Blake Byers, Ph.D.
PACT Board member and Interim President
Dr. Byers is an engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur who has been working with GV since 2010. As an investor, Blake partners with founders on life-science and digital companies — from drug development and healthcare delivery to financial services and information security. Blake’s life-science investments include Denali, Grail, and ARMO BioSciences, and his digital investments include Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll), Robinhood, Ionic Security, and LendUp.
Prior to GV, Blake helped start two companies, led research projects on biomedical engineering and stem cells at Stanford, and was an angel investor.
Blake received a Ph.D. and master’s in bioengineering from Stanford University and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in biomedical engineering and economics from Duke University.
James R. Heath, Ph.D.
Scientific Co-Founder and PACT Board member and co-founder
Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology; President-elect, Institute of Systems Biology, Seattle.
Dr. Heath is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and his awards include Jules Springer Award in Applied Physics (2000); the Feynman Prize (2000); the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences (2001), and the Spiers Medal from the Royal Society (2005). Dr. Heath directs the National Cancer Institute-funded NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center, and has been a founder of a number of startup companies, including MTI (acquired by Siemens in 2005), NanoSys, Inc., Integrated Diagnostics, Indi Molecular and Momentum Biosciences, which is a biotech incubator currently operating in Los Angeles. In 2009 Heath was named by Forbes as one of the top 7 innovators in the world.
Dr. Heath has founded or co-founded several companies, including NanoSys, MTI, Sofie Biosciences, and Indi Dx, and has served on the board of a number of organizations including the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. Jim graduated with a degree in Chemistry from Baylor University in Texas. He completed his Ph.D. in Physics and Chemistry from Rice University. He was awarded the 2000 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology. He became a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1999 and in 2009 he was named one of the seven most powerful innovators of the world by Forbes magazine.
Juan Jaen, Ph.D.
President of Arcus and PACT Board member and co-founder
Dr. Jaen has been engaged in all aspects of drug discovery and development for more than 30 years. In 2015, he co-founded Arcus Biosciences together with Terry Rosen. Prior to that, he was co-founder and President/Head of R&D at Flexus Biosciences, until its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $1.25 billion. Previously, he was Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery at ChemoCentryx. During his tenure there of just under 7 years, Juan led the discovery and progression into the clinic of 8 novel drug candidates in the immunology space. At ChemoCentryx, Juan led the discovery efforts for the multi-year collaboration with GSK, which generated over $100M in non-dilutive milestones and fees. From 1996 to 2006, Juan held various scientific management positions at Tularik (responsible for about 100 scientists in Medicinal and Computational Chemistry, as well as Structural Biology) and then Amgen Inc. (after its acquisition of Tularik in 2004), most recently as Vice President of Chemistry.
From 1983 to 1996, Juan held various scientific leadership positions at Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert. Juan holds a Visiting Scholar appointment (ChEM-H) at Stanford University and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Cleave Biosciences. Juan obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense in Madrid (Spain) and a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan. He has co-authored over 100 scientific papers and is an inventor on 50 issued U.S. patents. Juan has been responsible for the advancement of over 20 novel molecules into clinical development for diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, RA, diabetes and diabetic nephropathy, psoriasis, asthma, and vasculitis, among others.
General Partner, Canaan
Ms. Kjellson is a General Partner at Canaan Partners where she invests in biopharmaceutical and digital health companies that aim to transform care for patients. She focuses on therapeutics for serious and underserved conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disease and life-threatening infections and IT-enabled transformation of healthcare delivery. Some of Nina’s active investments include Annum Health, Tizona Therapeutics, Vineti and WellTok, on whose boards she also serves. Nina also previously led investments in Labrys Biologics (acquired by Teva), Eiger Biopharmaceuticals (EIGR), Trius Therapeutics (acquired by Cubist) and NovaCardia (acquired by Merck), among others.
As a leader of Canaan’s Women of Venture program, Nina is a vocal advocate for women entrepreneurs and investors. She serves as a mentor to Blueprint Health and Springboard Life Sciences and on the boards of Essential Access Health, the California Leadership Council for The Nature Conservancy and the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center. Previously, Nina was a General Partner at Interwest Partners, where she invested in life sciences for 14 years. She holds a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University.
Antoni Ribas M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Co-Founder and PACT Board member and co-founder
Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA); Director, Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC); Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) Center at UCLA; and Chair, Melanoma Committee at SWOG.
Dr. Ribas is a physician-scientist who conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered T cells, PD-1 blockade and BRAF targeted therapies. His National Cancer Institute (NCI), State of California and private foundation-supported research laboratory develops models of disease to test new therapeutic options, studies mechanism of action of treatments in patients and the molecular mechanisms of therapy resistance. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the recipient of a AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award and a NCI Outstanding Investigator Award.
Terry Rosen, Ph.D.
CEO of Arcus and PACT Board member and co-founder
Dr. Rosen has been leading successful drug discovery and development organizations in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries for over 30 years. In 2015, he co-founded Arcus Biosciences, a drug discovery company focused on the treatment of cancer by blocking tumor-induced immunosuppression. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Flexus Biosciences, a company created to develop small-molecule drugs to reverse tumor immunosuppression, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb early in 2015 for $1.25 billion. Prior to Flexus, Terry served as Vice President, Therapeutic Discovery (TD) at Amgen and as the site head for Amgen South San Francisco, having joined Amgen with the acquisition of Tularik in 2004. He was named Amgen Washington site head in 2006, transitioned to a leadership role heading Chemistry Research and Discovery in 2007 and became the head of Protein Sciences in 2011. He and his leadership team were responsible for the creation of the TD organization, a group of 550+ staff responsible for all of Amgen’s large and small molecule drug discovery efforts.
Prior to joining Amgen, Terry held several executive positions at Tularik, including Executive Vice President, Operations, Vice President, Research Operations, and Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry. He has also held scientific and management positions at Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories. Terry serves on the Salk Institute Board of Trustees, the leadership committees of the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and Life Sciences Institute, the Berkeley Chemistry Advisory Board, the Caltech Biology & Bioengineering Chair’s Council and the Board of the California Life Sciences Association.