People who are passionate about improving global health
The BIO Ventures for Global Health team is made up of global health and biotechnology experts, research analysts, and communications & fundraising specialists who share a passion for improving global health.
Jennifer Dent joined BIO Ventures for Global Health in September 2011 and became President in November 2012 when she became a member of the board of directors. She has 20+ years of broad-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience, including negotiation and structuring of deals and management of global discovery and commercial alliances. Jennifer began her career as a sales representative in Canada working in a variety of positions for Parke Davis/Pfizer and Genentech. Following the acquisition of Genentech Canada by Roche, Jennifer held a number of senior management positions in marketing, life cycle management, global product strategy, business development and alliance management at Roche and Genentech in Canada, Switzerland, New Jersey and South San Francisco. Jennifer co-founded Sound Biotechnology, and prior to that served as Vice President, Business Development, Marketing and Sales at CombiMatrix Corporation in Washington.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc, and she received her executive MBA at Western’s Richard Ivey School of Business.
Director, Program and Partnership Management
Linda Venczel is the Director, Program and Partnership Management, at the BVGH. With a background in epidemiology, global health and development, and innovation programs, Linda coordinates the team’s work to use the power of science and public health experience to improve lives.
Prior to joining BVGH in October 2013, Linda worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in various roles, including serving as Senior Program Coordinator on polio eradication of the Global Health Family Health Program and as Deputy Director of Research for Vaccine and Polio Eradication in the Global Development Program. During her tenure at the Gates Foundation, Linda managed more than twenty grants and served as a liaison with the discovery innovation programs such as Grand Challenges in Global Health and Grand Challenges Explorations.
Previously, Linda served as Deputy Director for the Disease Eradication Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1985 to 2003, Linda worked at the Pan American Health Organization as the Regional Coordinator for vaccines and immunization, first at the headquarters in Washington D.C, and then in Bolivia. Linda started her career in international development as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, Africa, where she began community projects in water and sanitation, women’s microfinancing/garden projects, and midwives training programs.
Linda received a bachelor's degree from the University of Albany, New York and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Associate Director, Partnering & Scientific Affairs
Roopa joined BIO Ventures for Global Health in November 2011. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to BVGH with a diverse scientific background in drug development, bacteriology, biotechnology, and engineering. Prior to joining BVGH, Roopa was a senior research analyst with the consulting firm Strategic Perspectives. She worked for Bayer in California for more than five years as a scientist and senior scientist. While at Bayer, Roopa was responsible for developing purification processes for antibodies and other complex proteins. In her role, she also led external collaborations to evaluate and ensure the successful integration of new platform technologies.
Roopa received her Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington and at MIT. She is a registered patent agent and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Roopa grew up in India where she received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.
Manager, Special Projects
Katy Graef began working for BIO Ventures for Global Health in March 2013. She took on a full time position as Manager, Special Projects in July 2013. Katy obtained her bachelor’s degree, Microbiology, honors, magna cum laude, from the University of Washington. She completed her PhD in Virology at the University of Oxford, through the NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholars Program. Her graduate studies examined host-pathogen interactions of influenza viruses. Following her graduate work, she became a post-doctoral research fellow at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, where she studied tick-borne flaviviruses. Katy taught an undergraduate microbiology course and mentored numerous laboratory students during her undergraduate and graduate studies.
Lisa Marie Nelson
Communications & Program Management
Lisa joined BIO Ventures for Global Health as a contract employee in August 2012. She brings nearly a decade of experience in biotechnology and drug discovery to BVGH. She has broad disease state experience working across many diseases including: metabolic disease, oncology, orphan, CNS, and infectious diseases, as well as a deep understanding of product development, strategic business development, and clinical operations. Lisa received her Ph.D. in Pathology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.