Board of Directors 2018-10-26T00:56:13+00:00

Samuel Saks, MD

Director

A board certified oncologist, Sam has more than 25 years’ experience developing specialty pharmaceutical products, including serving as founding CEO and Chairman of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to co-founding Jazz, Sam held a number of senior leadership positions at Alza Corporation (acquired by J&J), including Company Group Chairman, member of J&J’s Pharmaceutical Group Operating Committee and Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Group Vice President. He has also held clinical research positions in oncology at Schering-Plough Corporation, XOMA Corporation and Genentech, Inc. He has served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the oncology division of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Sam has served as interim CMO of Threshold Pharmaceuticals, and serves on the Boards of Directors for a number of companies, including Trubion Pharmaceuticals, TONIX Pharmaceuticals, Auspex Pharmaceuticals and Cougar Biotechnology. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Illinois.

Athena M. Countouriotis, MD

Director

Dr. Countouriotis brings more than 15 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life science industries. She has significant experience leading clinical development programs, from preclinical through clinical stages through to approval. Over the course of her career, she has been involved in multiple clinical programs, with a focus within oncology, both hematologic and solid tumor indications, that have supported regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Europe. Currently, Dr. Countouriotis is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of TP Therapeutics. Before joining TP Therapeutics, Dr. Countouriotis served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Adverum Biotechnologies and previously at Halozyme Therapeutics. Prior to that, she was Chief Medical Officer at Ambit Biosciences leading the development of quizartinib through the company’s initial public offering and acquisition by Daiichi Sankyo. Dr. Countouriotis also worked at Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb in various leading clinical development roles for several oncology products including Sutent® (sunitinib malate), Mylotarg® (gemtuzumab ozogamicin), Bosulif® (bosutinib) and Sprycel® (dasatinib). She holds an MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, completed her pediatric residency at the University of California (UC), Los Angeles, and completed additional training at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology program.

Atul Butte, MD, PhD

Director

A pediatric endocrinologist by training, Atul is an expert and pioneer in the field of Big Data and its uses in biomedicine. He is the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Institute of Computational Health Sciences at the UCSF. He is also the Executive Director for Clinical Informatics across the six University of California Medical Schools and Medical Centers. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Computer Science, at Stanford University and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. He is the scientific founder of three investor-backed, data-driven companies: Personalis, Carmenta and NuMedi. He has authored more than 200 publications. Atul was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, and recognized by the White House as an Open Science Champion of Change for promoting science through publicly available data in 2013. He also is a principal investigator of three major programs: the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine; ImmPort, the clinical and molecular data repository for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and the California Precision Medicine Consortium. Atul trained in Computer Science at Brown University, worked as a software engineer at Apple and Microsoft, received his MD at Brown University, trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gini Deshpande, PhD

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

A molecular biologist by training, Gini has more than 16 years of experience turning cutting-edge scientific concepts into products that benefit patients. As CEO of NuMedii, Gini structured the company’s critical partnerships with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies including Allergan, Astellas and Aptalis, and raised the initial rounds of financing. Before NuMedii, she helped companies identify optimal markets and whole-product solutions for their groundbreaking technologies, including Affymetrix and iPierian, and led innovation at Children’s Hospital Boston, where she focused on the creation of new devices for the tiniest of patients. Gini has helped commercialize early-stage technologies in research tools, diagnostics and therapeutics and has closed licensing deals worth several million. She 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.

Ted Driscoll, PhD

Observer

Ted is a Partner at Decheng Capital. Before Decheng, he was a Partner at Claremont Creek Ventures leading its efforts in digital healthcare and diagnostics. He led the first investments in Natera (IPOed in 2015), AssureX Health (acquired by Myriad Genetics for $410M) and GeneWeave Biosciences (acquired by Roche for $425M). Prior to entering venture capital, he was an early leader or founder of five successful startups – International Imaging Systems, Identix Diasonics, Focus Surgery and Be Here Technologies. An inventor with more than 50 patents, Ted has a PhD in Digital Imaging from Stanford University, a Masters in Computer Graphics from Harvard, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ravi Mhatre, MBA

Observer

Ravi has nearly two decades of venture capital experience and currently is a Partner of Lightspeed Venture Partners, where he focuses on investments in enterprise IT, mobility, and Internet and cloud-based services and applications. His current investments include Nutanix, Appdynamics, Natera, Mulesoft, Sailpoint, Edgespring, TheFind and Kixeye. He has also served as a Board member or Board observer for numerous successful venture-backed companies including net.Genesis, Verio, Riverbed, Lifeminders, Kosmix (acquired by Walmart), TutorVista (acquired by Pearson), Virsa (acquired by SAP), Waveset (acquired by Oracle), Rapsphere (acquired by Appsense), Masergy (acquired by Abry) and Webspective (acquired by Inktomi). Ravi holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.