Board of Directors
Nancy Lurker, Chair
Ms. Lurker is an accomplished biopharmaceutical industry leader with more than 25 years of strategic, management and operational experience across all aspects of drug development and commercialization. Ms. Lurker is currently President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of pSivida Corporation. Prior to pSivida, she was President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Director for PDI. Earlier in her career Ms. Lurker served in executive roles at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (the U.S. subsidiary of Novartis AG), ImpactRx and Pharmacia Corporation. Over the past decade, she has served on the Board of Directors of several public companies including Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and Elan Pharmaceuticals, and is currently a Director on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Board of Directors and a member of the Novo Advisory Group. Ms. Lurker received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology magna cum laude from Seattle Pacific University, and earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Evansville.
Mr. Blech is a biotechnology industry entrepreneur and has spent the last 33 years leading pioneering companies in the space including Celgene Corporation, ICOS Corporation, Pathogenesis Corporation, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation and Genetic Systems Corporation. Currently, Mr. Blech is a Board Member of Edge Therapeutics, Inc., Cerecor, Inc., ContraFect Corporation, Medgenics, Inc., Centrexion Corporation, and RestorGenex Corporation. Mr. Blech holds a BA from Baruch College.
Michael Gilman, PhD
Dr. Gilman serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Atlas Ventures and is Chief Executive Officer of Raze Therapeutics and a co-founder of X4. Prior to joining Atlas, he founded Stromedix, a company developing novel anti-fibrotic therapies, which was sold to Biogen Idec in 2012. Previously, he led all discovery research activities at Biogen Idec. Before that, Dr. Gilman served as chief scientific officer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and on the scientific staff at Cold Spring Harbor. Dr. Gilman received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute.
Paula Ragan, PhD
Dr. Ragan has more than 15 years of experience building and leading companies in the biotechnology industry. Most recently, Dr. Ragan consulted as Chief Business Officer at Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc. (LTI), an Atlas Venture portfolio company, where she led the company’s business activities. Prior to LTI, Dr. Ragan held leadership roles in corporate development and operations at Genzyme/Sanofi where she led strategic partnering efforts for Genzyme’s Rare Disease business and headed the supply chain planning for Genzyme’s flagship commercial products. Other professional roles include business roles at Hydra Biosciences, Oscient Corporation and Celera Corporation. Dr. Ragan received her PhD from MIT and completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School.
Alan Walts, PhD
Dr. Walts bring over 25 years of industry experience in corporate venture capital, business development, research and development, and general management and is a co-founder of X4. Currently, Dr. Walts is a Venture Partner at Advent Venture Partners and is a member of the Board of Directors and Chief Business Advisor at Aura Biosciences. Prior to Advent, Dr. Walts held several leadership roles at Genzyme and Sanofi including Senior Advisor & Senior Vice President, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. Alan received a PhD in chemistry from MIT in 1985, carried out post-doctoral research in biochemistry at MIT with Professor Christopher Walsh.