About Atsena
Board of Directors
Board of Directors

James Healy, MD PhD

Throughout Jim’s twenty year career with Sofinnova he has invested in thirty two companies. Twenty two of his investments have gone public and eleven have been acquired as private or public companies. He has funded companies where thirteen products were approved by the FDA or EMA. He is currently the Chairman of CinCor (CINC) and of Y-mAbs (YMAB), a member of the board of directors for Karuna (KRTX), Natera (NTRA), the lead independent director of Bolt (BOLT) and a board observer at Visen.

Jim received a B.A. in Molecular Biology and B.A. Scandinavian Studies from UC Berkeley where he graduated with Honors and received the Departmental Citation. He subsequently completed the NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program and received his MD and PhD in Immunology from Stanford University where he received the Novartis Foundation Bursary Award and was a Beckman Scholar. He authored or co-authored thirteen scientific articles and reviews, including three papers published in Nature.

Prior to Sofinnova, Jim worked at Bayer (Miles) and Sanderling. He has lectured on entrepreneurship at Stanford University and served on the boards of the Executive Committee at UC Berkeley, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Throughout his career Jim has received numerous awards and in 2021 was selected as the recipient of the NVCA Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award for his commitment to the advancement of healthcare innovation through his investment in groundbreaking biotechnology companies that are working on treatments and cures for the most deadly and costly diseases.

Jim previously served as a member of the board of directors or was an investor in the following fund VII – X companies: Amarin (AMRN), Apellis (APLS), Ascendis (ASND),Audentes (BOLD: acquired by Astellas), Auris (EARS), Durata (DRTX: acquired by Actavis), Edge (PDSB: acquired by PDS Biotechnology), Hyperion (HPTX: aquired by Horizon Pharma), Iterum (ITRM), Nucana (NCNA), Obseva (OBSV), PregLem (acquired by Gedeon Richter), Salveo (acquired by Catamaran), and Tesaro (TSRO).

Shannon Boye, PHD

Dr. Shannon E. Boye is a Professor and Associate Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapy in the University of Florida’s Department of Pediatrics. She received her BS in marine biology with a minor in chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2001. She graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2006. Her thesis work involved developing viral vectors for the treatment of retinal disease, specifically GUCY2D Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA1). Following a postdoctoral fellowship and research assistant professorship Dr. Boye was appointed as tenure track Assistant Professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Ophthalmology (2012). In 2016, she received tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. In 2020, she transferred to the Department of Pediatrics where she is now Associate Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapy.

Dr. Boye has authored over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts, multiple textbook chapters, is actively involved in grant and manuscript review, and is the recipient of several major awards including the ARVO Foundation/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award in Gene Therapy and Eye Disease, the Foundation Fighting Blindness Board of Director’s Award, the ARVO Foundation/Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award, a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, and the Gund Harrington Scholar Award for excellence in gene therapy research.

Mike Dial, PHD

Dr. Mike Dial has extensive experience working with early-stage life science and healthcare companies. Dr. Dial joined Hatteras in 2009 from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), where he was a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group focused on emerging tech and life science companies and venture capital funds. Prior to SVB, he held research scientist positions in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, the Genome Integrity and Structural Biology Laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the UNC Michael Hooker Proteomics Center. He has performed research in the fields of cell cycle regulation, proteomics and cancer therapy.

Dr. Dial is a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill and is the Manager for the Carolina Research Venture Fund. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jackie Grant

Jackie has more than 12 years of experience in healthcare across a range of functions including venture investing, business development and scientific research. She joined Abingworth in 2018 and works across the teams in the Boston, London and Menlo Park offices to source and evaluate new investment opportunities and support existing venture investments through exit.

Prior to joining Abingworth, Jackie was a Senior Associate at SV Health Investors. She was formerly in the Business Development Group at Genentech with primary responsibility for partnering activities in neuroscience. Her transactions span a broad spectrum of deal structures and therapeutic areas, including technology and platform in-licenses and research collaborations. Jackie has a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford School of Medicine and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Christina Isacson

Christina Isacson is a Partner of Lightstone Ventures and focuses on investments in the biopharmaceutical sector. Christina has spent nearly 20 years in the biotech industry across operational roles and in venture capital. She brings experience in creating, launching, building and operating early stage biotechnology companies including Magenta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGTA) and Decibel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:DBTX).

Before joining Lightstone in 2021, Christina was part of the founding team and Chief Business Officer at Magenta Therapeutics where she was accountable for portfolio strategy and management, program management, business development, alliance management and commercial strategy. Prior to Magenta, Christina was Principal at Third Rock Ventures, an early-stage life sciences venture capital firm. At Third Rock, Christina focused on new company formation, due diligence, and led business development efforts more broadly on behalf of Third Rock. Prior to being part of the founding teams of Magenta and Decibel, Christina held operational roles at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IRWD) in corporate development. In addition, she has held venture roles with Boston University’s Technology Development Fund and with Accelerator Corp (Fund I).

Patrick Ritschel, MBA

Patrick Ritschel is an experienced executive and entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in business management, biotechnology, and technology licensing. Mr. Ritschel has founded multiple biotechnology companies, including Torque Bio, a circular RNA company, and StrideBio, an AAV gene therapy company where he also served as President for several years. He was an angel investor and played an instrumental role in the formation of gene therapy company Bamboo Therapeutics (acquired by Pfizer in 2016). Mr. Ritschel spent his early career with Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems, Inc. in St. Louis and Hong Kong. He was a member of the management team that bought out the business, and upon the subsequent sale of the company to DuPont, he joined DuPont as Director of Business Development.

He is active in the rare disease community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

Mr. Ritschel holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, cum laude, and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jennifer Wellman

Jennifer Wellman has more than 20 years’ experience in adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector gene therapy research and development. She is currently Chief Operating Officer at Akouos, a precision genetic medicine company focused on developing gene therapies with the potential to restore, improve, and preserve high-acuity physiologic hearing for individuals who live with disabling hearing loss. Previously, Ms. Wellman served as Akouos’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Quality. Prior to that, Ms. Wellman was Co-founder, Head of Product Development Strategy, and Head of Regulatory Strategy at Spark Therapeutics, Inc., a member of the Roche Group and a fully integrated, commercial gene therapy company. While at Spark, and in her earlier role as Director of Regulatory for the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Ms. Wellman led the regulatory and clinical development for several AAV gene therapies, including Luxturna®, the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic condition. Prior to her time at CHOP, she served as an Associate Scientist at Avigen, Inc.

Ms. Wellman holds an M.S. from the University of New Haven and an Honours B.S. in microbiology and immunology from Queen’s University (Canada).

Patrick Ritschel, MBA

Patrick Ritschel is an experienced executive and entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in business management, biotechnology, and technology licensing. Mr. Ritschel has founded multiple biotechnology companies, including Torque Bio, a circular RNA company, and StrideBio, an AAV gene therapy company where he also served as President for several years. He was an angel investor and played an instrumental role in the formation of gene therapy company Bamboo Therapeutics (acquired by Pfizer in 2016). Mr. Ritschel spent his early career with Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems, Inc. in St. Louis and Hong Kong. He was a member of the management team that bought out the business, and upon the subsequent sale of the company to DuPont, he joined DuPont as Director of Business Development.

He is active in the rare disease community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

Mr. Ritschel holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, cum laude, and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Kenji Fujita, MD

Kenji Fujita, MD, is an internist and cardiologist with over 20 years of experience in academic medicine and industry. His experience spans preclinical to post-marketing research across a wide range of disease areas and therapeutic platforms. Throughout his career, Dr. Fujita has led five successful regulatory filings.

Prior to joining Atsena, Dr. Fujita was Vice President of Clinical Development at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where he led the successful filing and registration of OXLUMO™, the first treatment for hyperoxaluria, in addition to leading clinical programs in hypertension and liver disease. He has also held clinical development roles at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he led neurology and rare metabolic disease programs, and Merck, where he worked in cardiovascular clinical development and served as the Clinical Development Lead of the Emerging Markets Research and Development group. Earlier in his career, Dr. Fujita was a Junior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Fujita has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at Columbia University and is board certified in both specialties. Dr. Fujita holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and AB, summa cum laude, in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College.

Shannon Boye, PHD

Dr. Shannon E. Boye is a Professor and Associate Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapy in the University of Florida’s Department of Pediatrics. She received her BS in marine biology with a minor in chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2001. She graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2006. Her thesis work involved developing viral vectors for the treatment of retinal disease, specifically GUCY2D Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA1). Following a postdoctoral fellowship and research assistant professorship Dr. Boye was appointed as tenure track Assistant Professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Ophthalmology (2012). In 2016, she received tenure and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. In 2020, she transferred to the Department of Pediatrics where she is now Associate Chief of the Division of Cellular and Molecular Therapy.

Dr. Boye has authored over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, multiple textbook chapters, is actively involved in grant and manuscript review, and is the recipient of several major awards including the ARVO Foundation/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award in Gene Therapy and Eye Disease, the Foundation Fighting Blindness Board of Director’s Award, the ARVO Foundation/Pfizer Ophthalmics Carl Camras Translational Research Award, a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, and the Gund Harrington Scholar Award for excellence in gene therapy research.

accessibility optionsAccessibility
Text Size
A
A