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.

David Moskowitz

8VC

David focuses on the Bio-IT space. Prior to joining 8VC, David completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University, where he concurrently received an M.S. in Statistics. His research focused on the development of statistical and machine learning approaches for analyzing genomics data, and the characterization of epigenetic changes associated with aging in T cells.

Previously, David was a Bioinformatic Analyst at Einstein College of Medicine, he worked on the genetics of aging and human disease. He performed his undergraduate studies in Computational Biology at Brown 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.

 

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.