About Us

About Us

Board of Directors

Timothy Shannon, M.D.

Dr. Shannon is the Chairman of the Board of Arvinas and a Venture Partner at Canaan Partners. He also serves on the boards of Canaan portfolio companies IDEAYA Biosciences, Nextcure, Spyryx Biosciences, Vivace Therapeutics, and VaxInnate Corporation.

Previously, Dr. Shannon was President and Chief Executive Officer of CuraGen, a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, after serving as Executive Vice President of R&D and Chief Medical Officer. He also held positions of increasing responsibility for Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Business Group, including Senior Vice President of Global Medical Development. Prior to his career in industry, Dr. Shannon was an Assistant Professor in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division at Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Shannon received his postgraduate medical training at the Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School and Boston University. He earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut and has a B.A. in Chemistry from Amherst College.

Andrew Levin, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Levin is a Managing Director at RA Capital Management. He is active in both public and private investments in companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics, and research tools. Prior to his current position at RA Capital, he was a Vice President at H.I.G. BioVentures and the Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

He holds a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

John G. Houston, Ph.D.

Dr. Houston is the President and Chief Executive Officer. Previously he was  the SVP of Specialty Discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb. He spent over 18 years at BMS in roles of increasing responsibility and had accountability for all Discovery Biology disease teams as well as various Discovery technology departments and was site head of the BMS Connecticut facility. He was a member of the BMS R&D Executive Leadership team and chaired the Target Portfolio Committee which had  governance oversight in the discovery space. With his teams, and his research colleagues, he progressed over 200 compounds into early development, several of which advanced into late stage clinical trials and beyond.

He was also the principal architect and driver of the ‘Leveraging Technology’ initiative at BMS which oversaw the design and implementation of an industry leading integrated lead discovery and optimization process. This initiative created revolutionary changes in the discovery process at BMS with significant improvements in capacity, speed and cost control resulting in marked increases in research productivity and success rates.

John has over 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Houston worked at Glaxo Welcome Research and Development in the UK, where he served as head of the Lead Discovery Unit.

Dr Houston obtained his B.Sc degree in Medical Microbiology from Glasgow University and obtained his Ph.D. with Professor Brian Catley in Microbial Biochemistry from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.  John also completed post-doctoral studies on an MRC grant with Professor Julia Douglas at Glasgow University.

Brad Margus

Mr. Margus currently serves as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cerevance, a drug discovery company focused on brain diseases with sites in Massachusetts and the United Kingdom. From 2009-2012, as Chief Executive Officer of Envoy Therapeutics, Mr. Margus raised $8 million from investors, employed a unique technology to discover new compounds for brain diseases, and sold the company within three years for $140 million. From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Margus was the Chief Executive Officer of Perlegen Sciences, a leader in analyzing genetic variation that raised $257 million from investors, exceeded $100 million in revenues, and identified diagnostic markers for disease risk and drug response.

Mr. Margus has been a member of numerous government advisory committees as well as corporate and nonprofit boards. He currently serves on the Boards of Second Genome, Presage Biosciences and the non-profit A-T Children’s Project. Additionally, he serves as the Chair of the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials External Oversight Board at the NIH.

Mr. Margus obtained his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Kush M. Parmar, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Parmar is a Partner at 5AM Ventures. He currently serves as Director or Observer on the Boards of Achaogen, Arvinas, Audentes Therapeutics, Cleave Biosciences, Novira Therapeutics and Pulmatrix, and previously served as Board Observer for Envoy (acquired by Takeda). Dr. Parmar is a Fellow of the Society of Kauffman Fellows.

Previously, he was an NIH-sponsored M.D./Ph.D. Physician Scientist Fellow at Harvard Medical School, where he completed clinical clerkships at the Massachusetts General Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. Dr. Parmar also founded a nonprofit international development organization called the Cruz Blanca Initiative.

Dr. Parmar received an A.B. in Molecular Biology and Medieval Studies from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from Harvard University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Liam Ratcliffe, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Ratcliffe is a Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners, where he concentrates on biopharmaceutical investing. He joined New Leaf in September 2008. Dr. Ratcliffe previously served as Senior Vice President and Development Head for Pfizer Neuroscience, as well as Worldwide Head of Clinical Research and Development. Additional positions during his 12 years at Pfizer included Vice President of Exploratory Development for the Midwest region (based in Ann Arbor, MI) and Head of Experimental Medicine at Pfizer’s Sandwich, UK Laboratories.

Dr. Ratcliffe received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Cape Town and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He completed his internal medicine training and fellowship in Immunology at Groote Schuur Hospital and associated teaching hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa.

Jon Soderstrom, Ph.D.

Dr. Soderstrom is currently the Managing Director of the Office of Cooperative Research at Yale University. The Office is responsible for commercializing inventions resulting from Yale’s scientific research, including patent license agreements, strategic corporate partnerships and the formation of new business ventures. Since joining the Office in 1996, he has participated in the formation of more than 25 new ventures, including polyGenomics, Molecular Staging (acquired by Qiagen), Agilix, Asilas Genomic Systems, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, PhytoCeutica, Protometrix (acquired by Invitrogen), Iconic Therapeutics, Applied Spine Technologies, HistoRx, VaxInnate, Affomix and Kolltan Pharmaceuticals. Collectively, these companies have raised over $450 million in professional venture capital.

Dr. Soderstrom was a founding Board Member and past President of the Association of Federal Technology Transfer Executives. He was also a member of the Licensing Executive Society and Association of the University Technology Managers, where he was the 2008 President, and also served as the Vice President for Public Policy and member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Dr. Soderstrom is frequently asked to lecture and teach seminars on various aspects of the technology transfer process and economic development both within the United States and abroad. He has testified before Congress on technology transfer issues and served as an expert witness in patent infringement litigation.

Stephen Squinto, Ph.D.

Dr. Squinto is a Venture Partner with OrbiMed who brings over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience. Dr. Squinto was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals and recently served as its Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion’s Global Head of Research and Development. From 1988 to 1992, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Regeneron, he held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work.

Dr. Squinto received his B.A. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.