Ali joined NEA in 2007 and is a 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 an intern and later 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 and at Duke University. Ali concurrently earned his MD degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his MBA degree from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, where he graduated with Honors and was a Palmer Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude and received his bachelor’s degrees with distinction in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Chemistry from Duke University. Ali serves on the boards of directors of the following companies: Adaptimmune, Arcellx, Cardionomic, CRISPR Therapeutics, CVRx, Genocea, Ivantis, Minerva Surgical, Nevro, Nkarta, Oyster Point Pharma and Solace Therapeutics.
Ali Behbahani, M.D.
Jeffrey Nau, PhD, MMS
Jeff has built his career on developing novel, innovative therapies for diseases of the eye, with over 15 years of experience working with biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies. Most recently, he was VP, Clinical and Medical Affairs, at Ophthotech. Prior to that, Jeff was a Medical Science Director at Genentech working on the development of Lucentis®, a transformative drug for retinal diseases. Jeff has helped raise more than $250 million in equity for innovative startups such as Genaera Corporation, Acuity Pharmaceuticals, and NeoVista, Inc. He holds numerous patents and peer-reviewed publications. Jeff has a Ph.D. in Public Health and Epidemiology from Walden University, a M.S. in Medical Science from MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine, and a B.S. in Biology from Stony Brook University.
Michael G. Atieh
Mike has served as a director and chairman of the Audit Committee of Immatics, N.V., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, since July 2020. Mike has also served as director of electroCore, Inc., a medical technology company, since June 2018. He is currently Chairman and previously chaired the Audit Committee from June 2018 until September 2018. Mike has also served as a director of Chubb Limited, the parent company of the Chubb Group of Companies focused on global insurance and reinsurance services, since January 1990. He currently is a member of the Risk and Finance Committee and previously chaired the Audit Committee from 2012 to 2018. Mike also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Business Officer of Ophthotech Corporation (a biopharmaceutical company) and was Executive Chairman of Eyetech Inc., a private specialty pharmaceutical company. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of OSI Pharmaceuticals. Mike has previously served as a director and/or in management roles at a number of life sciences and biotechnology companies including Theravance Biopharma, Inc. Dendrite International, Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc. Mike earned a B.A. from Upsala College.
WILLIAM J. LINK, PhD
Bill specializes early-stage investing in medical devices. He is a founder and Principal of Flying L Partners and he is a founder and Managing Director of Versant Ventures. Prior to co-founding Versant Ventures, Bill was a general partner at Brentwood Venture Capital, and has over two decades of operations experience in the healthcare industry. Bill was previously founder, chairman, and CEO of Chiron Vision, which was sold to Bausch and Lomb in 1997. Prior to Chiron Vision, Bill founded and served as President of American Medical Optics (AMO), a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation, which was sold to Allergan in 1986. Later, he served on the Board of AMO’s successor company, Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) which was acquired by Abbott in 2009. AMO was acquired by Johnson and Johnson in 2016. Before entering the healthcare industry, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Bill currently serves on the board of several private companies and three public companies, Edwards Lifesciences, Glaukos, and Second Sight Medical Products. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Purdue University.
Mark has been a CFO in the life science sector for over 30 years, working with senior executives and their boards. His eye care experience includes the successful exits of Optimedica and Oculeve. Mark spent over 20 years with Guidant Corporation, where he was part of the senior management team through its $1 billion IPO until its acquisition in 2006 for $27 billion (by Boston Scientific and Abbott Labs). He has helped raise over $1.6 billion in equity and over $500 million in debt for public and private companies. Mark is currently a partner at FLG Partners, LLC. He holds a B.S. in business administration (accounting) from San Francisco State University.
CLARE OZAWA, PHD
Clare is a managing director at Versant Ventures with a focus on investments in San Diego and the Bay Area. Previously, Clare was COO of Inception Sciences, where she was responsible for strategic business development, operations and finance for the Inception Sciences research sites in San Diego, Vancouver and Montreal. During her tenure at Inception, she assumed leadership roles in the creation and management of six new companies launched in partnership with academic researchers and major biopharmaceutical companies.
Before joining Inception, she was an investment professional at Versant, where she was involved in several successful investments including Flexion (NASDAQ:FLXN), Biotie (purchased by Acorda), and Quanticel (purchased by Celgene). She joined Versant from Novartis Pharma, where she worked in the Office of the CEO leading strategic initiatives for the Novartis Pharma Executive Committee.
Previously, Clare was at McKinsey & Company where she advised clients across the biopharmaceutical sector. Clare earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with honors and distinction from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University Medical School.
Ben is a partner at Invus Opportunities, a New York based investment firm that currently manages over $1.5 billion of capital. Ben joined Invus Opportunities in 2008 when the firm spun off from sister firm The Invus Group, an equity investment firm founded in 1985 with over $8 billion of evergreen capital. Ben leads investments by Invus Opportunities in growing private companies, and works in close partnership with market-leading management teams and investors to create lasting value. Ben has served on the Board of Directors of numerous companies, both in the health care sector as well as in other industries. Prior to joining Invus Opportunities, Ben was a management consultant at the Monitor Group. Ben received a B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern California and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Aimee served as the General Counsel and as a Corporate Vice President at Edwards Lifesciences Corporation from January 2011 to July 2019. Prior to Edwards Lifesciences, she served as a legal advisor to public pharmaceutical and medical device companies located in Southern California from 2009 to 2010. From 2002 to 2009, Aimee served in several positions at Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. (acquired by Abbott Laboratories), including Corporate Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary; Executive Vice President, Administration, General Counsel and Secretary; and Executive Vice President, Administration and Secretary. From 1998 to 2002, Aimee served as Corporate Counsel and Assistant Secretary; and then Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Allergan, Inc. Since July 2014, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Glaukos Corporation (NYSE:GKOS). Aimee received a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
George Eliades, PHD
George Eliades, Ph.D., is currently the Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Transformation Officer at Jazz Pharmaceuticals. From November 2007 to December 2020, Dr. Eliades was a partner at Bain & Company, where he focused primarily on advising biopharmaceutical clients at the company’s San Francisco and Zurich offices. Dr. Eliades has extensive experience supporting companies in oncology, neurology, endocrinology, ophthalmology and other specialty products. He brings deep experience in product launch and growth strategy. Dr. Eliades has advised multiple clients on their transformation agendas, including strategy, cost, M&A and digital driven transformation. Before joining Bain, Dr. Eliades was a consultant at Monitor Group serving global biopharmaceutical clients. Dr. Eliades serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and has also advised nonprofits in the healthcare space, including the California Life Sciences Association and the American Society of Retina Specialists. Dr. Eliades received a B.A. from Harvard College, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.