Board of Directors

Dr. Kevin Bitterman is a Partner at Atlas Venture, a firm focused on creating and investing in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines.  Kevin serves on the boards of Akero Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKRO) and Kinaset Therapeutics. He is a co-founder and board member of Disc Medicine, and is chair of the board of Remix Therapeutics and Vedere Bio II following Novartis’ acquisition of Vedere Bio, Inc. He was the founding CEO of Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT), Morphic Therapeutic (NASDAQ:MORF) and Visterra (acquired by Otsuka), and co-founded Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ: GNCA). Prior to joining Atlas Venture in 2017, Kevin was a partner at Polaris Partners, where he had been a member of the healthcare team since 2004. Kevin is active in the life science and healthcare start-up community serving as Chair Emeritus of the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) and as a member of the Harvard Medical School Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator, Blavatnik Therapeutics Challenge Awards and Q-FASTR Steering Committees. He is also a member of the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum Board of Advisors. He received a BA in biology, summa cum laude, from Rutgers University before completing his PhD in genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Ting Jia, also known as TJ, is the Founder of Octagon Capital and has served as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer since 2019. Prior to founding Octagon Capital, TJ served as Managing Director at Hillhouse Capital Management. Before this, TJ was an investment analyst at BVF Partners and a management consultant at McKinsey’s New York office. TJ started his career as a research fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Cornell University Weill Medical College and a B.S. with first honor in Biological Sciences from Sun Yat-sen University.

Dr. Steve Tregay is the Managing General Partner at Mission BioCapital, a venture firm focused on making pivotal, early-stage investments in life science companies. Steve also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at LabCentral, and was the founder and former CEO of FORMA Therapeutics. Prior to FORMA, Steven was a managing director for the $200 million Novartis Option Fund. Prior to joining the venture group, he was the executive director and head of strategic alliances – Oncology, Ophthalmology and Technologies at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He managed a team responsible for identification, negotiation and management of collaborations for the oncology and ophthalmology disease areas and all the technology areas. Prior to Novartis, he had roles in business development at Array BioPharma and research. He received his doctoral and master’s degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University and a bachelor’s from Davidson College.

Abe Bassan is a Vice President at Samsara BioCapital, where he helps build life science companies focused on developing innovative medicines. Abe serves as a board member of Graphite Bio and Syncopation Life Sciences. He was previously Director of Program Biology at Revolution Medicines, and Associate Director of Program Development at bluebird bio. Before bluebird, Abe was an Associate at Third Rock Ventures, where he was involved in the firm’s investment in bluebird bio and concept creation for Blueprint Medicines. Abe was also the founder of Aurora Medical, a molecular diagnostics company. Abe received an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, and an M.S. in Developmental Biology from Stanford University.

Dr. Soraya Bekkali is an entrepreneurial senior executive with 20 years of international drug development experience in both big pharma and biotechs with a focus on gene therapy across different therapeutic areas (CNS, oncology, ocular diseases). Soraya served as the CEO of Gyroscope Therapeutics driving the company’ strategy and operations in developing gene therapies for the treatment of retinal diseases linked to an unbalanced complement system. Prior to this, she also served as CMO of Lysogene, a biotech developing gene therapy treatments for rare CNS disorders. Soraya started off her career at Sanofi where she held increasing leadership positions that culminated in leading the Opthalmology global Business Unit driving a pipeline of gene therapies for the treatment of inherited retinal dystrophies. She is a board certified MD, graduated from Paris University specialized in Clinical Pharmacology and Biostatistics.

Mary Newman recently joined Taysha Therapeutics as Chief Development Officer overseeing program and portfolio management, as well as translational sciences. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs at Astellas Gene Therapies (formerly Audentes Therapeutics) overseeing global regulatory strategic development, all primary regulatory agency interactions, and regulatory compliance for Audentes’ development candidates. She has more than 30 years of experience in regulatory affairs and research and development within the biotechnology industry, focusing on rare diseases with high unmet medical needs. Prior to joining Audentes, Mary served as the Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at SARcode Bioscience Inc., an ophthalmology company where she oversaw the development of Xiidra® for the treatment of dry eye disease and which was acquired by Shire Ltd. She previously held various management positions, with increasing responsibility in Regulatory Affairs at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc., Berlex Inc. (now Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.), and Sequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Johnson & Johnson). While at BioMarin, Ms. Newman oversaw the development and approval of Kuvan® for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU), Naglazyme® for mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) VI, and supported the final approval of Aldurazyme® for MPS I. She has also held various research and development leadership roles in oncology, neurology, and antifungal therapeutic areas. Ms. Newman also serves as an advisor to the board of directors of Chameleon Biosciences. Mary holds a B.S. in Physiology from Oregon State University.

Dr. Jay Trautman is the co-founder, CEO & Director of Invenio Imaging, a company using laser spectroscopy to image unprocessed tissue specimen without sectioning or staining, enabling intra-operative histologic evaluation. As a scientist and entrepreneur, Jay also serves as co-founder and Director of Vedere Bio II, a spin out of Vedere Bio which was acquired by Novartis in 2020, Aratome, and Photoswitch Biosciences. Jay started his career at Bell Labs, was an executive at Cytokinetics (CYTK) and at Amersham, which acquired his first start-up (Praelux). He earned his PhD in Chemistry from Cornell University.

Dr. Cyrus D. Mozayeni is co-founder, President and CEO of Vedere Bio and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Atlas Venture. Prior to Vedere, he was co-founder of CODA Biotherapeutics, and Oncorus (NASDAQ: ONCR) where he served as President and CBO. Prior to Oncorus, Cyrus served as VP and global head of business development and alliance management at bluebird bio (NASDAQ: BLUE), where his efforts led to a clinical-stage CAR T-cell program (ABECMA®, idecabtagene vicleucel) in collaboration with Celgene, and a successful IPO. Cyrus earned his Sc.B. in neuroscience from Brown University, his M.D. from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a licensed physician, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Dr. Benjamin Yerxa is the CEO of Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading private funder of research on potential treatments and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases including age-related macular degeneration. He also serves as CEO of the Retinal Degeneration Fund, a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary focused on making venture philanthropy investments to further the Foundation’s mission. Benjamin has more than 25 years’ experience in biotechnology, drug development, and in translating promising research discoveries into clinical milestones and treatments. His experience, from drug discovery through product launches and in leadership positions, is in the pulmonary, oral health, cardiovascular, HIV, and ophthalmology fields. Benjamin holds 60 U.S. patents. An inventor of DIQUAS™, an innovative treatment for dry eye approved in Japan, he has been involved in the discovery and development of investigational new drugs, Phase 3 clinical programs, new drug applications, and drug approvals. Benjamin earned his PhD in organic chemistry from University of California, Irvine, and BA in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.