The Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) has announced the Advisory Board for the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, a fund that will offer up to $300,000 to support faculty research in the life sciences with the potential for successful commercialization. The Board, formed under the direction of Yale Provost Ben Polak, William C. Brainard Professor of Economics, will review full proposals to the Fund and make award decisions in consultation with OCR.
Dr. Fred Cohen of private investment firm TPG and Wildcat Capital Management is serving as Chairman of the Board. He leverages TPG’s life science venture capital platform to invest in drug discovery and development, personalized medicine and pharmaceutical services.
“I look forward to working with the board to identify breakthrough life science innovations coming out of Yale with strong commercial potential,” Cohen says.
Board members include longtime OCR collaborator Tim Shannon, General Partner at Canaan Partners; Mary Tanner, Senior Managing Director of EVOLUTION Life Science Partners; Stephen Knight, President and Managing Partner at F-Prime Capital; Liam Ratcliffe, Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners; Jason Rhodes, Partner at Atlas Venture; David B. Singer, Managing Partner of Maverick Ventures; Stephen Squinto, a Venture Partner with OrbiMed; and Amy Arnsten, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology and member of the Kavli Institute of Neuroscience at Yale University.
“We are excited to have such a strong board of experts guiding our decision-making on the Blavatnik Fund,” says Erika Smith, Director of the Fund. “Collectively, they bring a deep, broad understanding of the biotech space and the most promising areas for investment and will provide critical feedback to help Yale faculty align their discoveries with the market.”
The Blavatnik Fund will be awarded as either Pilot Grants (up to $100,000) or Development Grants (up to $300,000). Pilot Grants, administered over one year, are geared toward research projects in earlier stages that require proof of concept to attract additional interest. Development Grants are intended for efforts that have the potential to draw commercial interest within one to two years but for specific demonstration of efficacy.