Guidance is provided by a board whose directors are executives from some of the most successful bioscience, pharmaceutical, and investment companies in America.
Jim Barrett, PhD, joined NEA, an investment company, in 2001 as a general partner. He specializes in biotechnology and works with members of NEA's healthcare investment group on medical devices, healthcare information systems and healthcare services companies. Mr. Barrett’s present board memberships include Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, GlycoMimetics, Inc., Inhibitex, Inc. (INHX), Nucleonics, Inc., Peptimmune, Inc., Predictive Biosciences, Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc., Psyadon Pharmaceuticals, Ruxton Pharmaceuticals, Sensors for Medicine and Science, Inc., Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Targacept, Inc. (TRGT), and Zosano Pharma, Inc. Mr. Barrett formerly served on the boards of CoGenesys (acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries), lomai Corporation (acquired by Intercell A G), Medlmmune, Inc. (acquired by AstraZeneca) and Pharmion (acquired by Celgene). Prior to NEA, Mr. Barrett founded and served as chairman / CEO of Sensors for Medicine and Science (1997-2001), where he remains chairman. Prior to 1997, he led three NEA-funded companies, serving as chairman / CEO of Genetic Therapy, Inc. (1987-1995), president / CEO of Life Technologies (1985-1987), and president / CEO of Bethesda Research Labs (1982-1983). Prior to 1982, Mr. Barrett worked in various divisions of SmithKline. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee, an MBA from University of Santa Clara, and a BS in chemistry from Boston College.
Fred Cohen, MD., D.Phil. has served as a member of our board of directors since our founding in September 2009. Dr. Cohen has been a partner at TPG Capital, or TPG, a private equity firm, since 2001. Dr. Cohen serves as co-head of TPG’s biotechnology group. Dr. Cohen is also a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he has taught since 1988. Dr. Cohen currently serves on the board of directors of each of the following publicly-held companies: BioCyrst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(NASDAQ: BCRX), a biopharmaceutical company; Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX), a clinical stage biotechnology company; Genomic Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: GHDX), a molecular diagnostics company that provides genomic-based diagnostic tests that address the overtreatment of early stage cancer; Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc. (NYSE:Q), a provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services; Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc. (NASDAQ: TNDM), a medical device company focused on products for people with insulin-dependent diabetes; and Veracyte, Inc. (NASDAQ: VCYT), a diagnostics company focused on molecular cytology solutions. In addition, Dr. Cohen currently serves as a member of the board of directors of a number of private companies. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dr. Cohen holds a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, a D.Phil. in Molecular Biophysics from Oxford University and an M.D. from Stanford University. We believe that Dr. Cohen’s extensive experience as a venture capital investor focused on biotechnology companies and as a director of several publicly-traded life sciences companies qualifies him to serve as a member of our board of directors.
Michael P. Doyle, PhD, is a Regent’s Professor of Food Microbiology and Director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. He is an active researcher in the area of food safety and security and works closely with the food industry, government agencies, and consumer groups on issues related to the microbiological safety of foods. He serves on food safety committees of many scientific organizations and has served as a scientific advisor to many groups, including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Science-National Research Council, the International Life Sciences Institute-North America, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the International Association for Food Protection and the Institute of Food Technologists, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
David W. J. McGirr, is a Senior Advisor at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lexington, MA. He was Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Cubist from November 2002 to March 2013. Prior to joining Cubist, Mr. McGirr was the President, Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of hippo inc, an internet technology, venture financed company, from 1999 to 2002. From 1996 to 1999, he was the President of GAB Robins North America, Inc., serving also as Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 1999. Mr. McGirr was a private equity investor from 1995 to 1996. From 1978 to 1995, Mr. McGirr served in various positions within the S.G. Warburg Group in New York, London and Toronto, ultimately as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Managing Director of S.G. Warburg & Co., Inc., New York, a position held from 1992 to 1995. Mr. McGirr received a B.Sc. (First Class Honors) in Civil Engineering from the University of Glasgow in 1976 and received an MBA in 1978 from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a Thouron Scholar. Mr. McGirr is a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Insmed Incorporated, Relypsa, Inc and Roka Bioscience, Inc.
Jonathan T. Silverstein, JD, is a general partner of OrbiMed, a healthcare-focused investment company. Mr. Silverstein joined OrbiMed in 1998 to focus on private equity and structured transaction in small capitalization public biotechnology and medical device companies. Mr. Silverstein was previously a director of life sciences in the Investment Banking Department at Sumitomo Bank, and an associate at Hambro Resource Development. Mr. Silverstein holds a JD and MBA from the University of San Diego, and a BA in economics from Denison University. Currently, Mr. Silverstein is the chairman of two companies Enobia and Cerapedics, and a director of three companies, SuperDimension, Glaukos, and NxStage Medical (NXTM). He has been a director or observer in more than a dozen companies including: LifeCell (LIFC), Given Imaging (GIVN), Cerexa (sold to Forest Labs), Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (sold to JNJ), Predix (sold to EPIX), Avanir (AVNR), Orthovita (VITA), Auxillium (AUXL), Bioenvision (sold to Genzyme), Adiana (sold to Cytyc), and Adolor (ADLR).
Paul G. Thomas joined Roka Bioscience as CEO and Founder in September 2009. Mr. Thomas previously served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of LifeCell Corporation, a publicly traded regenerative medicine company, from 1998 until it was acquired by KCI in 2008. Prior to joining LifeCell, Mr. Thomas held various senior positions during his tenure of 15 years with Ohmeda, a world leader in inhalation anesthetics and acute care pharmaceuticals. Mr. Thomas received his M.B.A. degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and completed his postgraduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Georgia Graduate School of Arts and Science. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Mr. Thomas serves as a Director of AbioMed, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABMD) a leading provider of medical devices that provide circulatory support to acute heart failure patients across the continuum of care in heart recovery. Mr. Thomas also serves as a Director of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEGR) focused on the commercialization of a life-altering therapy for debilitating and fatal orphan diseases.
Nicholis J. Valeriani has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Gary and Mary West Health Institute since 2012, an independent, nonprofit medical research organization that works to create new, more effective ways of delivering care at lower costs. Mr. Valeriani has announced plans to retire from the organization’s chief executive position, effective September 3, 2015, however Mr. Valeriani will remain on the Gary and Mary West Health Institute’s board of directors and will join the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center’s board. Prior to joining West Health in 2012, Mr. Valeriani spent 34 years at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and served as a member of its executive committee. Currently, Mr. Valeriani serves on the boards of directors of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE: EW) and the Center for Medical Interoperability. Mr. Valeriani has a master's degree in business administration from Rutgers University, Graduate School of Management, and a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Rutgers University, College of Engineering.