Board of Directors

Ali Behbahani

Ali Behbahani, M.D. – General Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Ali Behbahani, M.D., joined New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in 2007 and is currently a General Partner on the healthcare team. He specializes in investments in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, specialty pharmaceutical, and healthcare services sectors. Prior to joining NEA, Ali worked as a consultant in business development at The Medicines Company, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing acute care cardiovascular products. He previously held positions as a Venture Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and as a Healthcare Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers. He conducted basic science research in the fields of viral fusion inhibition and structural proteomics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and at Duke University. Ali  received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with Honors and was a Palmer Scholar, and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Chemistry from Duke University.

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Brad Bolzon, Ph.D. - Chairman and Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Brad Bolzon, Ph.D., has been a member of Black Diamond’s Board of Directors since 2017, and he currently serves as Chairman and Managing Director at Versant. Brad combines 13 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience and a similar tenure as a venture capitalist. His track record consists of successive outlier returns including Amira (sale), Okairos (sale), Speedel (sale), Quanticel (sale), Novira (sale), Flexion (2014 IPO), Crispr (2016 IPO), BioTie (sale), Jecure (sale), Inception (multiple sales), and Blue Rock (sale), and he continues to manage several other promising investments. Prior to joining Versant, Brad served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances at Roche. Under his leadership, Roche established alliances with more than 75 venture-backed biotech companies worldwide and transformed its R&D pipeline into an industry leader. Prior to that, Brad held executive roles at Eli Lilly in drug discovery, clinical research, regulatory affairs and business development. He earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto and conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Ottawa Health Institute.

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Dr. Kapil Dhingra – Former Head, Roche Oncology Development

Dr. Kapil Dhingra is an accomplished medical oncologist and pharmaceutical executive with a proven track record in academic research, patient care, and drug development. From 1999 to 2008, Kapil served at Hoffmann-La Roche, including as Vice President, Head, Oncology Disease Biology Leadership Team, and Head, Oncology Clinical Development, during which he led numerous drug approvals, including Herceptin®, Tarceva®, and Avastin®. Prior to joining Roche, he worked in the oncology clinical development group at Eli Lilly and Company. From 1989 to 1996, Kapil was a faculty member at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and during his industry career maintained active faculty appointments at Indiana University School of Medicine and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of Replimune, Inc., Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., Autolus Therapeutics plc, and Median Technologies, and has previously served on the boards of several successful biotech companies, including Biovex, Micromet, Algeta, YM Biosciences, and Epitherapeutics, which were all acquired by major pharmaceutical companies. He is also a member of the National Cancer Institute Experimental Therapeutics panel and a member of the New Drug Advisory Committee of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Kapil founded KAPital Consulting, LLC, in 2008, a company dedicated to helping biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic companies realize the clinical and commercial advances in oncology. Kapil obtained his M.B.B.S. degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center and New York Medical College and completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.

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David M. Epstein, Ph.D. - Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

David M. Epstein, Ph.D., is a biopharmaceutical leader and executive who has successfully led large and small R&D teams in academic, start-up, mid-size, and global large-pharmaceutical settings. His teams have progressed multiple novel agents through development in oncology, cardiovascular disease, and retinal degeneration.

Before his appointment as Black Diamond’s President and CEO, David was Vice Dean, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Associate Professor in Cancer & Stem Cell Biology, at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, where he founded and built Duke-NUS’s Centre for Technology & Development, which  has developed a pipeline of innovation projects. Previously, he was Chief Scientific Officer at OSI Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Astellas Pharma, and founder of Archemix Corporation, where he led the advancement of multiple product candidates into the clinical in multiple therapeutic areas.

David earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Brandeis University and completed a joint post-doctoral fellowship, leading a collaboration in protein structure, function, and NMR dynamics between the labs of Steven Benkovic (Penn State) and Peter Wright at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He received a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Lewis & Clark College.

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Robert A. Ingram – General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners

Robert (Bob) A. Ingram serves as Chairman of the Board of Black Diamond Therapeutics. Bob served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of GlaxoWellcome, where he co-led the merger and integration that formed GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). He is currently a General Partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage life sciences companies. Bob also serves as Chairman of the Board of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is a board member of Novan, Inc., and of HBM Healthcare Investments. The recipient of three presidential appointments, Bob was the Founding Chair of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and currently serves as a member of the President’s Cancer Panel. He also serves on the board of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, the Research Triangle Institute, and is Chairman of the GSK Foundation. In 2013, he received the NACD B. Kenneth West Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Corporate Directors. Bob obtained his B.S. in Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

Samarth Kulkarni

Samarth (Sam) Kulkarni, Ph.D. – CEO, CRISPR Therapeutics AG

An industry leader with expertise in strategy and operations in biotech and a wide range of pioneering therapeutic technologies, Samarth (Sam) Kulkarni, Ph.D. currently serves as CEO of CRISPR Therapeutics AG. He joined CRISPR in 2015 in the early stages of the company as Chief Business Officer (CBO), and then served as President and CBO before being named its CEO in 2017. Prior to CRISPR, Sam was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he had a leading role in the Pharmaceutical and Medical products practice. While at McKinsey, he co-led the biotechnology practice and focused on topics ranging from strategy to operations and led initiatives in areas such as personalized medicine and immunotherapy. Sam also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Casebia Therapeutics, a joint subsidiary formed by CRISPR and Bayer. He received a Ph.D. in Bioengineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington and a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology. While at the University of Washington, Sam conducted research on the delivery of biological drugs and in the field of molecular diagnostics. He has authored several publications in leading scientific and business journals.

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Alexander Mayweg, Ph.D. – Managing Partner, Versant Ventures

Alex Mayweg, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2017 and, from March 2017 to September 2019, served as our interim Chief Scientific Officer. Alex has served as a Managing Director at Versant Ventures, a healthcare investment firm, since March 2020, and previously served as a Partner from January 2018 to February 2020 and as a Venture Partner from January 2017 to December 2017 at Versant Ventures. Additionally, since April 2017, he served as head of Ridgeline Therapeutics, a Versant Ventures Discovery Engine that creates and operates Versant-financed biotechnology companies in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining Versant, from 2013 to 2016, Alex served as Vice President and Global Head of Medicinal Chemistry at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, a multinational healthcare company, and held various leadership positions at Roche in pharmaceutical drug discovery and medicinal chemistry across Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Alex earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Oxford University, followed by post-doctorate training at Stanford University.

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Garry E. Menzel, Ph.D. - President and CEO of TCR2 Therapeutics

Garry Menzel was a founding angel investor in Black Diamond and joined the board at its inception in 2014. Garry is a Director and Chief Executive Officer of TCR2 Therapeutics. He has more than 25 years of experience in building healthcare businesses and leading high-performing teams of professionals.  His versatile career has included operational roles covering drug development, manufacturing, financing, licensing, and M&A. Prior to TCR2, Garry served as Chief Financial Officer at DaVita Healthcare and Chief Operating Officer at Regulus Therapeutics. He also had global leadership roles in running the biotechnology practices at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. In addition, he was a consultant with Bain & Company. Garry serves on the Board of Directors of Stoke Therapeutics, Inc. Garry earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where he studied the regulation of oncogenes in immune cells. He also has an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Rajeev Shah – Managing Partner, RA Capital Management

Rajeev (Raj) Shah is Managing Partner at RA Capital Management, LLC, a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in healthcare and life sciences, including companies developing novel drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. Raj is active in both public and private investments in companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics, and research tools. He is also active in the firm’s outreach efforts, speaking frequently both at industry events and in classrooms. Raj previously worked as a Senior Project Leader at Altus Pharmaceuticals, a spin-off company of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he assessed business processes and implemented system solutions across all areas of science. He is also an active member of the Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay program. Raj holds a B.A. from Cornell University, where he majored in Chemistry.

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Mark A. Velleca, M.D., Ph.D. – Venture Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners

Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D. was most recently Chief Executive Officer of G1 Therapeutics, where he grew the company from Series A through IPO and led the development of its first therapy (COSELA™) from preclinical to FDA approval. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Prior to LLS, Mark was co-founder and Senior Vice President of CGI Pharmaceuticals, where he managed the company from its inception through clinical trials of multiple drug candidates. After Gilead Sciences acquired CGI, he served as a Senior Advisor to Gilead in R&D Strategy and Corporate Development. Earlier in his career, Mark was an attending physician at Yale New Haven Hospital and on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Currently, Mark is a Senior Advisor and board member at G1 Therapeutics, board member at IMMvention Therapeutix, board chair at Turbine AI, and a Venture Partner at Hatteras Venture Partners.

Mark earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.S. from Yale University.