We’re there, from idea to exit.
We are scientists, investors, founders, and serial entrepreneurs. Our team has a long history together, investing in, launching, and building dozens of early-stage life science companies.
Robert Blazej, PhD
Robert Blazej, PhD is a Partner based in our San Francisco office. He invests in early stage life science companies and is responsible for coordination of firmwide diligence efforts on new investment opportunities. Robert currently holds board roles at Telo Therapeutics, Photoswitch BioSciences, and Dren Bio. Robert is a passionate biotechnologist with a diverse skill set spanning business, life science, engineering and intellectual property. He brings more than 10 years of small and big company operational experience to our team. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded Allopartis Biotechnologies out of QB3’s original “garage” incubator at UCSF and has been hooked on entrepreneurship ever since. Allopartis was acquired by Novozymes in 2013, becoming Novozymes’ Digital Biotechnology research site in San Francisco which Robert directed before joining Mission BioCapital in 2017. He holds a B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering jointly from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley.
Cassidy Blundell, PhD
Cassidy Blundell, PhD is a Principal based in our Cambridge office. She is responsible for sourcing and assessing new investment opportunities as part of the diligence team as well as assisting in management of the portfolio. She holds a board role at ARase Therapeutics. Before joining the firm as an analyst in 2018, Cassidy completed her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the HHMI Interfaces program. Cassidy’s doctorate research focused on development of microengineered in vitro systems to study the human placenta, which were used to investigate maternal-fetal transport and placental development. Cassidy holds a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University.
Director of Operations, Cambridge
Mark Byrnes is Director of Operations in our Cambridge office. His responsibilities encompass overall administrative functions. Mark supports the infrastructure backbone of the organization and coordination of the full team in all locations. He also manages key aspects of our interface with investors and portfolio companies. Prior to joining BioInnovation Capital in 2016, Mark was at Ampersand Capital Partners in Wellesley, MA for more than 20 years in a similar role. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Northeastern University.
Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer
Chris Carlin is Chief Operations Officer and Chief Compliance Officer in our Cambridge office. He is responsible for regulatory compliance, ensuring company policies are up to date and implemented, and the oversight of an infrastructure to educate and train employees on new compliance requirements. He is also responsible for third-party vendor relations and diligence, IT and cybersecurity, risk management, and oversees the day-to-day back-office operations of the fund.
Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Chris spent 30 years in financial services, with the last 24 years at State Street Corporation. He has a breadth of experience with the daily administration of the business, project management, governance, regulatory compliance, and operational risk management. Chris holds a B. A in Political Science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and an M.B.A. in Finance from Boston College.
Zach Collins, PhD
Zach Collins, PhD is a Principal in our San Francisco office. He focuses on investments in early-stage biopharmaceutical companies and launching early-stage company operations in collaboration with entrepreneurs. He holds board roles at Jupiter Bioventures and Telo Therapeutics. At MBC Biolabs, Zach is the Head of Academic Alliances and an Entrepreneur Success Partner. His training is in molecular biology & genetics where he applied genome editing, single cell sequencing, and live-imaging tools to the study of stem-cell differentiation in the vertebrate embryo. While at Harvard Medical School, Zach co-authored work that was recognized by Science as 2018’s Breakthrough of the Year. Zach holds a Ph.D. in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard University and a B.S. in Biology from George Washington University.
Managing General Partner
Douglas Crawford, PhD
Doug Crawford, PhD is a Managing General Partner at Mission BioCapital in our San Francisco office. He focuses on seed and early stage biopharmaceutical investments as well as overall management of the firm. He currently holds board roles at Alessa Therapeutics, Avexegen Therapeutics, Epiodyne, Graphwear Technologies, Invenio, Magnamosis, Magnap, Mitokinin, SiteOne, and Tangible Science. Doug also runs our labs in the Bay Area, MBC BioLabs. Doug has made over 40 other investments in the Mission BioCapital portfolio including Alector Therapeutics, Caribou, Cell Design Labs, eFFECTOR, iPierian, Principia Biopharma, Redwood BioSciences, and Zymergen.
Doug has been helping entrepreneurial scientists launch biotech startups since 2004. He created the first technical incubator for the University of California system while an associate director of QB3. This initiative demonstrated a new and better way to launch life-science startups. Based on that success Doug founded Mission Bay Capital, a predecessor to Mission BioCapital. In 2013, he created the first of 5 co-working labs for MBC BioLabs. These Bay Area labs allow companies with nothing more than a dream and a credit card to become a viable biotech company. They have been home to 240 companies that have brought 88 drug programs to the clinic, 71 therapeutic products to market, and raised over $10 billion.
Doug received his PhD in biochemistry from UCSF where he studied the regulation of aging.
Director of Operations, Bay Area
Linda Eng is Director of Operations for Mission BioCapital’s San Francisco office, helping the team track new investment prospects, organizing meetings, and providing administrative support. Linda is also Chief People Person at MBC BioLabs, where she manages space and lease interactions, application processes, and facilities. Linda worked within UCSF’s Department of Hematology and Oncology as Program Manager of the Translational Research Program under the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, an NCI cooperative group. While there, her role grew into Program Manager of the Prostate Cancer Research Program for UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Johannes Fruehauf, MD PhD
Johannes Fruehauf, MD PhD is a General Partner in our Cambridge office. Johannes sources, diligences, and leads new investment transactions and has board roles at various portfolio companies including Arkuda, QurAlis, Vaxess Technologies, and Sentien Biotechnologies and previously for Tidal Therapeutics, Totient, and Pandion. His background includes time as a physician working in diverse health systems as well as 20+ years as a serial biotech entrepreneur.
Through his passionate vision of re-defining life science start-up ecosystems, he is the Co-Founder and President of LabCentral, the preeminent public-private partnership model for life science incubator space. He is also CEO for BioLabs, the operator of laboratory co-working spaces for startups nationwide. LabCentral, BioLabs and MBC BioLabs currently serve over 385 startups in 8 geographies. The companies started within this network now routinely account for over 20% of all Seed and Series A venture capital invested in life sciences in the US.
Johannes graduated from the University of Frankfurt and received his doctorate from the University of Heidelberg. He studied medicine in Germany and France, while also conducting field work in Africa (Zimbabwe and Guinea). He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his scientific and entrepreneurial work, including the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (New England) and Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
Jennifer Griffin, PhD
Jennifer Griffin, PhD is a Partner in our Cambridge office where she focuses on fund strategy and investor relations. Jennifer has spent the last 10+ years accelerating early-stage life science companies through direct investing, as well as creating ecosystems for them to thrive. As a VP at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), she designed and executed the Commonwealth’s investment strategy with a particular focus on developing underserved and underrepresented markets and talent within the industry. Before this, she served as a management and strategy consultant at Back Bay Life Science Advisors. She began her career as a licensing professional at MIT’s Technology Licensing Office working with faculty, entrepreneurs, and investors to commercialize early-stage life science innovations.
Jennifer holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she studied the genetic basis of mycobacterial cholesterol utilization.
Vice President of Finance
Samar Jahan is Vice President of Finance in our Cambridge office. She is responsible for managing the firm’s financial reporting and overseeing fund-related financial reporting and tax work. Prior to joining Mission BioCapital, she worked at HarbourVest Partners, a leading global private equity investment firm, where she managed financial reporting for funds and the SSAE 16 control audit for the firm. She has extensive financial and operational experience. Samar’s career began at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a member of the assurance and advisory practice with a focus on financial services. She holds a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Accounting, Finance and Economics from University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Eric W. Linsley is a General Partner based in our Durham, NC office. He focuses on new investment opportunities in North Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast. Eric’s current board roles include Cereius, Graphwear Technologies and Tune Therapeutics. He is a co-founder of BioLabs LLC and BioLabs NC in Durham, NC and Chapel Hill, NC. He has specifically concentrated his investment efforts on company creation through BioLabs NC, as exemplified by Cereius, Inc. He has a long history of early-stage life sciences investment success, most recently at Pappas Ventures in Durham, NC.
While at Pappas Ventures, Eric served on the Board of Panacos Pharmaceuticals, and played a key role in its successful reverse merger with Vitex, a publicly-traded company. He was responsible for over 15 investments at Pappas including Peninsula Pharmaceuticals and Cerexa. Earlier in his career, Eric worked as an investment professional with Ampersand Capital, where he joined Peter Parker for several years. While at Ampersand, he held interim management positions in operating roles for various industrial products and life sciences companies, most notably TriPath Imaging, Inc. He previously served as a management consultant with Bain & Co. and McKinsey & Co., and was a Certified Public Accountant with Arthur Andersen LLP.
Eric received his MBA from the Wharton School, an M.S. in Accounting from New York University, and a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College.
Managing General Partner
Peter Parker is a Managing General Partner based in our Cambridge office. He focuses on new investments in life science tools, therapeutics, and drug delivery as well as overall management of the firm. He is currently a board member at Alessa, Mitokinin, Mediar, PhotoSwitch BioSciences, Comet and Arclight Therapeutics. For the past three decades, Peter has focused on early-stage company formation, funding, and growth and has been an equity investor and board member in over 35 life science companies. He was previously a General Partner at Ampersand Ventures from 1989-2006 and co-led the establishment of their life sciences franchise. For the past 10 years, Peter has played a major role in the greater Boston/Cambridge start-up ecosystem. At MassChallenge, he was the first healthcare/life sciences ‘Champion’ from 2012-2017. He also co-founded LabCentral with Johannes Fruehauf. In 2014, Peter was appointed to the Board of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center by Governor Deval Patrick.
Prior to Ampersand, Peter was head of worldwide R&D for AMAX Inc, a Fortune 50 industrial company. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University.
Chaya Patel, PhD
Chaya D. Patel, PhD is an Associate based in our Cambridge office. She assesses new investment opportunities and supports portfolio companies. Prior to joining the firm in 2021, Chaya conducted diligence for a family office focused on early-stage biotech ventures and supported the growth of their portfolio company Alloy Therapeutics. Chaya’s graduate research yielded new discoveries for how vaccine and antibody therapeutics can be repurposed for neonatal viral infections. Chaya holds a PhD from Dartmouth College and B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology from UCLA.
Helen Siaw, PhD
Helen Siaw, PhD is an Associate based in our San Francisco office. She assesses new investment opportunities and supports portfolio companies. She is also an Entrepreneur Success Partner at MBC BioLabs. Helen’s doctoral research focused on using lipid nanoparticles as a system to study protein folding and viral entry. While in graduate school, she was the president at the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) at Emory and served as a board member at the AWIS Georgia National Chapter. Helen holds a PhD in Chemistry from Emory University and a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Michael Taylor, PhD
Michael D. Taylor, PhD is an Operating Partner at Mission BioCapital in our Cambridge office. He provides management and operational leadership to portfolio companies, and is currently serving as Executive Chairman at ARase Therapeutics, Telo Therapeutics, Mitokinin, and Epiodyne. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals from 2014 – 2019. Prior to joining Deciphera, Dr. Taylor was CEO of Ensemble Therapeutics, a small molecule drug discovery company, from 2007 to 2013. Prior to joining Ensemble, Dr. Taylor was Senior Vice President for Pfizer’s Global R&D division and served as Vice President, Drug Development at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, where he led early and late-stage development projects across multiple therapeutic areas, including Lipitor® and Neurontin®.
Dr. Taylor has authored or coauthored 65 manuscripts, published numerous abstracts, and is co-inventor on eight patents. Dr. Taylor holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy, was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in natural products synthesis and structure elucidation at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Florida.
Managing General Partner
Steve Tregay, PhD
Steve Tregay, PhD is a Managing General Partner based in our Cambridge office. He focuses on new therapeutics investments with a particular emphasis on company creation opportunities as well as on overall management of the firm. Within the Mission BioCapital portfolio, he is currently founding CEO and board member of Arclight Therapeutics, LLC, a founding board member at Jupiter BioVentures LLC, and has board roles at Vedere Bio and Nocion Therapeutics. In addition, Steve serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at LabCentral. He is a Harvard Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator Advisory Committee member and is a member of the board of advisors for the non-profit Life Sciences Cares.
Previously, Steve was the Founder and CEO of FORMA Therapeutics. Additional roles held prior to his engagement at FORMA include Managing Director for the Novartis Venture Fund and Executive Director & Head of Strategic Alliances for Oncology, Ophthalmology and Technologies at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Prior to Novartis, he held roles in research and business development at Array BioPharma.
Steve received his doctoral and Master’s degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s from Davidson College.