a business development manager at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Over his career, Vikas has supported business and corporate development activities for nearly 50 large and small public, venture-backed, and angel funded life science companies.

Vikas received his BA in Neurobiology from Harvard University, and his MBA in Health Care Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of Class 17 of the Kauffman Fellows Society.

Vikas represents SR One on the board of Calcimedica, Macrolide Pharmaceuticals and Spero Therapeutics.

Jason Hafler
Director of Investments, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures

Dr. Hafler is currently the Director of Investments at Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures (SGBV), based in Cambridge, MA. Previously, Dr. Hafler worked in the early stage biotech community in Boston for several firms including RaNA Therapeutics, Atlas Venture and Flagship Ventures.

Dr. Hafler earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge studying molecular genetics and immunology. He graduated with honors from Bowdoin College with a concentration in biomedical sciences and visual art, where he also served on the College’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Hafler currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols school and on The Board of Directors of The Magdalene College Foundation.

Paulina Hill
Principal, Polaris Partners

Paulina Hill is a Principal at Polaris Partners. Paulina joined Polaris in 2011 and focuses on investments in healthcare.
Paulina serves on the boards of Arsenal Medical, Faraday Pharmaceuticals and KinDex Pharmaceuticals and is an observer on the boards of MicroCHIPS and 480 Biomedical. Paulina also works closely with Arsia Therapeutics, an early-stage Bob Langer-founded startup which she was actively involved in spinning out of MIT.  Paulina serves on the board of The Capital Network, a non-profit that provides fundraising education to startup entrepreneurs and is part of the Lead Mentor team for Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England.

Prior to joining Polaris, Paulina completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Chemical Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the laboratory of Bob Langer, Paulina worked on developing novel biomaterial scaffolds and drug delivery systems for neural applications. Paulina is the founding president of the MIT Postdoctoral Association, and served on the MIT Intellectual Property Presidential Committee.

Paulina completed her PhD in Molecular Medicine with a Tissue Engineering focus at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Her graduate school work resulted in over 40 published abstracts, awards and peer reviewed manuscripts. Her research contributed to numerous patents and the formation of the startup KeraNetics to commercialize the platform technology. Paulina graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University with a quadruple major in biochemistry, neuroscience, biology and chemistry. She attended East Carolina on an athletic scholarship where she was captain of the women’s tennis team.

Charlotte Hubbert

Charlotte Hubbert
Program Investment Officer, Program Related Investments
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Charlotte Hubbert is a Program Investment Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on Venture Investing for innovative and technologies that support foundation initiatives in Global Health.

Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Charlotte was a Vice-President at H.I.G. BioVentures focusing on investment opportunities in the life sciences, including therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices at all stages of development. Charlotte started her career in early stage biotech at Accelerator Corporation, an investment vehicle focused on identifying, evaluating, financing and managing emerging therapeutic technologies. During her tenure, Charlotte was involved in the strategic development and management of five companies, including Oncofactor, Groove Biopharma, Acylin Therapeutics, Xori and Pharmselex. Charlotte currently serves on the board of directors of Synlogic, Inc.

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 University of Washington. Charlotte is a member of the Kauffman Society of Fellows (Class 14).

Stephen T. Isaacs
President and CEO, Aduro Biotech

Stephen T. Isaacs has served as our Chairman, Director, President and Chief Executive Officer since 2008. Prior to Aduro, Mr. Isaacs founded Cerus Corporation, a biomedical products company commercializing the Intercept Blood Systems, in 1991. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cerus from 1991 to 2004. Prior to Cerus, Mr. Isaacs founded and served as Chief Executive Officer and President of HRIS Associates and HRI Research, both biotechnology companies focusing on research and development. He held a non-teaching faculty position in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley from 1978 to 1986. Mr. Isaacs has published over 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is an inventor on over 40 issued patents. Mr. Isaacs holds a B.A. degree in Biochemistry from University of California Berkeley, and had graduate training in organic chemistry in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Chemistry at Berkeley. Because of Mr. Isaacs’ biomedical expertise, extensive knowledge of our company and experience as founder and executive officer of biotechnology companies, we believe he is able to make valuable contributions to our board of directors.

Jennifer Landress, CMP 
Sr. VP 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 Industry 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.

Arlene Morris
CEO, Willow Advisors

Ms. Morris is currently the CEO of Willow Advisors, a consultancy advising biotech companies on financing, strategy and business development. Previously she was the CEO and Director of Syndax an oncology/immunoncology company developing entinostat for estrogen receptor positive metastatic breast cancer and lung cancer as well as melanoma. Under her leadership the compound advanced to a Phase 3 NCI sponsored study in combination with exemestane to reverse resistance to hormone therapy in patients. The compound was awarded Breakthrough Status by the FDA. Previously she was the chief executive officer and member of the board of directors for Affymax, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company located in Palo Alto, Calif., which was spun out of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2001 to develop a pipeline of synthetic peptide-based drug candidates including treatment of anemia in dialysis patients. During her eight years as president and CEO at Affymax, Ms. Morris led the company through the development of OMONTYS peginesatide, a strategic collaboration with Takeda and an Initial Public Offering and several follow on offerings. Prior to Affymax, Ms. Morris was the president and CEO of Clearview Projects, an advisory firm which counsels biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on strategic transactions. Before that she was the senior vice president of business development at Coulter, a biotech company focused on immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, where she completed numerous transactions including a $1.0 billion merger between Corixa and Coulter. Ms. Morris began her career at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as a sales representative rising to vice president of business development.

In addition to Syndax, Ms. Morris serves on the board of directors of Neovacs SA, Palatin, and Biodel, all public companies.  She also serves on the board of the Foundation for Research and Development at the Medical University of South Carolina. She was recently on the boards of the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and BIO .

Julie Papanek 
Principal, Canaan Partners

Julie joined Canaan Partners, a technology and healthcare venture capital fund with $4.2 billion under management, in 2013. As a Principal, she concentrates on biopharmaceutical, digital health and consumer medical device investments.  Prior to joining Canaan Partners, Julie worked at Genentech in a variety of roles spanning business development, development and commercial primarily within oncology and endocrinology.  She currently observes the boards of Cellular Research, Dermira, Aldea Pharmaceuticals, Chrono Therapeutics and CytomX Therapeutics.

Julie earned her MBA from Stanford¹s Graduate School of Business, MPhil from Cambridge in BioScience Enterprise and B.S. from Yale in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

Jit Patel
Vice President of Research Business Development, JDRF

Dr. Patel is Vice President of Research Business Development at JDRF.  JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to facilitate development of novel therapeutics to better treat and cure type 1 diabetes and its complications.  Currently JDRF is currently sponsoring more than $568 million in research, advocacy and development in 17 countries.  As head of Research Business Development, Dr. Patel is responsible for establishing and managing strategic, mission-aligned industry R&D partnerships with biopharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Dr. Patel obtained his B.Sc. and PhD from Kings College, University of London. He did his postdoctoral training at the NIH, and subsequently joined AstraZeneca Biopharmaceuticals.  After holding several key leadership positions with increasing responsibilities in drug discovery, Dr. Patel transitioned to pursue a career in business development. As a scientist, Dr. Patel has authored more than 80 scientific papers and edited two books in Neuroscience.  As a business development professional, he has executed a substantial number of strategically transformative deals across the R&D value chain and industry sector.


John Poulos
VP, Head of Licensing and Acquisitions, AbbVie

John Poulos is Vice President and Head of Licensing and Acquisitions for AbbVie where he leads his team in business development activities including licensing, acquisitions and venture investments.
During his 37 years with Abbott/AbbVie, Mr. Poulos has held leadership roles in Finance, General Management and Business Development including General Manager for Abbott’s business in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey Region from 1991 to 1996.  Since 1996, Mr. Poulos has held several business development positions and currently leads the Licensing and Acquisition function for AbbVie. 
During his career, Mr. Poulos was integrally involved in the assessment and acquisition of Knoll/BASF Pharmaceuticals, Kos Pharmaceuticals, Facet, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Piramal Healthcare and Pharmacyclics. He also has negotiated numerous partnerships and transactions which were instrumental in building the Abbott/AbbVie pharmaceutical portfolio.

Mr. Poulos earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and an M.B.A in finance from Indiana University and was named the 2014 Frank Barnes Mentor Award recipient by the Licensing Executives Society.

Sara Radcliffe
President & CEO, CLSA

Sara Radcliffe was appointed the president and chief executive officer of the California Life Science Association 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.

David Woodhouse 

Chief Financial Officer, NGM Biopharmaceuticals

David is the Chief Financial Officer at NGM Biopharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company committed to the discovery and development of transformational biologics for the treatment of a broad spectrum of serious diseases, including cardio-metabolic diseases, hepatic diseases and cancer.  David joined NGM in March 2015 from Goldman Sachs where he was a managing director and co-head of U.S. biotechnology investment banking. As a member of Goldman's healthcare investment banking group for nearly 13 years in both the New York and San Francisco offices, David's responsibilities included corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions advice for the biotechnology, specialty pharma and diagnostics industries. In this capacity, he advised on several billion in equity and equity-linked financings as well as over $90 billion in M&A transactions.

Prior to Goldman Sachs, David worked in various business development and research roles at Dynavax and Amgen. David graduated, with highest honors, from UC Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in Pharmacology. He also earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Stanford University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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

Asish is based in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, California. Asish focuses on venture investments in biotechnology and diagnostics. Asish joined Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation in 2004, and has invested in over a dozen biotech and diagnostics 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. 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.