2024 Co-Chair Biographies

Jessica J. Federer

Jessica J. Federer, Managing Partner, Supernode Ventures
Jessica Federer is a recognized leader in the global life sciences industry. She was the first Chief Digital Officer for the Bayer AG group, as well as the first woman to hold that role in the industry. She led Bayer’s digital transformation across the pharmaceutical, consumer care, crop science, material science and animal health businesses during record setting years for both sales and EBITDA. Reporting into the Bayer AG Group Management Board, Federer united the company’s digital strategy and investments across divisions to accelerate growth across the 118,00 employees. During her tenure, the company acquired and integrated Merck’s consumer care business and Monsanto, becoming, respectively, the second largest consumer health and the leading agriculture businesses on the planet, and floated their material science division into Covestro. With a focus on scalable digital enablers to business integrations and success, Federer streamlined investments, modernized capabilities, and upskilled the workforce. Prior to leading digital for the group business, Federer established a track record inside Bayer for delivery across regulatory affairs, market access, product launches, and business turnarounds. This includes the launch team for the record holding biologic EYLEA ®, an overhaul in the animal health business, and establishing the market access function globally. Federer regularly contributes to publications and events for the FT, Reuters Health, Bloomberg, and leading consultancies. Ms. Federer joined BMP as a Venture Affiliate in 2018, and is a Partner for the Opportunity Fund. She is a graduate of George Washington University and received an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health.

Eric Snyder

Eric Snyder, Partner, Novo Ventures
Eric Snyder is a Partner at Novo Ventures, where invests in biotech, medtech and digital health companies. Novo Ventures invests on behalf of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations with a vision to improve health and society. Before joining Novo Ventures, Eric earned a PhD in Neuroscience from Brown University and worked in strategic healthcare consulting.

Bridget Ross

Bridget A. Ross, CEO, ChroniSense Medical
Bridget Ross is the CEO and Board Director of ChroniSense Medical, a digital health company creating decentralized clinical trial solutions with its Polso CONNECT™ remote patient monitoring platform. She brings 30+ years of progressive operational and commercial leadership primarily at J&J, where she shepherded numerous products from R&D to FDA clearance and launch and opened new markets to improve patient outcomes across diverse therapeutic areas. Bridget applies her time and talents as an innovative MedTech executive to drive strategy, growth, and impact for companies who are developing new technologies and paradigms for patient care. She serves as a Board Director for LeMaitre Vascular Inc. (NASDAQ: LMAT) and mentors entrepreneurs at two Boston-based accelerators: IGNITE, a MassMEDIC initiative, and the Canadian Technology Accelerator. She is also a leader of the Innovation Investing Council at The Committee of 200 (C200.org), an association driven to advance women in business leadership.

2024 Advisory Board Biographies

Jodi Akin

Jodi Akin: Founder and CEO, Hawthorne Effect, Inc.
Jodi is a healthcare executive, leader, innovator, advisor and serial entrepreneur. She has more than 20 years experience in clinical development, scientific and regulatory strategy, management and medtech market development from start-ups to S&P 500 companies. Prior to founding Hawthorne Effect, Inc., Jodi was Global VP Clinical Affairs at Edwards Lifesciences, LLC- where she led the seminal clinical trials and regulatory approvals for transcatheter heart valve therapy. Also a humanitarian, Jodi led international healthcare initiatives including Heart To Heart International Children's Medical Alliance, The Nahapetov Friendship Foundation and the China Heart Group, a joint venture with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. She holds an undergraduate degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, Masters in Physiology and Nursing from Pace University, New York and 8 patents with a few more pending.

Jennifer Byrne

Jennifer Byrne: CEO, Javara, Inc.
Jennifer Byrne’s career has been devoted to leading organizations, building teams, and cultivating partnerships centered on advancing the clinical research enterprise to better connect patients and providers to clinical trials. Jennifer founded Javara with a vision to revolutionize the industry by accelerating access to research – for patients, biopharma companies and healthcare systems alike. Her passion and commitment to transforming the clinical research landscape into an integrated component of healthcare are at the forefront of Javara’s mission. As the former CEO of PMG Research and Founder of Greater Gift (501(c)3), Jennifer’s involvement in the clinical research enterprise has been vast across collaborations with hundreds of pharma, device, Contract Research Organizations (CROs), technology, site organizations, and other research service providers for the direct execution of over 7,500 Phase I-IV industry sponsored clinical trials. Her stellar track record for consistent and excellent quality in patient, provider and client experiences associated with research trials is but one of many professional accomplishments. As a clinical research thought leader, Jennifer thrives on building high performing teams and partnerships within the evolving healthcare and biopharmaceutical landscapes, leading to better outcomes for all stakeholders. Jennifer has been recognized as a CenterWatch Top 20 Innovator and was included in the 2021 PharmaVOICE Women of Influence. She has been the recipient of both the NC Biotechnology Entrepreneurial Excellence Award as well as ACRP’s 2018 Innovation in Clinical Research Award. Jennifer currently co-chairs the Racial Equity Task Force at Wake Forest Baptist Health, and serves as the Board Chair for Greater Gift, a Trustee for The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and an Advisory Board member to CISCRP. She is also an Advisory Chair for the Masters in Clinical Research Management with Wake Forest University and serves in Advisory roles with the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Dioko Fund, and the North Carolina Biotech of the Piedmont Triad. Jennifer sits on the Leadership Advisory Board for the Avoca Quality Consortium and the Workforce Innovation Steering Committee for ACRP and Board Chair for The Summit School. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University.

Andrew Hedin

Andrew Hedin, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
Andrew Hedin is a partner in Bessemer’s Cambridge office where he focuses on investments broadly across the healthcare ecosystem, including new biotech therapeutics as well as software and services sold to healthcare verticals. Prior to joining Bessemer in 2015, Andrew worked at F-Prime Capital, Fidelity’s healthcare-focused venture capital fund where he invested in early-stage biotech and digital health technologies, as well as Leerink Partners as an advisor to the biopharma industry. He earned an MBA with honors from The Wharton School, where he majored in health care management and finance, as well as a degree in biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bari Kowal

Bari Kowal: Senior Vice President & Head, Development Operations & Portfolio Management, Global Development, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Bari Kowal joined Regeneron in 2015 and became Head of Global Clinical Operations in 2017. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Development Operations and Portfolio Management and is responsible for clinical trial strategy and execution, along with overseeing our development shared services functions. She was previously at Pfizer where she held the positions of Vice President, Business Operations and Analytics, and, prior to that, Vice President, Strategic Alliance and Development Operations Lead. Ms. Kowal also served as Vice President, Clinical Operations, on the clinical research organization side of the industry and at a number of biotech organizations in a variety of clinical research roles early in her career. She holds a BS in Biology from the Binghamton University and an MS in Neuroscience from New York University.

Sunny Kumar

Sunny Kumar: Partner, GSR Ventures
Sunny Kumar is a Partner at GSR Ventures, where he primarily invests in early-stage companies deploying emerging technologies to transform healthcare delivery, including lead investments in Medable, Deep 6 AI, and Osso VR. Sunny is a physician as well as a published medical researcher with a focus on applying informatics and artificial intelligence to translational medicine in the fields of neurosurgery and gene therapy. He is a serial entrepreneur and most recently founded a company to reduce readmissions for high-risk patients with chronic diseases using voice-enabled natural language processing technology. Sunny received a BS in Molecular Biology from Yale University, an MD from Stanford University School of Medicine, and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Rana Lonnen

Rana Lonnen, Managing Director, dRx Capital, Novartis
Rana Lonnen is a healthcare technology investor, entrepreneur, and molecular biologist. At Novartis, she leads strategic investments in technology companies, on a mission to transform the healthcare ecosystem and make positive impact on people’s lives. Previously, Rana was Head of Preclinical Development at a UK biotech, Auspherix; investment consultant to IP Group in London; Founder and CSO of a UK based Biotech, Axendos therapeutics. Prior to this she was a Wellcome Trust backed principal investigator in drug discovery in the field of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, author and inventor on high impact peer-reviewed publications and patents; before this, Rana worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb, in sales and marketing. Rana holds a PhD in molecular biology and an MBA from Imperial College London. She personally cares about equitable healthcare, social justice, sustainability and the future of antimicrobial resistance. In her down time Rana likes to make culinary experiments, be in nature and read. Rana is a board observer at Aktana, Cota Healthcare, H1 Insights, Koneksa, Mekonos, NuvoAir, and Dopavision. She is based out of Basel, Switzerland.

John R. Pavletic

John R. Pavletic, Executive Director, Lilly Ventures
John Pavletic leads Lilly Ventures’ Tech investing strategy globally. This strategy focuses on next generation technologies and business models that can advance drug discovery and development as well as healthcare delivery. Prior to joining the Lilly Ventures team, he led early-stage product strategy for Lilly’s Digital Health group. Prior to Lilly, he held sales, marketing, and finance roles at Abbott across its Animal Health, Molecular Diagnostics, and Health IT business units.

Jared Saul, MD

Jared Saul, MD, Global Head, Healthcare + Life Sciences (Startups + Investors), Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Dr. Saul is the world wide lead for healthcare and life sciences at AWS focused on supporting the work of top investors and their most promising healthcare and life sciences startups-- bringing Amazon technology, resources and relationships to bear on the unique challenges and opportunities facing those at the cutting edge of healthcare. Dr. Saul began his career practicing clinical neuroradiology while also pursuing a variety of startup ventures and ultimately left clinical practice to fully pursue entrepreneurial ambitions as a founder, CTO, advisor and investor. Dr. Saul received his medical doctorate from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where he subsequently completed a residency in radiology. He then completed fellowship training in neuroradiology at the University of Arizona. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons.

David Stevenson

David Stevenson, COO & Managing Director, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund
Dave Stevenson is COO & Managing Director and a founding partner of GHI Fund since inception in 2010. Dave is responsible for identifying opportunities broadly across digital health and also manages the GHI portfolio and operations. Dave brings more than 25 years of healthcare strategy and operations expertise to the GHI team. Prior to Merck GHI, Dave was Head of U.S. Strategy at Sanofi responsible for development of the company’s new commercial models. Dave started his career with Novartis where he built their first clinical trial management system. He holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from Washington University.

Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams, Vice President & Partner, McKesson Ventures
Carrie Williams brings 20 years of experience in healthcare from several vantage points within the industry. Prior to joining McKesson Ventures in 2017, Williams served as vice president of strategy and business development for digital health provider Omada Health, having held roles within McKesson’s strategy and business development team previously, working to advance strategies aimed at innovation within hospital pharmacy and clinical trial patient recruitment. She began her career in drug development, where she managed oncology clinical trials in both large pharmaceutical and biotech settings. Williams holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Blake Wu

Blake Wu, Partner, Healthcare Team, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
Blake joined NEA in 2014 and focuses on investments in digital health, healthcare services, and biopharmaceuticals. At NEA, Blake co-manages the firm’s digital health and healthcare services practice, across both venture and growth investing verticals. Additionally, Blake also co-manages the firm’s public biopharma investing practice and is also a member of the Asia investing team and is involved with the firm’s healthcare investments in the region. Prior to NEA, Blake was a member of the private equity group at Ares Management, focused on investments in healthcare. Blake’s prior work experience also includes investment banking at Moelis & Company, where he was focused on transactions in healthcare, as well as equity research at Barclays Capital. Blake graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S in Economics with concentrations in finance, real estate and management.