Board of Directors

Michael Gilman, PhD, CEO and Chairman

Dr. Gilman is CEO of Arrakis and Chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition, Mike currently serves as an Advisor at Atlas Venture and on the Boards of Directors of Scholar Rock, X4 Pharmaceuticals, and Obsidian Therapeutics. Previously, Mike was Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Padlock Therapeutics, a venture-funded company focused on autoimmune disease, acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2016. Prior to Padlock, Mike served as Senior Vice President, Early-Stage Pipeline, at Biogen Idec, with responsibility for managing the company’s development programs through clinical proof-of-concept. He joined Biogen Idec in March 2012 following its acquisition of Stromedix, a venture-backed company focused on fibrosis and organ failure, where he was Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to founding Stromedix in 2006, Mike served as Executive Vice President, Research at Biogen Idec, with responsibility for the company’s discovery research activities in Cambridge and San Diego. From 1994 to 1999, Mike was at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. From 1986 to 1994, Mike was on the scientific staff of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where his research focused on mechanisms of signal transduction and gene regulation. Mike was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley, and a S.B. in Life Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Colleen Cuffaro, PhD, Principal at Canaan Partners

Dr. Cuffaro is a Principal on Canaan Partner’s healthcare investment team. She currently serves as the Market Research and Strategic Planning Associate at Antiva Biosciences and observes on the boards of Spyryx Biosciences, NextCure, and Arvinas. Previously she was a board observer at Novira Therapeutics which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. She is a Visiting Research Scientist in the Department of Pharmacology at the Yale School of Medicine and helped to launch the Canaan-Yale Fellowship program. She is also an adviser to PITCH (Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health).

Prior to joining Canaan in 2014, Colleen was a chemist at Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Research Services (PMRS, Inc), where she worked with small and large pharma on drug product development, ranging from preclinical feasibility studies to commercial supply. She also served as a bioscience analyst for Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, an accelerator program for healthcare startups.

Colleen holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from Yale University and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Elaine V. Jones, PhD, Executive Director, Pfizer Venture Investments

Dr. Jones joined Pfizer Venture Investments as Executive Director, Venture Capital. She is responsible for making and managing venture investments for Pfizer and currently manages the PVI investments in Aquinox Pharmaceuticals (Vancouver, British Columbia), Flexion Therapeutics (Boston, MA), Merus B.V. (Utrecht, The Netherlands), and NeuroTherapeutics Pharma (Chicago, IL). Elaine brings 10 years of venture capital experience and a strong background in research and product assessment, built on her significant experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and business development to the PVI team.

Most recently, Elaine was a General Partner with the venture fund, EuclidSR Partners. There, she was responsible for the fund’s investments in Acurian, Fluidigm, InnaPhase and Targacept.

Prior to joining ESR, Dr. Jones began her private equity career in 1999 at S.R. One, GlaxoSmithKline’s venture fund, where she managed investments including Adolor, Avantium, Nucleonics, Scynexis and Vicuron. Previously, she served as Director of Scientific Licensing for SmithKline Beecham and was a research scientist in SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceutical R&D.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of Juniata College and received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Raj Parekh, PhD, General Partner, Advent Life Sciences

Dr. Parekh joined Advent in 2005, bringing over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and investor in the life sciences. Following an academic career in molecular medicine at Oxford University, Raj co-founded Oxford GlycoSciences which became listed on the LSE and NASDAQ. Following its sale to UCB-Celltech, he became Chairman of Galapagos nv, and a Director of Celldex Therapeutics before joining Advent. He has served on the Board of several portfolio Companies including Thiakis, Avila, EUSA and Cellnovo.

Alan E. Walts, PhD, Venture Partner, Advent Life Sciences

Dr. Walts is a co-founder of Arrakis, and in addition to serving as a Director is also Executive Chairman of Aura Biosciences and a Director of X4 Pharmaceuticals. Alan is a US-based Venture Partner with Advent Life Sciences, a Business Advisor to Henri Termeer, and an advisor to various life science companies. Alan has over 25 years of industry experience in venture capital, business development, research and development, and general management at Genzyme Corporation. Alan most recently managed Genzyme’s corporate venture fund, Genzyme Ventures (now Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures. Alan received a Ph.D. in chemistry from MIT in 1985, carried out post-doctoral research in biochemistry at MIT with Professor Christopher Walsh, and completed the executive Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.

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