Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D.

Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D.

Board Member

Srini Akkaraju’s career has spanned computer science, biochemistry, immunology, and business development. He is a Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital and has nearly 20 years of investment and operational experience in the life sciences sector. Prior to founding Samsara BioCapital, he served as a General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures from April 2013 to June 2016, Managing Director of New Leaf Venture Partners from January 2009 to April 2013, and Managing Director of Panorama Capital, a private equity firm that he helped found, from September 2006 to December 2008.  

Before co-founding Panorama Capital, he was a Partner at J.P. Morgan Partners, and earlier in his career, he worked in Business and Corporate Development at Genentech. Dr. Akkaraju currently serves as a director of Aravive, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Seattle Genetics, Syros Pharmaceutiacals, and Principia Biopharma. Previously, he served on the boards of aTyr Pharma, Barrier Therapeutics, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, ZS Pharma, Synageva Biopharma Corp. and Amarin Corp. Dr. Akkaraju received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University and undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University.

Simon Alberti, Ph.D.

Simon Alberti, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Simon Alberti is among the early pioneers studying phase separation and its applications in aging and neurodegenerative disease. He is Professor and Chair of Cellular Biochemistry at the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC), Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB), Technical University Dresden, Germany. From 2005 to 2010 he was a postdoc in the lab of Susan Lindquist, an expert in neurodegeneration, at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, where he worked on prions and amyloids. In 2010 he initiated his career as an independent scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden, where he was a Research Group Leader until 2018. 

Simon studies proteostasis and the molecular principles underlying cytoplasmic organization. His recent work shows that stressed cells form many bimolecular condensates via a biophysical process known as phase separation. Importantly, the ability to form compartments becomes detrimental with increasing age, because compartment-forming proteins have a tendency to misfold and aggregate and thus are closely tied to the pathogenesis associated with age-related diseases such as ALS. He received his Ph.D. in 2004 in Cell Biology from the University of Bonn, Germany. 

Angelika Amon, Ph.D.

Angelika Amon, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Angelika Amon studies the molecular mechanisms that control cell growth and division, with a focus on the pathways that regulate chromosome segregation. She is currently the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor of Cancer Research at the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Department of Biology.* Dr. Amon’s research also explores how errors in the processes of cellular growth and division lead to diseases such as cancer and Down syndrome and how they impact the aging process.

 

Prior to joining MIT in 1999, Dr. Amon completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Ruth Lehmann at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was subsequently named a Whitehead Fellow for three years. Her honors include the 2003 Alan T. Waterman Award, the 2007 Paul Marks Prize, the 2008 National Academy of Sciences Molecular Biology Award, and the 2013 Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine. In 2019, she was awarded the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2019 Vilcek Price in Biomedical Science. She is a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Academy of Science, and a Foreign Associate to EMBO. Dr. Amon received her B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Vienna.

 

*Participation by Angelika Amon as an advisor to Dewpoint Therapeutics does not constitute or imply endorsement of Dewpoint Therapeutics by MIT or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Bruce Beutel, Ph.D.

Bruce Beutel, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Bruce Beutel has over 25 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and business development, having led large research teams in a variety of therapeutic and technology areas at both large and small companies. He joined Dewpoint as the founding chief operating officer in 2018 and is an entrepreneur in residence at the LS Polaris Innovation Fund. His work has resulted in the invention of novel drug discovery technologies and several first-in-class molecules entering clinical trials, and he has led deal teams to close numerous significant biotech-pharma licensing and collaboration deals.

Bruce’s prior roles included chief business officer at SQZ Biotechnologies, executive director at Merck, chief scientific officer at Znomics, and senior director at Abbott Laboratories. He has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and seven issued patents. He received his BA in Biology from the University of Chicago and his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Arup Chakraborty, Ph.D.

Arup Chakraborty, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Arup Chakraborty is one of 21 individuals who are members of all three branches of the US National Academies. His career has been focused on work that brings together approaches from different disciplines to understand diverse phenomena and harness that knowledge toward practical ends. He is currently the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Physics, and Chemistry at MIT, having joined the school in 2005. He served as the founding Director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science from February 2012 to January 2018. He is also a founding steering committee member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard.  

After an early career in guiding the engineering of polymers and catalysts using quantum mechanical calculations, since 2000, Chakraborty’s work has largely focused on bringing together immunology and the physical and engineering sciences.  Since 2016, he has also been interested in the role of phase separation in gene regulation. Chakraborty was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering for completely different bodies of work, as well as the National Academy of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and serves on the US Defense Science Board. After obtaining his Ph.D. in chemical engineering and postdoctoral studies, he joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in December 1988. 

Marc W. Hentz, Ph.D.

Marc W. Hentz, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Dewpoint Dresden

Marc Hentz is a life science executive and advisor with over 20 years of experience in biotech, consulting and venture capital. He joined Dewpoint as the Managing Director of the German unit in Dresden in 2019.

Marc started his professional career as a management consultant with a top-tier consultancy before he became a Managing Partner at Biopolis & Company. Other prior roles included founding CEO of a biosimilars firm and managing director at AMP Therapeutics, a firm that developed innovative antibiotics. He studied Chemistry at Hamburg University and UC San Diego and completed his PhD work in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Hamburg University and Yale University. Marc also served and serves on the boards of various international biotech and private equity firms.

Bradley Hyman, M.D., Ph.D.

Bradley Hyman, M.D., Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Bradley Hyman is a leading clinician and researcher in Alzheimer's disease, focused on the role of genetics and membrane-less organelles in dementia and neurodegenerationHe is currently the John B. Penny, Jr. Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He directs the Alzheimer’s unit at the Mass General Institute for Neurological Disease (MIND), with the goal of understanding the neuropathophysiologic and genetic factors that underlie dementia. Dr. Hyman’s laboratory studies the anatomical and molecular basis of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. He also has a clinical practice in the Memory and Disorder Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital devoted towards the care of patients with dementia. 

Dr. Hyman received his M.D. and Ph.D. from University of Iowa, and he has received the Metropolitan Life Award, the Potamkin Prize, an NIH Merit award, and an Alzheimer’s Association Pioneer Award. 

Anthony Hyman, Ph.D.

Anthony Hyman, Ph.D.

Scientific Founder

Tony Hyman’s research has defined the emergent area of phase separation and biomolecular condensates. He is currently Director and Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG). His lab has a long history of studying cell polarity, spindle assembly and positioning, and microtubule dynamics and today is focused on understanding how cells form non-membrane bound compartments.

Hyman started his career in postdoctoral research in the lab of Tim Mitchison at the University of California, investigating the mechanism of chromosome movement studied in vitro. In 1993, Tony became Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg,  before he moved to Dresden in 1999 as a founding director of the MPI-CBG. In 2002 he was named honorary Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at Dresden University of Technology. He has won numerous prizes, including the EMBO Gold Medal, the Leibnitz Prize, and the Schleiden Medal. He received his BSc first class in zoology from the University College in London in 1984 and completed his Ph.D. in 1987 under the supervision of Dr. John White at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, MRC in Cambridge, England.

Rudolf Jaenisch, Ph.D.

Rudolf Jaenisch, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Rudolf Jaenisch is a leading biologist whose pioneering work in making transgenic mice has led to important advances in understanding cancer, neurological and connective tissue diseases, and developmental abnormalities and has explored basic questions such as the role of DNA modification, genomic imprinting, and X chromosome inactivation. He is a Founding Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His laboratory is renowned for its expertise in cloning mice and in studying the myriad factors that contribute to the success and failure cellular reprogramming.  More recently the lab has focused on using the iPS cell system to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Autism. 

Dr. Jaenisch is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the International Society for Stem Cell Research. He has received numerous prizes and recognitions, including the Boehringer Mannheim Molecular Bioanalytics Prize, the first ever Peter Gruber Foundation Award in Genetics, the Robert Koch Prize for Excellence in Scientific Achievement, the March of Dimes Prize, and United States National Medal of Science. Before coming to Whitehead, he was head of the Department of Tumor Virology at the Heinrich Pette Institute at the University of Hamburg. He received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Munich in 1967.

Robert Langer, Sc.D.

Robert Langer, Sc.D.

Scientific Advisor

Robert Langer is among the most prolific inventors in medicine, with over 1350 issued and pending patents worldwide that have collectively been licensed or sublicensed to over 350 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. He is the David H. Koch Institute Professor, the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member. Dr. Langer has written over 1,400 articles and is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 264 according to Google Scholar). He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995 – 2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002. 

Dr. Langer is one of four individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He also received the 2002 Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize, the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society, the 2013 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2014 Kyoto Prize. He is the also the first  engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award. In 1989 Dr. Langer was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and in 1992 he was elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2012 he was elected to the National Academy of Inventors. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in Chemical Engineering

 

Wei Li, Ph.D.

Wei Li, Ph.D.

Board Member

Wei Li’s expertise spans chemical physics, biochemistry, genetics, and finance. He has served as a Managing Partner at 6 Dimensions Capital, a healthcare investment group, since October 2017, when it was formed by the merger of WuXi Healthcare Ventures and Frontline BioVentures, each a venture capital firm with a focus on life sciences companies. He has served as Founding Partner of WuXi Healthcare Ventures since April 2015. Dr. Li served as an Executive Partner of Fidelity Biosciences and Fidelity Growth Partner Asia, both venture capital firms, from January 2013 to March 2015. Dr. Li previously held roles as an Associate at Baird Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, and as a Scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company, where he worked on drug discovery projects and technology licensing due diligence. Dr. Li currently serves on the boards of directors of a number of privately-held life sciences companies.

 Dr. Li holds a B.S. with distinction in chemical physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, a Ph.D. in biochemistry and mammalian genetics from Harvard University and an MBA with a concentration in finance, accounting and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Timothy Mitchison, Ph.D.

Timothy Mitchison, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Tim Mitchison is a leading pharmacology and systems biology researcher who harnesses systematic and quantitative methods to address problems in basic cell biology and medicine. He is currently the Hasib Sabbagh Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, director of the Harvard Therapeutics Innovation Hub (I-Hub), and co-director of the Systems Biology Ph.D. Program. 

Dr. Mitchison’s research interests span basic cell biology, chemical biology, and pharmacology. Early in his career he worked at the National Institute for Medical Research in London and then joined the faculty at University of California, San Francisco, where he rose to professor of pharmacology. He moved to Harvard Medical School in 1997 to establish the Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology, one of the first drug screening platforms in academia, and in 2004 he helped Marc Kirchner establish the new department of Systems Biology. His professional honors include election to the U.K. Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy, and serving as President of the American Society of Cell Biology. He is a co-founder of Ribon Therapeutics and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Innovative Protein Institute (IPI). He received his B.A. in biochemistry from Oxford University, England and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from UCSF.

 

Mark Murcko, Ph.D.

Mark Murcko, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Board Member

Mark Murcko was an early leader in structure-based drug design and has directly contributed to seven marketed drugs spanning HIV, cystic fibrosis, and glaucoma. He is a Founder, Board member, and was the interim CSO at Relay Therapeutics. In addition, Mark is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, and has served on numerous scientific advisory boards and corporate boards of directors for a diverse range of organizations. Mark was chief technology officer and chair of the SAB of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and was responsible for the identification, validation and implementation of disruptive technologies across R&D. Mark is a co-inventor of the HCV protease inhibitor Incivek (telaprevir), as well as Agenerase (amprenavir) and Lexiva (fosamprenavir), Vertex’s two marketed drugs for the treatment of HIV. In addition, he guided the early efforts of Vertex’s cystic fibrosis program that later produced the marketed drugs Kalydeco (ivacaftor) and Orkambi (lumacaftor / ivacaftor). He also led the early stages of Vertex's influenza program which lead to pimodivir, currently in Phase 3 trials.

Prior to Vertex, Mark worked at Merck Sharpe & Dohme, where he helped discover multiple clinical candidates, including inhibitors of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase for the treatment of glaucoma. He chaired the 2013 Gordon Research Conference in Medicinal Chemistry and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the GRC. He is a co-inventor on more than 50 issued and pending patents and has co-authored more than 85 scientific articles. Mark holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Yale University.

Amir Nashat, Sc.D.

Amir Nashat, Sc.D.

Chief Executive Officer and Board Member

Amir Nashat has created and invested in a breadth of category-defining biotechnology companies during his 16-year tenure with Polaris Partners. He is currently a managing partner in the firm’s Boston office, and represents Polaris as a Director of AgBiome, aTyr Pharmaceuticals, Dewpoint, Fate Therapeutics, Jnana Therapeutics, CAMP4 Therapeutics, Metacrine Therapeutics, Morphic Therapeutic, Scholar Rock, Selecta Biosciences, Syros Pharmaceuticals, and TARIS Biomedical. Additionally, Amir has served as a director of Adnexus Therapeutics (Bristol Myers Squibb), Athenix Corporation (Bayer), Avila Therapeutics (Celgene), Living Proof (Unilever), Pervasis Therapeutics (Shire Pharmaceuticals), Promedior Pharmaceuticals, Receptos (Celgene), and Sun Catalytix (Lockheed Martin). At Living Proof, Sun Catalytix, Olivo Labs, and Jnana Therapeutics, Amir served as the company’s initial CEO.

Amir also serves on the Partners Innovation Fund, the Investment Advisory Committee for The Engine at MIT, and helped launch the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund as its active president. He previously served on the board of the New England Venture Capital Association. He has been named to the Forbes Midas List of “Top 100 Venture Capitalists.” Prior to joining Polaris, Amir completed his Sc.D. as a Hertz Fellow in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a minor in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer. Amir also earned both his M.S. and B.S. in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Rohit Pappu, Ph.D.

Rohit Pappu, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Rohit Pappu is an expert in the biophysical principles governing the form, functions and phase transitions of intrinsically disordered proteins, driven by a novel combination of physical theories with high-performance computing. He is currently the Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Center for the Science & Engineering of Living Systems (CSELS) at Washington University in St. Louis. During his time at Washington University, Dr. Pappu has served as the founding co-Director of the Center for High Performance Computing, the founding Director of the Center for Biological Systems Engineering, a member of the Center for Computational Biology, and a member of the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders. He joined as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2001. 

In addition to intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), Dr. Pappu’s research also focuseson the physical principles underlying protein aggregation and their associations with neurodegeneration, specifically Huntington’s disease, the polymer physics of protein and RNA phase separation focusing specifically on uncovering how sequences encode the driving forces for phase transitions, and leveraging the emerging understanding of IDPs and phase separation to design soft materials with bespoke properties. He has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineers, and the Biophysical Society. He is currently an editorial board member of the Biophysical Journal and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. Dr. Pappu received his PhD in Biological Physics from Tufts University in 1996 and completed two postdoctoral fellowships in Molecular Biophysics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Amy Schulman, J.D.

Amy Schulman, J.D.

Investor

Amy Schulman is an accomplished business leader, widely recognized for growing and stabilizing global businesses, commitment to people, strategic judgment, and efforts to advance women and promote inclusive workplace cultures. She is currently managing partner of the LS Polaris Innovation Fund. Amy joined Polaris Partners in 2014, bringing her commercial expertise to the startup biotech community. Upon joining Polaris, she assumed the role of CEO of Arsia Therapeutics, a Polaris-backed company acquired by Eagle Pharmaceuticals in 2016. She currently represents Polaris investments as executive chair of SQZ Biotech, and on the Glympse Board and is the active CEO and co-founder of Lyndra and is an advisor to several post-doc students. She is also a director of Quentis and Kallyope.

Prior to joining Polaris, Schulman was the general counsel of Pfizer, president of Pfizer Nutrition, and was instrumental in its sale to Nestle for $11.85 billion in 2012. Soon after, Schulman became the president of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Schulman has received numerous awards including Xconomy’s 2017 Newcomer Award, Scientific American’s 2015 Worldview 100 List, Fierce Biotech’s 2014 Top 15 Women in Biotech, and Fortune Magazine’s 2013 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and serves on the Boards of Directors of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and the Whitehead Institute. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Geraldine Seydoux, Ph.D.

Geraldine Seydoux, Ph.D.

Dr. Geraldine Seydoux is among the early scientists describing a role for intrinsically disordered proteins in the assembly of biomolecular condensates. She is the Huntington Sheldon Professor in Medical Discovery and the vice dean for Basic Research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute*.

Dr. Seydoux studies the assembly and function of condensates using genetic and biochemical approaches. Her lab has developed a reconstituted model for the assembly of multiphase condensates with RNA. Her work has garnered several honors, including a Presidential Early Career Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Seydoux started her career in postdoctoral research with Andy Fire at the Carnegie Institute of Washington before joining the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1995. She received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University in 1991.


*Participation by Geraldine Seydoux as an advisor to Dewpoint Therapeutics does not constitute or imply endorsement of Dewpoint Therapeutics by Johns Hopkins University or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.

Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.

Chair of Scientific Advisory Board

Phillip Sharp is an MIT Institute Professor and Nobel Prize winner who has spent his career at the forefront of breakthroughs in biology. He is a member of the Department of Biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. He joined the Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute) in 1974 and served as its director for six years, from 1985 to 1991, before taking over as head of the Department of Biology, a position he held for the next eight years. More recently, he was founding director of the McGovern Institute, a position he held from 2000 to 2004. His research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark work in 1977 provided the first indications of “discontinuous genes” in mammalian cells. The discovery fundamentally changed scientists’ understanding of gene structure and earned Dr. Sharp the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Dr. Sharp has authored over 400 papers and is a co-founder of Biogen and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Society, UK. Among his many awards are the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the National Medal of Science. His long list of service includes the presidency of the AAAS (2013) and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, SU2C Project, AACR. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, Barbourville, KY, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969.

Richard Young, Ph.D.

Richard Young, Ph.D.

Scientific Founder

Rick Young is a pioneer in the systems biology of gene control and expression and has harnessed the emergent understanding of biomolecular condensates and phase separation for new insights in his field. He is a member of the Whitehead Institute and professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In May 2012, he was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Young’s research focuses on the regulatory circuitry that controls the gene expressions programs in each cell, including mapping the regulatory circuitry that controls cell state and differentiation in mice and humans. Experimental and computational technologies are used to determine how signaling pathways, transcription factors, chromatin regulators and small RNAs control gene expression programs in embryonic stem cells. He co-founded Syros Pharmaceuticals and CAMP4 Therapeutics.

Dr. Young has served as an advisor to Science magazine and the World Health Organization. In 2006, Dr. Young was recognized as one of the top 50 leaders in science, technology and business by Scientific American. His awards include a Burroughs Wellcome Scholarships, the Chiron Corporation Biotechnology Research Awards, and Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal. Dr. Young received his Ph.D. from Yale University.