Steering Committee Members

AgusDavid B. Agus is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering and heads U.S.C.’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading cancer doctors, and the co-founder of two pioneering personalized medicine companies, Navigenics and Applied Proteomics. Dr. Agus is an international leader in new technologies and approaches for personalized healthcare and chairs the Global Agenda Council on Genetics for the World Economic Forum. He has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Geoffrey Beene Foundation’s Rockstar of Science Award. Dr. Agus’ first book, The End of Illness, was published in January 2012 by the Free Press Division of Simon & Schuster and is a New York Times #1 best seller. A PBS documentary called “The End of Illness with David Agus” aired nationwide in the fall of 2012.


BenzEdward Benz graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1973 and received his training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the National Institutes of Health. He is president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, CEO of Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, director and principal investigator of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and a member of the Governing Board of Dana-Farber/Children’s Cancer Center. He is also a clinical hematologist and an active NIH-funded investigator. In addition, he is the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics, and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benz’s research focuses on the molecular pathology of hemolytic anemias.


DachilleDouglas A. Dachille is one of the founders of First Principles Capital Management, LLC (FPCM) and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer. His background and knowledge encompass all aspects of asset management, structured finance, and risk management. Immediately prior to co-founding FPCM, Mr. Dachille was President and Chief Operating Officer of Zurich Capital Markets Inc. (“ZCM”), an integrated alternative investment asset management and structured product subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services.

Preceding his tenure at ZCM, Mr. Dachille was a Managing Director for J.P. Morgan where he was the Global Head of Proprietary Trading and a member of the Management Committee of the Investment Bank. He was responsible for building the Global Relative Value Proprietary Trading business, and in fiscal year 2000 this business was one of the most important contributors to both the pre-tax net income and economic value for J. P. Morgan. In addition, Mr. Dachille was responsible for managing the bank’s investment portfolios, for developing and executing economic and regulatory capital management strategies, and for designing and managing non-qualified employee deferred compensation plans. Mr. Dachille was Chairman of the firm’s Capital Committee and served as a trustee of the J. P. Morgan qualified benefit plans. Prior to his role in the Proprietary Positioning business, Mr. Dachille was responsible for building the Hybrid Derivatives business for J. P. Morgan beginning in 1991. The Hybrid Derivatives business was developed to provide clients with customized derivatives solutions to complex problems and continues to be a significant revenue contributor for J. P. Morgan.

Mr. Dachille earned his Bachelor of Science in a special joint program through Union University and Albany Medical College, and later was a Pew Scholar in Medicine, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.


DearJoseph A. Dear is the Chief Investment Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Mr. Dear oversees all asset classes in which CalPERS invests, including domestic and international equity, Treasury and agency debt, high‐yield bonds, mortgage backed securities, real estate, corporate governance, currency overlay, securities lending, venture capital, leveraged buyouts, commodities, infrastructure and hedge funds.

Mr. Dear is responsible for the strategic plan for the CalPERS Investment Office, including tactical asset allocation, risk management, business development, budget authority, new investment programs, trading technology, staffing, and back office operations.

Mr. Dear joined CalPERS in March 2009 after previously serving as the Executive Director for the Washington State Investment Board. He previously served as Chief of Staff for Washington State Governor Gary Locke. Mr. Dear also served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary of Labor at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Prior to his federal service, Mr. Dear was Director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries where he managed the state’s workers’ compensation insurance fund and served as an ex‐officio member of the Washington State Investment Board including two terms as Chair. Earlier, he was Research Director for the Washington State Labor Council (AFL‐CIO).

Two of the programs he managed at OSHA and the Department of Labor and Industries received Innovations in Government Awards from the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Currently Mr. Dear also serves as Chair of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee, and is a board member of the Pacific Pension Institute. He also served four terms as Chair of the Council of Institutional Investors. Mr. Dear received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.


Jacob Goldfield is a successful option trader who retired as a senior partner of Goldman Sachs. He was later the Chief Investment Officer of Soros Fund Management and Quantum. He has invested and served as a board member for several private biotech companies in the past including serving as Chairman of the Board of CombinatorX Inc. Mr. Goldfield holds an A.B. in physics from Harvard College.


HorvitzH. Robert Horvitz received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002. He is the David H. Koch Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Neurobiologist (Neurology) at the Massachusetts General Hospital; and a Member of the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research; and a Member of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

Dr. Horvitz received S.B. degrees in Mathematics and in Economics from MIT in 1968. He performed his graduate studies at Harvard University in the laboratories of Drs. James Watson and Walter Gilbert and received his Ph.D. in Biology in 1974. Dr. Horvitz then joined Dr. Sydney Brenner as a postdoctoral fellow at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. Since 1978, Dr. Horvitz has been an Assistant, Associate and Full Professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research involving C. elegans has helped define evolutionarily conserved molecular genetic pathways important in human biology and human disease, including the pathway responsible for programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

Dr. Horvitz is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Science and the Public. He was President of the Genetics Society of America. He has served on many editorial boards, visiting committees and advisory committees. He was co-chair of the National Cancer Institute Working Group on Preclinical Models for Cancer and a member of the National Human Genome Research Institute Advisory Council, of the U.S. National Academies of Science and Institute of Medicine Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Committee on Advancing Research in Science and Engineering. He is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and of the Council of the U.S. Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Horvitz received the U.S. National Academies of Science Award in Molecular Biology; the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health; the Ciba-Drew Award for Biomedical Science; the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize; the Gairdner Foundation International Award; the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology; the Genetics Society of America Medal; the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience; the Wiley Prize in the Biomedical Sciences; the Peter Gruber Foundation Foundation Genetics Prize; the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor; the Alfred G. Knudson Award of the National Cancer Institute; and the U.K. Genetics Society Mendel Medal.

Dr. Horvitz is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the American Philosophical Society and is a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Horvitz received an Honorary M.D. from the University of Rome and Honorary D.Sc. degrees from Cambridge University and Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Horvitz has been a consultant to the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and the venture capital company MPM Capital as well as to a number of biotechnology companies, and he cofounded the biotechnology companies NemaPharm, Inc., Idun Pharmaceuticals, Enlight BioSciences and Epizyme, Inc.


LangerRobert Langer is an Institute Professor at MIT (there are 14 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member). He has written approximately 1,200 articles. These articles have been cited over 80,000 times; his h-index of 139 is the highest of any engineer in history. He has 815 issued and pending patents worldwide. His patents have licensed or sublicensed to over 250 companies. He served as Chairman of the FDA’s SCIENCE BOARD (it’s highest advisory board) from 1999-2002. His over 200 awards include both the United States National Medal of Science and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Charles Stark Draper Prize (considered the engineering Nobel Prize), Albany Medical Center Prize (largest US medical prize), the Wolf Prize for Chemistry, the Millennium Technology Prize, the Priestley Medal (highest award of the American Chemical Society), the Gairdner Prize and the Lemelson-MIT prize, for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” He holds 20 honorary doctorates including honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale. Langer is one of the very few individuals ever elected to the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.
Photo Credit: Stu Rosner.


LegorettaPablo Legorreta founded Royalty Pharma in 1996, after creating and managing two “proof of principle” investment vehicles in 1993 and 1994 that invested in royalty interests in two leading biotechnology products, and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to founding these investment vehicles, Mr. Legorreta spent ten years at Lazard Frères where he provided cross-border merger and acquisition and corporate finance advisory services to US and European corporations. Mr. Legorreta joined Lazard Frères et Cie in Paris in 1988, then moved to Lazard Frères & Co in New York in 1990. Mr. Legorreta currently serves as a Director of Giuliani SpA and is a founding member of Boston Children’s Hospital Medical Research Council, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Allen-Stevenson School, the Park Avenue Armory and of the American-Austrian Foundation/Open Medical Institute. He received a degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana.


Frank McCormick is director of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute, a multidisciplinary research and clinical care organization that is one of the largest matrix cancer centers in the Western United States. A native of Cambridge, England, he received his B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham (1972) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge (1975). Postdoctoral fellowships were held in the U.S. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and in London at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1996. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several Bay Area biotechnology firms, including positions with Cetus Corporation (Director of Molecular Biology, 1981-90; Vice President of Research, 1990-91) and Chiron Corporation, where he was Vice President of Research from 1991-92. In 1992 he founded Onyx Pharmaceuticals and served as its Chief Scientific Officer until 1996. McCormick’s current research interests center on the fundamental differences between normal and cancer cells that can allow the use of naturally occurring and engineered viruses as novel therapeutic strategies. Most recently, his work has focused on the adenovirus d11520, which lacks the gene E1b, an inhibitor of p53, and can therefore be exploited to selectively target cancer cells lacking p53. In addition to his position as director of the UCSF Cancer Center, Frank McCormick holds the David A. Wood Chair of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research in UCSF’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. McCormick is the author of more than 200 scientific publications.


MertonRobert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

He is the University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, and was the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration (1988–98) and the John and Natty McArthur University Professor (1998–2010) at Harvard Business School. He previously served on the finance faculty of MIT Sloan from 1970 to 1988. Dr. Merton co-founded Long-Term Capital Management. He is currently resident scientist at Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he is developing a next-generation, integrated pension-management solution system that addresses the deficiencies associated with traditional defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans.

Dr. Merton received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for a new method to determine the value of derivatives. He is past president of the American Finance Association, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He is the author of Continuous-Time Finance and a co-author of Cases in Financial Engineering: Applied Studies of Financial Innovation; The Global Financial System: A Functional Perspective; Finance; and Financial Economics. Dr. Merton also has been recognized for translating finance science into practice. He received the inaugural Financial Engineer of the Year Award from the International Association of Financial Engineers in 1993, which also elected him a Senior Fellow. Derivatives Strategy magazine named him to its Derivatives Hall of Fame as did Risk magazine to its Risk Hall of Fame. He also received Risk’s Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the field of risk management. A Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance and a Fellow of the Financial Management Association, Dr. Merton received the Nicholas Molodovsky Award from the CFA Institute.

Dr. Merton holds a BS in engineering mathematics from Columbia University, an MS in applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and a PhD in economics from MIT.


NelsenLita Nelsen is the Director of the Technology Licensing Office at MIT, where she has been since 1986. This office manages over 600 new inventions per year, negotiating over 100 licenses per year, and helping to start 25 new startups.

Ms. Nelsen earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT and an M.S. in Management from MIT as a Sloan Fellow. Prior to joining the MIT TLO she spent 20 years in industry, primarily in the fields of membrane separations, medical devices, and biotechnology.

Ms. Nelsen was the 1992 President of the Association of University Technology and was a founding board member of MIHR, an organization concerned with the use of IP in medical research for developing country diseases.

Ms. Nelsen is widely published in the field of technology transfer and university/industry collaborations. She is a co-founder of Praxis, the UK University Technology Transfer Training Programme for which she was made a Member of the British Empire.


NortonLarry Norton is Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center.

His research concerns the basic biology of cancer; the mathematics of tumor causation and growth; and the development of approaches to better diagnosis, prevention, and drug treatment of the disease. He is involved in many areas of research including identifying the genes that predispose people to cancer or that cause cancer, developing new drugs, monoclonal antibodies that target growth factor receptors, and vaccines. A major milestone in his research career was the development of an approach to therapy called “dose density,” or “sequential dose density.” This is a new and more effective way of using anticancer drugs, based on a mathematical model he developed with his colleagues, which maximizes the killing of cancer cells while minimizing toxicity.

He is currently the principal investigator of a program project grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that is aimed at better understanding breast cancer in the laboratory and in bringing these advances into clinical practice.

On a national level, Dr. Norton was formerly the Chair of the Breast Committee of the NCI’s Cancer and Leukemia Group B. He was also President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) from 2001 to 2002, and was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board (the board of directors of the NCI).

Among many awards over the course of his career, he received ASCO’s highest honor, the David A. Karnofsky Award, and was McGuire Lecturer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. He is an author of more than 350 articles and many book chapters, have served as a visiting professor throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Israel, and Asia, and also have trained many cancer doctors and researchers.

After receiving his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, Dr. Norton trained in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


John Seffrin has served as chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) since its inception in 2001. He also serves as CEO of the American Cancer Society, the world’s largest voluntary health organization and the parent organization of ACS CAN. Prior to coming to the American Cancer Society, Dr. Seffrin was professor of health education and chairman of the Department of Applied Health Science at Indiana University.

He served as president of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) from 2002 to 2006, during which time he worked to revive UICC’s historic role as a global leader in tobacco control advocacy and served as its international spokesperson. Dr. Seffrin also served as chairman of the Board of Independent Sector (the largest US membership organization representing nonprofit organizations) from 2002 to 2005.

In 1999, Dr. Seffrin was selected to be a charter member of C-Change (formerly known as the National Dialogue on Cancer) Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. In 1997, Dr. Seffrin was appointed to the National Cancer Policy Board, and in 1999, he was appointed by Senator Dianne Feinstein to co-chair the National Cancer Legislation Advisory Board. He also served a four-year term on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Seffrin is a preeminent leader of the international tobacco control movement. He led the creation of the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids (now the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids), serving as its initial board chair. He served on the Advisory Committee to Congress on Tobacco Policy and Public Health, co-chaired by Dr. C. Everett Koop and Dr. David Kessler; the US Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health; the President’s Commission on Improving Economic Opportunities in Communities Dependent on Tobacco Production While Protecting Public Health; and the Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health.

Ball State University, Purdue University, Thomas Jefferson University and Indiana University have bestowed honorary doctorates upon him in recognition of his more than three decades of esteemed leadership in the worldwide fight against cancer.


StillmanBruce Stillman is President of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. A native of Australia, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with first class honors at The University of Sydney and a Ph.D. at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He then moved to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1979 and has been at the Laboratory ever since, being promoted to the scientific staff in 1981. Dr. Stillman has been Director of the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1992, a position he still holds. In 1994, he succeeded Nobel Laureate James D. Watson as Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and was appointed President in 2003. Dr. Stillman’s research focuses on the mechanism and regulation of duplication of DNA and chromatin in cells, a process that ensures accurate inheritance of genetic information from one cell generation to the next. He was awarded the Order of Australian (AO) in 1999 for his medical research. He was elected to The Royal Society (UK), the National Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Stillman was awarded the 2004 Alfred P. Sloan Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation and the 2010 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize form Columbia University, both with Dr. Thomas Kelly of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a recipient of the American Cancer Society Basic Science Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology and the Curtin Medal from the Australian National University. He is the past co-chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and was vice-chair of the National Cancer Policy Board. Currently, Dr. Stillman is a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Board of Life Sciences of the National Research Council, the advisory boards for Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and the Lewis Sigler Institute at Princeton University and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. He also consults for a number of corporations and foundations.


TenenbaumJ. Marty Tenenbaum is the Founder and Chairman of Cancer Commons, a non-profit, open science community that compiles and continually refines information about cancer subtypes and treatments, based on the literature and actual patient outcomes.

Dr. Tenenbaum’s background brings a unique perspective of a world-renowned Internet commerce pioneer and visionary. He was founder and CEO of Enterprise Integration Technologies, the first company to conduct a commercial Internet transaction (1992), secure Web transaction (1993) and Internet auction (1993). In 1994, he founded CommerceNet to accelerate business use of the Internet. In 1997, he co-founded Veo Systems, the company that pioneered the use of XML for automating business-to-business transactions. Dr. Tenenbaum joined Commerce One in January 1999, when it acquired Veo Systems. As Chief Scientist, he was instrumental in shaping the company’s business and technology strategies for the Global Trading Web. Post Commerce One, Dr. Tenenbaum was an officer and director of Webify Solutions, which was sold to IBM in 2006, and Medstory, which was sold to Microsoft in 2007. Dr. Tenenbaum was also the Founder and Chairman of CollabRx, a provider of Web-Based applications and services that help cancer patients and their physicians select optimal treatments and trials, which was acquired by Tegal in 2012.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Tenenbaum was a prominent AI researcher and led AI research groups at SRI International and Schlumberger Ltd. Dr. Tenenbaum is a fellow and former board member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and a former consulting professor of Computer Science at Stanford. He currently serves as a director of Efficient Finance, Patients Like Me, and the Public Library of Science, and is a consulting professor of Information Technology at Carnegie Mellon’s new West Coast campus. Dr. Tenenbaum holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. from Stanford.


TombrelloA native of Texas, Thomas A. Tombrello earned his BA, MA and PhD degrees at Rice University in Houston. He came to Caltech in 1961, and except for a brief stint on the Yale faculty, has been here since then. A full professor of physics since 1971, Dr. Tombrello also served as Vice President and Director of Research at Schlumberger-Doll Research from 1987 to 1989. He was William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor at Caltech in 1997 – 2011, and was chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy in August 1998 – 2008. He was also the Institute’s Technology Assessment Officer 1996-2010. In 2012 he was named the Robert H. Goddard Professor of Physics.

Dr. Tombrello and his research group are primarily involved in applying the techniques of theoretical and experimental physics to problems in materials science, surface physics, and planetary science. His ongoing research includes understanding the damage processes caused by megavolt ions in solids, microfluidic circuit elements, and non-linear financial phenomena.

He is a consultant for Schlumberger Ltd., Applied Minds Inc., FormFactor Inc., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and University of Southern California. He is on the Board of Directors of the American Friends of Uppsala University and a Trustee of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences – both non-profits.