Partnering Operations Lead, Senior Scientist, Early Proof of Concept at Johnson & Johnson
Nena Golubovic is a Physical Sciences Director at IP Group. She joined IP Group in 2014. Nena brings physical sciences expertise to the US team and will be working in collaboration with Jason Smith and the UK-based Technology division on the assessment of opportunities at Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Columbia universities.
Nena has experience developing microtechnology solutions for automotive, consumer and healthcare segments. Nena spent the past 15 years developing innovative solutions for design and mass production of chemical, acoustic, magnetic, infrared and multifunctional sensor arrays, inkjet and electromagnetic actuators, microfluidic devices, as well as compact and portable diagnostics. She led university technology transfer efforts for several start-up companies, including technical due diligence, product positioning and go-to market strategies. Nena has a PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of Belgrade.
Director, ImmunoPharmacology, Johnson & Johnson
Erika Smith is the CEO of ReNetX Bio which is developing new therapeutics to treat injury/damage to the central nervous system in conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, and glaucoma. She was formerly the Director of the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, a $10 million grant from the Blavatnik Family Foundation that supports efforts to turn Yale faculty discoveries into life science treatments, drugs and devices. Prior to this role, Erika was the Deputy Director of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute where she oversaw the YEI Innovation Fund(link is external), a fund supporting Yale entrepreneurs with $100,000 in seed-stage capital, and the Technology Commercialization Program, which matched business students with faculty discoveries to launch successful companies like GestVision and IsoPlexis. Before she came to Yale, Erika was the Senior Director of Investments with the Center for Innovative Technologies (CIT) where she launched the CIT BIO Lifescience seed fund in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, managing deal sourcing and the investment portfolio. Before investing in startups, she spent 15 years in industry working at leading companies such as Respironics/Philips and IVAX holding key positions in product development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, business development and Mergers and Acquisitions. She has taken an active role in advancing capital into early companies holding board positions with the Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund in partnership with Johns Hopkins and MD Universities, the UConn Prototype Fund and SBIR/STTR initiatives, and is a Venture Advisor to the seed fund Epidarex Capital. Erika has taught at the National Institutes of Health and has been a recognized guest speaker at Georgetown University’s Masters of Biotechnology program. She holds a bachelor’s in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University.
TOM VANDER SCHAAFF
Tom joined Edison in 2003 and leads Edison’s Analysis Team. Involved in more than 40 initial investments and more than a hundred total investments, he currently serves as director of three Edison portfolio companies. He has seventeen years of private equity experience and three years of investment banking experience and earned his BSE from Princeton University. Tom enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarah, and two lovely daughters, Heidi and Ava – and playing squash as often as he can.
Debra Yu, MD is Managing Director and Head of Cross-Border Healthcare Investment Banking at China Renaissance Securities (US), a global investment bank with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York. There, she focuses on capital markets transactions for US and Chinese life science companies and also assists in cross-border M&A.
She has 30 years of experience in the life sciences industry where she has worked as a VC investor, a company executive and a strategic advisor to companies worldwide. Previously she was Managing Director of Labrador Advisors, a firm she built and ran in order to assist clients in multiple life sciences industry sub-segments including biopharma, specialty pharma, medtech, research instrumentation and diagnostics, seeking to undertake transformative business initiatives globally and in China. Prior to this, Debra served as VP Strategy for WuxixApptec, a leading Contract Research Organization.
In her venture capital career, Debra helped to architect and co-lead Pfizer’s internal venture capital group from 2004-2008 and was active in the bay area since the mid 1990s as General Partner of Delphi Ventures and then Managing Director of Bay City Capital , two prominent life science focused venture funds She assisted Kaiser Permanente in the establishment of their corporate venture capital effort as an outside Director of the Permanente Company in 1999. She also worked at Morgan Stanley as an analyst in the venture capital group in the years following graduation from Princeton.
She received a BA with high honors in Molecular Biology from Princeton University earned an MD from Harvard Medical School. She held positions at McKinsey & Co, the United States Food and Drug Administration and The Wilkerson Group.
Debra is an active contributor to her community: she has served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chairperson for Bayhelix for the past 5 years and now is a on the governing board of Bayhelix; She is a Governor of Princeton University’s Asian American Alumni Association and an active supporter of Princeton’s Center for Contemporary China. Previously she served on the board of The Center for Supportive Schools and was a member of the Biology Council at the Institute for Advanced Studies’ Systems Biology Center.