NOUBAR B. AFEYAN, Ph.D.
Senior Managing Partner and CEO, Flagship Ventures
Noubar Afeyan is founder, Senior Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Ventures, a leading venture creation and investment firm. Since 2000, he has been a Senior Lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he has taught courses on technology-entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership. Noubar has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987.
During his 28-year career as inventor, entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist, Noubar has co-founded and helped build over 30 life science and technology startups. He was founder and CEO of PerSeptive Biosystems, which was acquired by Perkin Elmer/Applera Corporation in 1998. He became Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer at Applera, where he initiated and oversaw the creation of Celera Genomics. He was a founder and investor in several highly successful ventures including Chemgenics Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), Color Kinetics (acquired by Philips), Affinnova (acquired by AC Nielsen) and Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb).
Currently, Noubar is lead director/chairman of several private company boards, including Moderna Therapeutics, Seres Therapeutics and Pronutria Biosciences. He also serves as Chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Chemicals and Biotechnology of the World Economic Forum as well as a being a member of the Emerging Technologies Council.
DOUG COLE, M.D.
Managing Partner, Flagship Ventures
Doug Cole joined Flagship in 2001 where he focuses on Life Science investments. He came to Flagship with significant industry experience and a strong academic background. Doug holds an AB magna cum laude with High Distinction in English from Dartmouth College, where he was a Senior Fellow and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. He obtained post-graduate training in medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. In 1992, Doug was appointed Instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He established a research program investigating the mechanistic basis of neuronal signaling events and plasticity in neuro-psychiatric disorders with the support of the NIH and several non-profit research foundations.
In 1996, Doug joined Cytotherapeutics, in Providence, RI. As Medical Director, he oversaw various research and clinical activities related to the company’s cell-based therapeutic technologies. In 1997, he was appointed Program Executive at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Cambridge, MA, where he led a multidisciplinary program that conducted preclinical development through Phase II studies in tissue protection and repair, oversaw an international research collaboration, and was responsible for identifying strategic market and technology opportunities in multiple arenas.
At Flagship, Doug has led investments in Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AGIO), Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Avedro, CombinatoRx (NASDAQ:ZLCS), Concert Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNCE), Editas, Quanterix Corporation, Receptos (NASDAQ:RCPT), Seventh Sense Biosystems, and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTPH). He is a co-founder of Flagship portfolio companies Ensemble Therapeutics, Permeon Biologics, Moderna Therapeutics, and Syros Pharmaceuticals. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Agios, Editas, Ensemble, Permeon, Quanterix and Syros. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of Avedro, AVEO Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO), CombinatoRx, Concert, CGI, Moderna, Morphotek, Receptos, Resolvyx, Selecta, Seventh Sense and Tetraphase.
Doug is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation.
Co-founder and Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners
Robert Nelsen is a co-founder and a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. He joined ARCH at its founding and played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than thirty companies, including fifteen which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion. His seed and early-stage investments include Illumina (ILMN); Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY); Juno Therapeutics (JUNO); Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO); Sage Therapeutics (SAGE); Ikaria (acquired by Madison Dearborn, then Mallinckrodt); Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH), Receptos (RCPT); Aviron (AVIR, acquired by Medimmune-MEDI); Denali Therapeutics; NetBot (acquired by Excite-ATHM); Bluebird Bio (BLUE); R2 Technology (acquired by Hologic-HOLX); XenoPort (XNPT); Caliper Life Sciences (CALP, acquired by PerkinElmer); Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN, acquired by Emergent BioSolutions-EBS); Adolor (ADLR, acquired by Cubist-CBST); deCODE Genetics (acquired by Amgen-AMGN); Array BioPharma (ARRY); Nanosys; GenVec (GNVC); IDUN Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer-PFE); Genomica (GNOM, acquired by Exelixis-EXEL); Classmates.com (acquired by United Online-UNTD); Nura (acquired by Omeros-OMER); Hua Medicine; VLST; Ensemble Therapeutics; Arivale; Accelerator; Theraclone Sciences; Fate Therapeutics (FATE); NextCODE Health (acquired by WuXi PharmaTech); Bellerophon Therapeutics (BLPH); Syros Pharmaceuticals, Aldedade, Inc, and Everyday Learning Corporation (acquired by Tribune Corp.-TRIB.)
Robert is a director of Agios Pharmaceuticals, Juno Therapeutics, Denali Therapeutics, Sage Therapeutics, Syros Pharmaceuticals, and serves as Chairman of Hua Medicine, among others. He previously served as a Trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and as a director of the National Venture Capital Association. Robert holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound with majors in Economics and Biology.
Chief Executive Officer, Ensemble Therapeutics
John Ripple joined Ensemble Therapeutics as Chief Executive Officer in 2013. Prior to Ensemble, John served as CEO at Permeon Biologics, Virdante Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Momenta Pharmaceuticals in 2011), and Syntonix Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Biogen Idec in 2007). He has held positions in business development at Syntonix, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Genetics Institute. His other business experiences include medical device marketing and management consulting. John started his career as an aerospace engineer at NASA. He currently serves on the Board of Overseers at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) and as an advisor to the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. John received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.