Past Event

Third Rock Ventures: Building companies and advancing academic science into transformative medicines

July 27, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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Florence Irving Auditorium ICRC Building, 1st floor 1130 Saint Nicholas Ave

The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Columbia Technology Ventures invite you to join us on July 27 from 9-10am for an in-person industry seminar with Third Rock Ventures. Third Rock is a Boston-based venture capital firm that invests in life-changing therapies, devices and diagnostics. In addition to investment, the firm is actively involved in the early stages of company development, typically serving as members of the founding management teams, to build a strong foundation, put in place the right people and culture, and set the companies on a path to scientific and operational excellence. This event is open to all Columbia faculty.

This seminar will cover Third Rock’s approach to building companies and commercializing academic science and will kick off with opening remarks from HICCC Director Dr. Anil Rustgi. Our guests from Third Rock include:

  • Bob Tepper: Bob is a co-founder of Third Rock and a distinguished scientist with more than 30 years of experience building and operating leading R&D organizations in the biotech industry. At Third Rock, Bob focuses on the formation, development and scientific strategy of portfolio companies, as well as actively identifying and evaluating new company ideas. Bob met Third Rock co-founders Mark Levin and Kevin Starr while he was president of R&D at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was vital in the company’s expansion from a drug discovery company to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company.
  • David Kaufman: David joined Third Rock as a venture partner in 2020 and was promoted to partner in 2022. He was previously Chief Medical Officer and Head of Translational Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. He helped establish the Gates MRI as a “nonprofit biotech,” developing novel drugs and vaccines for tuberculosis, malaria, enteric diseases, neonatal health, and other global health challenges. Previously, he led Translational Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he oversaw immuno-oncology translational medicine, novel biomarker development and global translational research partnering.
  • Vyas Ramanan: As principal, Vyas helps to build new companies where new biological insights and technological capabilities intersect, with the promise of building new medicines for patients with great clinical need. He is passionate about advancing exciting new ideas for these companies across the portfolio. When Vyas first joined Third Rock, he was involved in the launch of Maze Therapeutics, and spent the subsequent years helping create and empower an awesome and growing team at Maze with the hope for multiple meaningful, first-in-class medicines.