Board of Directors

Board of Directors

  • Christy Shaffer, Ph.D.Christy Shaffer, Ph.D., has 30 years of experience in the life science industry and serves as Chair of Artizan’s Board of Directors. Following her career as a clinical scientist, international project leader and Associate Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Burroughs Wellcome Co., she joined Inspire Pharmaceuticals in 1995 as the first, full-time employee. Dr. Shaffer was responsible for raising over $300 million for the company, including taking it public in 2000. As President and CEO, she grew the company from 20 scientists to nearly 250 employees with revenues of over $100 million. Under her leadership, Inspire was named as “Best Place to Work for Scientists” by The Scientist magazine, and “Best Place to Work in North Carolina.” Dr. Shaffer retired from Inspire in 2010 and the company was acquired by Merck in 2011. She joined Hatteras Venture Partners in 2011 as the Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery and became a general partner in 2016. Dr. Shaffer currently serves as a board member of five Hatteras portfolio companies: Artizan Biosciences (Chair), Clearside Biomedical, GrayBug Vision (Chair), Trefoil Therapeutics and Perfuse Therapeutics. She is a receptor pharmacologist by training, earning her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, in 1985. Dr. Shaffer received her post-doctoral training at The Chicago Medical School and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. Dr. Shaffer was a member of the initial Innovation Circle for Entrepreneurship at UNC-Chapel Hill from 2010 – 2013. She has served on numerous non-profit boards including the NC Biotechnology Center, the Biotechnology Institute, BIO, PhRMA the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the CFF Therapeutics Inc., the CRV Advisory Board, the NC School of Science and Math Foundation Board and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Dr. Shaffer received the Lifetime Women in Business Award by the Triangle Business Journal in 2016 and was named one of the top BizWomen to Watch in December 2016. She currently serves on multiple non-profit boards including the Chordoma Foundation, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the Burroughs Wellcome Regulatory Initiative Advisory Board and RTI International.
  • Holden Thorp, Ph.D.Holden Thorp, Ph.D., became Editor-in-Chief of the Science family of journals in 2019. He came to Science from Washington University, where he was provost from 2013 to 2019 and is Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor holding appointments in both chemistry and medicine. Dr. Thorp joined Washington University after spending three decades at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where he served as the 10th chancellor from 2008 through 2013. A North Carolina native, he started at UNC as an undergraduate student and earned his B.S. in chemistry in 1986. Dr. Thorp earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1989 at the California Institute of Technology, working with Harry B. Gray on inorganic photochemistry. He completed postdoctoral work at Yale University with Gary W. Brudvig, working on model compounds and reactions for the manganese cluster in the photosynthetic reaction center. Dr. Thorp holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College and is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In his research career, he studied electron-transfer reactions of nucleic acids, developed technology for electronic DNA chips and cofounded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which developed oteseconazole, now held by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals and is in preparation for a new drug application in 2021, following successful Phase 3 trials. Dr. Thorp is a venture partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, a consultant to Ancora and is on the board of directors of the College Advising Corps and Artizan Biosciences. He is the coauthor, with Buck Goldstein, of two books on higher education: Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century and Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership Between America and its Colleges and Universities, both from UNC Press.
  • Seth Rudnick, M.D.Dr. Rudnick has extensive expertise in drug discovery and development and health care investments. He is retired from Canaan Partners, where he built the global venture capital firm’s capability in biopharmaceutical investing. Prior to joining Canaan Partners, Dr. Rudnick served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CytoTherapeutics, a company developing stem cell-based therapies to combat chronic diseases. He also helped found and served as the Head of Research and Development for Ortho Biotech, a division of Johnson & Johnson that provides life-improving products to individuals with a focus on cancer and chronic illnesses. Dr. Rudnick received his M.D. from the University of Virginia. He also serves on the Board of Directors for G1 Therapeutics.
  • St. John Donnie McGrath, M.D.Dr. McGrath has over 22 years of clinical research and pharmaceutical business development experience. From 2013 to 2017, he was Vice President, Business Development, and Head of Search & Evaluation at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), based in Princeton, NJ. During this period, the business development group executed over 50 major transactions in the therapeutic areas of oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular, fibrosis, immuno-science, virology and genetically-defined diseases. In addition, Dr. McGrath was responsible for overseeing BMS’ venture capital investment portfolio ($350 million) and provided leadership for all global external partnering activities. From 2010 to 2013, he was Executive Director in Business Development responsible for neuroscience and virology business development. In 2005, Dr. McGrath joined the BMS virology clinical development group based in Wallingford, CT, as a director of clinical research, and became Group Director in 2007 and the REYATAZ® Development Lead. He oversaw multiple clinical virology programs resulting in seven major FDA filings for REYATAZ® and SUSTIVA®, and over 60 EMEA procedures submitted and fulfilled. From 1998 to 2005, Dr. McGrath was a physician-researcher in the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease at Tufts-New England Medical Center, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical School in Boston. From 2002 to 2004, he was based at the Africa Center for Reproductive Health and Population Studies in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, where he established an NIH-funded post-graduate training program in medical informatics with the University of KwaZulu Natal School of Medicine and worked on HIV clinical studies. Dr. McGrath earned his undergraduate degree at University College Dublin, his M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his residency in internal medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and fellowship in Infectious Disease at Tufts-New England Medical Center, both in Boston.
  • James Rosen, M.B.A., M.S.P.H.Mr. Rosen is the President & CEO of Artizan Biosciences, Inc. Prior to Artizan’s inception, he spent 12 years in venture capital, most recently leading the program-related venture capital investment function for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. Mr. Rosen spent a decade with Intersouth Partners, where he worked his way from intern to Partner on the life sciences investment team. Prior to joining Intersouth, he spent 15 years in clinical, research and financial positions in the health care and biotechnology sectors. His research experience includes programs at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), the National Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center and its Comprehensive Cancer Center. Mr. Rosen also managed clinical trials at a privately held contract research organization, which led to FDA-approved products. He spent several years as an equity research analyst at Brean Murray & Co., covering biopharmaceuticals, genomics, generics, drug delivery and medical device companies. Prior to his research and Wall Street functions, Mr. Rosen spent five years in Emergency Medical Services as a mountain search & rescue and ambulance medic. He currently serves on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the UNC’s Public Health Foundation Board (Emeritus, Chairman) and Dean’s Advisory Council for the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC, the Carolina Research Ventures Advisory Board and the Oversight Committee for the Duke-Coulter Translational Partners Program. Mr. Rosen holds a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business where he was a Carolina Venture Fellow and recipient of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Award for Excellence. He received his M.S.P.H. from the UNC School of Public Health, where his thesis focused on the relationship between technology transfer in biotechnology and venture capital investment. In 2010, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for which he designed and executed a program to evaluate the prospects for health care innovation in China and Southeast Asia.
  • Jon Soderstrom, Ph.D.Jon Soderstrom, Ph.D., is the Managing Director of the Office of Cooperative Research at Yale University responsible for commercializing inventions resulting from Yale’s scientific research including patent license agreements, strategic corporate partnerships and the formation of new business ventures. Since joining the Office in 1996, he has helped form more than 25 new ventures including Molecular Staging (acquired by Qiagen), Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASQ: ACHN), Protometrix (acquired by Invitrogen), Iconic Therapeutics, HistoRx (acquired by Genoptix), Kolltan Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celldex), Arvinas (NASDAQ: ARVN) and Artizan Biosciences. Collectively, these companies have raised over $500 million in professional venture capital. Dr. Soderstrom was a founding board member and past president of the Association of Federal Technology Transfer Executives as well as a member of the Licensing Executive Society and Association of University Technology Managers (President 2008; VP Public Policy). He is frequently asked to lecture on various aspects of the technology commercialization and economic development both within the United States and abroad. Dr. Soderstrom has testified before Congress on technology transfer issues and served as an expert witness in patent infringement/contract litigation. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and his B.A. from Hope College.