Abraham Heifets was a Massey Fellow at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Brain Institute, where his doctoral work used machine learning to help plan organic syntheses, a long-standing challenge in chemistry. Previously, Dr. Heifets researched high-performance data processing at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center and contributed to the artificial intelligence system of the world-champion robotic soccer team at Cornell University, from which he holds two previous degrees. Dr. Heifets has presented his work at the National Institutes of Health, the American Chemical Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He is an author on 19 papers, patents, and patent applications. Abraham was also named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006.
Izhar Wallach received his Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and his B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion). His Ph.D. work was primarily focused on algorithms for reducing biases in molecular docking and his research has been published extensively in multiple scientific journals. Dr. Wallach has industrial research experience at Keddem Bioscience, a small-molecule drug discovery start-up, where he developed novel algorithms for pharmacophore inference and designing universal screening libraries.
Andrew W. Lo, who is a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering. Prof. Lo founded AlphaSimplex Group LLC and QLS Advisors, co-founded BridgeBio Pharma, is a Director of Roivant Sciences, a member of the Board of Overseers of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, an advisory board member of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and a member of the NIH Cures Acceleration Network Review Board. His awards include Batterymarch, Guggenheim, and Sloan Fellowships; the Paul A. Samuelson Award; the Eugene Fama Prize; the IAFE-SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year; the Global Association of Risk Professionals Risk Manager of the Year; the Harry M. Markowitz Award; the Managed Futures Pinnacle Achievement Award; and he has been named one of TIME’s “100 most influential people in the world.”
John Hamer, who is a managing partner at DCVC Bio. Previously, Dr. Hamer was a Managing Director of Monsanto Growth Ventures and a Managing Director at Burrill & Company. He founded and served as CEO of Arête Therapeutics and was the Chief Scientific Officer and eventually President and CEO of Paradigm Genetics. Earlier, Dr. Hamer was a Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University, where he was a David and Lucille Packard Fellow and an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow.
Mike Varney, who was most recently head of Genentech’s Research and Early Development and a member of the Roche Executive Committee. Dr. Varney had been recruited to Genentech to build its small molecule discovery capability, which now accounts for more than 40% of Genentech’s development pipeline and has delivered Erivedge® and Cotellic® to the market. Earlier in his career, Dr. Varney pioneered structure-based drug design as a founding employee at Agouron, which delivered Viracept®, Xalkori®, and Inlyta®. He was named a Hero of Chemistry in 2018 by the American Chemical Society.
Robert Mittendorff is a general partner and leads healthcare at B Capital Group, a fund with $6 B AUM. Dr. Mittendorff has been involved in investments and associated exits with public equity value or acquisition value that exceed $10 B. Prior to B Capital, Dr. Mittendorff was a Partner and Co-Head of healthcare at Norwest Venture Partners. He is a board certified emergency physician and former public company operating executive. Prior to his career in venture capital, Dr. Mittendorff was the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Hansen Medical Inc., which was acquired by Auris. He has launched multiple products including the Magellan & Sensei X robots.
Bruce Roth, who is best known for inventing Lipitor®. Dr. Roth was previously Senior Vice President of Research and Early Development of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech, and Vice President of Chemistry at the Pfizer Global Research and Development Ann Arbor site. He has received numerous awards including the 2013 Perkin Medal, the highest award given to industrial chemists in the United States, and was named a Hero of Chemistry in 2008 by the American Chemical Society. In 2013, he was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Division Hall of Fame and in 2015 received the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service of Society. Dr. Roth is the inventor or co-inventor of 54 issued U.S. patents and the author or co-author of 51 manuscripts, 35 published abstracts, and 9 book chapters and review articles.
Lori Kunkel has more than two decades of experience in oncology and immunology drug development and commercialization. Dr. Kunkel presently serves on the Board of Directors of Curis, Inc., Nurix Therapeutics, and Oric Pharmaceuticals. She also chairs the Scientific advisory boards of Elevation Oncology and Rain Therapeutics, and serves as a clinical advisor to Enliven Therapeutics, Indapta Therapeutics, Jasper Therapeutics, Oncopeptide, Inc and Oryzon, S.A. She was previously the acting Chief Medical Officer and served on the board of Loxo Oncology (sold to Eli Lilly). She was formerly Chief Medical Officer at Pharmacyclics (acquired by AbbVie) and CMO at Proteolix, Inc. (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals), where she contributed to the global approvals of cancer therapeutics IMBRUVICA® and Kyprolis®, respectively. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Kunkel spent ten years in academic medicine and served as a faculty member at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Kunkel obtained a medical degree from University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of California, San Diego. She is board certified in internal medicine and held board certifications in hematology and oncology.
Kemal Malik has 30 years of experience in global pharmaceutical research and development. He has been responsible for bringing many innovative medicines through R&D to successful commercialization. From 2014 to 2019 he was a member of the Executive Board of Management of Bayer AG, responsible for innovation across the Bayer group. He was also responsible for Bayer LEAPS, the organizational unit responsible for strategic venturing in areas of disruptive breakthrough innovation. Prior to his appointment to the Bayer Board he was Head of Global Development and Chief Medical Officer at Bayer Healthcare for ten years, responsible for all development and medical governance issues, where he delivered twenty consecutive positive phase III trials including several blockbusters such as Xarelto® and Eylea®. Dr. Malik qualified in medicine at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (Imperial College London) and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians.
Mike Varney, who was most recently head of Genentech’s Research and Early Development (gRED) and a member of the Roche Executive Committee. Dr. Varney had been recruited to Genentech to build its small molecule discovery capability, which now accounts for more than 40% of Genentech’s development pipeline and has delivered Erivedge® and Cotellic® to the market. Earlier in his career, Dr. Varney pioneered structure-based drug design as a founding employee at Agouron, which delivered Viracept®, Xalkori®, and Inlyta®. He was named a Hero of Chemistry in 2018 by the American Chemical Society.
Nick Saccomano has a nearly 35-year track record in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, including twenty years of experience at the executive level in research and development organizations. Dr. Saccomano was most recently the Chief Science Officer and Site Head at Pfizer’s Boulder facility, where he led a 170-person research and development team. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Saccomano was the Chief Science Officer at Array Biopharma which was acquired by Pfizer for $11.4 B in 2019. At Array, Dr. Saccomano was responsible for the teams that advanced ten clinical-stage compounds, including seven drug approvals to date. Dr. Saccomano has also served as the Chief Technology Officer at SomaLogic Inc., where he led scientific and technical teams to advance the company’s proteomics platform.
Ron Dror is an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Dr. Dror leads a research group that uses machine learning and molecular simulation to elucidate biomolecular structure, dynamics, and function, and to guide the development of effective, safe medicines. He collaborates extensively with experimentalists in both academia and industry. He has published over 100 papers, including more than 30 in Science, Nature, and Cell. Before joining Stanford, Dr. Dror served as second-in-command of D. E. Shaw Research. He earned graduate degrees in computer science and biology at MIT and the University of Cambridge.
Siegfried Reich has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical and biotech experience developing more than 20 drug candidates including Viracept for HIV and Inlyta for kidney cancer. Most recently, Dr. Reich was the executive vice president and CSO of Turning Point Therapeutics which was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb for $4.1 B in 2022. Prior to Turning Point, Dr. Reich was the SVP of research and co-founder of eFFECTOR Therapeutics where he delivered 3 first-in-class clinical assets. Earlier in his career, Dr. Reich was a research fellow at the Lilly Biotech Center in San Diego, where he led fragment-based and structure-based design efforts across the discovery portfolio.