Peter Svennilson founded The Column Group in 2007 and has worked in venture capital and finance for over 30 years. He was the Chairman of Aragon Pharmaceuticals from startup until it was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2013 and was the Chairman of Seragon Pharmaceuticals until it was sold to Genentech/ Roche in 2014. Mr. Svennilson was a Board Observer of Arcus Biosciences until the company went public in 2018.
Prior to TCG, he was the Founder and Managing Partner of Three Crowns Capital where he helped finance large parts of the venture capital for biotech companies such as Tularik, Rosetta, PTC, Chemocentryx, Rinat, Tercica, Somalogic, Infinity and Fiveprime. Prior to Three Crowns Capital he was the Associate Managing Director in charge of European Investment Banking Origination at Nomura in London. Mr. Svennilson is a Trustee at The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
Board of Directors: ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Ribon Therapeutics, Rapt Therapeutics, Revolution Medicines, Circle Pharma.
Dr. Goeddel was the first scientist hired by Genentech and from 1978 to 1993 served in various positions, including Staff Scientist, Director of Molecular Biology and Genentech Fellow. His pioneering work in the fields of gene cloning and expression of human proteins was the basis for five marketed therapeutics developed by Genentech, including human insulin, human growth hormone, interferon-alpha, interferon-gamma, and tissue plasminogen activator.
Dr. Goeddel co-founded Tularik in November 1991, was Vice President of Research until 1996 and CEO from 1996 – 2004, when Tularik was acquired by Amgen. Dr. Goeddel has received numerous scientific awards including the Scheele Medal, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, the Inventor of the Year Award, the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award, the Howley Prize for Arthritis Research and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry from UCSD and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from U. of Colorado.
Board of Directors: NGM Biopharmaceuticals, RAPT Therapeutics, Surrozen, Tenaya Therapeutics, A2 Biotherapeutics, Proneurotech
Scientific Advisory Board: RAPT Therapeutics
Dr. Kutzkey joined The Column Group in 2007 shortly after the firm’s inception. He has since played an active role in the launch of more than a dozen of the firm’s portfolio companies. His primary focus is company creation, often taking interim management roles at new start-ups until the recruitment of a permanent leadership team. Thus far he served as the acting CEO of Nurix Therapeutics, Peloton Therapeutics, Neurona Therapeutics, Surrozen, and Proneurotech.
Dr. Kutzkey was formerly a scientist at KAI Pharmaceuticals, focused on the discovery and development of selective protein kinase C inhibitors. Prior to KAI, he attended UC Berkeley as a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Robert Tjian, completing his PhD in 2005. Dr. Kutzkey was previously educated at Stanford University.
Board of Directors: Neurona Therapeutics (Exec Chair), Proneurotech (Chair), Carmot Therapeutics (Chair), Kallyope, Surrozen (Chair), Plexium, Synthekine
Dr. Lasky joined The Column Group in 2014. He has worked in the biotechnology industry for over 30 years. In 1981, he was a founding scientist of Genetics Institute, acquired by Wyeth, one of the earliest biotechnology companies.
He was subsequently a leading scientist at Genentech and eventually a Genentech Fellow. He worked in various disciplines including vaccinology, immunology, stem cell biology, cellular signaling mechanisms, and monoclonal antibody therapy of tumors. He is a co-author on over 135 publications and a co-inventor on 37 issued and pending patents.
Board of Directors: eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Revolution Medicines, Accent Therapeutics
Scientific Advisory Board: Ribon Therapeutics, Accent Therapeutics, RAPT Therapeutics
Dr. Kang joined The Column Group in 2015. Previously, Dr. Kang worked at FibroGen in the project management of drug discovery and development programs, and prior to that, in corporate strategy. Dr. Kang investigated inhibition of DNA methylation and chemical induction of immunogenicity in cancer cells in the laboratory of Professor Peter Dervan, completing her PhD at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Kang attended Harvard University for her undergraduate studies.
Board of Directors: Escient Pharmaceuticals (Chairwoman), Tenaya Therapeutics
Dr. Chen joined The Column Group in 2019. Previously, he was a Venture Partner at OrbiMed focusing on company creation and investing in early stage biotech companies. In this capacity he took on interim management roles at E-Scape Bio, TranscripTx and Adicet. He also served on the board of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics and Logic Bio. Prior to that Dr. Chen was a Partner at Skyline Ventures and an entrepreneur in residence at Venrock.
Dr. Chen started his career in 2002 as a founder of KAI Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Amgen in 2012 and led to the approval of Parsabiv in US, Europe, and Japan. He earned his BA in Biochemistry from UC Berkeley, PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Stanford School of Medicine, and MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Board of Directors: Eikon Therapeutics
Dr. Josey joined The Column Group as a Venture Partner in 2020. Previously he served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Peloton Therapeutics, Inc., from 2013 until its acquisition by Merck in 2019. He joined Peloton in 2011 as the first employee in the role of President and Chief Scientific Officer. For over thirteen years, Dr. Josey was employed at Array BioPharma Inc., a company that he helped to build as a member of the founding management team. There he rose to Vice President of Discovery Chemistry. Dr. Josey’s previous experience also includes Amgen, Inc. and the Glaxo Research Institute. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Colorado State University, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin, and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Josey is currently an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Biochemistry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Board of Directors: Circle Pharma (Chairman)
Dr. Tjian joined The Column Group as a Discovery Partner in September 2016. Prior to that he served as President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2009-2016.
Dr. Tjian discovered the first human proteins called transcription factors that bind to specific sections of DNA and play a critical role in regulating how genetic information is expressed into the thousands of biomolecules that keep cells, tissues, and organisms alive. Tjian’s laboratory has focused on disruptions in the process of transcription that cause diseases such as cancer, metabolic syndromes, and neuro-degenerative diseases. Most recently, he has developed cutting edge molecular imaging systems to track the dynamic movement of individual proteins in live cells in real time to study how transcription factors control the self renewal, pluripotency and differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
Dr. Tjian joined the University of California, Berkeley faculty in 1979, where he assumed several leadership roles such as: Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center, Faculty Director of the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences and Head of the Siebel Stem Initiative. He currently holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biology and serves as scientific advisor to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the BioHub.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards including the Alfred P. Sloan Prize and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize. He was a co-founder of Tularik with Dave Goeddel and Steve McKnight and a founding Science Partner of TCG.
Board of Directors: Nurix, Neurona Therapeutics
Dr. Perlmutter is the Executive Vice President and President of Merck Research Laboratories. From 2001 until 2012, he was the Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Amgen. He was responsible for the registration of ten significant new drugs including Sensipar™, Prolia™ and Xgeva™. Prior to joining Amgen, Dr. Perlmutter was for many years Professor and Chairman of the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington in Seattle, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also served as Executive Vice President for Worldwide Discovery and Preclinical Research at Merck & Co. Dr. Perlmutter is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Perlmutter served as a Board Director of Exonics Therapeutics until the company was acquired by Vertex in June 2019.
Involvement: TCG I, TCG II, & TCG III
Charles Sawyers, MD, is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the inaugural Director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His laboratory is currently focused on characterizing signal transduction pathway abnormalities in prostate cancer, with an eye toward translational implications. His earlier research focused on BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukemia. This work, and that of colleagues Brian Druker and Novartis, led to the development of the kinase inhibitor imatinib (Gleevec) as primary therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and the discovery that imatinib resistance is caused by BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations. This discovery led him to evaluate second generation Abl kinase inhibitors, such as the dual Src/Abl inhibitor dasatinib, which received fast-track approval at the FDA in June 2006. Dr. Sawyer’s more recent work in prostate cancer has defined critical signaling pathways for disease initiation and progression through studies in mouse models and human tissues. This preclinical work led to the development of a novel anti-androgen ARN-509, a small-molecule inhibitor discovered in collaboration with UCLA chemist Michael Jung, which targets the increased levels of androgen receptor found in hormone-refractory disease.
Dr. Sawyers is past President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and served on the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Councilors. He has won numerous honors and awards, including the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, the Dorothy Landon Prize from the American Association of Cancer Research, the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and in 2010 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Sawyers was a co-founder of Aragon Pharmaceuticals and the founder of Seragon Pharmaceuticals. He is also the founder of ORIC Pharmaceuticals.
Scientific Advisory Board: ORIC Pharmaceuticals
Involvement: TCG II & TCG III
Richard H. Scheller joined 23andMe in April of 2015 as chief scientific officer and head of therapeutic development. He is responsible for translating genetic information into the discovery and development of new therapies for both common and rare diseases.
Prior to joining 23andMe, Dr. Scheller worked at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Scheller was responsible for overseeing the strategy for research, drug discovery, business development, and early development activities. He joined Genentech in 2001 as senior vice president of research and was promoted to executive vice president of research in 2003. In 2008, he was named chief scientific officer. Following the company’s merger with the Roche Group in 2009, Dr. Scheller was promoted to executive vice president and head of Genentech research and early development, and joined the Roche enlarged corporate executive committee.
Dr. Scheller served as chairman of the Genentech Foundation’s board of directors.
Dr. Scheller received his bachelor of science in biochemistry in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his doctorate in chemistry in 1980 from the California Institute of Technology. After postdoctoral research fellowships at Caltech and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Scheller was hired as an assistant professor at Stanford University in 1982. In 1993, he was named a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and biological sciences, and in 1994 as an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Stanford University Medical Center. He has been an adjunct professor at UC San Francisco since 2004.
Dr. Scheller’s research elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing neurotransmitter release earned him the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the 2010 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, and the 1997 US National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, among other honors. In 2014, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Caltech.
He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and has served on numerous advisory boards, including the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institutes of Health. In 2014, he was named a trustee of Caltech.
Board of Directors: ORIC Pharmaceuticals
Scientific Advisory Board: Kallyope
Involvement: TCG II & TCG III
Dr. Dixit is Vice President and Staff Scientist of Physiological Chemistry at Genentech. He has made many contributions to biomedicine and his early work on apoptosis is prominent in introductory textbooks of biology and medicine [for a historical perspective see Nature (2008, 453:271-273) and Nature Cell Biology (2010, 12:415)]. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Foreign Member, European Molecular Biology Organization. Additionally, he serves on the Boards of the Gates Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Keystone Symposia.
Involvement: TCG III
Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi is a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. She is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. At HHMI, Dr. Zoghbi and her collaborators have unraveled the genetic underpinnings of a number of devastating neurological disorders, including Rett syndrome and spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). Their discoveries have provided new ways of thinking about more common neurological disorders, including autism, intellectual disability, and Parkinson’s disease, and could lead to better treatments. Dr. Zoghbi and her colleagues have also identified the mutation responsible for SCA1, one of several polyglutamine neurodegenerative disorders that slowly rob their victims of balance and motor control. Her lab team is searching for compounds that enhance the clearance of mutant proteins in several of these diseases, which might slow disease progression or prevent it altogether.
Involvement: TCG III
Dr. Charles Zuker is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center. Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Dr. Zuker is known for his work in sensory neuroscience, including mechanisms of phototransduction, mechanotransduction, and more recently taste. Dr. Zuker and collaborators identified the cells, receptors, and coding logic for the five basic taste qualities (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). Dr. Zuker’s research has been recognized by several awards, including the Cogan Award and the Alcon Award for his research on vision, the Spencer Award from Columbia University, and the International Flavors and Fragrances Award for his work in taste. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a scientific co-founder of Aurora Biosciences and Senomyx.
Dr. Zuker is a co-founder of Kallyope.
Scientific Advisory Board: Kallyope
Involvement: TCG III
More recently, the focus of her work has been on fatty liver disease. Here she has discovered genetic variants conferring susceptibility to fatty liver disease (PNPLA3, TM6SF2) and resistance (HSD17B13) to progression of the disorder; she is currently determining the physiological and pathological roles of these proteins.
She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (2004) and to the National Academy of Sciences (2007). Among her awards, she has received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2015), the Grand Prix Award from the Institute of France (2018), and the Harrington Prize for Innovation and Medicine (2018). Dr. Hobbs is on the Board of Directors at Pfizer, Inc.
EMERITUS SCIENCE PARTNERS
Dr. Baltimore is President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology of the California Institute of Technology. He has received numerous honors during his distinguished career, including the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975 for discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell, and the 1999 National Medal of Science. His present research focuses on gene transcription and gene therapy for AIDS and cancer. He has served as President of the Rockefeller University, and was the Founding Director of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society (England). Dr. Baltimore is a current board member of Amgen.
Board of Directors: Immune Design
Scientific Advisory Board: Immune Design
Involvement: TCG I & TCG II
Dr. Brown is Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He and his long-time colleague, Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, together discovered the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, which controls the level of cholesterol in blood and in cells. They showed that mutations in this receptor cause Familial Hypercholesterolemia, a disorder that leads to premature heart attacks in one out of every 500 people in most populations. They have received many awards for this work, including the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology (1985), the Albert D. Lasker Prize in Basic Medical Research (1985), and the U.S. National Medal of Science (1988).
Dr. Brown is a former member of the Board of Directors of Pfizer, a position he held for 16 years. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Regeneron and is a former member of the Science Advisory Board of Genentech. Dr. Brown is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, Royal Society (London), the Association of American Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Scientific Advisory Board: NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Kallyope
Involvement: TCG I & TCG II
Currently, Dr. Goldstein is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Rockefeller University and the Board of Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He serves on several scientific committees for academic institutions and he is a member of the Science Advisory Boards of Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, FivePrime, and ARMGO, and is a former consultant to Merck, Schering Plough and Amgen. Dr. Goldstein is also Chairman of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury.
Scientific Advisory Board: NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Kallyope
Involvement: TCG I & TCG II
Dr. Maniatis is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University Medical School in New York. He pioneered the development of gene cloning technology and its application to the study of eukaryotic gene regulation. He also co-authored the Molecular Cloning Manual, which was instrumental in the world-wide dissemination of the technology. The primary focus of his current research is to understand neurodegenerative disease mechanisms.
Dr. Maniatis is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and has received numerous awards for his research contributions, including the Eli Lilly Research Award in Microbiology and Immunology, the Richard Lounsbery Award for Biology and Medicine from the U.S. and French National Academies of Science, and the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science.
He is a co-founder of Genetics Institute, where he chaired the Science Advisory Board and served on the Board of Directors for over 17 years. During this time the company gained FDA approval for several protein-based drugs, including EPO, Factor VIII and Factor IX, GM-CSF and bone morphogenic proteins.
He was also a co-founder of ProScript Inc., which discovered the drug Velcade for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Velcade is the leading product of Millennium Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Maniatis is a co-founder, member of the Board of Directors, and head of the SAB of Acceleron Pharma, which is developing drugs to treat musculoskeletal diseases.
Board of Directors: Kallyope
Involvement: TCG I & TCG II
Ms. Murakami joined The Column Group in 2008. She has worked in the financial industry for over thirty years with the last twenty years focused in venture capital. Most recently, she managed the state-side office of a Chinese venture capital firm in San Francisco and prior to that was Controller at a consulting firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ms. Murakami earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawaii.
Mr. Evangelista joined The Column Group in 2012 and has almost two decades of venture capital industry experience. Previously, he was with Three Arch Partners, and prior to that, Lightspeed Venture Partners. He began his career working for several large money management firms including Fisher Investments and Barclays Global Investors.
Mr. Evangelista is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in the state of California and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the California Society of CPAs.
Ms. Daniel joined The Column Group in 2015 and assists the firm’s portfolio companies in recruiting their scientific teams. After completing her Master’s Degree in Biology at UC Santa Cruz, Ms. Daniel joined the Immunology group at Tularik. She later became a Human Resources Manager and helped to build Tularik’s scientific team. After Tularik she worked for larger biotechnology companies like Genentech and a life science focused Executive Search Firm.
Ms. Tin joined The Column Group in 2015. Ms. Tin assists in the facilitation and execution of administrative responsibilities throughout the firm and provides day-to-day staff support in company operations. Most recently, she was a Records Analyst with PG&E, and prior to that, Office Manager for a real estate firm. Ms. Tin graduated from San Francisco State University with a BS in International Business, Graduate Certificate in Accounting, and MBA with a focus in Finance and Accounting.
Dr. Ray joined The Column Group in 2017. Previously, Dr. Ray was an Associate of Business Development at Foghorn Therapeutics, which she helped launch with Flagship Pioneering. Dr. Ray helped develop and execute the scientific, business and operating plans for Foghorn Therapeutics. Dr. Ray helped establish the first onsite next-generation sequencers for Ebola viral surveillance with Dr. Pardis Sabeti’s lab at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. Previously, Dr. Ray completed her PhD at Harvard University with Dr. Robert Kingston, studying the effects of long non-coding RNAs on epigenetic regulation. Dr. Ray holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also performed embryonic stem cell research in the lab of Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch.
Mr. Swinford joined The Column Group in 2019. Previously, Mr. Swinford was a manager at KPMG where he focused on guiding clients on tax matters within the alternative investment industry. Prior to that, he was a senior accountant at EisnerAmper focusing on tax, audit, and advisory services.
Mr. Swinford is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in the state of California and is a graduate of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University where he earned his MBA.