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.

Associate Director, Biology

Michael Arensman, Ph.D.

Director, Biology

Alan Chiu, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Biology

Aliasghar Mortazi, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Computer Vision and Image Analytics

Cindy Oh

Director, Clinical and Business Operations

Kassoum Nacro, Ph.D.

Director, Chemistry

Bernardo Tavora, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Immunology

Derek Rookhuizen, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Ryan Schulz

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Charles Hugh-jones, M.D., FRCP

Chief Executive Officer

Rick Tourdot, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Computational Biology

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

Chief Medical Officer

Rafael Depetris, Ph.D.

Director, Protein Biochemistry & Structural Biology

Jianmin Mao, Ph.D.

VP, CMC

Rachel Zolot Schwartz, MBA

Chief Business Officer

Sarah Bettigole, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Immunology

Nada Elmansy, M.S.

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Jasmina Prabhakara

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Celia Andreu, Ph.D.

Director, Biomarkers

Mia Jaffe, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Data Science

Jonathan Havel, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Immunology

Aaron Phillips, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, Biology

Christina Eng, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Biology

Tamar Feinberg, Ph.D.

Scientist II, Biology

Derek Cogan, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Chemistry

Song Chen, Ph.D.

Scientist I, Immunology

Adriana Roopnariane, M.S.

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Lyuben Tsvetkov, Ph.D.

Director, Biology

Jacqueline Gonzalez

Executive Assistant

Andrew DeCotiis, M.S.

Senior Research Associate, Data Engineer

Reka Letso, Ph.D.

Senior Lab Manager

Kenneth Hess, Ph.D.

Director, Business Development and Commercial

Michael Su, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer & President of Research

Martha Rutkowski

Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Joseph Avallone, CPA

Controller

Diane Tager, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Rumin Zhang, Ph.D.

VP, Head of Biochemistry

Diane Tager, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Rachel Zolot Schwartz, MBA

Chief Business Officer

Michael Su, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer & President of Research

Charles Hugh-jones, M.D., FRCP

Chief Executive Officer

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

Chief Medical Officer

Amy Schulman

Managing Partner
Polaris Partners

Stefan Vitorovic

Co-Founder and Managing Director
Vida Ventures

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

Charles Hugh-Jones, M.D, FRCP

Chief Executive Officer
Volastra Therapeutics

Luc Dochez, Pharm.D.

Partner
DROIA Oncology Ventures

Zafi Avnur, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
Quark Venture

David Pellman, M.D.

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

Olivier Elemento, Ph.D.

Director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine

Duane Compton, Ph.D.

Dean
Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College

Tarun Kapoor, Ph.D.

PELS Family Professor
Rockefeller University

Harold Varmus, M.D.

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

David Baltimore, Ph.D.

President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Biology
California Institute of Technology

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

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

Nicholas A. Saccomano, Ph.D.

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

Karen Vousden, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist
Cancer Research UK

Gerard Evan, Ph.D.

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

Lewis Cantley, Ph.D.

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

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