Kurt von Emster, Interim Chairman

Managing Partner – Abingworth LLP

Mr. von Emster joined Abingworth in January 2015 and now serves as its Managing Partner, bringing over 25 years of experience in life science investment in both private and public companies. He holds board positions at the Abingworth portfolio companies CRISPR Therapeutics, Kesios Therapeutics and SutroVax. In addition, he is on the boards of CymaBay. Kurt began his career as a Biotechnology and Healthcare Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton. He then became a General Partner at MPM Capital. In 2009, he co-founded venBio, a US healthcare investment firm and most recently was a Partner in the San Francisco office. Kurt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics and is a CFA. He is based in Menlo Park.

Patrick Enright

Managing Director – Longitude Capital

Mr. Enright is a Managing Director and Founder of Longitude Capital. Prior to Longitude Capital, Mr. Enright was a Managing Director of Pequot Ventures where he co-led the life sciences investment practice. Prior to Pequot, he was a Managing Member of the Delta Opportunity Fund at Diaz & Altschul Capital Management. Mr. Enright began his investment career at PaineWebber Development Corporation. Mr. Enright also has significant life sciences operations experience including senior executive positions at Valentis (VLTS), Boehringer Mannheim (acquired by Roche) and Sandoz (now known as Novartis). Mr. Enright currently serves on the boards of Aimmune (AIMT), Aptinyx, CardioDx, Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), Orbus Therapeutics and SutroVax. Selected prior board memberships include Codexis (CDXS), Corcept Therapeutics (CORT), Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR), Horizon Pharmaceuticals (HZNP), InfaCare Pharmaceuticals, MAP Pharmaceuticals (MAPP, acquired by Allergan), Prestwick Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Lundbeck), Sequenom (SQNM, acquired by LabCorp) and Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD). Mr. Enright holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

Patrick Heron

Managing General Partner – Frazier Healthcare

Patrick is a Managing General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Partner’s Life Sciences team. He joined the firm in 1999 and opened Frazier’s Menlo Park office in 2003. Throughout his 12 years as a General Partner, Patrick has led or co-led investments across nearly 20 companies.
Patrick has successfully partnered with entrepreneurs across a range of company types and stages, from early-stage anti-infectives companies to >$100M commercial-stage dermatology companies. Patrick has also been active in company formation around both early- and later-stage assets. He has led and served as director for many successful Frazier Life Sciences investments, including Tobira Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan), Marcadia (acquired by Roche), Calixa (acquired by Cubist), Cerexa (acquired by Forest), PreCision Dermatology (acquired by Valeant), MedPointe (acquired by Meda), and Collegium (NASDAQ: COLL). He currently serves on the boards of Imago BioSciences, Iterum Therapeutics, Silvergate Pharmaceuticals, and Zavante Therapeutics.
Prior to joining Frazier, Patrick helped develop McKinsey & Company’s West Coast biotechnology consulting practice, where he led projects involving mergers and acquisitions, product launches, sales force optimization, corporate partnering, and research prioritization.
Patrick received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He also holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and Morehead Scholar.

William J. Newell

President & CEO – Sutro Biopharma

Mr. Newell has over 15 years of senior management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Sutro Biopharma as CEO in January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, a venture-backed company developing clinical assets for respiratory diseases. Mr. Newell also was Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at publicly-traded QLT and served in several senior management positions at public-traded Axys Pharmaceuticals where he ultimately served as Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development prior to Celera Genomics acquisition of Axys. For the 15 years prior to joining Axys, Mr. Newell practiced law at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Grant Pickering

President & CEO, SutroVax

See Management Team

Rob Hopfner, PhD

Managing Partner – Pivotal bioVenture Partners

Rob Hopfner, RPh, PhD, MBA joined Pivotal in 2017, and brings a long track record of working successfully with entrepreneurs to get novel, important medicines through development and onto the market.  Rob is a member of the Board of Directors of Entasis Therapeutics, Iterum Therapeutics, Oculis, and Sutrovax.  He was formerly either a board member or board observer on Aciex Therapeutics (sold to Nicox S.A.), CivitasTherapeutics (sold to Acorda Therapeutics), Cydan, Dermira (NASDAQ: DERM), Hyperion Therapeutics (sold to Horizon Pharma), Imara Pharmaceuticals, NextWave Pharmaceuticals (sold to Pfizer), PharmakeaTherapeutics, and Vtesse (sold to Sucampo Pharmaceuticals).  Other past investments where Rob played a key role included Kezar Life Sciences, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MDGL), Menlo Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MNLO), Merus BV (NASDAQ: MRUS) and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TTPH).

Rob was previously a Managing Director at Bay City Capital and prior to that worked in business development and investment roles at DuPont Pharmaceuticals and at Ag-West Biotech, respectively.  Rob holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  He completed his post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School.  Rob won numerous awards during his research career, including the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal Award in 2000, and he published several articles in top medical journals based on his work.  Rob started his career as a pharmacist.

Peter Hirth, PhD

Life Science Advisor

Dr. Hirth co-founded and led Plexxikon, Inc. as its CEO as it built a novel, structure-guided drug discovery platform that advanced several new chemical entities into the clinic, including Zelboraf, which was FDA approved and led to the company’s 2011 acquisition by Daiichi Sankyo for $935 million. Prior to Plexxikon, Dr. Hirth was President of SUGEN, Inc., where he was instrumental in building the company from its inception as well as advancing several kinase inhibitors through clinical trials, including Sutent, which was FDA approved and led to the company’s 1999 acquisition by Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. for $728 million. Prior to SUGEN, Dr. Hirth was Vice President of Research at Boehringer Mannheim where he successfully led the company’s erythropoietin program to approval in 1989, which was sold under the name Recormon. Before moving into industry, Dr. Hirth was a research scientist with the Max Planck Institute following his post-doctoral work at University of California, San Diego and obtaining his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Heidelberg University, Germany.

Moncef Slaoui, PhD

Former GlaxoSmithKline Chairman of Vaccines

Dr. Slaoui oversaw research and development as Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline R&D, served on the Board of Directors, and most recently built the GSK Vaccines division into the lead position in the industry as the Chairman of GSK Vaccines. During Dr. Slaoui’s 30-year tenure at GSK, he was instrumental in reorganizing the company’s R&D structure to facilitate innovation and improve productivity. He was directly involved in the discovery, development and oversight of GSK’s vaccine pipeline, which was the most productive source of vaccines in the industry — yielding 14 new vaccines in the past decade and assembling the broadest portfolio of vaccines (48), of any company, with nearly a billion doses distributed annually. Dr. Slaoui received a PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. Dr. Slaoui was a professor of Immunology at the University of Mons, Belgium and is a member of the advisory board of the Qatar Foundation and on the board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

Board Observers

Nisha Marathe

Investment Analyst – Genentech – Roche Venture Fund

Nisha Marathe joined the Roche Venture Fund in 2016. Prior to RVF, she was an associate with Mission Bay Capital and Business Manager at QB3@953, a life-sciences incubator based in San Francisco. Dr. Marathe completed her post-doctoral training at UCSF where she also worked as a Technology Analyst with the Office of Technology Management. She holds a Ph.D. from UCSD in Molecular and Cell Biology and received her B.S. from UCLA, graduating cum laude and with College Honors.

Cristina Ghenoiu

Vice President – Longitude Capital

Dr. Ghenoiu is a Vice President at Longitude Capital. Prior to joining Longitude Capital in 2016, she was an Associate Analyst in Biotechnology Equity Research at Cowen and Company where she covered large and small/mid cap biotechnology companies. Dr. Ghenoiu undertook her postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University after earning her Ph.D. in Chromosome and Cell Biology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Biomedical Science at Cornell University. Her research has been published in prestigious journals including Science and Molecular Cell, and presented at a multitude of national and international meetings. Dr. Ghenoiu has been actively involved with Longitude Capital’s investment in Molecular Templates (MTEM). She holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry (magna cum laude) from Mount Holyoke College, where she was awarded high honors for her thesis in Computational Quantum Chemistry.