Ali joined NEA’s healthcare team in 2007 and specializes in healthcare investments in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare services sectors. Prior to joining NEA, Ali worked as an intern and later as a consultant in business development at The Medicines Company, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing acute care cardiovascular products.
He previously held positions as a Venture Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and as a Healthcare Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers. He conducted basic science research in the fields of viral fusion inhibition and structural proteomics at the National Institutes of Health and at Duke University.
Ali concurrently earned his MD degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his MBA degree from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, where he graduated with Honors and was a Palmer Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude and received his bachelor’s degrees with distinction in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Chemistry from Duke University.[/toggle_content]
Mr. Crutchfield joined HMC in September 2008 and serves on the board of Optimal IMX. He also serves as the board observer for Aldagen, Innovative Biosensors, MaxCyte and Control Scan. In addition to his responsibilities at Harbert, he serves as the Chairman of the Commercialization Sub-Committee for the Alabama Innovation Council Study Commission, is serving on the Steering Committee of the Alabama Obesity Institute at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, is a Venture Fellow at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, is a Visiting Executive in Residence at Auburn University and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Southeast Medical Device Association, the Birmingham Venture Club, Alabama Launchpad and the Atlanta Venture Forum.
Mr. Crutchfield was also a Senior Executive at Cardinal Health, where he served as Vice President of New Ventures. Mr. Crutchfield has launched five successful new business ventures during his private and corporate career and has lead four merger and acquisition transactions. Mr. Crutchfield is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Chemistry.
Dr. Esposito, the Founder and Principal of The Esposito Group (TEG), has over 25 years of experience in international business and technology management in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in both Fortune 100 and emerging companies.
Dr. Esposito’s experience spans the operating areas of technology development, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, marketing, business development, and strategic planning in the product areas of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
Ron Evens is President of M.A.P.S. 4 Biotec, Inc, consulting to biotechnology and pharma industry for Medical Affairs & product launch, especially strategy, planning, staffing, & operations for clinical trials, plus medical education, publication planning, medical science liaisons, pharmacy affairs, & product information (marketed & pipeline). Dr. Evens also is clinical professor at University of Florida addressing drug & biotechnology industry product development. Ron serves on national advisory boards for University of Florida, Biotechnology Development Incubator & American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Research Foundation; previously he was a Board member for Cheladerm, Inc and Oragenics, Inc (drug companies); HDMA Healthcare Foundation; and Medical societies in Hematology and Oncology. Ron has a B.S in Pharmacy from the University of Buffalo, Pharm.D. and residency from University of Kentucky, and Marketing certificate from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Bard Geesaman began working with MPM in 2001 as part of the management team for the portfolio company Elixir Pharmaceuticals. In 2006 he became a venture partner at MPM and co-founded Solasia, a specialty pharmaceutical company in Asia developing oncology products. Prior to working at MPM, Dr. Geesaman was a General Partner at F2 Ventures, a U.K. based investment firm where he managed the private investments. Dr. Geesaman received his Ph.D. in systems biology from M.I.T., his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his B.S. in neurobiology from U.C. Berkeley. He is board certified in internal medicine and did his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Currently, President, BioStrategies, Inc., a new enterprise development firm specializing in the early-stage, strategic development of university-based technologies and associated commercial opportunities within the life sciences industry. Examples of companies founded and managed include ErythroGen, Inc. (artificial blood substitute and gene therapy) and Sl;aacute;inte Bioceuticals, Inc. (chemotherapeutic agents), serving as President/CEO of both.
Fred Hutchison’s outstanding leadership and unstinting support of clients is the key to Hutchison Law Group’s bedrock philosophy. He has believed from his career’s beginning that attorneys owe more to clients than conventional legal counsel. Fred has helped make Hutchison Law Group synonymous with innovation and growth among hundreds of business clients around the Southeast.
His practice is focused on venture capital, securities and mergers and acquisitions. He enjoys counseling clients, both from the legal aspects, but also on business issues involved in starting and growing companies.
Fred has served as a general partner in Research Triangle Ventures, a $10.3 million early stage venture capital fund focused on companies in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina.
Garheng is a General Partner at Sofinnova Ventures–a life science focused venture fund with $1.4 billion under management. He has served as chairman and director on the boards of numerous companies, and operated as interim CEO for two venture-backed companies. For the 10 years prior, he was a General Partner at Intersouth Partners. Before his career in private equity, Garheng spent time at GlaxoWellcome (clinical development and marketing), McKinsey & Company (associate), and TherOx (business development), a private life science company. He has also been involved in commercializing early-stage technology with the Duke University Office of Science and Technology. Garheng received his M.D. (Medical Scientist Training Program), Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, and M.B.A. from Duke University, graduating at the top of his medical and business school classes. He also holds B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences from Stanford University.
Martin joined Osage University Partners in 2009 and focuses on novel biopharmaceutical products, medical devices, diagnostics, and research tools. Prior to joining Osage, Martin conducted research in the areas of DNA repair at the Sloan-Kettering Institute and in thrombin activation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
He serves as a Director of Philly BioBreak, a networking group dedicated to fostering a thriving life science community in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Martin is also an advisor to the University City Science Center’s QED Program and a mentor to the University of Pennsylvania’s Life Science Management program.
Martin holds a MA in Biotechnology from Columbia University, and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Richard V. McCloskey, M.D., serves as a consultant to Johnson and Johnson and as a scientific adviser to Endo Pharmaceuticals, prior to which he was Vice President of Medical Research at Centocor, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Previous positions at Centocor have been Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, and Vice President of Clinical Research.
Dr. McCloskey is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and received his M.D. from the University of Rochester.
Neil McFarlane is Vice President and General Manager of the UCB, Inc. Immunology Business Unit. Mr. McFarlane is responsible for the infrastructure to support UCB efforts related to the treatment of autoimmune and inflammation-related diseases in the U.S. He is also a member of UCB’s U.S. Leadership Team.
Prior to joining UCB, Mr. McFarlane was Managing Director of an investment and advisory services firm focused on the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare industries. In this role, he served as a board member and strategic advisor for early-stage life sciences organizations.
Previously at Genzyme, Mr. McFarlane was a Vice President responsible for the company’s European Transplant Business, before leading its International Transplant Business with regional teams in Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. His background also includes clinical practice, military service, and founding a specialty healthcare consulting firm.
Mr. McFarlane holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Florida.
Mr. Molloy is a principal of Florida Gulfshore Capital, an early stage venture investment company. He serves as a board member of Dietbet, EmergingMed, Pasteuria Bioscience, Pathfinder Therapeutics, Prioria Robotics, Vertical Health, and Woohoo Foods, and as an observer to the board of Lehigh Technologies.
Previously, Mr. Molloy was a management consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton and before that served as a Captain in the British Army, in a Commando Engineer Unit and then with the Defense Mapping Agency in Washington, D.C. He has a BSc in Civil Engineering from Sheffield Hallam University (England) and an MPPM from Yale University School of Management.
Managing Director, Syngenta Ventures
David Pierson is Managing Director of Syngenta Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Syngenta Corporation, with US headquarters in the Research Triangle Park, NC. Syngenta is one of the top five global agriculture companies with 27,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues exceeding $12 billion. At Syngenta David is making venture investments in companies with a broad range of technologies applicable to agriculture. Prior to joining Syngenta David was a Partner at Intersouth Partners, a traditional venture capital firm located in Durham, NC, which has invested in more than 100 private companies and manages $780 million in seven venture capital limited partnerships.
Prior to entering the venture capital field, David held numerous senior level positions in pharmaceutical marketing, sales, and new product commercialization at Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacia Corporation.
David holds a B.S. in Engineering with a Concentration in International Security Studies from The United States Military Academy and an M.B.A. from Duke University. David served as an Army Officer in line leadership positions from 1985 to 1990 as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and on the border with North Korea. David currently serves on the Boards of numerous privately held companies, foundations, and entrepreneurial organizations.
Venture Partner and Managing Director
Seasoned entrepreneur and biotech executive, Christy Shaffer, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience in the life science industry. Following her career as a clinical scientist, international project leader and Associate Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Burroughs Wellcome Co., she joined Inspire pharmaceuticals in 1995 as the first, full-time employee. She was responsible for raising over $300m for the company, including taking the company public in 2000. As President and CEO, Dr. Shaffer grew the company from 20 scientists to nearly 250 employees with revenues of over $100 million. Under her leadership, Inspire was named as “Best Place to Work for Scientists” by the Scientist magazine, and “Best Place to Work in North Carolina.”
Dr. Shaffer retired from Inspire in March, 2010 and the company was acquired by Merck in 2011. Dr. Shaffer played an integral role in the Chancellor’s Innovation Circle to enhance entrepreneurship and innovation across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus (2010 – 2012). She has served on numerous boards including the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the NC Biotechnology Center, the Biotechnology Institute, BIO, PhRMA and Clinipace Worldwide. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is the current Foundation Board Chair for the NC School of Science and Mathematics.
She currently serves on two corporate boards: EvoApp, a rapidly growing business intelligence software company in Durham, NC and Clearside Biomedical, an Atlanta and RTP-based ophthalmic company (board chair) and two advisory boards: The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill (Vice-Chair) and the Sid Martin Biotech Incubator associated with the University of Florida. She received the Hamner Leadership Award at the NC BIOTECH meeting in 2011. Dr. Shaffer is a receptor pharmacologist by training, earning her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee. Her post-doctoral training was completed at The Chicago Medical School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John R. Uhrin joined the Customized Fund Investment Group of Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC in November of 2010. Mr. Uhrin co-managed the $232 million North Carolina Innovation Fund, a fund of funds and a co-investment fund that was created by the NC Treasurer’s office with assets from the NC Pension fund. Previously, Mr. Uhrin was a Venture Partner for Harbert Venture Partners. Mr. Uhrin joined Harbert Management Corporation (HMC) in 2002 and has more than twenty-five years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with Eli Lilly, Genentech and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Uhrin served on the board of nContact Surgical and assisted several companies through board visitation rights, such as Aldagen, Intelliject and Maxcyte. He also serves as a board member or advisor to numerous regional life science focused organizations, including the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, University of Virginia Ivy Fund, the CIT GAP Biolife Fund of Virginia, and the Board of Visitors for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
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 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.
Michael joined H.I.G. Ventures in 2004 and focuses on investments in therapeutics and medical devices. Michael is involved in all stages of the investment process.
Prior to joining H.I.G., Michael was a principal at Innovations Foundation, a firm focused on the creation, financing and growth of high technology companies in the life sciences, information technology and engineering sectors. At Innovations Foundation, Michael was instrumental in building multiple high growth companies based on technology derived from academic or federally sponsored research programs.
Scott joined Pappas Ventures in February 2006. Prior to that he was an investment manager and research analyst for Silverback Asset Management’s life sciences fund where he focused on healthcare securities investing. Before joining Silverback, he spent three years at Chicago Growth Partners (formerly William Blair Capital Partners), a private equity firm with approximately $1 billion under management, where he was a Vice President focusing on healthcare venture capital investments. Previously, he spent three and a half years in investment banking at Lehman Brothers, where he worked in the health care group in New York covering biotechnology, medical devices and drug delivery, the financial sponsors/leveraged finance group in London, and the media/telecom group in Hong Kong.