Columbia University

Technology Ventures


Tom Brennan

ARCH Venture Partners
Year Served: 

Tom Brennan joined ARCH in 2008 as a Venture Partner. He has special focus on ARCH activities at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Life Sciences Accelerator in New York. During his first year with ARCH, he served as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), a position supported by a Department of Energy grant awarded to ARCH early in 2008.

Mr. Brennan began his career as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs, then joined SNL in 1986 where he became a senior member of the technical staff focused on the material growth of III-V semiconductor materials and devices. Mr. Brennan’s work included the growth of some of the first ‘vertical cavity surface-emitting laser’ (VCSEL) material at SNL and in the U.S., and the development of new and unique VCSEL manufacturing techniques. In 1994, Mr. Brennan and a colleague from SNL collaborated with ARCH Managing Directors, Clint Bybee and Keith Crandell, to license the VCSEL technology from SNL and co-founded MicroOptical Devices (MODE). Mr. Brennan was Co-President of MODE through December 1997 when EMCORE Corp. acquired the firm and established a new business unit called EMCORE Photovoltaics, which Mr. Brennan started-up and led as its General Manager. In 2001, Mr. Brennan was named President and CEO of Zia Laser, a spin-out from the Center for High Technology Materials at the University of New Mexico, which developed quantum dot laser diodes. He also served as Chairman of Medical Lighting Solutions, which uses solid state lighting to treat disease.

Mr. Brennan holds an A.S. in Chemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology, a B.S. in Biochemistry from Monmouth College, and an M.S. in Material Science from Steven’s Institute of Technology. He has published more than 120 articles and holds twelve patents issued and pending.

Dennis Brestovansky

Linde, Aveso, ATMI
Year Served: 

Dennis most recently served as Director of Technology Commercialization at Linde where was responsible for global growth through bringing new ideas to market and expanding existing product lines in semiconductor, LED, display and photovoltaics markets as well as industries ranging from wastewater treatment to metals refining.  Prior to that he was President and CEO at Aveso, a venture capital funded startup in flexible electronic displays.  He has been a division president and Sr VP at ATMI, a small cap advanced materials company, where he ran businesses in gas products, chemicals, packaging and containment for electronics and biopharmaceutical applications and was involved in multiple M&A transactions.  He has also been an adjunct faculty member in the University of Delaware’s chemical engineering department where he also conducted industry sponsored research at the Institute of Energy Conversion into large scale solar cell manufacture.   Dennis holds a PhD from ETH-Zurich and a BS/MS in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.


Dennis Purcell

Aisling Capital, Chase H&Q, PaineWebber
Year Served: 

Mr. Purcell is the Founder of Aisling Capital LLC. Previously, he served as the Senior Managing Partner. Prior to Aisling Capital, Mr. Purcell served as Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist, “H&Q”) for over five years. While at H&Q, he was directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical products industries. During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. Prior to joining H&Q, Mr. Purcell was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Group at PaineWebber, Inc.

Mr. Purcell is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP, honored as one of the top 50 Irish-American businessmen and cited as one of the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry.

Mr. Purcell has served as a director of Aton Pharma (acquired by Merck), Bridge Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pharmaron), Cengent Therapeutics, Dynova Laboratories, Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Valentis and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Purcell also has served as a member of the Section Governing Board at BIO (“Biotechology Innovation Organization”), the Irvington Institute and on the Board of L.E.K. Consulting. He currently sits on the Boards of Real Endpoints, Summus Global, Inc., BioScience Managers, and Ichnos Sciences. He sits on the Editorial Advisory Board at Life Science Leader Magazine; Member of the Board at NYBIO Association; Board Member at The University of Delaware Investment Visiting Committee as well as a member of the Biopharmaceutical Innovation Board at the University of Delaware.

Mr. Purcell received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware.