Board of Directors

Brad Bolzon, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Brad Bolzon is a Managing Director of Versant Venture’s biotech investment team. He specializes in early stage biotech investing with a particular emphasis on new company start-ups. Prior to joining Versant, Dr. Bolzon served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances with F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Under his leadership, Roche established alliances with more than 75 biotech companies worldwide and significantly strengthened its product pipeline. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Toronto and completed post-doctoral research at the Ottawa Heart Institute.

Axel Bouchon, Ph.D.

Leaps by Bayer

Axel Bouchon started and led Leaps by Bayer. Dr. Bouchon previously served as Senior Vice President of New Business and Product Concepts at Moderna Therapeutics, where he led new business concept activities. In that role, he founded, financed and managed start-up companies that centered on human, animal and plant diseases. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry, organic chemistry and immunology from Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany, and his doctorate from Tübingen.

Jerel Davis, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Jerel Davis is a Managing Director of Versant Ventures, where he has played a critical role in launching and investing in a number of Versant’s portfolio companies including Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Crispr Therapeutics, Blueline Bioscience, Northern Biologics, and several of the Inception Sciences discovery start-ups. He has also led Versant’s execution of build-to-buy structured acquisitions with Celgene, Roche, and Bayer. Dr. Davis earned his doctorate from Stanford University, where he also completed his post-doctoral research.

Jürgen Eckhardt, M.D.

Head, Leaps by Bayer

Dr. Jürgen Eckhardt is Head of Leaps by Bayer, an R&D unit that focuses on new, cross-divisional technologies with fundamental breakthrough potential. He is also a member of the Bayer R&D Executive Committee. Before joining Bayer, Jürgen was a venture capitalist for 14 years and head of the venture capital franchise at Bellevue/BB Biotech in Switzerland. He raised and invested several funds in biotech, medical devices, and healthcare services in Europe and the U.S. Dr. Eckhart received his M.D. from the University of Basel, Switzerland and his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

EMILE NUWAYSIR, Ph.D.

President and CEO, Board Member

Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., joined BlueRock in Feb 2017, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in creating and guiding innovative life science companies from startup stage to fully integrated biotech companies. Prior to BlueRock, he was the President of a regenerative medicine division of Fujifilm (Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. – a Fujifilm Company) and President of Opsis Therapeutics, a biotech developing cell therapies for the retina. Prior to Fujifilm, he was COO of Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) where he helped manage CDI’s growth from a pre-revenue startup to a publicly traded Company on NASDAQ and through the ultimate acquisition of $307M by FujiFilm in 2015. Prior to CDI, he was CTO at Roche NimbleGen, a division of Roche Diagnostics, where he oversaw the product portfolio, Business Development and R&D. Prior to Roche, he was VP of Business Development at NimbleGen Systems where he helped build the company and its products, raise capital, prepare for an IPO, and manage a “dual-track” IPO process leading to the take-out sale by Roche for $282M in 2007.  He currently also holds positions of vice-chairman for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, and founder and vice-chairman of Invenra, Inc.  He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and UNC-Chapel Hill.