Board of Directors

Steven Gillis

Chairman of Board | ARCH Ventures

Steven Gillis has been a managing director at ARCH Venture Partners since 2005. Dr. Gillis was a Founder and Director of Corixa Corporation and served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer since inception and as its Chairman, until its acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to Corixa, Dr. Gillis was Founder and Director of Immunex Corporation, which was acquired by Amgen for $16B. During his tenure, Dr. Gillis served as Immunex’s Director of Research and Development, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Immunex’s Research and Development subsidiary. He was interim Chief Executive Officer of Immunex following its majority purchase by American Cyanamid Company, and was also a Board Member.

He is credited as a pioneer in the field of cytokines and cytokine receptors, directing the development of multiple marketed products including Leukine, Prokine and Enbrel, and the regulatory approval of Bexxar and the novel vaccine adjuvant, MPL. Dr. Gillis received his B.A. from Williams College and his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. He is an immunologist by training with over 300 peer-reviewed publications, and serves as a Director or Chairman in multiple private and publicly-held biotechnology companies.

Sacha Mann

Takeda Ventures

Sacha Mann is a Senior Partner at Takeda Ventures. She has a decade of experience in venture investing and complimentary skills in company creation, management as biotech CEO, business development, and R&D. She has been an advisor and director for various life science companies, incubators/accelerators, and venture capital funds.

Previously she was the CEO of Biosys, a venture-backed clinical stage microbiome company, and led several healthcare investments at Inventages. Prior to Inventages, Sacha was an early stage investor focused on innovation and investment at Archangels and BDC Capital. Sacha holds a BSc Honours in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, a MSc in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from Simon Fraser University and is a Kauffman Fellow.

Seth Lieblich


Seth focuses on 8VC’s Bio-IT investment area where he invests, builds and supports companies across areas such as therapeutics, tools, bio-infrastructures and broader applications of biology. He joined 8VC from Amgen’s Business Development technology group, where he was responsible for search & evaluation and transactions for platform technologies across a number of therapeutic and functional areas. Seth was also responsible for strategic academic partnerships across all therapeutic and geographic areas. Prior to Amgen, Seth was at ZS Associates where he led teams engaging in market research, sales force design, and strategy. Prior to ZS Associates, Seth was co-founder and COO of Protomer Technologies, a Pasadena-based biologics startup.

Seth received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the California Institute of Technology and holds a B.S and M.S. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University.

Brad Margus

Independent Board Director

Brad Margus currently serves as Executive Chair of Cerevance, a clinical-stage drug development company that he co-founded and led as Chief Executive Officer from 2016 to April 2022, focused on pursuing novel targets for brain diseases. From 2009-2012, he served as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Envoy Therapeutics, which employed a target technology platform to discover new compounds for brain diseases, and then sold the company to Takeda Pharmaceuticals. From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Margus was the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Perlegen Sciences, a leader in analyzing genetic variation that raised over $250 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 Arvinas (Nasdaq: ARVN), Neurona Therapeutics 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.


Benjamin P. Chen, PhD

Panacea Venture

Benjamin has been a partner at Panacea Venture since 2018, he is a scientist, entrepreneur, investor and merchant banker. Most recently Benjamin served as the CEO of ImaginAb, Inc. a ventured backed company developing a cutting-edge platform to address an urgent unmet need in immuno-oncology. Immediately before that, he was the Chairman and CEO of London based Immune Targeting Systems, Inc. leading the immune therapy company through significant strategic growth, innovative product development and establishing a presence in France and North America. Prior to returning to operational roles, he spent nine years as a Managing Director at Burrill & Company, a global life sciences venture firm where he evaluated investment opportunities and assisted a global clientele in completing licensing, partnering and M&A transactions. He also played a key role in establishing the Malaysian Life Sciences Fund I and served as a director. Earlier in his career as an R&D executive, he has experience in building talented research team in immunology, stem cell biology, genomics, gene therapy and molecular diagnostics in both biotechnology start-ups and multinational pharmaceutical companies including Roche Diagnostics and Novartis.


Ben received his academic training in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University. Benjamin resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Seiji Miyahara

Taiho Ventures

Dr. Miyahara is a Senior Investment Director at Taiho Ventures. He has over 18 years of experience in the life sciences industry spanning R&D, company creation and venture capital investments across a broad range of modalities. Currently he serves as a member of the board of directors or board observer for multiple Taiho portfolio companies. Prior to joining Taiho Ventures in 2016, he worked at Taiho Pharmaceutical for 12 years mainly in oncology field, where he played a critical role in advancing multiple programs into the clinical stage. He received his PhD in life science from Hokkaido University, Japan.

Leslie Williams

Co-Founder, President & CEO

Leslie J Williams, a 25-year biopharmaceutical industry veteran, is an experienced biotech CEO and board of directors’ member with demonstrated expertise in building companies, raising funds, and negotiating strategic collaborations.  Leslie is founding CEO, President & Director of hC Bioscience, Inc. an innovator and leader in protein editing with tRNA based therapeutics. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Ocular Therapeutix (OCUL), Windtree Therapeutics (WINT), and CSCRI (Coral Sea Clinical Research Institute).  In addition, she serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Life Science Leader, the Advisory Board of Life Science Cares and serves as an EIR at UVA and University of Iowa and Operating Partner at Accelerator LSP.  Ms. Williams was formerly the founder and CEO of ImmusanT, developing immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases and was CEO at Ventaira Pharmaceuticals developing therapies using the lung as a portal for delivery.   Williams prior pharmaceutical experience includes INO Therapeutics, Merck and GSK.  She was also a venture partner at Battelle Ventures where she sourced and evaluated deals and assisted early-stage technology companies with strategy, management, business development and M&A.. Williams holds an MBA from Washington University, John Olin School of Business, and a B.S. degree with honors in nursing from the University of Iowa. Before entering industry, she was a critical-care nurse at Duke University, Medical College of Virginia and at the University of Iowa.