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THE TEAM

With decades of experience in the space, our diverse team possesses a deep collective understanding of geroscience therapeutics. We are driven by collaboration and are committed to cultivating company-wide opportunities to learn and grow together.

Electronic Chip

Our leadership team brings together some of the best minds in age-related science and investment strategy.

Vaccine

Leadership

 

EVP, Translational & Clinical Science

Tauhid Ali is the Executive Vice President of Translational & Clinical Science at Cambrian Biopharma. He was previously at Takeda Pharmaceuticals as VP of Search & Translational Science (Rare Diseases Therapy Area Unit) and the founder and head of the TAKcelerator™, a virtual biotech unit within Takeda with a novel operating model, which, within the first two years, launched 3 new companies with venture backing and executed multiple out licenses and partnerships, achieving a healthy ROI. Prior to Takeda, he was Global Project Leader for Early Development at UCB Celltech focused on small molecules and mAb development where he led global development project teams in immunology & inflammation including a co-development with Biogen-Idec in a rare auto-inflammatory program. He has a Ph.D. from Cardiff University and a MSc in Clinical Sciences from the Welsh School of Pharmacy.

Chairman & Co-Founder

Christian Angermayer is a Chairman and Co-Founder of Cambrian Biopharma. A serial entrepreneur and investor, Christian has raised over $1.6B for his portfolio companies. He was co-founder of Ribopharma, a German biotech company pioneering RNAi (today Alnylam, $9B market cap). Via his family office Apeiron Investment Group, he has invested in many companies in the life sciences and fintech sectors and has been party to over 40 successful M&As and IPOs. He is a founder and investor in another biotech holding company, ATAI Life Sciences, focused on neuropharmacology. In 2017, the Swiss-German business magazine BILANZ ranked Christian in the top 10 most important German tech investors. Christian has produced 14 feature films and was named an emerging global leader by the World Economic Forum and the Milken Institute.

COO

Juliette Han is the Chief Operating Officer at Cambrian Biopharma. She was previously the Chief of Staff at Two Sigma Private Investments Group, the PE/VC division of the hedge fund Two Sigma. Prior to Two Sigma, Juliette was a Chief Operating Officer of People & Human Resources Operations at the hedge fund Citadel, where she transformed the zero data transparency organization to a live-dashboard and quant-driven culture. Prior to Citadel, Juliette was Chief of Staff for McKinsey New Ventures at McKinsey & Co in the New York office. Juliette holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University, as well as an M.S. in Physiological Sciences and B.S. in Neuroscience and Physiological Science, both from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She serves on the alumni advisory council of Harvard Medical School.

CEO & Founder

James Peyer is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Cambrian Biopharma. James was previously Founder and Managing Partner at Apollo Ventures, the first global longevity-focused venture capital firm, investing across the US and Europe. He led investments in Cleara Biotech, Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, and Samsara Therapeutics, and served on the Board and/or in executive roles for all three companies. James has led companies that have raised over $100M. He serves on the board of Sensei Biotherapeutics, Vineyard Therapeutics, and several more stealth-mode companies. Prior to Apollo, James was a consultant at the New York office of McKinsey & Company, serving major pharmaceutical clients. He earned his PhD in stem cell biology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as a National Science Foundation Fellow and received his B.A. with special honors from the University of Chicago.

EVP, Drug Discovery

Georg Terstappen is the Executive Vice President of Drug Discovery at Cambrian Biopharma. Georg has over 25 years of experience in big pharma and biotech, holding senior R&D positions at Bayer, GW/GSK, and Abbott/AbbVie - most recently as Head of Preclinical CNS Drug Development with GSK in Shanghai. Georg was also co-founder and CSO of the CNS drug discovery company Siena Biotech and CSO of OxStem (a University of Oxford spin-out focused on regenerative medicine). In addition, Georg has led EU R&D framework organizations as Vice-Chair of the Innovative Medicines Strategy group in the context of EFPIA and IMI. He has over 80 publications and 15 patents. Georg has a first-class honors degree in Biology and conducted research at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne and the Federal Research Centre Juelich for which he has received a PhD in natural sciences.

EVP, Chemistry

Dennis Yamashita is a highly experienced and accomplished drug hunter and medicinal chemist with extensive leadership experienced as GSK and in biotech. He is co-inventor of five clinical candidates including oliceridine (OLINVO), Trevena's Mu opioid G-protein biased ligand, that has received FDA breakthrough status and completed Phase 3 clinical trials for post-operative pain. Prior to joining Cambrian, Dr. Yamashita served as Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry at Axial Biotherapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company harnessing the gut-brain axis to develop novel Central Nervous System (CNS) Therapeutics to improve the quality of life for people with CNS diseases and disorders. He has also held various leadership roles as GSK, ORIC, and Trevena. Dr. Yamashita holds a BSc. in Chemistry from MIT and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University. His Ph.D. thesis was conducted in the labs of Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky on the synthesis of the bicyclic enediyne natural product, calicheamicinone. 

Petri Dishes

Cambrian Team

VENTURE DIRECTOR

Faizzan Ahmad is a Venture Director at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian he was a biotech equity research analyst at the investment bank H.C. Wainwright & Co in New York. Ahmad has worked as a stem cell biologist at Oxford, Weill Cornell, Sloan Kettering, Vanderbilt, and Mount Sinai, and has done business development work for Panacea Innovation. He obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford as a Sir Magdi Yacoub Fellow, and holds a BSc. and MSc. from Vanderbilt University and the City University of New York.

Portfolio Operations Director

Andy Feng is a Director of Portfolio Operations at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian, Feng was part of the management team at Synfioo, a Berlin-based machine learning company (where he focused on strategy, operations, and finance). He has also worked at Apollo Ventures, Xanadu, and KPMG, and holds a B.B.A. in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Corporate Development Director

Jack Fernandes is the Director of Corporate Development at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian he was the Founder and CEO of Regenica Biosciences, a biotech focused on antidotes to biochemical weapons. Fernandes has advised companies including Trethera and Kyan Therapeutics, and has worked for Kite Pharma (acquired by Gilead), the law firm Cooley LLP (where he focused on biotech venture capital), and at the hedge fund Rimrock Capital Management. He  holds a B.A. in Government from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. from UCLA.

Venture Director

Rahul Gokarn is a Venture Director at Cambrian. He was previously at Life Biosciences, working on business development, investor relations, and investment strategy for their geroscience portfolio. Prior to that, Gokarn was a private equity analyst at Travistock Group. Prior to Travistock, Rahul was Resident Medical Officer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He is a recipient of the RPA Hospital President’s Prize for best laboratory-based research by a clinician. Rahul holds a PhD from the University of Sydney where his thesis focused on the role of nutrient sensing pathways in delaying aging. He also holds a MBBS and a BSc, both from the University of Sydney.

Venture Director

Veena Krishnappa is a Venture Director at Cambrian. She was previously Business Development & Alliances Associate at The Scripps Research Institute, where she managed the Technology Transfer Office of the Scripps Florida campus. While there she executed the largest transfer ever of a microbial natural products library from Pfizer to Scripps and managed drug discovery programs spanning multiple therapeutic areas. She holds a PhD from Scripps, a BVSc & AH (DVM) veterinary doctorate from University of Agricultural Sciences, and a master’s in pharmacology from Karnataka University.

Porfolio Operations Director 

Ying Li is is a Portfolio Operations Director at Cambrian. She was previously a biotech management consultant at Qral Group (where she advised clients on commercialization strategy and launch planning), and has also worked at Decision Resources Group. A member of the World Economic Forum's Global Shaper network, she holds a B.A. from McGill University in International Development Studies and Developmental Economics.

Chief of Staff 

Janett Liriano is Chief of Staff at Cambrian. Prior to Cambrian, she served as CEO of LOOMIA, a textile circuitry engineering company. Liriano is named in four patents for her innovations in advanced materials. She is an active member of the Leadership Council for Tech: NYC, an inaugural member of the United Nations Decade of Women Initiative, and a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 for Manufacturing and Industry. Janett is Chair of the Women's Leadership Board for Global Connections for Women and was named Entrepreneur of the Year (2019) by GC4W. Janett received her B.A. from Emerson College in Boston.

Venture Director

Ben Mills is an Associate in the Office of the CEO at Cambrian. He previously supported the Global Head of Executive Search at NBCUniversal, managing start-to-finish execution of the recruitment process for roles across the company’s entire portfolio of businesses. Prior to his time with NBC, he supported the founders of boutique executive search firms within the non-profit and mission-driven sectors. Mills holds a B.A. in Economics and Politics & International Affairs from Wake Forest University.

Portfolio Operations Director

Josh Noah is a Portfolio Operations Director at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian, Noah served as the Executive Business Partner at Elevian, Inc. and a Research Analyst at the Organ Preservation Alliance, a nonprofit focused on catalyzing breakthroughs in organ and tissue preservation. He holds a BSc in Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where he majored in Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Scientists in Residence 

Daisy Robinton is a Scientist in Residence at Cambrian. She was a William Randolph Hearst Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, where she focused on neuroimmunology. Robinton was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her discoveries on the genetic intersection of stem cell identity and cancer, and her passion for the effective translation of science has fueled years of teaching, speaking, and consulting. She earned her PhD in Human Biology and Translational Medicine from Harvard University and her B.S. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA.

VP of Venture Investments 

Sourav Sinha is a Vice President of Venture Investments at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian, he was a Venture Partner of the Longevity Vision Fund, led Strategy and Special Projects at Celularity, and served as Entrepreneur in Residence of the Center for Advancing Innovation where he spun out over 80 technologies. He was also the Founder and CEO of Oncolinx, an AI drug discovery company. Sinha received a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, an A.B. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Dartmouth College, and is a graduate of Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program.

Venture Director

Marie Yurkovich is an Investment Director at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian she led investments in the life sciences sector as a part of the investments team at Vect Ventures, a Hong-Kong based early-stage venture capital fund that invests globally. Yurkovich has also worked as a management consultant at ZS Associates in London and a scientist at Intercept Pharmaceuticals. She received her PhD and MPhil (MSc) in Biochemistry from Cambridge University where she investigated natural product biosynthesis as a means to discover new chemistry.

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Advisors 

Advisor

Claes Wahlestedt, MD, PhD is Professor and Director of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation at the University of Miami. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Dr. Wahlestedt was a Founding Professor and Director at The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus. He was an endowed professor, founding genome center director and department chair at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, has taught at Cornell University Medical College and at McGill University, and has led R&D efforts at AstraZeneca and Pharmacia/Pfizer. A native of Sweden, Dr. Wahlestedt obtained his MD and PhD degrees from Lund University.

Chemistry Advisor 

Josh Noah is a Portfolio Operations Director at Cambrian. Prior to joining Cambrian, Noah served as the Executive Business Partner at Elevian, Inc. and a ReseaJoe Vacca is the Chemistry Advisor at Cambrian. He most recently served as head of chemistry at Kronos Bio and Senior Vice President of Early Success Sharing Partnerships at WuXi AppTec, and prior to that spent 30 years at Merck. Vacca has over 100 publications and patents, was inducted into the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2012, and was named a Merck Research Laboratories Presidential Fellow in 2008. He received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a BS in Chemistry from St. John Fisher College, Rochester.rch Analyst at the Organ Preservation Alliance, a nonprofit focused on catalyzing breakthroughs in organ and tissue preservation. He holds a BSc in Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where he majored in Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Legal Counsel

Randy Berholtz, JD, M.Litt, MBA, is a partner at Ventac Partners, where he works on biotech company formation. With more than 20 years of experience as senior legal counsel to biotech companies, he has executed over 85 M&A transactions internationally. Berholtz practiced corporate law at Heller Ehrman and Cooley Godward in San Diego, and at Cravath, Swaine & and Moore in New York, and has taught at the Rady School of Business at UCSD, KGI, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and at the USD School of Law. He is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A.), Yale Law School (J.D.), the University of San Diego School of Business (M.B.A.) and Oxford University (M.Litt), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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