Our Team

Big goals in the big apple

We come from different backgrounds, but we share the same belief: that science can change the world for the better. We exist to deliver life-saving cancer therapies through breakthroughs in drug discovery.

Our bios recount our academic credentials, but there’s a lot more to us. Our individual experiences shape who we are as a team, and together we’re passionate about making a difference.

We are supported by a premier group of investors and board members with a proven track record of building successful biotechnology companies. Our founders and scientific advisors are renowned for their seminal discoveries in cancer biology.

Nazario Bosco, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Biology

Mia Jaffe, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Data Science

Akanksha Verma, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Computational Biology

Michael Su, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Martha Rutkowski

Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Rumin Zhang, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Biochemistry

Nada Elmansy, M.S.

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Michael Arensman, Ph.D.

Director, Biology

Aaron Phillips, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Biology

Song Chen, Ph.D.

Scientist I, Immunology

Scott Drutman, M.D., Ph.D.

SVP, Head of Translational Science

Tamar Feinberg, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Biology

Andrew DeCotiis, M.S.

Senior Research Associate, Data Engineer

Jacqueline Gonzalez

Administrative Assistant

Adriana Roopnariane, M.S.

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Rick Tourdot, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Computational Biology

Jasmina Prabhakara

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Christina Eng, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Biology

Diane Tager, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Jodi Adelsohn-Ruff

Director, Program Management

Rachel Zolot Schwartz, MBA

VP, Head of Business Development & Commercial

Al Swiston, M.S., Ph.D.

VP, Head of Data Science

Charles Hugh-jones, M.D., FRCP

Chief Executive Officer

Kassoum Nacro, Ph.D.

Director, Chemistry

Aliasghar Mortazi, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Computer Vision and Image Analytics

Reka Letso, Ph.D.

Senior Lab Manager

Derek Cogan, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Chemistry

Bernardo Tavora, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Immunology

Sarah Bettigole, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Immunology

Jonathan Havel, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Immunology

Alan Chiu, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Biology

Michael Su, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Scott Drutman, M.D., Ph.D.

SVP, Head of Translational Science

Diane Tager, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Charles Hugh-jones, M.D., FRCP

Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Zolot Schwartz, MBA

VP, Head of Business Development & Commercial

Luc Dochez, Pharm.D.

Partner
DROIA Oncology Ventures

Stefan Vitorovic

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Vida Ventures

Charles Hugh-Jones, M.D, FRCP

Chief Executive Officer
Volastra Therapeutics

Zafi Avnur, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
Quark Venture

Amy Schulman

Managing Partner
Polaris Partners

Sandi Peterson, Chair

Operating Partner
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Samuel Bakhoum, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Member
Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Karen Vousden, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist
Cancer Research UK

Harold Varmus, M.D.

Lewis Thomas University Professor, Medicine
Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine

David Pellman, M.D.

Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

David Baltimore, Ph.D.

President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Biology
California Institute of Technology

Nicholas A. Saccomano, Ph.D.

Independent Advisor/Board Member
Former CSO Array Biopharma, Former SVP-CSO Pfizer Boulder

Duane Compton, Ph.D.

Dean
Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College

Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

Director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine

Tarun Kapoor, Ph.D.

PELS Family Professor
Rockefeller University

Lewis Cantley, Ph.D.

Meyer Director
Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College

Gerard Evan, Ph.D.

Sir William Dunn Professor and Chair
Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

Samuel Bakhoum, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Member
Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Our Founders

2016
Samuel
Bakhoum, Ph.D.
Lewis
Cantley, Ph.D.

In 2016, Samuel Bakhoum joined the lab of world-renowned cancer biologist Lewis Cantley with an idea: to study chromosome behavior and how it might drive cancer metastasis.

Olivier
Elemento, Ph.D.

They recruited their colleague Olivier Elemento, whose lab combines big data analytics, including artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling, with experimentation to develop entirely new ways to help prevent, diagnose, understand, treat and ultimately cure cancer. Together they saw a path toward targeting a root cause of cancer metastasis.

2018

Just a few years later, in January 2018, they published a study in Nature showing for the first time how CIN allows cancerous cells to evade the immune system and spread.

2020

With this groundbreaking
finding, Volastra was born.

Investors