Investment Advisory Board

The Blavatnik Investment Advisory Board is made up of leading executives and investors from successful life sciences companies across the country. The board was formed with the support of the Provost and all members have deep technical expertise in the life sciences, extensive business backgrounds and strong connections to Yale.

Investment Advisory Board

Stephen Knight, M.D., M.B.A.
President & Managing Partner

Stephen Knight joined F-Prime Capital in 2003 where he serves as President and Managing Partner. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for over 25 years and invests broadly across healthcare.  Steve serves on the Board of Directors of Innovent Biologics, Iora Health, Pulmocide, Semma Therapeutics and Denali Therapeutics. Steve previously served on the boards of several private and public health care companies including, Blueprint Medicines (NASDAQ: BPMC) FoldRx Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD), NextWave Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), Proteostasis Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTI), and Respivert, Ltd (acquired by J&J).

Prior to joining F-Prime Capital, Steve held various senior management roles in private and public biotechnology and consulting companies. He also was a researcher at AT&T Bell Laboratories, the National Institutes of Health, and Yale University. He holds an M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Organization and Management and received a B.S. in biology from Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Liam Ratcliffe, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
Managing Director

Liam Ratcliffe is a Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners, and concentrates on biopharmaceutical investing. Liam joined New Leaf in September 2008. Liam previously served as Senior Vice President and Development Head for Pfizer Neuroscience, as well as Worldwide Head of Clinical Research and Development. Additional positions during his 12 years at Pfizer included Vice President of Exploratory Development for the Mid West region (based in Ann Arbor, MI), and Head of Experimental Medicine at Pfizer’s Sandwich, UK Laboratories. As Head of Neurosciences, Liam was responsible for the development of several successful late-stage projects and marketed products, including Lyrica, Chantix and Geodon. In previous roles, he gained extensive experience in early drug development and translational research across multiple therapeutic areas, including inflammation, pain, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases and genito-urinary medicine.

Liam began his career in the pharmaceutical industry in a medical marketing role at Roche in South Africa. He received his M.D. degree and Ph.D. degree in immunology from the University of Cape Town and his M.B.A. degree from the University of Michigan. Liam completed his internal medicine training and fellowship in Immunology at Groote Schuur Hospital and associated teaching hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa.

Liam also serves on various industry panels, including the Leadership Counsel of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, the Advisory Council of the Keck Graduate Institute, the Life Sciences Advisory Panel of Frankel Consulting and the Pfizer External Advisory Panel for Ophthalmology, the AstraZeneca External Advisory Panel for Research & Development Strategy and Anti-Infectives.

Jason Rhodes, M.B.A.
Partner

Jason Rhodes is a partner at Atlas Venture and focuses on the creation, development, and business strategy of novel therapeutics companies. He sits on the boards of Atlas portfolio companies Replimune, Bicycle Therapeutics, and several seed-stage companies. Prior to joining Atlas, Jason was president and CFO of Epizyme (NASDAQ: EPZM), which he joined when it was a private, research-stage company and helped lead through a series of successful partnerships and an IPO in 2013. Prior to that Jason was vice president of business development at Alnylam (NASDAQ: ALNY), and he was a founder and partner with Fidelity Biosciences before that. Jason received his BA from Yale University and his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the advisory board of the BIDMC Institute for RNA Medicine, the investment advisory board of the Blavatnik fund at Yale, the industry advisory board of the Models to Medicine (M2M) Center at UMass Amherst, and the Berklee College of Music Presidential Advisory Council.

Tim Shannon, M.D.
General Partner

For more than 25 years, Tim Shannon has been an entrepreneur, executive, researcher, professor, and practicing physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine. A Canaan investor since 2009, we rely on Tim’s operating experience to help companies grow from their earliest stages to funded companies creating value through partnerships, M&A and IPOs. Most recently, Tim was startup CEO and currently serves as the Chairman of Arvinas, named by Fierce Biotech as a Fierce 15 company of 2015.

Tim was one of the early institutional investors and remains on the board of CytomX Therapeutics, which completed a $92 million initial public offering in October 2015 (NASDAQ: CTMX). He was a co-lead Series A investor in Civitas Therapeutics, which was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics in October 2014 for $525 million, and a lead Series A investor in Novira Therapeutics, Inc. which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in December 2015. In addition, he serves on the boards of IDEAYA Biosciences, NextCure, Spyryx Biosciences, Vivace Therapeutics and VaxInnate Corporation.

Prior to Canaan, Tim was president and chief executive officer of CuraGen, a publically traded biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, after serving as executive vice president of R&D and chief medical officer. Earlier he was the senior vice president and head of global clinical development for Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Business Group. Tim began his career as assistant professor of the pulmonary and critical care division at Yale University School of Medicine.

Tim received his post graduate medical training at the Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School and at Boston University, earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut, and has a B.A. in chemistry from Amherst College.

David Singer, M.B.A.
Managing Partner

David B. Singer is Managing Partner of Maverick Ventures.  He joined Maverick in 2004.  Mr. Singer is a founder and former CEO of three healthcare companies:  Affymetrix, Inc., Corcept Therapeutics, Inc. and Genesoft Pharmaceuticals, Oscient’s predecessor.   Mr. Singer currently serves on the boards of several private companies in the fields of healthcare information technology, healthcare delivery, and biotechnology.  He currently serves on the board of Castlight Health (NYSE: CSLT), and has served on the boards of several public companies, including the three companies he founded.

Mr. Singer received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.  Previously, he was a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Rand Corporation’s Health Advisory Board.   He is currently a Sterling Fellow of Yale University, Vice Chair of College Track and Vice President of the San Francisco Health Commission.

Stephen Squinto, Ph.D.
Venture Partner

Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., is a Venture Partner with OrbiMed who brings over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience.  Dr. Squinto was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and recently served as its Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion’s Global Head of Research and Development.  From 1988 to 1992, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Prior to Regeneron, he held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools.  He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work.  Dr. Squinto received his B.A. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.

Mary Tanner
Senior Managing Director

Mary Tanner is a Senior Managing Director of EVOLUTION Life Science Partners, an investment banking and advisory boutique, offerings securities through Gordian Investments, LLC, Member FINRA/SPIC.

Ms. Tanner is also a co-founder, with Frederick Frank, of Life Sciences Partners, LLC, a financial advisory and consulting firm. Life Sciences Partners concentrates on strategy and financial advice to life sciences companies. Previously, she served as Senior Managing Director at Lehman Brothers Inc. and Bear Stearns & Co., and as a Managing Director of Peter J. Solomon Company.

Ms. Tanner has devoted more than 25 years to the global healthcare industry. Her expertise includes the ethical pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, diagnostics, medical devices, healthcare services, cosmetics and consumer medicine industries. In addition to her well-known work with large companies, Ms. Tanner specializes in domestic and cross-border transactions between large and small companies, including corporate partnering and minority investments.

Ms. Tanner’s clients have included: Pfizer in its $60 billion acquisition of Pharmacia; Amgen in its $16 billion acquisition of Immunex; Rhône-Poulenc in its acquisition of Rorer; followed by Rhône-Poulenc Rorer in its acquisition of U.K. company Fisons; BASF/BASF Pharma, in its acquisition of U.K. company Boots Pharmaceuticals and numerous other strategic transactions. Ms. Tanner has directed over 130 initial public offerings of life sciences companies.

Ms. Tanner received a B.A. from Harvard University. Ms. Tanner is a member of the Board of Directors of Lineagen, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company and Genticel SA, an immune oncology company. She serves on the Dean’s Council of the Yale School of Medicine and the Advisory Board of the Yale School of Management.

Peter L. Thoren
Executive Vice President

Peter L. Thoren is Executive Vice President of Access Industries, a privately held, U.S.-based industrial group with long-term investments worldwide and offices in New York, London and Moscow.  Access’s industrial focus spans four key sectors: natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, real estate, and technology and ecommerce.

Before joining Access in 2001, Mr. Thoren was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Walker Digital Corporation.  Previously, he served in senior management positions with Salomon Inc and Citigroup and was an attorney with Rogers & Wells law firm in New York.  In addition to corporate boards, Mr. Thoren is on the boards of The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Vice Chairman), The Institute of Strategic Dialogue, The Center for National Policy/Truman National Security Project, ThanksUSA, and the Darien Historical Society.

Mr. Thoren graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Phi Beta Kappa) and has degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Georgetown University Law Center.  He is a member of the N.Y. State Bar and of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Mr. Thoren is married and has three children.