Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Jay Lichter, PhD, is an entrepreneur and seasoned investor in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena with over 25 years of expertise in management, scientific research, and business development. As managing director of Avalon Ventures, Dr. Lichter led investments in SynthoRx, Arisat MD, Fortis, Otonomy, Aratana and Zacharon Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Lichter has served as CEO of many these companies, including Avelas Biosciences, which has included leading both their business and scientific operations. Dr. Lichter is on the board of directors for most of these companies and also serves as Chairman of the Board for several other Avalon companies.. He led the investment in Aratana Therapeutics, where he served as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Lichter is the inventor on over 260 patent and patent applications for six Avalon portfolio companies, including 78 issued patents. Dr. Lichter has been involved in licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued in excess of $3 billion. Dr. Lichter held postdoctoral positions in Human Genetics at Yale University and pharmacogenetics at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Dr. Lichter obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a B.S. from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Elena Starikova is an Acting Head of Pharmstandard Ventures (formerly Inbio Ventures). She has over 10 years of experience in biotech venture capital with deep knowledge in evaluating investment opportunities. She currently serves as an Observer on the Board of TearSolutions and enGene. Prior to Pharmstandard Ventures, Elena worked at Bioprocess Capital Ventures, one of the first Russian venture capital firms specializing in the life sciences sector. Earlier in her career, Elena held several positions in consulting companies, including Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Elena graduated from Plekhanov Russian University of Economics with honors. She received her MSc in economics and mathematics with focus on risk management.
Stefan Heller, Ph.D.
Stefan Heller is the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University. He has served as Director of Research and then Vice Chair of Research in the Research Division of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is also primary faculty member of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Heller’s research is focused on regenerative medicine in the inner ear. He employs molecular and single cell transcriptomic methods and he works on developing stem cell-based cellular drug screening assays. Dr. Heller has served as an advisor for Otonomy, an Avalon Ventures company, and he is currently scientific advisor for Pipeline Therapeutics. Dr. Heller currently serves as a board member for Janux Therapeutics, Adanate, Fortis, Synco, Inc., and Nerio Therapeutics. Prior to joining Stanford University, Dr. Heller was faculty member at Harvard Medical School. He held a postdoctoral position at The Rockefeller University and obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz.
Carmine Stengone is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Pipeline Therapeutics. Prior to joining Pipeline, Mr. Stengone served as Avelas’ President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Stengone joined Avelas in 2012 as Chief Business Officer, and has served as a Director since 2014. Mr. Stengone previously served as Senior Vice President, Business Development for COI Pharmaceuticals, where he helped co-found five new biotech companies, including Afraxis, Inc. Before that, Mr. Stengone was with Phenomix Corporation as the Senior Director of Business Development, and previously held positions of increasing responsibility at Anadys Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. Mr. Stengone received his MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, his M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Duke University, and a B.S. in chemistry from Wake Forest University.
Timothy Scott is co-founder and CEO of TEGA Therapeutics, a glycobiology company focused on lysosomal storage disorder and recombinant heparan sulfates. He previously was founder and President of Pharmatek Laboratories, a contract development and manufacturing company (sold to Catalent Pharma Solutions in 2016). Prior to that, Mr. Scott was Senior Vice President at Active.com. He previously served on the board of Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Biomarin 2014. He is a member of the boards of BIOCOM, a non-profit organization supporting the needs of bio/pharma companies in California, and CONNECT, a non-profit helping to create and scale innovation companies in San Diego. At UC San Diego, he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Division of Biological Sciences. Mr. Scott earned his B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego and is a member of the California Bar.
Susan Stimson joined Avelas Biosciences’ board of directors in 2019. With over 20 years’ experience in healthcare, Susan is recognized as a respected leader in development and commercialization of new medical technologies. She currently serves as Executive in Residence on KCK Group’s Medical Technology team, where she applies her expertise to their portfolio of commercial stage medtech companies and evaluates new investment opportunities. She previously served as Chief Strategy Officer of Intersect ENT, a publicly traded medical device company. As part of the founding team of Intersect ENT, Susan played an instrumental role in the company’s evolution from R&D stage to high growth commercial business by building and leading a variety of its commercial and strategic functions including Marketing, Market Access, International Sales, Business Development and Customer Service and also led the company’s transformation from medical device to pharmaceutical business as General Manager. Prior to that, Ms. Stimson served as an executive of start-up company Mitralign, designing and executing the company’s marketing, clinical, and regulatory strategies. Her experience stems from many years at Guidant Corporation responsible for top priority products from the aspects of R&D, marketing, and sales. Ms. Stimson holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.