About Us



Dr. Coles is a founding investor and the chairman and chief executive officer of Yumanity Therapeutics.

Previously, Dr. Coles was chairman and chief executive officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Amgen in late 2013. Under his leadership, Onyx introduced two new innovative cancer medicines to patients and established the company’s international presence outside of the U.S. Prior to joining Onyx in 2008, he was president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Before joining NPS Pharmaceuticals in 2005, Dr. Coles was senior vice president of commercial operations at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., and earlier, held a number of executive positions at Bristol- Myers Squibb Company and positions of increasing responsibility at Merck & Co., Inc.

Educated at Johns Hopkins University, he earned a medical degree from Duke University and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. He completed his cardiology and internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Coles currently serves on the board of directors of McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK) and Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) and is a member of the board of trustees for Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Coles is also a member of the Council for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; a member of the board of trustees for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher; and a member on the Harvard Medical School Advisory Board.


Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D., is the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and the co-Chairman of the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute. Kelly also served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies at Scripps for nearly a decade. His research is focused on uncovering protein folding principles and on understanding the etiology of protein misfolding and/or aggregation diseases and using this information to develop novel therapeutic strategies. He has 340+ peer reviewed scientific publications (h-index > 89), has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2016) and has received several awards, including the American Institutes of Chemists Chemical Pioneer Award (2017), the Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine (2016), The Royal Society of Chemistry Jeremy Knowles Award (2016), The American Chemical Society Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry (2012), The Biopolymers Murray Goodman Memorial Prize (2012), The Protein Society Emil Thomas Kaiser Award (2011), The American Peptide Society Rao Makineni Lectureship (Award; 2011), The American Peptide Society Vincent du Vigneaud Award (2008), The American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2001), State University of New York at Fredonia Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award (2000), The Protein Society–Dupont Young Investigator Award (1999). Kelly cofounded FoldRx Pharmaceuticals based on his discovery of Tafamidis–approved by regulatory agencies  in 37 countries to treat familial amyloid polyneuropathy, and now sold by Pfizer. Kelly also cofounded Proteostasis Therapeutics, a public company, developing drugs for Cystic Fibrosis and other proteinopathies. He serves on the board of directors of several public and private companies, including Yumanity Therapeutics, Proteostasis Therapeutics, and the George E. Hewitt Foundation for Medical Research.


Rich currently serves as Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Metacrine Inc., a biotech startup company developing new therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes and fatty liver diseases.  Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Aragon and Seragon Pharmaceuticals; two San Diego biotech companies focused on discovering and developing next generation therapeutics for hormone dependent cancers.  Johnson & Johnson purchased Aragon in 2013 and Genentech/Roche purchased Seragon in 2014.  Following his post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute, he joined and held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of Research.
Dr. Heyman is also actively involved in ORIC Pharmaceuticals, an oncology based biotech company where he serves as a BOD member and served as interim CEO from in 2015/2016.  He is also on the BOD of Gritstone Oncology, Yumanity Therapeutics and was a Board member of Receptos Inc. (recently sold to Celgene).  Dr. Heyman serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Board Foundation for the AACR and both the Executive Committee and Board of Visitors at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Heyman received a PhD in pharmacology and a BS in chemistry.   He is the author or inventor on more than 120 publications and patents.


Dr. Cecil B. Pickett, Ph. D. served as President, Research and Development and a member of the board of directors of Biogen Idec Inc. from September 2006 until his retirement in October 2009. Prior to joining Biogen Idec, Dr. Pickett held several senior R&D positions, including Corporate Senior Vice President of Schering-Plough Corp. and President of Schering-Plough Research Institute. Prior to joining Shering-Plough, he held several senior R&D positions at Merch & Co. Dr. Pickett received a B.S. in biology from California State University at Hayward and a Ph.D. in cell biology from University of California at Los Angeles. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a director of Zimmer Biomet [NYSE: ZBH].


Joel S. Marcus is the Executive Chairman and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), an urban office REIT uniquely focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations. Mr. Marcus co-founded Alexandria in 1994 as a garage startup with $19 million in Series A capital and, as Chief Executive Officer from March 1997 to April 2018, has led its growth into an S&P 500 company with an approximately $18 billion total market capitalization and a total shareholder return of approximately 1,300% since the company’s IPO in 1997. Today, Alexandria, which celebrated its 20th anniversary as an NYSE listed REIT in May 2017, is the only publicly traded pure-play office/laboratory REIT.

Mr. Marcus has built Alexandria’s unique business model around four business verticals — real estate, venture investments, thought leadership, and corporate responsibility. With its core focus on real estate, Alexandria has a proven track record of developing Class A buildings on urban life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle Park. In 1996, Mr. Marcus founded the company’s venture capital arm, Alexandria Venture Investments, to provide strategic investment capital to innovative life science and technology entities developing breakthrough therapies and technologies. Mr. Marcus introduced the company’s thought leadership platform in 2011, when he co-founded the renowned Alexandria Summit®. The Alexandria Summit convenes a diverse group of visionary partners and key stakeholders — from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agribusiness, technology, medical, academic, venture capital, private equity, philanthropic, patient advocacy, and government communities — to address the most critical challenges in global healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. Focusing on sustainability and philanthropy, Alexandria’s corporate responsibility business vertical affirms the company’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world. Mr. Marcus is also personally engaged in numerous mission-critical philanthropic efforts, including through his service as Chair of the Navy SEAL Foundation’s 2017 New York City Benefit, which raised $12.8 million to help support the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

Mr. Marcus was one of the original architects and co-founders of Accelerator Life Science Partners, for which he serves on the board of directors, and AgTech Accelerator Corporation, for which he serves as Chairman of the board. He also serves on the boards of Applied Therapeutics Inc., Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRA), Boragen Inc., Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITCI), MeiraGTx Limited, and Yumanity Therapeutics; Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Friends of Cancer Research, MassBio, NewYorkBIO, and The Scripps Research Institute; the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Navy SEAL Foundation, the Partnership for New York City, and Robin Hood Foundation; as well as on Nareit’s 2018 Executive Board.

Prior to co-founding Alexandria, Mr. Marcus had an extensive legal career specializing in corporate finance and capital markets, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions. During that time, he acquired an expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry and was one of the principal architects of the Kirin-Amgen EPO joint venture in 1984. He was also a practicing certified public accountant and tax manager with Arthur Young & Co., where he focused on the financing and taxation of REITs.

He was named one of Real Estate Forum’s 2017 Best Bosses in commercial real estate and was previously a recipient of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award (Los Angeles — Real Estate). Mr. Marcus earned his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.