Left to Right: Christopher Brody, Alfred Sommer, Erin O'Shea, James Fordyce (Chair Emeritus), Willard Overlock (Director Emeritus), Claire Pomeroy, Anthony Evnin, Sherry Lansing, George Roche (Director Emeritus), Russell Steenberg, Solomon Snyder. Not pictured: Marshall Fordyce, Joseph Goldstein, Jordan Gutterman, Peggy Hamburg, Susan Hockfield, Chris Jones, Betsy Nabel, Elias Zerhouni.
Tony Evnin joined Venrock in 1974 and built the firm's healthcare franchise, helping to shape the modern biotechnology industry. Evnin is focused on building valuable companies that address important medical needs of the world, while providing strong returns for investors. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of three public companies, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Infinity Pharmaceuticals and Cantel Medical Corporation, as well as two private Boards. Past investments in the biotechnology sector include Centocor (IPO/acquired by Johnson & Johnson), Coley Pharmaceutical Group (IPO/acquired by Pfizer), Genetics Institute (IPO/acquired by Wyeth), Icagen (IPO/acquired by Pfizer), IDEC Pharmaceuticals (IPO/merged with Biogen), IDEXX Laboratories, Millennium Pharmaceuticals (IPO/acquired by Takeda) and Sepracor (IPO/acquired by Dainippon Sumitomo). More than 30 of his investments have been through an IPO during his Venrock tenure. Evnin started his career as a Research Scientist and Group Leader in Organic Chemistry at Union Carbide and as Director of Product Development at Story Chemical. He serves as a Member of the Boards of Overseers and Managers of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as Trustee of The Jackson Laboratory, as a Trustee Emeritus of The Rockefeller University, as a Trustee Emeritus of Princeton University, and as a Director of the New York Genome Center. Evnin received his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Evnin has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2013 and became Chair of its Board in 2018.
Claire Pomeroy is president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. She serves as chief executive officer of the Foundation and is responsible for advancing the Foundation's mission to "improve health by accelerating support for medical research through recognition of research excellence, advocacy and education.” An expert in infectious diseases, Dr. Pomeroy is a long-time advocate for patients, especially those with HIV/AIDS, and public health. She passionately supports ongoing investment in the full range of research. She has a special interest in health care policy, with a focus on the importance of the social determinants of health. She has published more than 100 articles and book chapters and edited three books. Dr. Pomeroy serves on the Board of Trustees for the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Board of Directors for the Science Philanthropy Alliance; the Foundation for Biomedical Research; iBiology, Inc.; New York Academy of Medicine; and the Center for Women in Academic Medicine and Science (CWAMS). She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Sierra Health Foundation, Haemonetics Corporation, and Becton Dickinson & Company, positions for which she receives compensation. Dr. Pomeroy was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine in 2011. She received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2016. Dr. Pomeroy received bachelors and medical degrees from the University of Michigan and completed her residency and fellowship training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota. She earned an MBA from the University of Kentucky. She has held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, University of Kentucky and University of California (UC) Davis. Dr. Pomeroy was chief of infectious diseases and associate dean for research and informatics at the University of Kentucky. She joined UC Davis in 2003 as executive associate dean and served as vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine from 2005 through 2013. She became president of the Lasker Foundation in June 2013.
Christopher W. Brody is Chair of Vantage Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. From 1972 to 1998, Brody was a Partner of Warburg, Pincus, and, for over 15 years, served as a member of its Operating Committee which managed the private equity and venture capital activities of the firm. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of several privately held companies, and Director Emeritus of Intuit Inc. Brody is also a Board member of the Safe Water Network, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His past Boards have included Claremont University and Graduate Center, the Mount Sinai Medical Center and the School of Medicine, and the United Nations Association. He is a former Chair of the National Venture Capital Association, and in 1999, became the first recipient of its Outstanding Service Award. He received a BA in English Literature in 1966 from Harvard College and received an MBA in 1968 from Harvard Business School. Brody has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 1975.
Marshall Fordyce, MD is founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Trucode Gene Repair, Inc., a therapeutics development company advancing its oligonucleotide-based gene editing platform to the clinic with the potential to cure genetic disorders. Prior to Trucode, Dr. Fordyce was an entrepreneur in residence at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Previously, he served as Senior Director of Clinical Research in HIV Therapeutics at Gilead Sciences, where he contributed to seven new drug approvals and led the development of the antiviral drug, tenofovir alafenamide, to replace the cornerstone of therapy for patients with chronic HIV and hepatitis B infections with a safer drug. He received his Bachelor's degree and MD from Harvard University, and worked with the non-profit organization Partners In Health on health care access in inner-city Boston, and on improving global access to tuberculosis drugs. He completed his Internal Medicine Training at New York University/Bellevue Hospital, where he served as Senior Chief Resident, and completed his Infectious Disease training at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Fordyce was Instructor in Clinical Medicine at The Rockefeller University and Research Fellow at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, where under David Ho, his research focused on the effect of the HIV entry inhibitor ibalizumab on the envelope protein, and the immunologic effects of initiating antiretroviral therapy during acute infection. Fordyce is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, is Medical Director and Volunteer Physician of the RotaCare Coastside Free Clinic in Half Moon Bay, California, and serves as an advisor within the Google X program. Fordyce became a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation in 2012.
Joseph L. Goldstein is currently Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Regental Professor at the University of Texas. He also holds the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine and the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science. Goldstein and his colleague, Michael S. Brown, discovered the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and worked out how these receptors control cholesterol homeostasis. At the basic level, this work opened the field of receptor-mediated endocytosis, and at the clinical level it helped lay the conceptual groundwork for development of drugs called statins that lower blood LDL-cholesterol and prevent heart attacks. Goldstein and Brown shared many awards for this work, including the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research (1985), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1985), and National Medal of Science (1988). In recent work, Goldstein and Brown discovered the SREBP family of transcription factors and showed how these membrane-bound molecules control the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids through a newly described process of Regulated Intramembrane Proteolysis. For this work, Brown and Goldstein received the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2003). Goldstein is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and The Rockefeller University. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Welch Foundation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Broad Institute. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Goldstein has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2007, and Chair of the Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury since 1996.
Jordan U. Gutterman is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas, where he has done clinical and laboratory cancer research since 1971. Gutterman received his BA from the University of Virginia and his MD from the Medical College of Virginia. He did his post-medical school training in medicine and hematology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Gutterman has been involved extensively with the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation since 1978. He served as a member of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards Jury between 1978 and 1989, and as a member of the Board of Directors since 1983.
Peggy Hamburg has been serving as the Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine; she joined NAM in 2015. When her term ends in 2020, she will continue to represent NAM as a co-Chair and Steering Committee member for the InterAcademy Partnership for Science, Health and Policy, an international organization comprised of distinguished academies of science, medicine and engineering from around the world. Hamburg served for six years as the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to joining the National Academy of Medicine. She was also Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HHS from 1997 to 2001 and prior to that, served as Commissioner of New York City's Department of Health from 1991 to 1997. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Hamburg conducted research on neuroscience at Rockefeller University, completed an Internal Medicine residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center, studied neuropharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health, and conducted HIV/AIDS policy and research as assistant director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She joined the Board of the Lasker Foundation in 2020.
Susan Hockfield is President Emerita, Professor of Neuroscience, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2004 to 2012 she served as the sixteenth President of MIT, the first life scientist and first woman in that role. As President, Hockfield strengthened the foundations of MIT’s finances and campus planning while advancing Institute-wide programs in sustainable energy and the convergence of the life, physical and engineering sciences, with impact across the region, the nation and around the world. She helped shape national policy for energy and next-generation manufacturing, appointed by President Obama in 2011 to co-chair the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and by serving as a member of a Congressional Commission evaluating the Department of Energy laboratories in 2015. As a biologist, she pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research, identifying proteins through which neural activity early in life effect brain development. Before joining MIT as its president, she was the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1998-2002), and Provost (2003-2004) at Yale University. In all her roles she has advanced opportunities for women and minorities. She studied at the University of Rochester and Georgetown University and carried out research at the NIH and UCSF before joining the faculty at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and then Yale. She is the past president and chairman of AAAS and currently is a director of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Fidelity Non-Profit Management Foundation, Partners HealthCare System, Pfizer, Inc., and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. She is a life member of the MIT Corporation and a board member of the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. She joined the Board of the Lasker Foundation in 2020.
Chris Jones worked in marketing and advertising for 25 years, ultimately serving as the CEO and Chairman of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide. He has served on many Boards in private equity, financial services, management consulting, luxury goods and healthcare, where he is currently on the board of Becton Dickinson and Co. In not-for-profit, he currently serves on the Health Advisory Board at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University, the University Library at Cambridge University and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Jones has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2014.
Sherry Lansing was, during her almost 30 years in the motion picture business, involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump (1994), Braveheart (1995), and Titanic (1997). Throughout her film career, Lansing earned a reputation as a trailblazer, a visionary leader, and a creative filmmaker. In 1980, she became the first woman to head a major film studio, when she was appointed President of 20th Century Fox. Later, as an independent producer, Lansing was responsible for such successful films as Fatal Attraction, The Accused, School Ties, Indecent Proposal, and Black Rain. Returning to the executive ranks in 1992, she was named Chair and CEO of Paramount Pictures and began an unprecedented tenure that lasted more than 12 years (1992 – 2005). The Sherry Lansing Foundation (SLF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities was formed in 2005. Among SLF's initiatives is the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program, founded by Lansing to transition corporate professionals and military veterans into top-quality California public school math and science teachers. Lansing is also a co-founder of the Stand Up To Cancer initiative, which funds collaborative, multi-institutional cancer research “Dream Teams.” In addition to serving on the University of California Board of Regents, Lansing is a Trustee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, where she co-founded the Scholarship Fund for deserving “Littles.” In December 2004, Lansing was appointed to the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.She serves as the Cancer Patient Advocate, as well as chair of the Governance subcommittee and co-chair of the Scientific and Medical Accountability Standards Working Group. Lansing additionally serves on the Boards of the Broad Center, the Broad Museum, the Carter Center, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the WM Keck Foundation, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. She also serves on the Executive Committee of Friends of Cancer Research. Lansing graduated cum laude with a BS degree from Northwestern University in 1966. Lansing has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2013.
Betsy Nabel is President of Brigham Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2010. Nabel’s diverse experience as a physician, research scientist, executive, and advocate has molded her vision for the future of academic medicine. At Brigham Health, Nabel is leading organizational transformation focused on innovation and building a collaborative culture to reshape healthcare delivery, compassionate care, scientific discovery, and training the next generation of medical and scientific leaders. From 2005-2009, she directed the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute where she leveraged the $3 billion research portfolio to establish pioneering scientific programs in genomics, stem cells, and translational research. One of her signature advocacy efforts was the Red Dress Heart Truth campaign, which raises heart awareness in women through unprecedented industry partnerships. An accomplished physician-scientist, Nabel’s work on the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases has produced 17 patents and more than 250 scientific publications. Betsy has been named one of the nation’s top leaders in medicine by Modern Healthcare and one of Boston’s 50 most powerful people by Boston Magazine. Her honors include the Distinguished Bostonian Award, the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association, and ten honorary doctorates, among others. She is a member of the American Academy of the Arts & Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. Nabel serves on the boards of Medtronic, Moderna Therapeutics, the Broad Institute, and the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. She joined the Board of the Lasker Foundation in 2020.
Erin K. O’Shea became president of HHMI in September 2016. She previously served as HHMI vice president and chief scientific officer. O’Shea is HHMI’s sixth president and the first woman to lead the Institute. Under her leadership, HHMI has established key priorities for its work in discovery science and science education. She is responsible for new efforts at HHMI to increase diversity in science and improve the academic ecosystem. In addition, she has overseen strategic changes to HHMI’s core programs to ensure the Institute maintains its impact over time. A leader in the fields of gene regulation, signal transduction, and systems biology, O’Shea maintains a lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus. An HHMI investigator since 2000, she served on the faculties of Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco, before joining HHMI in 2013, initially as vice president and chief scientific officer. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, Washingtonian magazine named O’Shea “one of Washington’s 100 most powerful women.” O’Shea received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Smith College and her PhD in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the Lasker Foundation's Board of Directors in 2018.
Sol Snyder received his undergraduate and medical training at Georgetown University (MD, 1962); Research Associate training with Julius Axelrod at the NIH (1963-1965); and psychiatric training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (1965-1968). In 1966, he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Assistant Professor Pharmacology, 1966-1968; Associate Professor Pharmacology/Psychiatry (1968-1970); Professor (1970). In 1980 he established the Department of Neuroscience and served as Director (1980-2006). He is presently Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry. Snyder is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Biomedical Research (1978); the National Medal of Science (2005); the Albany Medical Prize (2007); Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Northwestern University (1981), Georgetown University (1986), Ben Gurion University (1990), Albany Medical College (1998), Technion University of Israel (2002), Mount Sinai Medical School (2004), University of Maryland (2006), Charles University, Prague (2009), and Ohio State University (2011); the Wolf Foundation Prize in Medicine (1983); the Dickson Prize of the University of Pittsburgh (1983); the Bower Award of the Franklin Institute (1991); the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research (1996); and the Gerard Prize of the Society for Neuroscience (2000). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is the author of more than 1,000 journal articles and several books. Snyder has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2012.
Al Sommer is a Gilman Scholar and University Distinguished Service Professor at Johns Hopkins University and Dean Emeritus and Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Professor of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was Dean from 1990-2005. Sommer received his MD from Harvard Medical School (1967) and his Master of Health Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (1973). He has published 5 books and over 300 scientific articles; has received numerous awards including the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the Duke Elder International Gold Medal for Contributions to Ophthalmology; has delivered over 30 named lectureships, including the Jackson Memorial Lecture (American Academy of Ophthalmology), Duke Elder Oration (Royal College of Ophthalmologists), De Schweinitz Lecture (College of Physicians, Philadelphia), Dohlman Lecture (Harvard Medical School), Doyne Lecture (Oxford Ophthalmologic Congress), and the Kimura Lecture (University of California, San Francisco); and is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. His research interests currently include child survival, blindness prevention, and the interface between public health and clinical medicine. Sommer has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2004. He was Chair from 2008 to early 2014.
Russell Steenberg is the global head of the BlackRock Private Equity Partners (PEP) group within BlackRock Alternative Investors, and is a member of BlackRock's Leadership Committee. Steenberg's service with the firm dates back to 1999, including his years with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which merged with BlackRock in 2006. Prior to joining BlackRock, he was a co-founder and Managing Director of Fenway Partners, a middle-market buyout group with $1.4 billion of capital. From 1983 until joining Fenway in 1995, Steenberg was employed by AT&T Investment Management Company, where he was co-head of the AT&T Pension Fund's $3.6 billion private equity investment portfolio. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the following funds or general partnerships (GPs): SKM Equity Fund III, Quadrangle Capital Partners, Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer, Partech International, Clayton Dubilier & Rice VII, Parallel Investment Partners and TH Lee VI. Steenberg has over 28 years of private equity investment experience. Steenberg also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Tuck Center of Private Equity and Entrepreneurship, the Tuck Board of Overseers, the Board of Westfield Methodist Church, and on the Board of Advisors for the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). He received his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, an MPA from American University, and a BA from St. Lawrence University. Steenberg has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2010.
Elias Zerhouni is Professor Emeritus Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Johns
Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Dr. Zerhouni was most recently the President, Global Research & Development, and a member of the Executive Committee for Sanofi from January 2011 to July 2018. Dr. Zerhouni’s academic career was spent at the Johns Hopkins University and Hospital where he was professor of Radiology and Biomedical engineering and senior adviser for Johns Hopkins Medicine. He served as Chair of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vice Dean for Research and Executive Vice Dean of the School of Medicine from 1996 to 2002 before his appointment as Director of the
National Institutes of Health from 2002 to 2008. In that position he oversaw the NIH’s 27
Institutes and Centers with more than 18,000 employees and a budget of $29.5 billion (2008). In November 2009, President Obama appointed Dr. Zerhouni as one of the first presidential U.S. science envoys. Dr. Zerhouni also served as senior fellow to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation from 2009 to 2010 and senior advisor to the CEO of Sanofi. Dr. Zerhouni has founded or co-founded five start-up companies, authored more than 200 publications and holds several patents. He has assumed positions on several Boards, including most recently, the board of the Lasker Foundation, Research!America and the NIH Foundation. He is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He received the prestigious Legion of Honor medal from the French National Order in 2008, and was elected in 2010 as a member of the French Academy of Medicine and appointed as Chair of Innovation at the College de France in 2011. Zerhouni has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Lasker Foundation since 2009.
Mrs. William McCormick Blair, Jr.
W. Michael Brown
Purnell W. Choppin, MD
Anne B. Fordyce
George P. Noon, MD
Willard J. Overlock, Jr.
George A. Roche
Robert Tjian, PhD
James W. Fordyce