Co-Chair Biographies

Daniella Kranjac

Daniella Kranjac, Founding GP, Avant Bio LLC
Daniella Kranjac is a Founding General Partner at Avant Bio. Daniella led Dynamk Capital’s investments in CellFE Biotech, Envisagenics, FloDesign Sonics (acquired by Millipore Sigma), RoosterBio, Virica Biotech, Xcell Biosciences, and others. Prior to founding Dynamk Capital, she was CEO and Founder of Dynamk Consulting, providing capital, strategy and business development consulting to leading life science companies and startups. Before that she was an entrepreneur and co-founded Wave Biotech LLC driving the start-up, growth and commercialization of a highly disruptive technology. As Vice President of the organization, Daniella established a high growth company with significant brand recognition, and led the group to a successful exit and acquisition by GE Healthcare in 2007 (now Danaher/Cytiva). At GE Healthcare, Daniella held a variety of strategic, M&A and business development roles. One of her most notable achievements is the success in an entrepreneurial group within the broader GE Healthcare, where a focus on integrating the acquired Xcellerex business enabled global commercialization of a several hundred million dollar enterprise solutions business. She holds a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and an Executive MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and has attended Harvard Business School Executive Education Courses in Private Equity & Venture Capital.

Ran Zheng, PhD

Ran Zheng, PhD, CEO, Landmark Bio
Ran Zheng is a biotechnology industry veteran who brings more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology operations across multiple geographies to Landmark Bio. She most recently served as Chief Technical Officer at Orchard Therapeutics, a commercial-stage global gene therapy company specializing in HSC based gene therapies. In this role, Ms. Zheng established the technical operations function and manufacturing network, and advanced the company’s product pipeline, including the approval of Libmeldy™ – the first gene therapy product for metachromatic leukodystrophy. Ms. Zheng has also held leadership positions at several major biotechnology companies including Genzyme (now Sanofi) and Amgen. At Amgen, Ms. Zheng played a key role in building differentiating capabilities in manufacturing for clinical supply and commercial product launch to enable speed to clinic and speed to market strategies for Amgen’s innovative products.

Ann Lee

Ann Lee, PhD, Chief Technical Officer, Prime Medicine
Ann Lee is Chief Technical Officer at Prime Medicine, a next generation gene editing company aiming to deliver a new class of one-time curative genetic therapies to patients. For over 30 years, she has built and led industry-leading global technical and operational organizations across multiple biopharma companies including BMS, Celgene, Juno, Genentech, Roche and Merck. Her teams have developed new processes and technologies, designed new facilities, manufactured high quality vaccines, small molecules, biologics, and cell therapies, and built global supply chains and digital systems to deliver these medicines. Ann is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She serves on the board of directors of Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, American Institute of Chemical Engineering, and two public companies. Over the course of her career, she has contributed to the commercialization of 25 new vaccines and medicines, the most recent being two CAR-T cell therapies.

Advisory Board Biographies

David Q. Anderson

David Q. Anderson, General Partner, Ampersand Capital Partners
David joined Ampersand in 2010. Previously, David spent six years with Covington Associates, a specialty investment bank focused on middle-market M&A in the healthcare sector. Prior to Covington, he spent five years as a consultant for Boston Healthcare Associates. David's current and past board seats include Vernal Bio, Genezen, Arranta Bio, StageBio, Protogene, BioClinica, Brammer Bio, Cellero, and Vibalogics. David holds a B.Sc. In Immunology from the University of Aberdeen, a Ph.D. in Tumor Immunology from the University of Sheffield and a M.B.A. from Babson College.

Matthew Hewitt

Matthew Hewitt, Vice President, Technical Officer CGT & Biologics, Charles River Laboratories
Matthew Hewitt, PhD, currently serves as Vice President, Technical Officer for CGT and Biologics at Charles River Laboratories (CRL) playing a critical role in driving CGT strategic vision as well as leading multiple operational initiatives across CRL’s CGT sites. Before joining CRL, he was Head of R&D and Clinical Development for Lonza’s Personalized Medicine Business Unit leading Cocoon platform development, a closed, automated, scalable cell therapy manufacturing solution. In addition, he executed numerous collaborations across academia and industry leveraging the Cocoon. Prior to Lonza, Matt led the Tumor Immunology and Microenvironment program at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, focusing on improving cell therapy efficacy in solid tumors. He also led the Immunology group at the University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Therapy Program, leading and contributing to numerous AAV gene therapy programs. Matt received his PhD in Biophysics and Physiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes, Global Head of Technical Operations, Galapagos
Robert Hughes joined Galapagos in January 2024 as Global Head of Technical Operations. He will lead Galapagos’ global cell therapy operations, including manufacturing, Quality Control (QC), Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC), process development, analytical development, and technology transfer. Robert brings a wealth of experience and has a rich background in the biopharmaceutical industry. He previously served as SVP & Global Head of Bioindustry at Miltenyi Biotec and VP & GM at Siegfried Holding AG and held operational leadership positions in several multinational organizations. In his most recent role at Miltenyi, he gained a deep understanding of cell therapy manufacturing and CMC. Robert holds a Master of Business Administration from Kaplan University and a Bachelor of Science from the San Diego State University.

Konstantina Katcheves

Konstantina Katcheves, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Bristol Myers Squibb
Konstantina Katcheves is Senior Vice President of Business Development for Innovative Technologies and Geographic Search at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). She has over twenty years of business development, corporate strategy, and intellectual property experience. In her role at BMS, Konstantina is responsible for all business development activities for new technologies including early discovery partnerships, digital health technology, precision medicine, and cell and gene therapy technologies. She also leads a global team responsible for business development in China and innovation sourcing in several regions outside the U.S. Prior to joining BMS, Konstantina served as Vice President for IP and Licensing at Agilent Technologies, and prior to Agilent was Vice President of Global IP and Licensing at Lonza. Konstantina holds an M.S. from the Johns Hopkins University, J.D. from the University of Oklahoma, and B.S from the University of California at San Diego.

Ulrike Lemke

Ulrike Lemke, Business Unit President, Sterile Fill & Finish, Recipharm AG
Ulrike Lemke is the Business Unit President, Sterile Fill & Finish at Recipharm AG. Ulrike has 20 years’ experience from the pharmaceutical sector working mainly within marketing, business intelligence and business strategy for companies such as Sartorius, Lonza and McKinsey. Ulrike holds a Diploma in Biochemistry from the University of Leipzig, 2002 and a Ph.D. in Functional Genomics, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.

Prem Tumkosit

Prem Tumkosit, Managing Director, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund
Prem Tumkosit (he/him) is a Managing Director at the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (MGHIF), investing in digital health, healthcare technology, and techbio. Prem leads GHI’s Next Horizon investment area, focusing on independent, stage-agnostic investments in frontier technologies and emerging business models.

Prem has led investments at the intersection of technology and biology including precision medicine, synthetic biology, microbial drug discovery, cyclic peptide discovery, and quantum computing. He serves on several company boards as a director or observer playing active roles guiding and developing portfolio companies. He also advises the Merck Social Impact Investment Fund and Merck for Mothers initiatives.

Prior to MGHIF, Prem worked in corporate & growth strategy and financial advisory across the healthcare sector. Prem co-led the Life Sciences M&A platform and the Growth & Innovation Capital Practice at Accenture Strategy. He previously worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse advising health and life sciences companies on M&A, debt, and equity financing.

Prem holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He was named to Fortune’s 40 under 40 list in 2020 and Crain’s New York Notable LGBTQ Leaders and Executives list in 2021.

Philip Vanek

Philip Vanek, CTO, Gamma Biosciences
Phil is responsible for technical due diligence and evaluation of potential investments, as well as guiding operational, R&D and strategic initiatives carried out at portfolio companies. An entrepreneurial and strategic international business leader, Phil joins Gamma from GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business unit where he directed strategy and portfolio growth. Phil received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Georgetown University Medical Center followed by an IRTA fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, and at the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, SC. Phil was an instructor for Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs teaching Biotechnology Marketing in the Masters of Biotechnology / MBA program, and has held leadership positions in a number of life sciences companies including Life Technologies, Becton Dickinson, and Lonza. Phil is a Board Member of CCRM in Toronto Canada and a Board Member of the ARM Foundation.

Chenny Zhang

Chenny Zhang, Principal, In-Q-Tel
Chenny Zhang is a Principal on the investments team at In-Q-Tel, the strategic investment firm for U.S. national security agencies, where she invests in life sciences and biotech companies. In addition to leading investments, Chenny has personally managed In-Q-Tel’s relationship with Anthro Energy and several other companies in proteomics, diagnostics, and robotics. Previously, Chenny served as the China portfolio lead at the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board (DIB), where she supported the AI ethics principles project, 5G report, and other initiatives. Before the DIB, Chenny was co-founder of an edtech software startup, overseeing fundraising, product development and technical support. Chenny was a 2020 NextGen National Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a 2022 Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Chenny received an MA in International Economics with a minor in China Studies from the Johns Hopkins University, and a BA from Boston College.