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Bios

  • Peter Barrett, PhD—President, Board of Directors

    Dr. Peter Barrett is a Partner in the life sciences group and joined Atlas Venture in 2002.
    Previously, he was a co-founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Celera Genomics. Within two years of the founding of the company (1998), Celera announced the first successful sequencing of the human genome. Dr. Barrett helped launch Celera as a publicly traded entity in 1999. He led Celera’s strategic alliances and acquisitions and participated in raising nearly $1 billion in capital for the company.

    Prior to Celera, Dr. Barrett held senior management positions at The Perkin-Elmer Corporation, most recently serving as Vice President, Corporate Planning and Business Development. During his tenure, he expanded the life science business units through a series of licensing agreements, partnerships and acquisitions including: Applied Biosystems, Tropix, Molecular Informatics, PerSeptive Biosystems. Also during this time, Dr. Barrett co-founded Celera Genomics with Dr. J. Craig Venter and the Applera Corporation management team.

    Dr. Barrett currently serves on the Boards of Atlas portfolio companies Archemix, Aureon, Helicos, Infacare, JenaValve, Stromedix, Vitae and Zafgen.

    Dr. Barrett is currently Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis at Northeastern University, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Barnett Institute. He also serves as President of the Autism Consortium, a non-profit institution.

    Dr. Barrett received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Lowell Technological Institute (now known as the University of Massachusetts, Lowell) and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Northeastern University. He also completed Harvard Business School’s Management Development Program.

  • Alan L. Crane, MBA—Vice President, Board of Directors

    Mr. Alan Crane joined Polaris Ventures in 2002 as a venture partner and focuses his investments in life sciences. He has served as founder and/or has played a significant role as chairman and CEO in building five Polaris companies.

    Experience:

    From 2006 to 2012, Alan has co-founded and served as CEO of Cerulean Pharma (a nanopharma-ceutical company based on technology from MIT and CalTech that is currently conducting clinical trials of its first product in oncology), co-founded Visterra (a protein prediction company targeting infectious disease), co-founded Calorics (a company focused on novel biology for diseases of aging), and co-founded XTuit (a company developing cancer drugs exploiting the tumor microenvironment). From 2002 to 2006, Alan was President and CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. He joined Momenta as the fifth employee and built the company into a public company, creating an advanced and diversified pipeline, entering into two strategic collaborations with Novartis, and raising $275 million. The first product from Momenta’s pipeline achieved over $1B during its first year of sales.

    Prior to Polaris, Alan was senior vice president of global corporate development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for leading Millennium’s strategic partnering, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing activities, generating over $2B in partner funding and acquiring 19 development stage products. Among these products was Velcade® which became the main basis of the company’s $9B acquisition by Takeda.

    Prior to Millennium, Alan was a marketing executive at Dupont-Merck and a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and Arthur D. Little.

    Boards:

    Mr. Crane serves on the boards of  T2 Biosystems, Hydra Biosciences, Occular Therapeutix, Seventh Sense Biosystems, and Vaccinex. He is also a founder and chairman of the board of Cerulean Pharma Inc. and Visterra. Previously, he served on the boards of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Glaxo SmithKline) and Adnexus (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb).  He serves on several non-profit boards including the trust board of Children's Hospital Boston and the Autism Consortium.

    Education:

    He received his M.B.A. in 1992 and his B.A. summa cum laude and M.A. in 1986, all from Harvard University. Alan also attended Harvard Medical School from 1986 to 1988 before pursuing a business career.

  • John K. Graham—Secretary, Board of Directors

    Mr. John K. Graham has been a tax partner in the Boston office of Sullivan & Worcester LLP since 1985. Mr. Graham concentrates his practice in tax-exempt organizations, estate planning, sophisticated charitable giving, private foundation tax planning, and the unrelated business income tax. He has also lectured extensively in the tax area. Mr. Graham has helped organize and establish the qualifications for numerous private and public foundations and other charitable organizations including schools, medical research, religious, social welfare and cultural organizations. He earned his LL.M., Taxation, at New York University, his J.D. at Lewis and Clark Law School, his B.A. at Dartmouth College and completed a Research Fellowship at Yale Law School.

    Mr. Graham has written numerous publications exploring issues regarding charitable tax laws. He was voted Massachusetts Super Lawyer, Boston Magazine (2006) and is included in Best Lawyers in America (2010-2012) and Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2006-2011). 

  • Paul R. Marcus—Treasurer, Board of Directors

    Paul Marcus is the Founder and CEO of Marcus Partners, a real estate investment firm with offices in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Mr. Marcus, a strong proponent of value investing, has been involved with the ownership of more than fourteen million square feet of office, medical office, biomedical, retail and residential projects, 2,000 hotel rooms and numerous mixed-use developments over the course of 30 plus years.

    Mr. Marcus is a member of the MIT Corporation and sits on the Risk and Audit Committee of the Corporation. He also serves on the Visiting Committee of MIT’s Brain and Cognitive Science Department, the Political Science Department and the Chemical Engineering Department. He was a founding member of the 484 Phi Alpha Foundation, an MIT affiliated educational foundation. Mr. Marcus currently serves as a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Chairman’s Council. He also served a 10-year term as a member of the Trust Board of Children’s Hospital Boston where he was a founder of the Children’s Hospital Developmental Medicine Center Philanthropic Leadership Council.

    Mr. Marcus is a founder of the Boston based Autism Consortium. The Autism Consortium, which facilitates broad based collaboration among 17 Boston area institutions, funds clinical innovation and translational research in Autism and other related brain disorders.

    Mr. Marcus served as Chairman of the Board and is a past President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). The Massachusetts chapter consists of over 1300 members representing over 450 companies that own and or manage real estate or serve the industry.

    Mr. Marcus received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Anne Marcus—Ex Officio Member, Board of Directors

    Ms. Anne Marcus is a former Senior Vice President of Fidelity Investments where her positions included portfolio manager of several funds and Co-Research Director for the Fixed Income Division.

    Ms. Marcus is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Park School, and the Board of Trustees of Common Impact, a not for profit which connects business professionals with not for profits. She is a former member and past board chair of the Board of Directors of Families First, a not-for-profit dedicated to providing parenting education and support to low income families.

    In 2006, Ms. Marcus, along with others, founded the Boston-based Autism Consortium, which facilitates broad based collaboration among 16 Boston area institutions and funds clinical innovation and research in Autism and other brain disorders.

    Ms. Marcus is also actively involved in a project to advance mental health support for adolescents in urban schools. She is also spearheading a research project to develop new approaches for teaching social pragmatic skills to children with special needs, by utilizing some of the recent scientific advances on how the brain learns.

    Ms. Marcus was also recently selected to be a 2012 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University.

    She obtained a BS from Boston College School of Management and an MBA from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.

  • Deirdre B. Phillips—Executive Director

    Ms. Deirdre Phillips is Executive Director of the Autism Consortium.  She joined the Consortium in 2008 with extensive experience in the financial services industry where she served as a government and community relations executive at several prominent institutions, most recently as Managing Director at Putnam Investments.  She has been involved in the autism community for over twenty years, and has a particular interest in advocating in the public policy arena for better understanding of this complicated disorder, insurance coverage for related treatment/services and employment opportunities for young people with autism.  In addition, Ms. Phillips recently completed two years as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School where she conducted research focused on the intersection of public policy and risk management in U.S. financial institutions.  Ms. Phillips also serves on the board of Overseers of WGBH, recently completed ten years as a member of the board of directors of Horizons for Homeless Children, and is Vice President of the Alumnae Board of Wheaton College.

  • Mriganka Sur, PhD—Senior Science Advisor

    Dr. Mriganka Sur is the Paul E. and Lilah Newton Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Simons Center for the Social Brain at MIT, which he founded after 15 years as head of the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Dr. Sur studies the organization, development and plasticity of the cerebral cortex of the brain using experimental and theoretical approaches. He has discovered fundamental principles by which networks of the cerebral cortex are wired during development and change dynamically during learning. His laboratory has identified gene networks underlying cortical plasticity, and pioneered high resolution imaging methods to study cells, synapses and circuits of the intact brain. Recently, his group has demonstrated novel mechanisms underlying disorders of brain development, and proposed innovative strategies for treating such disorders.

    Dr. Sur received the B. Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, Nashville. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Charles Judson Herrick Award of the American Association of Anatomists, the A.P. Sloan Fellowship, the McKnight Development Award, the Hans-Lukas Teuber Scholar Award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, the Sigma Xi Lectureship, and the Foundation Day Medal of the National Brain Research Center, India. At MIT, he has received awards for outstanding teaching and been recognized with the Sherman Fairchild and Newton Chairs. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the UK, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Neuroscience Research Program, the National Academy of Sciences, India, the Rodin Academy, Sweden, and the Third World Academy of Sciences.

  • Christopher A. Walsh, MD, PhD—Senior Science Advisor

    Dr. Christopher A. Walsh is Bullard Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Genetics, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Children's Hospital Boston.   He completed the MD and PhD degrees at the University of Chicago, neurology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a fellowship in genetics at Harvard Medical School. At the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, his lab studied developmental disorders of the human cerebral cortex, identifying collaboratively more than a dozen genes mutated in human developmental brain disorders, associated with mental retardation, epilepsy, and autism. Dr. Walsh has also pioneered the study of these genes to provide mechanistic insights into human cerebral cortex development and function. Finally, he discovered that some genes mutated in human developmental brain disorders were targets of the evolutionary processes that distinguished humans from our primate ancestors. 

    From 2003-2007 he was Director of the Harvard-MIT joint training program for medical students pursuing concurrent PhD studies. In 2005 he became Chief of the Genetics Division at Children's Hospital, which is responsible for diagnosis and treatment of children with genetic and metabolic disease.  Among his awards are a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the Research Award from the American Epilepsy Society, the Dreifuss-Penry Award from the American Academy of Neurology, the Derek Denny-Brown award and Jacoby awards from the American Neurological Association, the Cortical Investigator Award from the Cajal Club, and the Wilder Penfield Award from the Middle Eastern Medical Association.  In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

  • Susan Whitehead—Member, Board of Directors

    Throughout her life, Ms. Susan Whitehead has served as an active board member of numerous not for profit organizations, spanning two general areas ... social justice and higher education (with an emphasis on science and engineering). The organizations have included MIT, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, The Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Horizons for Homeless Children, Berklee College of Music, Research Institute for Learning and Development, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, Advisory Board of Bayview Correctional Facility (in NYC), The Boston History Collaborative, The Autism Consortium, and others.

    She just completed four years as Chair of the Board of Horizons for Homeless Children.  In the past, she has chaired the Boards of Whitehead Institute, Planned Parenthood, Bayview Correctional Facility, and the Research Institute for Learning and Development.  In addition, she has chaired several Capital Campaigns and numerous committees (Executive, Biological Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Visiting Committee at MIT, Nominating, Governance, Compensation, Development, CEO Search Committees, etc.) and has been a member of Investment, Finance, Audit, Program/Policy, and numerous ad hoc committees.

    Currently, Ms. Whitehead is developing an international art exhibition involving a traditional form of art from India, in combination with contemporary art from many different cultures.
    Ms. Whitehead received her J.D. from Cardozo School of Law and her B.S. from Cornell University.  Trained as a botanist, she created and implemented an education program for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  Later, she was a prosecutor in NYC, and practiced as a defense attorney in NYC and Boston.

    Ms. Whitehead is an avid skier and photography collector.