In the midst of a transformation of the US healthcare system, the healthcare industry has been experiencing a paradigm shift in how start-ups are seeded, grown, and assessed. To adapt to this new norm, innovative approaches to grow and finance healthcare ventures are being pursued by stakeholders across the healthcare spectrum.
Noubar Afeyan is founder, Managing Partner and CEO of Flagship Ventures. He is also a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management where he has taught courses on technology entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership since 2000. Dr. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987.
During his 25-year career as inventor, entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist, he has co-founded and helped build more than 26 life science and technology startups. Dr. Afeyan serves on the board of directors for several Flagship portfolio companies, the board of trustees of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, and serves on several advisory boards including the World Economic Forum's Emerging Technology Council and the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO. He is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Kafka joined Foundation Medicine in January 2013, bringing over 15 years of business and strategy experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, with a focus on targeted therapies in oncology. Dr. Kafka was previously chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Aileron Therapeutics, where he led the company's operations, finance, and human resources functions.
Before this, Dr. Kafka was vice president of finance at Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI) where he led finance, investor and public relations and business operations. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kafka was senior director of finance at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was a member of the leadership team driving strategic planning and alliance management efforts with partner Johnson & Johnson for VELCADE, a novel targeted cancer therapeutic.
Dr. Kafka earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and his B.A. with Distinction and Honors from Stanford University.
Michael brings a long track-record of experience and innovation in the healthcare field. He is a General Partner at Foundation Medical Partners. Prior to joining FMP, Michael served as founding general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners where he led the firm's healthcare investments. He also served on the board of International Data Group, the initial flagship Limited Partner for the IDG Ventures global network of funds and Flybridge Capital Partners, which in 2008 transitioned from IDG Ventures Atlantic to its current name.
Representative investments include BlueTarp Financial, MicroCHIPS, PolyRemedy, Predictive Biosciences, Predilytics, T2 Biosystems, TARIS Biomedical and VidSys.
Previously, Michael focused on emerging-growth company financings with Polaris Venture Partners, was a senior vice president and founding partner of GCC Investments, and held positions at Wasserstein Perella & Co., Morgan Stanley & Co. and Credit Suisse First Boston.
Michael currently serves as chair of the Entrepreneurship Committee of the Massachusetts Information Collaborative and on the Investment Committee for the Partners Innovation Fund, as well as serving on several other boards including the New England Investors' Committee of Capital Innovation, and New England and National Venture Capital Associations. Recently named by the Boston Globe as the "Go-To" investor for life sciences, healthcare and medical devices and a Mass High Tech All-Star, Michael earned a B.A. with honors in chemistry from Williams College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Pamela Norton joined the MLSC in 2011 as the Vice President of Industry Relations and Programs. In her role, Pamela focuses on helping life sciences companies thrive in Massachusetts, and leads multiple initiatives including the Accelerator, Small Business Matching Grant and International Collaboration programs.
Through her 30 year medical industry career, Pamela's insight around the future of medical advances and her ability to bring together critical stakeholders has been well known. Initially a biomedical engineer at Johnson and Johnson, Pamela then spent twenty years as a leading management consultant at Arthur D. Little and IMS Consulting. Pamela earned a bachelor's degree in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University.
Robert leads Johnson & Johnson's Boston Innovation Center, where he and his team focus on identifying, shaping, and on-boarding the most promising science and technology opportunities at universities, academic centers and small biotech companies in the Greater Boston Area and across the East Coast.
Robert joined Johnson & Johnson from MIT, where he was the founding Executive Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. In this leadership role, Robert worked to build the Koch Institute into new standard for interdisciplinary disease-focused research via an expanding network with other academic oncology centers, industrial partners, cancer-focused philanthropists and investors. During Robert's tenure, the Koch Institute launched seventeen start-up companies and its technology was the source of over 50 out-licensing transactions.
Prior to MIT, Robert held multiple executive and leadership positions in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries. He received his B.A. in Microbiology and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas system, and was an Irvington Fellow in structural immunology at Harvard University.