• Joan Seoane, PhD
    Co-founder, Member of the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board
    Joan Seoane is currently the Director of the Translational Research Program of the Vall dīHebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) integrated in the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Head of the Gene Expression and Cancer Laboratory, and member of the Executive Board of VHIO. He is also an ICREA Research Professor and associate professor of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He previously worked at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer as a Research Fellow and Research Associate. At VHIO, he has generated a multidisciplinary group focused on translational research in brain tumors. Joan's group has identified several therapeutic targets against cancer, his publications have generated more than 4000 citations and has collaborated with several pharmaceutical companies (Eli Lilly, Novartis, MSD) to develop anti-cancer agents.
  • Judit Anido, PhD, MBA
    Co-founder and General Manager
    Judit holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Duke University (NC, US) with a certification in Health Sector Management and concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Judit was Associate at the Pipeline and Portfolio Planning team and collaborated with the Oncology & Hemathology Franchise (Rituxan team) at Genentech Inc. (CA, US). In addition, Judit received her PhD from the University of Barcelona (Spain) and has over 10 years scientific experience in translational oncology at the Vall díHebron Institute of Oncology. Judit has published peer-review papers in top scientific journals (Cancer Cell, EMBO Journal, Cancer Research, JNCI) and was awarded scholarships from the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC), Rafael del Pino Foundation, Caja Madrid Foundation and Duke Universityís Julian Connally Scholarship.
  • Stefan Larson, PhD
    Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors
    Stefan Larson is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Versant Ventures, and co-founded Northern Biologics in his role as President of Blueline Bioscience, a Toronto-based biotechnology incubator.

    Prior to joining Versant, Stefan was the co-founding CEO of Tornado Medical Systems, a revenue stage scientific and medical instruments company with product lines in high performance Raman spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography. He began his professional career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, serving clients in the healthcare and technology sectors as an Associate Principal in the firm. Stefan received his PhD in Biophysics from Stanford University, where he studied as a James H. Clark Graduate Fellow. He received his MSc in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto.
  • Brad Bolzon, PhD
    Chairman of the Board of Directors
    Brad Bolzon is a Managing Director with Versant Ventures. Brad brings more than thirteen years of global pharmaceutical industry experience to Versantís biotech investment team. He specializes in early-stage biotech investing with a particular emphasis on new company start-ups.

    Prior to joining Versant, Brad served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances with F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Under his leadership, Roche established alliances with over 75 biotech companies worldwide and significantly strengthened its product pipeline. Previously, Brad held executive roles at Eli Lilly in drug discovery, clinical research, regulatory affairs, and business development.
  • Jerel Davis, PhD
    Member of the Board of Directors
    Jerel Davis is a Partner with Versant Ventures. Since joining Versant in 2011, he has played a critical role in launching and investing in a number of Versantís portfolio companies including Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Crispr Therapeutics, Blueline Bioscience, Northern Biologics, Laguna Pharmaceuticals and several of the Inception Sciences discovery start-ups. He has also led Versantís execution of build-to-buy structured acquisitions with Celgene, Roche, and Bayer. Over the last few years, Jerel has focused on establishing Versantís presence in Canada, including the launch of new companies in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Prior to joining Versant, Jerel was Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company where he advised healthcare corporations in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and molecular diagnostics. He has worked in a number of healthcare markets globally including the US, Europe, China, Russia, and India. Jerel was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University until 2005 and in research at Amgen from 1999-2000.
  • Mary Haak-Frendscho, PhD
    Member of the Board of Directors
    Mary Haak-Frendscho serves as Chairman of the Board of Compugen, Inc., a subsidiary of Compugen, Ltd., devoted to translating in silico predicted targets into immuno-oncology therapeutics. Previously, she was CEO and member of the Board at Igenica Biotherapeutics, Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Haak-Frendscho was founding President, CSO and Board member of Takeda San Francisco, establishing and overseeing Takedaís Center of Excellence for Biologics. Earlier in her career Dr. Haak-Frendscho held positions of increasing responsibility at XOMA, Abgenix (now Amgen), and Genentech, where she secured collaborative relationships with external corporate partners and led therapeutic antibody programs. At Genentech, she played a key role in the development of omalizumab (Xolairģ).

    Dr. Haak-Frendscho has authored over 70 scientific articles and has over 30 issued plus pending patents. An immunologist by training, Dr. Haak-Frendscho obtained her BS from the University of Michigan, MLA from Washington University in St. Louis, MS from SUNY-Stony Brook, CSEP from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and PhD from the University of Wisconsin, where she has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences.
  • Ben Neel, MD, PhD
    Member of the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board
    Ben Neel is the Director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center (LIPCC) and Professor of Medicine at NYU-Langone Medical School. Benís research focuses on cellular signal transduction, with a particular interest in the biology and regulation of protein-tyrosine kinases and phosphatases, the role of RAS/ERK pathway mutations in developmental disease and malignancy, and the functional genomics of breast and ovarian cancer.

    Prior to LIPCC, Ben was the Director of Research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC), and Professor of Medical Biophysics and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto. Prior to PMCC, he was the William B. Castle Chair of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Ben holds a PhD in Viral Oncology from Rockefeller University, and an MD from Cornell University.
  • Josť Baselga, MD, PhD
    Co-founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Dr. Baselga is Physician-in-Chief at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and the AACR President-Elect. Dr. Baselga has conducted research that led to substantial improvements in survival for patients with multiple types of breast cancer. His works includes the clinical investigation of novel agents targeting the HER2 and EGF receptors. Dr. Baselga played a leading role in the pivotal clinical trials of trastuzumab, everolimus, lapatinib, and pertuzumab. Previously, he served as the Chairman of the Medical Oncology Service and Founding Director of the Vall díHebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona. He also was the chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and associate director of the MGH Cancer Center in Massachusetts. Dr. Baselga is also past President of ESMO, past President of SOLTI and a past member of the Board of Directors of ASCO and AACR. Dr. Baselga received his MD degree from the Universidad Autonoma of Barcelona and completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology at MSKCC. During his career, Dr. Baselga has published more than 350 peer-reviewed articles and over 400 abstracts and book chapters.
  • Gianni Gromo, MD, PhD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board and observer at the Board of Directors
    Gianni Gromo is a Partner at Versant Ventures, joining the firm in 2012. Gianni previously served as a senior executive with several pharmaceutical companies, most recently Hoffmann-La Roche, where he successfully led research and development teams. Gianniís roles at Roche included research head of global cardiovascular and metabolic research where he was responsible for all discovery and development activities in the cardiovascular, renal and metabolic areas; head of discovery research; global head of the metabolic and vascular disease business unit; and (more recently) head of the Roche China Research & Development center in Shanghai. Prior to Roche, Gianni was an assistant professor at the Immunobiology Research Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota and research director at Italfarmaco SpA, Milano, Italy. Gianni received his MD and PhD in clinical and experimental hematology at University of Milano. He sits on the Board of Directors of Novira Therapeutics (USA), Piqur (Switzerland), AAVilife (France/USA), Mosaic (Spain) and Theracon (France).
  • Brad Wouters, PhD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Brad Wouters is a Professor with the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. In addition, Brad serves as Director of the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) Hypoxia and Microenvironment Program, and as a Senior Investigator with the Selective Agents Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Brad is an internationally recognized leader in the field of molecular radiation oncology with a primary interest in understanding the cellular and molecular responses to hypoxia and their influence on the biological behavior of tumors.
  • Sachdev Sidhu, PhD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Sachdev (Dev) Sidhu joined the Donnelly Centre for Cellular + Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto in 2008 after ten years as a principal investigator in the Department of Protein Engineering at Genentech. The Sidhu lab has long been at the forefront of new technology development and Dev has been personally responsible for leading the development of phage-displayed synthetic antibody libraries. Dev also leads the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre and the Centre for Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics in Toronto.
  • Robert Rottapel, MD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Robert Rottapel is a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Professor and Amgen Chair in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at the University of Toronto. He is a Clinical Rheumatologist with special interest in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vasculitis, and scleroderma. Robert also serves as Program Director, Innovation in Target Validation, at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
  • Jason Moffat, PhD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Jason Moffat joined the Donnelly Centre for Cellular + Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto in 2007 and has broad interests in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation and cellular state. His lab uses genome-scale approaches and computational techniques to identify essential genes for cancer cell proliferation as well as genetic interactions that can associate function to unknown genes. More recently, the Moffat lab has been working in collaboration with the Sidhu lab on high-throughput approaches for synthetic antibody development against cell surface targets. Jason is a Canada Research Chair in the Functional Genomics of Cancer, and a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
  • Scott L. Friedman, MD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Scott L. Friedman is founding Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A preeminent scholar in his field, Scott is responsible for pioneering research that isolated and characterized the hepatic stellate cell and spawned an entire discipline that is now realizing its translational and therapeutic potential, with new anti-fibrotic therapies for liver disease reaching clinical trials. Scott interacts widely with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries in drug discovery and development as well as clinical trial design and has held many national leadership positions. His scientific work has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1985 and heís published more than 300 scientific articles.
  • Lee Babiss, PhD
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Lee Babiss is Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Laboratory Services at Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. He was formerly President and Director of Pharmaceutical Research at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. Prior to Roche; Lee spent seven years with Glaxo Inc., now GlaxoSmithKline, where he held senior positions, including Vice President of Biological Sciences and Genetics. He received his PhD in Microbiology from Columbia University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University, where he served as both an assistant and associate professor. He is an author on more than sixty publications. Lee has received numerous fellowship awards and grants and serves on several scientific advisory committees and boards.
  • Frank McCormick, PhD, F.R.S.
    Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    Dr. McCormick is the David A. Wood Distinguished Professor of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research at the UCSF School of Medicine. Before assuming his current affiliation with UCSF, Dr. McCormick was the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Onyx Pharmaceuticals. He also previously served as Vice President of Research at Chiron Corporation, and Vice President of Research at Cetus Corporation. Dr. McCormick received his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, England and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, England. Dr. McCormick is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has authored more than 300 scientific publications, edited five books, and holds 21 patents.