ImmuneID, Co-founder and Chair
Dr. Westphal is co-founder and General Partner of Longwood Fund and has spent 20 years as a biotech CEO, entrepreneur, and investor. Dr. Westphal has been the co-founder, CEO, and lead investor of seven biotechnology companies that have completed initial public offerings (IPOs) and created sustained market value of over $40 billion and have developed and received FDA approval for over 10 important drugs. These include: Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTA, acquired by J&J in 2020), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY), Acceleron Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLRN, acquired by Merck in 2021), Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRT, acquired by GSK in 2008), Verastem (NASDAQ: VSTM), and TScan Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TCRX). Dr. Westphal is also co-founder of Alnara Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Eli Lilly in 2010); co-founder of DEM Bio Pharma, co-founder/Chair of ImmuneID; co-founder/former CEO/Chair of Immunitas Therapeutics; co-founder of Pyxis Oncology (NASDAQ: PYXS); and co-founder of Concert Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNCE). Companies founded by Dr. Westphal have created over 6,000 jobs in the Boston area.
Companies founded by Dr. Westphal have developed and received FDA approval for over 10 important drugs, including the first RNAi therapy; for currently incurable cancers; the largest-selling heparin in the United States; a therapy for MS; for Beta Thalassemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome; and several experimental medicines: for cystic fibrosis (phase 3); for serious inflammatory disorders (phase 2).
Dr. Westphal earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University; and he graduated with a B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University. Dr. Westphal has served or currently serves as a member or director of: the Boston Commercial Club, the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) Emerging Companies Section Governing Board, the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School, and the Board of Trustees of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; he is also a member of the ownership group of the Boston Celtics. Dr. Westphal has been the lead or senior author on several patent applications and scientific papers in journals such as Cell, Nature, and Nature Genetics. Dr. Westphal has been featured on 60 Minutes with Morley Safer, CNN’s Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an ABC News Special hosted by Barbara Walters, and as the subject of Fortune, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal cover articles. Dr. Westphal has generally avoided media interviews since 2010.
JD George Washington
Thomas is a biotechnology investor, entrepreneur, and intellectual property lawyer with over 20 years of industry deal making and IP experience. He was a co-founder and Interim CEO of PhosImmune, Inc., an immuno-oncology neoantigen discovery company acquired by Agenus, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN). Thomas also served as General Counsel of Arrowhead Research Corporation (now Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, NASDAQ: ARWR). He was previously partner and co-Chair of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Life Sciences IP Practice after its acquisition of Fanelli Haag PLLC, a life sciences law firm he co-founded in 2009. He graduated from The George Washington University Law School and earned a PhD in Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology from UCLA where he was an NIH Fellow in Genetic Mechanisms.
BS University of Siena, IT
PhD University of Florence/Wistar institute, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Annalisa D’Andrea is a Venture Partner at Longwood Fund and joined ImmuneID as President and Chief Scientific Officer in April 2021. She brings more than 25 years of experience in basic and translational research in immunology and inflammation and strategic and operational know how of drug discovery. She joins ImmuneID from Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals where she was Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to Kiniksa, she was Vice President and Global Head of Discovery for Immunology and Inflammation at Roche, where she was responsible for discovering and advancing multiple drug candidates to the clinic. Prior to Roche, Annalisa held roles of increasing responsibility at SRI International, including Executive Director and Section Head of Discovery Biology, where she was responsible for developing strategies to advance drugs through discovery and into development. Prior to that, she led the SRI International Center for Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Diseases, developing synergistic core expertise leveraging capabilities in vaccinology, autoimmunity, infectious diseases, and inflammation. Before she joined SRI, she worked at Chiron Vaccines in Siena, Italy, an American multinational biotechnology firm that was later acquired by Novartis and most recently by GSK.
Dr. D’Andrea was educated in Italy and in the United States. She received a Bachelor of Sciences, summa cum laude from the University of Siena in Italy. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Florence while training at the Wistar Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work as a graduate student culminated with the discovery of antigen-presenting cells as the main producers of IL-12. Her postdoctoral fellowship training was at the DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto California under the mentorship of Dr. Lewis Lanier where she discovered one of the inhibitory receptors present on NK cells.
Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows
Co-Founder and SAB, TScan Therapeutics
Tomasz Kula is a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. During his PhD work at Harvard in the lab of Steve Elledge, he focused on developing new technologies to profile the immune system. He worked on a high-throughput platform called VirScan to map the targets of anti-viral antibodies. He also developed the T-Scan platform for high-throughput mapping of T cell epitopes and co-founded TScan Therapeutics, which is applying the platform to develop novel cancer immunotherapies. He has been the recipient of multiple fellowships, including the NSF GRFP and the Harvard Biogen Innovation Grant. Tomasz graduated Magna Cum Laude with Highest Honors in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard College.
Assistant Professor, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Department of Epidemiology
Core member, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics
Assistant Professor in Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Medical Director in Clinical Microbiology (molecular diagnostics) in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Mina earned his MD and PhD degrees from Emory University, with doctoral work split between CDC, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit in Johannesburg, South Africa and the Emory Vaccine Center. He completed his post-doctoral work at Princeton University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (of infectious disease dynamics) with Prof. Bryan Grenfell and at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Genetics with Prof. Stephen Elledge. He completed his residency training in clinical pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School.
Michael’s research combines mathematical and epidemiological models with high-throughput phage-display based serological laboratory investigations, including development of new technologies and statistical pipelines to better understand the population and immunological consequences and patterns underlying infectious diseases. Much of the work towards new technology development is performed in close collaboration with Steve Elledge at HMS. Major themes of his lab include (i) development of new approaches (laboratory and statistical methods) to enable extremely high-throughput serological surveillance of infectious pathogens; (ii) use of high-complexity antibody profiling and epidemiological data to understand the pathogenesis of vaccine preventable diseases, with a specific focus on measles infections and vaccines; (iii) elucidating broad unintended / heterologous effects of vaccines to alter transmission patterns of unrelated infectious pathogens – using serology and dynamical models; and (iv) understanding the life-history of infectious pathogens across ages, genders, geographies and times. In addition to his interests in infectious diseases, his research also explores more fundamental questions of immunity and immune repertoires: how they form, how they persist, how they are passed on and how they become perturbed during natural life-events.
Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering. Harvard Medical School
Professor of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Institute Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
PhD SUNY Stony Brook
BS University of Michigan
David pioneered the use of microwell arrays for single-molecule detection and analysis, which has revolutionized the process of genetic and proteomic sequencing, enabling the cost of DNA sequencing, and genotyping to plummet nearly a millionfold in the last decade. This technology is now the gold standard for sequencing in a wide variety of applications including screening embryos for genetic defects before in vitro fertilization, studying disease in preserved/frozen tissues, improving crop disease resistance, and identifying individuals’ metabolic profiles to ensure proper drug dosage. David’s current research employs optical fiber microarrays for the detection and analysis of single enzyme molecules to provide mechanistic insight into enzyme mechanisms. In another project, his lab is investigating the limits of creating high-density sensing arrays containing thousands of microsensors and nanosensors and are preparing arrays to perform high-density nucleic acid and protein analysis. One application of this effort is an integrated diagnostic platform for performing medical diagnostics using saliva as a sample instead of blood. The arrays can also be used to study living cells, both as cell populations and as individual cells, and analyze the contents of individual cells by integrating microfluidics with single-molecule detection. They are also studying the behavior of large numbers of cells to understand the distribution of cell behaviors in a population.
David is a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He is the Scientific Founder of Illumina, Inc. and Quanterix Corp, and has co-founded several other life sciences startups. Previously, he was a University Professor, Professor of Neuroscience, and Professor of Oral Medicine at Tufts University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 American Chemical Society Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success, the 2016 Ralph Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry, the 2014 American Chemical Society Gustavus John Esselen Award, the 2013 Analytical Chemistry Spectrochemical Analysis Award, the 2013 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award, and the 2010 ACS National Award for Creative Invention.
Assistant Professor, Immunology Division, Department of Pathology
Director, Laboratory for Precision Immunology
Johns Hopkins University
BS UC Berkeley
Dr. Larman earned his B.S. in Engineering Physics and Bioengineering from UC Berkeley in California. He then obtained a Ph.D. from Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences & Technology, which was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Larman directs The Laboratory of Precision Immunology within the Immunology Division of the Pathology Department.
The Larman laboratory develops and deploys new technologies to study the human immune system and its response to environmental exposures. High throughput DNA sequencing technologies enable the novel, massively parallel molecular assays developed by the group. Examples of these technologies include: phage display of synthetic peptidome libraries for comprehensive, quantitative profiling of antibodies; molecular display of ORFeome libraries for antigen discovery, protein-protein interaction studies, and drug target identification; ultrasensitive, multiplex RNA quantification techniques to monitor gene expression and detect pathogens; and efficient immune receptor repertoire sequencing to characterize immune responses. The laboratory uses these and other unbiased approaches to identify new opportunities for monitoring and manipulating human immune responses.
Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and of Medicine, Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Professor, Genetics, Brigham And Women’s Hospital
BS University of Illinois
Steve is widely cited for his many seminal contributions and in particular for his work on the mechanics of both cellular proliferation and the DNA Damage Response. He was awarded the Albert Lasker Prize in Basic Medicine in 2015 for his body of work elucidating how cells sense DNA damage and initiate self-repair. His pioneering research in that field has had a significant impact on understanding human birth defects and aging as well as the genomics of cancer and shows great promise for finding cures. He is also a leader in promoting new genetic technologies and designing methodologies to help researchers better analyze the development of various disorders including cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative conditions.
The recipient of numerous other awards including the 2013 Gairdner Foundation international Award, the 2015 Wiley Prize, and the 2017 Gruber Prize in Genetics and the 2017 Breakthrough Prize for Life Sciences for paradigm-shifting research. Dr. Elledge was also a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow, an American Cancer Society Senior Fellow and a Pew Scholar.
Dr. Elledge received his Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.S. from the University of Illinois. He completed his post-doctoral studies in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University and then joined the faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Biochemistry in 1989 prior to joining Harvard Medical School in 2003.
Elledge’s team is also developing new immunological tools to probe autoimmunity and viral function. One technology they created, called VirScan, detects antibodies against all human viruses in blood. Using a single drop of blood, the method enables researchers to test for current and past viral infections. Others such as T Scan identify the targets of T cells
Elledge’s team recently identified multiple genes that control cell proliferation. The scientists are using this information to reconstruct the higher-order regulatory networks that drive the cell cycle and cancer proliferation. The group has also uncovered many new tumor suppressors and oncogenes by examining the mutational profiles of tumors. They discovered that the distribution of these genes on chromosomes is predictive of the pattern of aneuploidy seen in cancers, providing a new hypothesis of how aneuploidy drives tumorigenesis.
BS Wake Forest University
MBA University of Michigan
Mr. Scibetta joined ImmuneID as Chief Executive Officer in September 2021 and brings over 20 years of experience successfully leading life science companies from early-stage platform development through commercialization. He joins ImmuneID after serving as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Maverick Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering conditionally active bispecific T-cell targeted immunotherapies with their COBRA Platform. Maverick was acquired by Takeda in April 2021. Prior to Maverick, Mr. Scibetta held various executive leadership roles at Pacira Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: PCRX), including President, and before that as CFO, overseeing global R&D, CMC, and capacity expansion activities for the development of their drug EXPAREL. He successfully led the company’s 2011 IPO and subsequent debt and equity financings. Prior to Pacira, Mr. Scibetta served as CFO of Bioenvision Inc. (NASD: BVIN, acquired by Genzyme) and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. He began his career in investment banking, spending over a decade sourcing and executing transactions for a range of public and private healthcare and life sciences companies.
Mr. Scibetta holds a BS in Physics from Wake Forest University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He currently serves on the Board of Aquestive Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AQST) and Matinas BioPharma (NYSE: MTNB).
BS University of Vermont
MBA Harvard Business School
Mr. Jeff Capello is a senior finance executive with over 30 years of experience helping companies create significant value for their shareholders. Mr. Capello started his career in public accounting with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he was an audit partner on a variety of assignments ranging from helping startup companies through the public offering process to helping larger companies with strategic, transaction and operational support projects. He also served as the Chief Financial Officer for a range of publicly held and private equity backed companies (PerkinElmer, Boston Scientific, Ortho Clinical Diagnostic, Beacon Health Options and Biogen) where he developed a strong record of improving the operational and financial health of these organizations. Mr. Capello’s specific areas of expertise include strategic planning, business development, capital markets, business planning, cost management, productivity improvement, functional leadership, people development and organizational design. He also served on the Board of Directors for several early stage publicly held biotech companies as Audit Committee Chair. Mr. Capello has a Master’s in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He also was a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts.
Managing Partner, Pitango Healthtech Fund
BSc Ben-Gurion University
Ittai currently serves on the Board of Directors of DouxMatok, EarlySense, Medisafe, Clew Medical, Tscan, Vertos Medical and Visby Medical. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board at EarlySense.
His investments focus on Digital Health, Health-IT and MedTech, and he brings with him over 15 years of experience in Venture Capital as well as 20 years of experience in operations and management roles.
Before joining Pitango, Ittai headed Corporate Development at Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR), served as Executive Vice President roles at IDGene Pharmaceuticals and IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ: IDXX).
Ittai holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology from Ben-Gurion University, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Managing Partner, Section 32
BA Stanford University
PhD Harvard University
Dr. Steve Kafka works with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to help build companies that seek to create vast improvements in patient care and rewarding professional opportunities for employees.
Dr. Kafka co-led investment and served as both founding CEO and Executive Chairman of Thrive Earlier Detection, a healthcare company advancing a breakthrough blood test for the earlier detection of multiple types of cancer. Thrive was acquired by Exact Sciences in January 2021. Steve also served as Executive Chairman at the molecular technology company ArcherDX, Inc., which was acquired by Invitae in October 2020. Dr. Kafka also led Section 32’s investments in C2i Genomics, CelsiusTx, and Glympse Bio where he is also Chairman.
Earlier, Dr. Kafka was President and Chief Operating Officer at Foundation Medicine, which was acquired by Roche in 2018, and also held leadership roles with several biotechnology companies.
Dr. Kafka holds a PhD degree in political economy and government from Harvard University and a BA degree in economics and political science from Stanford University.
Managing Partner, Alta Partners
BA Georgetown University
MBA University of California, Los Angeles
Dan Janney is the Managing Partner of Alta Partners. Dan Janney joined Alta Partners at its founding in 1996. He has nearly 25 years of successful early-stage investing experience in life sciences. Dan’s focus on working with talented entrepreneurs to create companies around novel insights in biology and new approaches to drug discovery has led to the funding and development of 35 companies. Prior to Alta, Dan was a senior investment banker at Montgomery Securities.
Dan is currently on the board of directors of several public and private companies, including Allakos (NASDAQ:ALLK), Be Biopharma, Curasen Therapeutics, ImmuneID, Krystal Biotech (NASDAQ:KYRS), Lassen Therapeutics, Novome Biotechnologies, and Prolacta Bioscience. In addition, he led Alta’s investments in Astex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Supergen), Cellective (acquired by Medimmune), ChemGenex (ASX:CXS acquired by Cephalon), CoTherix (NASDAQ:CTRX acquired by Actellion), Definity Health (acquired by United Health), Dynavax (NASDAQ:DVAX), Endonetics (acquired by Medtronic), Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR), Ilex Oncology (NASDAQ:ILXO acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), InterMune (NASDAQ:ITMN acquired by Roche), LJL Biosystems (NASDAQ:LJLB acquired by Molecular Devices), Mako Surgical (NASDAQ:MAKO acquired by Stryker) and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VIRS acquired by Gilead).
Dan is a member of The President’s Council of the J. David Gladstone Institutes and the chair of the Board of Directors of the California Academy of Sciences. He also serves on the Board of Regents of Georgetown University. He holds a BA from Georgetown University and a MBA from the Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles.