Board Members

Avanish Vellanki, MBA Chairman

Avanish cofounded Rain Therapeutics in April 2017 and serves as chief executive officer and the chairman of the board. Avanish has over 15 years of experience in the healthcare and investment banking sectors, advising and executing several mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financings. Avanish began his career at Bear, Stearns & Co. in 2004 in equity research, covering small/mid-cap biotechnology stocks prior to transitioning to Global Healthcare Biopharma Investment Banking at Citigroup. At Citigroup, Avanish served as a vice president and focused on large cap global biopharmaceutical strategic and financing transactions including serving on the team that was the exclusive advisors to Bristol-Myers Squibb. Avanish joined Proteolix in 2009 as a senior director in corporate development (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals). Prior to founding Rain, Avanish was senior vice president and chief business officer at Aptose Biosciences.

Avanish holds a BA from Carleton College, an MBS in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Franklin Berger, CFA

Franklin is managing director at FMB Research as well as a consultant to the biotechnology industry, including major biopharmaceutical firms, mid-capitalization biotechnology companies, specialist asset managers and venture capital companies, providing business development, strategic advisory, financing, partnering, and royalty acquisition advice. Franklin is also a biotechnology industry analyst with over 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis at Sectoral Asset Management, NEMO Fund and J.P. Morgan Securities.

Franklin received a BA in International Relations and an MA in International Economics, both from Johns Hopkins University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Aaron Davis, MA

Aaron is cofounder and chief executive officer of Boxer Capital, LLC, the healthcare arm of the Tavistock Group.  After joining Tavistock Group as Portfolio Manager, Mr. Davis scaled Tavistock’s healthcare investing activities and formed Boxer Capital.  Mr. Davis leads Boxer Capital’s research team, deal structuring, and portfolio management. 

Mr. Davis is currently chairman of the board of CiVi Biopharma and is a member of the board of directors of iTeos Therapeutics, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc., Odonate Therapeutics,  and Sojournix, Inc. andTango Therapeutics.

Mr. Davis received an M.A. degree in biotechnology from Columbia University and a B.B.A. degree in finance from Emory University.

Gorjan Hrustanovic, PhD

Gorjan is Principal at BVF Partners L.P., where he has been leading both public and private biotechnology investments since 2015. Prior to joining the BVF Partners L.P., Dr. Hrustanovic obtained his PhD in cancer biology & cell signaling at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with a primary focus on precision medicine and resistance to targeted therapies in lung cancer. While at UCSF, he also cofounded a small biotech-focused investment fund. His graduate research led to publications in leading scientific journals such as Nature Medicine, Cell Reports, and others.

Gorjan also and serves on the board of Olema Oncology, Kymera Therapeutics, and is a Board Observer at 4D Molecular Therapeutics .

Gorjan holds a BS degree in molecular biology, and a BS in economics/management science from the University of California, San Diego.

Tran Nguyen, MBA

Tran is the chief financial officer of Prothena. He has over 15 years of finance experience in the healthcare, banking and private equity industries. Prior to joining Prothena, Tran was chief financial officer at Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc., and chief financial officer of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earlier in his career, Tran was part of the healthcare investment banking group at Citi Global Markets, Inc., and served in various capacities as a healthcare investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Inc.

Tran currently also serves on the board of directors of Sierra Oncology, Inc., a clinical-stage oncology company.

Tran earned his BA in economics and psychology from Claremont McKenna College and his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Peter Radovich, MBA

Peter is the chief operating officer of Mirum (MIRM). Prior to joining Mirum, he was senior vice president, operations of Global Blood Therapeutics.  Before that, he served as vice president of program leadership at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Amgen, Inc. He was previously senior director at Onyx, where he led the company’s global, cross-functional product team responsible for the development and commercialization of Kyprolis®.  Prior to that, he held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in Onyx’s commercial organization.  Prior to Onyx, Peter was at Chiron Corporation (now Novartis AG) in product marketing.

Peter holds a BA in biology and chemistry from Texas Christian University and an MBA from Washington University.

Srinivas Akkaraju, MD, PhD

Srini is an observer on the board of directors and is a founder and managing general partner at Samsara BioCapital.  Previously, he served as a general partner of Sofinnova Ventures, and served as managing director of New Leaf Venture Partners, and at Panorama Capital, LLC.  Prior to cofounding Panorama Capital, he was with J.P. Morgan Partners, and he was in business and corporate development at Genentech, Inc.

Dr. Akkaraju also serves as a director of Intercept Pharmaceuticals and Syros Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Akkaraju received his M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology at Stanford University.  He received his undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University.