Meet the Advisory Committee
Associate, Osage University Partners
Anurag joined Osage University Partners in 2017 as an Associate and focuses on life science investments. Prior to joining Osage, Anurag was a consultant at Boston Consulting Group where he worked with healthcare and private equity companies to advise them on corporate growth strategy, business development, portfolio management, and M&A projects.
Heather is a biotechnology investor most recently at SR One Capital management. She joined SR One in the Spring of 2019, and has been involved in investments in MiroBio, Dren Bio, ARS Pharma, Mineralys and Design Therapeutics where she is a board member. Previously, she worked as a Principal at Sofinnova Ventures, and prior to that as an Equity Research Analyst at two boutique Investment Banks
CEO, MedTech Innovator
Paul Grand is CEO of MedTech Innovator, the medtech industry’s global competition and accelerator, with a mission to accelerate the development of transformative innovations that benefit patients and deliver improved value to the health care system. Prior to MedTech Innovator, Grand was Managing Director at RCT Ventures, an early-stage life science investor since 2005.
Professor of Neurology, UCLA
Ming Guo, M.D., Ph.D. is Director of the UCLA Aging Center, and professor of neurology and pharmacology at UCLA. A physician scientist, she sees patients with neurodegenerative disorders, and runs a basic and translational research lab on aging and age-related disorders. She is on the Board of Directors for the American Neurological Association, and serves as a Board Member and chairs the selection committee of Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Award for the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.
Director, Vida Ventures
Rajul Jain, M.D., is a Director at Vida Ventures. He has more than 20 years of experience in science, medicine and academia, including in cell therapy and oncology development. Prior to Vida Ventures, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Kite Pharma, most recently as Vice President and Head of Development, where he oversaw the development and regulatory approvals of multiple CAR and TCR-engineered T cell programs.
Professor of Chemistry, UCLA
Michael E. Jung is a Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California at Los Angeles. He received a B.A. from Rice University working with Richard Turner on polyolefinic cyclization to diterpenes of the kaurene type. As an NSF Predoctoral Fellow, he worked under the direction of Gilbert Stork at Columbia University, receiving his PhD.
Partner, Morpheus Ventures
Howard is a Partner with Morpheus Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles that focuses on early stage technology investments. He currently serves as a Board Director of Ingenious.Build, RIZE, RIOS, and Tagnos as well as a Board Observer at Morpheus Space, Rugged Robotics and RapidDeploy. Howard was previously with Mission Ventures, a leading Southern California early stage venture capital firm.
Investment Manager, BASF Venture Capital
Neal Okarter is an Investment Manager with BASF Venture Capital. Neal joined BASF Venture Capital in 2021 after spending more than six years with BASF Management Consulting, the internal management consultancy of the BASF Group. Neal received his BS in Nutrition, Food, and Agriculture, and PhD in Molecular Nutrition and Cell Biology from Cornell University, and his MBA from Rutgers Business School.
COO, Experien Group
Jessica is Chief Operating Officer at Experien Group and is charged with expanding the firm’s business development activities and directing strategic growth initiatives. She works closely with the founders and executive team on thoughtful expansion and management responsibilities such as planning, hiring, business operations and performs due diligence.
Associate Director, California NanoSystems Institute
Leonard H. Rome, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Biological Chemistry and Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute. He served as the Senior Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine from 1997 to 2012. His laboratory research at UCLA centers on a novel cellular organelle called a “vault” which he and a former postdoc, Dr. Nancy Kedersha, discovered in 1986.
Managing Partner, Embark Ventures
Yipeng Zhao co-founded and works as a Managing Partner at Embark Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles. He brings a wealth of financial expertise and global experience managing frontier tech start-up portfolios. A credit to his global strategy, Yipeng actively facilitated private equity investments in both China and the US while working at ZMXY Global Investment, Inc. as their Executive Vice President.