Our studio was forged in 2021 by – Max, Michel, and Sriram – united by their shared goal to re-establish discovery as the basis for the next generation of immunotherapies.
With their deep knowledge of immunobiology and their impressive track record of discovering and developing multiple, multibillion-dollar immunotherapies, they have positioned Foundery to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the pre-clinical R&D process.
They aim to preserve the innovative culture of biotech and bridge the translational gap by providing leading academic scientists with exclusive access to best-in-class technology platforms and the necessary R&D infrastructure to transform their discoveries into breakthrough therapies.
Matthew Krummel, Ph.D. is the Chair of the UCSF ImmunoX Initiative (immunox.ucsf.edu) and holds the Robert E. Smith Endowed Chair in Pathology. His lab (krummellab.com) specializes in using real-time imaging to launch and test hypotheses related to how the immune system processes information and makes decisions. Key recent discoveries have included determining features of T cell membrane biology and motility that govern how they efficiently survey for antigens as well as the discovery of archetypal collections of immune systems in cancer, notably those involving networks of cells built around stimulatory dendritic cells. His work spans scales from membrane organization, to cell biology, to entire immune systems. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed his postdoctoral studies at Stanford University.
Dr. Krummel drives collaborative science: he founded a microscopy ‘collaboratory’ at UCSF which unites ‘shared’ technical personnel, and he developed a novel industry consortium-funded project (immunoprofiler.org) which unites studies of over 15 cancer indications to understand the biology of individual patients. Together with other UCSF faculty, he founded the ImmunoX initiative, a radical collaboration platform focused on methods and data sharing as a means to accelerate discovery and cures. His initiative also emphasizes public outreach and interaction as a means to disseminate the value of science. Dr. Krummel’s work has led to multiple clinical advances including discovering anti-CTLA-4 ‘checkpoint blockade’ drugs (over 100,000 patients treated) and new next-generation immunotherapies through Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, and now Foundery Innovations, ventures that he co-founded and which have extensive academic-industry collaboration. The aim of all of his research is to understand and apply the immune system to improve human health.
Michel, Foundery Innovation’s CEO, has extensive scientific and executive management experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, leading drug development from discovery through the early clinical stage, with a focus on therapies for cancer, chronic viral, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases. He has over 30 years of leadership, innovation, team-building, collaboration, fundraising, and management experience in biologics and small molecule drug development, and over twenty-five years of experience directing basic and applied research at several companies, including Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, Gilead Sciences, Merck Research Laboratories, Schering-Plough Research Institute (acquired by Merck, Inc), Organon BioSciences (acquired by Schering-Plough), and ImmunoGen Inc., as well as a faculty member for ten years at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He played key roles in advancing multiple novel and biosimilar biologics into clinical development, including the first FDA approved immunotherapy, IFN-alpha2/IntronA®, and the anti-PD-1 immuno-oncology drug, Keytruda®. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and conducted his postdoctoral training in the Division of Tumor Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Sriram is an accomplished researcher with nearly 15 years of biopharmaceutical research experience developing biological and small molecule therapeutics against tumor immunotherapy targets. Prior to joining Max and Michel in starting Foundery, Sriram was an early employee at Pionyr Immunotherapeutics. At Pionyr, Sriram played a key role in building the research team. He also led the operational move from the incubator space to an independent facility and served as the nonclinical lead for the PY314 program. Further, Sriram was the author, editor, and coordinator for all of Pionyr’s Pre-IND and IND regulatory filings. Before his time at Pionyr, Sriram worked at Gilead Sciences. Sriram established and successively led several immuno-oncology programs at Gilead Sciences and Merck. At Merck Research Laboratories (formerly the Schering-Plough Biopharma prior to its acquisition by Merck), Sriram also served as the cross-site pharmacology lead for all the immuno-oncology programs, including the anti-PD-1 antibody, Keytruda. Sriram received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Immunology from the University of Madras, India, and completed his post-doctoral training in immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Jate is the Chief Business Officer at Foundery Innovations. In addition to working closely with the management team in their fundraising efforts, he also leads corporate and business development, strategic planning, budgeting, and investor relations. He joins Foundery from Tranquis Therapeutics, a clinical-stage neuro-immunology company, where he was Vice President and Head of Finance and Corporate Development. Prior to Tranquis, Jate was Senior Director of Business Development and Licensing at Horizon Therapeutics, where he led the company’s venture capital initiatives. Previously, Jate spent seven years as Country Head for Allexcel | Red Bull Malaysia and Executive Director of Strategy & Investments for Allswell | Red Bull Singapore. Before moving to Asia, Jate spent close to a decade in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking groups of Evercore, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch in the Bay Area focusing on capital raising and M&A for life sciences clients.
Jate serves on the Advisory Board of the Rausser College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. He is also a Bio Track Advisor at Berkeley SkyDeck and member of Life Science Angels. Jate has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a B.Sci. in Molecular Environmental Biology from UC Berkeley, and is a Certified Licensing Professional.
Elizabeth Edmiston is the Senior Director of Operations at Foundery Innovations. In this role, she is responsible for business strategy, fundraising efforts, investor relations, academic outreach, and contractual matters. Before joining Foundery, Elizabeth was a Senior Alliances and Business Development Manager in UCSF's Office of Strategic Alliances, where she was integral in expanding and developing mutually beneficial collaborations and strategic partnerships between UCSF and industry partners, including Immunoprofiler, Autoimmunoprofiler, and The Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience. Previously, Elizabeth also worked in market research consulting, where she informed pre-launch strategies for global biopharmaceutical companies. She received her Ph.D. in Immunology from UC Davis, where she studied the maternal immune system and its effects on neurodevelopment in the laboratory of Dr. Judy Van de Water. She also holds a B.Sci. in Microbiology from UC Santa Barbara.
Joshua Pollack is Senior Director of Bioinformatics at Foundery Innovations. He leads genomic profiling and analytical efforts and serves as project team lead for the TC305 program as well as being involved in new target acquisition and development, academic outreach, and information technologies. Previously, he served as Associate Director of Bioinformatics at Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, prioritizing both current TREM1 and TREM2 clinical programs and generating multiple new target proposals. Prior to his experience at Pionyr, Josh served as a Bioinformatics Analyst at the Functional Genomics Core at UCSF. He received his master’s in Biology from UC Berkeley where he worked with both Dr. Montgomery Slatkin and Nobel laureate Prof. Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
Vladi Juric is a Senior Director of Biology and Pharmacology responsible for defining and executing Foundery Innovation’s discovery biology and pharmacology strategy. She has expertise in pre-clinical development of cancer immunotherapies. Before joining Foundery, Vladi worked at Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, leading early discovery biology efforts for multiple myeloid-targeting immuno-oncology programs, including the PY314 and PY159 programs, which are now in clinical development. Prior to Pionyr, she was a scientist at Gilead Sciences, conducting non-clinical research for immuno-oncology programs. Vladi received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus on extracellular matrix biology. She completed her postdoctoral training in oncology at the University of California, San Francisco under the mentorship of Nobel laureate J. Michael Bishop.
A complementary amalgam of cutting-edge scientists with expertise in basic, clinical, and applied immunology
Dr. Adil Daud is the Director of Melanoma Clinical Research at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC San Francisco. He is an expert in immunotherapy and has pioneered the development of novel immunotherapeutics and targeted therapies. He led the development of IL-12 in melanoma and has developed a novel technology to deliver it in vivo. He has also played a major role in developing anti-PD-1 therapies in humans.; most recently, he developed novel assays to determine immune responsiveness in vivo, which can be used to determine the likelihood of response to immune therapy and provide novel insights into immune drug development. Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. Daud was a faculty member and researcher at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL.
Dr. Daud earned his medical degree at the Government Medical College, Nagpur. He completed an internship and a residency in internal medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in hematology-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Ananda Goldrath is the Executive Vice President of the Allen Institute for Immunology. She previously served as a Tata Chancellor’s Endowed Professor in the School of Biological Sciences in the Molecular Biology Department at UC San Diego. Her work as an Immunologist has contributed to the understanding of transcriptional networks that govern the formation and maintenance of long-lived protective immunity. Professor Goldrath’s research explores the mechanistic basis underlying memory T cell differentiation by driving or suppressing target genes essential for differentiation of protective T cell subsets, by regulating metabolic pathway usage, or by controlling access to and survival in tissues. Using this information, it has proved possible to beneficially manipulate the immune system to eliminate infection and malignancies. Professor Goldrath is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Pew Scholar, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow, and a member of the Immunological Genome Project.
Dr. Dan Littman is the Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology in the Department of Cell Biology at New York University and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Littman’s laboratory has made multiple contributions toward our understanding of mechanisms that promote immune system development and roles in physiological homeostasis, particularly through interactions with microbiota and with cells of the peripheral and central nervous systems. Dr. Littman is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, past president of the American Association of Immunologists, and recipient of several scientific awards, including the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine and the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Locksley is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco. He also serves as the Director of the Sandler Asthma Basic Research Center (SABRE) and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Locksley’s laboratory pioneered the use of mice genetically engineered to report cytokines expressed during allergic immune responses. Using these methods, the laboratory participated in the discovery of innate lymphoid type 2 cells, or ILC2s, and tuft cells, enigmatic epithelial cells at mucosal surfaces which activate tissue ILC2s and neural regulatory circuits, thus revealing entirely new avenues for discovery. His laboratory currently focuses on innate immunity; the discovery of ILC2s, which are prominently involved in allergy, initiated efforts to uncover the ‘ground state’ of allergy by investigating homeostatic pathways involving these cells to provide insights regarding their primary function in tissue health. He is a member of the Pew Scholars Program Advisory Committee and the Lasker Basic Medical Research Awards Jury. Dr. Locksley is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Locksley received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Harvard and his M.D. from the University of Rochester. After completing his medical residency and chief residency at UCSF, he trained in infectious diseases at the University of Washington.
Dr. Leonard G. Presta has more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, working in the fields of antibody and protein engineering. Most recently, Dr. Presta served as a Distinguished Fellow at Merck & Co., Inc., where he was responsible for the protein engineering of all their internal therapeutic antibodies. Dr. Presta also held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Inc., including Director of the Antibody Technology Group, where he was directly responsible for or led the protein engineering of notable antibody therapeutics, including Herceptin®, Perjeta® Raptiva®, Xolair®, Avastin®, Lucentis® and Ocrevus®, and the therapeutic protein Tenecteplase®. Dr. Presta also designed the therapeutic antibody Ilumya® which was licensed to Sun Pharma by Merck. He is an inventor of 190 U.S. patents and has served on the editorial boards of notable journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, PROTEINS, and MABS.
Dr. Presta received a B.S in Chemistry and B.S. in Biology at the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University with a thesis on the computational modeling of protein-ligand interactions.
Dr. Alexis Combes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at UC San Francisco. He is a formally trained immunologist and cell biologist with specific training and expertise in elucidating mechanisms of immune pathogenesis. His current research employs a systems immunology approach to discover and dissect recurring patterns of the immune system, or immune archetypes, in health and disease with the aim of guiding the development of relevant, precision immunotherapies. He also serves as the Director of the Disease to Biology (D2B) CoLab, which is a collaboration-based research lab at UCSF that focuses on profiling the immune system in both diseased patients and healthy individuals using cutting-edge technologies to better understand the immunological context of different diseases.
Dr. Combes received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Aix-Marseille University with a focus on cellular signaling during dendritic cell activation. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew Krummel, where he utilized immune monitoring and high-dimensional single-cell technologies to show the existence of archetypal organization of the immune system in tumors.
Seasoned executives with significant venture, operating, M&A and business development experience
Mr. Brody has been in the Venture Capital industry since 1985 and is a Managing Director emeritus at Redpoint Ventures, a firm he co-founded in 1999. In this role, he has been fortunate to invest in many dedicated entrepreneurs and help them build successful businesses in a broad range of technology industries. He is a former chair of the Venture Capital subcommittee of the Stanford Business School Trust. Early in his career, Mr. Brody was a field engineer working in Africa and Europe, and cofounded a mobile communications company.
Mr. Brody holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ms. Hemrajani currently serves as a member of ALX Oncology’s board of directors and serves as a director at MaxCyte and BioAge Labs. She previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Jiya Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company. Additionally, she has held C-suite roles at Aravive, Arcus Biosciences, RAPT Therapeutics, and Sagimet Biosciences. Earlier in her career, she was the Vice President, Head of Licensing and M&A at Onyx Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen), and Vice President of Business Development at Exelixis. She started her career in healthcare investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston and Lehman Brothers. She also serves on the Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund Investment Advisory Board.
Ms. Hemrajani holds a B.S. in Economics and Computer Science from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Mr. Metz is the Founder and Managing Director of Dev Equity, a risk capital fund that invests in private companies that generate a positive social and environmental impact. Dev Equity provides patient capital to help innovative companies enhance growth and profitability and align investment returns with responsible corporate governance. He previously served as an investment development manager for a bilateral development finance institution and has advised leading private, public, and non-governmental organizations supporting enterprise and sustainable economic growth initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and the South Pacific.
Mr. Metz earned a Ph.D. in Management at the University of Cambridge, an M.Phil. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, and a B.S. in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University.
Ms. Petka is the Vice President of Intellectual Property at Horizon Therapeutics and serves as the site head for the company’s South San Francisco office. In this role, Ms. Petka manages and oversees the full scope of global pharmaceutical intellectual property issues including client counseling; portfolio strategy; patent and trademark preparation and prosecution; rendering legal opinions with respect to patentability, validity, and freedom to operate; trademark clearance; trade secret policies and protection; copyright registration; due diligence reviews; and intellectual property-related transactional work. Prior to her role at Horizon, she served in a similar role at Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc., a genomic medicine company, advising C-level executives and the board of directors on complex IP strategies and risk mitigation. Before joining Sangamo, she was VP and Chief IP counsel at Cepheid as well as a Senior Director and Senior Patent Counsel at Theravance Biopharma US, Inc. She also spent nearly a decade with Boehringer Ingelheim.
Ms. Petka received a B.S. from Chatham College. She also earned a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, as well as a Ph.D. and M.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Ms. Ramasastry has spent 25 years in the biopharma industry as an advisor, operator, and founder. She is the Managing Partner of Life Sciences Advisory, LLC, an independent impact firm that provides solutions to the life science industry and is focused on accelerating cures by connecting industry, philanthropy, governments, and patients. Prior to her current role, Ms. Ramasastry spent a decade as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch & Co. She helped found and establish their biotechnology practice and was responsible for emerging biotechnology coverage including origination of mergers and acquisitions as well as strategic and capital markets transactions. Before joining Merrill Lynch, she served as a financial analyst in the mergers and acquisitions group at Wasserstein Perella & Co. Ms. Ramasastry currently serves on the board of directors of Vir Biotechnology, Kriya Therapeutics, Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, and Mirum Pharmaceuticals. She is also a Health Innovator Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Ms. Ramasastry received her B.A. Economics with Honors and Distinction and an MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. She also holds a M. Phil. in management studies from the University of Cambridge where she is a guest lecturer for the Bioscience Enterprise Program and serves on the Cambridge in America regional board.