Brook Byers Chairman of the Board
Byers was the founding president, and then chairman, of four biotechnology companies, which were incubated in KPCB’s offices and went on to become public companies with an aggregate market value of more than $8 billion. He is currently on the board of directors of nine companies, most recently joining CardioDX, Crescendo, Genomic Health Incorporated, Five Prime Therapeutics, OptiMedica, Pacific Biosciences Inc., Tethys, Veracyte and XDx Inc. He was formerly a director of Idec Pharmaceuticals (chairman), Athena Neurosciences (chairman), Signal Pharmaceuticals, Arris Pharmaceuticals, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Hybritech (chairman), Genprobe and others. These companies have pioneered the medical use of molecular biology, monoclonal antibodies, personalized medicine, molecular diagnostics, genomics and sequencing.
Byers was president and a director of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists. He is currently a board member of the University of California at San Francisco Medical Foundation, the New Schools Foundation, Stanford’s Bio-X Advisory Council and the Stanford Eye Council. He was co-chair of the five year, $1.4 billion UCSF Capital Campaign. In 2007, he was awarded the “UCSF Medal” as the organization’s honorary degree equivalent. In 2008, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture Capital Association. In May 2010, he received an honorary Ph.D. from Georgia Tech.
Byers was formerly a director of the Entrepreneurs Foundation, the California Healthcare Institute, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, That Many May See (UCSF) Vision Research Foundation (chairman) and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. He was also a founder of TechNet.
Raised in Atlanta, Byers graduated in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and received an MBA from Stanford University.
Craig Taylor Director
Taylor is a veteran venture capital investor with a focus on technology transfer from leading research institutions. Before co-founding Alloy Ventures, he worked at Asset Management Co., which he joined in 1977. Previously, Taylor worked in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University from 1975 to 1977. He is a past member of the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association and serves on the board of advisors of the MIT/Stanford Venture Laboratory.
Taylor has led successful investments in, and served on the boards of, dozens of leading life science companies. In addition to OptiMedica, he currently serves on the board of directors of ForteBio, Zyomyx, Veriwave and KFx Medical. Taylor was also a founding board member of Applied Biosystems, the pioneering biotechnology company created in 1981 that later became a division of Applera and was recently sold for $6.7 billion to Invitrogen Corp. He was also a founding board member of Adeza Biomedical, a woman’s health company that completed a public offering on Nasdaq in 2004 and was later acquired by Cytec. He also served on the board of Lynx Therapeutics, a provider of genetic analysis tools for biological research that completed an IPO on Nasdaq in 2000 and later merged with Solex Ltd. before it was acquired by Illumina for $600 million in 2006.
Taylor earned a BS and an MS in physics from Brown University and an MBA from Stanford University.
Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD Director
Dr. Blumenkranz has a longstanding interest and expertise in university corporate technology transfer and early stage biomedical company development having either founded or served on the Boards of Directors of a number of successful medical drug and device companies including Peak Surgical, OIS, Midlabs and Oculex Pharmaceuticals over the past sixteen years in addition to being a co-founder of OptiMedica Corporation and a member of its board of directors.
Thomas Brunner Director
Brunner received a BS in electrical engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from the University of Delaware.
Mark J. Forchette Director
Prior to Alcon, Forchette was vice president of sales and marketing at Grieshaber & Co., where he led the privately held Swiss company’s domestic operations through major infrastructure and revenue expansion. Grieshaber, which was acquired by Alcon in 1998, remains a significant contributor to Alcon’s successful vitreoretinal portfolio of products.
Forchette received a BS in marketing from Auburn University and completed the Harvard Program for Management Development.
Sallie Shuping-Russell, MBA Director
Shuping-Russell is a member of the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is also a trustee of the investment funds at UNC. In addition to OptiMedica, she is on the board of directors of Medivance and PharmatrophiX.
Shuping-Russell earned a BA in English and political science from the University of North Carolina and an MBA with a concentration in finance and economics from Columbia Business School.