Board of Directors

Brad Bolzon, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Brad Bolzon, Ph.D., is a Managing Director and Chairman of Versant. He combines 13 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience and a similar tenure as a venture capitalist. Brad is the architect of Versant’s investment strategy. His track record consists of successive outlier returns including Amira (sale), Okairos (sale), Speedel (sale), Quanticel (sale), Novira (sale), Flexion (2014 IPO), Crispr (2016 IPO), BioTie (sale), Jecure (sale), Inception (multiple sales) and BlueRock (sale), and he continues to manage several other promising investments. Prior to joining Versant, Brad served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances at Roche. Under his leadership, Roche established alliances with over 75 venture-backed biotech companies worldwide and transformed its R&D pipeline into an industry leader. Prior to that, Brad held executive roles at Eli Lilly in drug discovery, clinical research, regulatory affairs and business development. He earned Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto.

Wolfram Carius, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President Pharmaceuticals Product Supply, Bayer AG

Prof. Wolfram Carius is the Executive Vice President Pharmaceuticals Product Supply (Chemicals, Pharma, Biotech, Devices) at Bayer AG and is a member of the Executive Committee for Bayer Pharmaceuticals. He is based in Berlin, Germany. Prior to joining Bayer, Wolfram was a corporate senior vice president and member of the global leadership team at Sanofi Genzyme for two years. Before that, he worked for Boehringer Ingelheim from 1987 to the end of 2013, eventually becoming responsible for that company’s worldwide chemical, pharmaceutical, and biopharma production network. In his 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry he has worked in Asia, South America and Europe. In 2009, the Biberach University of Applied Sciences awarded him the title of honorary professor in recognition for his long and exceptional service. He also holds a PhD in pharmaceutical biology and analytical phytochemistry from the University of Saarland, Germany.

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.


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.