The biotechnology sector is undergoing a period of unprecedented transformation. The vast need to efficiently address various diseases and to advance novel therapies to remediate unmet medical needs continues to drive innovative approaches by regulators, large pharma and entrepreneurial firms. This activity fosters an environment where large pharma firms are proactively seeking growth opportunities via partnerships and M&A, rendering assets with differentiating characteristics highly valuable.

Our investment team is led by professionals with financial expertise complemented by advanced medical and scientific backgrounds. We aim to capitalize on the opportunity set by actively managing core positions across the sector to maximize the portfolio’s return potential.

Team

Our Team

  • Behzad Aghazadeh

    Behzad Aghazadeh

    PhD | Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager

    Behzad has 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with 15 years of experience as an institutional investor. He began his career in healthcare as a research scientist, later joining Booz Allen as a management consultant, where he led major strategic and operational initiatives for companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Behzad served as the Chairman of Immunomedics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted therapies for the treatment of cancers and other diseases with high unmet medical need, until the company’s $21B acquisition by Gilead in 2020. Behzad currently serves on the board of Scribe Therapeutics, Inc., a private molecular engineering company developing advanced technologies for CRISPR-based genetic medicine, as well as the board of Aadi Bioscience, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on precision therapies for genetically-defined mTOR pathway genes. Behzad received his Master’s degree in Physics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich, Germany) and a PhD from Cornell University in Biochemistry & Biophysics.

    Behzad Aghazadeh

    Behzad has 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with 15 years of experience as an institutional investor. He began his career in healthcare as a research scientist, later joining Booz Allen as a management consultant, where he led major strategic and operational initiatives for companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Behzad served as the Chairman of Immunomedics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted therapies for the treatment of cancers and other diseases with high unmet medical need, until the company’s $21B acquisition by Gilead in 2020. Behzad currently serves on the board of Scribe Therapeutics, Inc., a private molecular engineering company developing advanced technologies for CRISPR-based genetic medicine, as well as the board of Aadi Bioscience, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on precision therapies for genetically-defined mTOR pathway genes. Behzad received his Master’s degree in Physics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich, Germany) and a PhD from Cornell University in Biochemistry & Biophysics.

  • Matthew Canver

    Matthew Canver

    MD/PhD | Director

    Matthew received a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and earned his MD/PhD from Harvard Medical School. Matthew completed one year of residency in Clinical Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine. His PhD involved development of a CRISPR-based gene therapy approach to sickle cell disease. Matthew joined Avoro Capital in 2019 and is primarily involved in evaluating mid-to-late stage biotechnology investment opportunities.

    Matthew Canver

    Matthew received a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and earned his MD/PhD from Harvard Medical School. Matthew completed one year of residency in Clinical Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine. His PhD involved development of a CRISPR-based gene therapy approach to sickle cell disease. Matthew joined Avoro Capital in 2019 and is primarily involved in evaluating mid-to-late stage biotechnology investment opportunities.

  • Diane Chien

    Diane Chien

    CPA | Hedge Fund Controller

    Prior to joining Avoro Capital, Diane spent nine years as Vice President, Assistant Controller of the distressed hedge fund business at MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC. Diane began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Tax Associate in Private Company Services and Senior Associate in the Alternatives Assurance practice. She holds a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from New York University Stern School of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York. Diane joined Avoro Capital in 2016.

    Diane Chien

    Prior to joining Avoro Capital, Diane spent nine years as Vice President, Assistant Controller of the distressed hedge fund business at MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC. Diane began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Tax Associate in Private Company Services and Senior Associate in the Alternatives Assurance practice. She holds a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from New York University Stern School of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York. Diane joined Avoro Capital in 2016.

  • Uya Chuluunbaatar

    Uya Chuluunbaatar

    PhD | Investment Partner – Avoro Ventures

    Uya has 15 years of healthcare experience across a range of functions including venture capital, public equity investing, technology transfer and academic research. Prior to joining Avoro Ventures in March 2022, Uya was a Principal at Amzak Health where she led private and public biotech investments. During her time at Amzak, Uya was involved in 13 venture investments resulting in 5 IPOs and 2 acquisitions. Prior to Amzak, Uya was a sell-side biotech equity research analyst at Goldman Sachs covering large and mid-cap companies. Uya completed her Ph.D. in Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine, conducting research in virus-host interactions and viral protein synthesis. Her work was published in several scientific, peer-reviewed journals. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Cornell University.

    Uya Chuluunbaatar

    Uya has 15 years of healthcare experience across a range of functions including venture capital, public equity investing, technology transfer and academic research. Prior to joining Avoro Ventures in March 2022, Uya was a Principal at Amzak Health where she led private and public biotech investments. During her time at Amzak, Uya was involved in 13 venture investments resulting in 5 IPOs and 2 acquisitions. Prior to Amzak, Uya was a sell-side biotech equity research analyst at Goldman Sachs covering large and mid-cap companies. Uya completed her Ph.D. in Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine, conducting research in virus-host interactions and viral protein synthesis. Her work was published in several scientific, peer-reviewed journals. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Cornell University.

  • Samir Devalaraja

    Samir Devalaraja

    MD/PhD | Analyst

    Samir earned his MD and PhD in Immunology from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of the Saul Winegrad Award for outstanding dissertation. His thesis uncovered a novel immune evasion mechanism in solid tumors and was published in Cell. Concurrent with graduate school, Samir consulted for venture-backed biotech companies in the gene therapy and precision oncology spaces. He holds a BA in History & Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Samir joined Avoro Capital in 2021 and is focused on evaluating biotechnology investment opportunities.

    Samir Devalaraja

    Samir earned his MD and PhD in Immunology from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of the Saul Winegrad Award for outstanding dissertation. His thesis uncovered a novel immune evasion mechanism in solid tumors and was published in Cell. Concurrent with graduate school, Samir consulted for venture-backed biotech companies in the gene therapy and precision oncology spaces. He holds a BA in History & Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Samir joined Avoro Capital in 2021 and is focused on evaluating biotechnology investment opportunities.

  • Scott Epstein

    Scott Epstein

    Partner, Chief Financial Officer / Chief Compliance Officer

    Scott is responsible for the operational and financial infrastructure across the Avoro Capital businesses and oversees the compliance and regulatory responsibilities for the firm. Scott joined Avoro Capital in 2014 and has now been working in the financial industry for over 25 years. Before joining Avoro Capital, he spent 11 years at HSBC where he was the Regional Head of the Americas, responsible for the management and development of the HSBC Securities Services businesses in the Americas Region focused primarily on Alternative Asset Managers. Prior to joining HSBC, Scott was a Vice President at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc., an investment research and management firm, where he was responsible for overseeing the operations of various investment products. He graduated with a B.A. in Business & Economics from Lafayette College.

    Scott Epstein

    Scott is responsible for the operational and financial infrastructure across the Avoro Capital businesses and oversees the compliance and regulatory responsibilities for the firm. Scott joined Avoro Capital in 2014 and has now been working in the financial industry for over 25 years. Before joining Avoro Capital, he spent 11 years at HSBC where he was the Regional Head of the Americas, responsible for the management and development of the HSBC Securities Services businesses in the Americas Region focused primarily on Alternative Asset Managers. Prior to joining HSBC, Scott was a Vice President at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc., an investment research and management firm, where he was responsible for overseeing the operations of various investment products. He graduated with a B.A. in Business & Economics from Lafayette College.

  • Caitlin Foster

    Caitlin Foster

    Office Manager/Executive Assistant

    Caitlin has over seven years of experience in C-suite executive support and office management. Prior to joining Avoro Capital in 2021, Caitlin held positions at freuds and Saint James’ Episcopal School. Caitlin holds a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from George Mason University.

    Caitlin Foster

    Caitlin has over seven years of experience in C-suite executive support and office management. Prior to joining Avoro Capital in 2021, Caitlin held positions at freuds and Saint James’ Episcopal School. Caitlin holds a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from George Mason University.

  • Max Isberg

    Max Isberg

    Analyst

    Max holds a B.S. from Tufts University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2016, majoring in math and economics. After graduating, he worked for Apex Capital Holdings, where he was a trader/analyst managing a long/short equity portfolio focused on biotechnology and pharmaceutical names. Max joined Avoro Capital in 2019 and will focus on quantitative analysis and portfolio analytics.

    Max Isberg

    Max holds a B.S. from Tufts University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2016, majoring in math and economics. After graduating, he worked for Apex Capital Holdings, where he was a trader/analyst managing a long/short equity portfolio focused on biotechnology and pharmaceutical names. Max joined Avoro Capital in 2019 and will focus on quantitative analysis and portfolio analytics.

  • Kasia Konopacki

    Kasia Konopacki

    PhD | Analyst

    Kasia received her PhD from the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where she focused on the study of regulatory T cell function in health and disease. During her time at MSKCC, Kasia was on the executive board of InSITE, a top fellowship program focused on advising early-stage companies on market strategy and financing, and worked with Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels, a life science angel investing group. Kasia joined Avoro Capital in 2018 and will focus her research efforts at on immunology and early clinical development programs.

    Kasia Konopacki

    Kasia received her PhD from the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where she focused on the study of regulatory T cell function in health and disease. During her time at MSKCC, Kasia was on the executive board of InSITE, a top fellowship program focused on advising early-stage companies on market strategy and financing, and worked with Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels, a life science angel investing group. Kasia joined Avoro Capital in 2018 and will focus her research efforts at on immunology and early clinical development programs.

  • Sara Nayeem

    Sara Nayeem

    MD/MBA | Investment Partner – Avoro Ventures

    Sara has nearly 20 years of banking and institutional investment experience. Prior to joining Avoro Ventures in February 2021, Sara was a Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) focused on private biopharma investments. Over her 12 years at NEA, Sara invested across six funds totaling greater than $15 billion in committed capital. She played a key diligence and management role in 25 investments, from which there have been 10 IPOs and 9 acquisitions with upfront payments exceeding $16 billion. Prior to joining NEA, Sara worked in investment banking at both Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.  Sara currently serves on the board of Vanqua Bio Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, and as a board observer for Scribe Therapeutics, a private molecular engineering company developing CRISPR-based in vivo therapies.

    Sara Nayeem

    Sara has nearly 20 years of banking and institutional investment experience. Prior to joining Avoro Ventures in February 2021, Sara was a Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) focused on private biopharma investments. Over her 12 years at NEA, Sara invested across six funds totaling greater than $15 billion in committed capital. She played a key diligence and management role in 25 investments, from which there have been 10 IPOs and 9 acquisitions with upfront payments exceeding $16 billion. Prior to joining NEA, Sara worked in investment banking at both Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.  Sara currently serves on the board of Vanqua Bio Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapies for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, and as a board observer for Scribe Therapeutics, a private molecular engineering company developing CRISPR-based in vivo therapies.

  • Bryan Phillips

    Bryan Phillips

    JD | Deputy Chief Compliance Officer

    Bryan is responsible for administering Avoro’s Compliance Program. Prior to joining Avoro he served as the CCO for Centenus Global Management, LP. Before Centenus, he was a Compliance Officer at Citadel LLC., and Visium Asset Management; respectively. Preceding Visium, he was a Compliance Officer at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he performed trading reviews and oversaw the employee personal account trading policy. Bryan held Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65 licenses, through experiences at other reputable financial institutions and has industry knowledge across the areas of financial products, trading, client support, and wealth management. He received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from New York Law School. Bryan joined Avoro Capital in 2020.

    Bryan Phillips

    Bryan is responsible for administering Avoro’s Compliance Program. Prior to joining Avoro he served as the CCO for Centenus Global Management, LP. Before Centenus, he was a Compliance Officer at Citadel LLC., and Visium Asset Management; respectively. Preceding Visium, he was a Compliance Officer at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he performed trading reviews and oversaw the employee personal account trading policy. Bryan held Series 7, Series 63, and Series 65 licenses, through experiences at other reputable financial institutions and has industry knowledge across the areas of financial products, trading, client support, and wealth management. He received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from New York Law School. Bryan joined Avoro Capital in 2020.

  • Robert Raphael

    Robert Raphael

    Trader

    Robert holds a BA Cum Laude in Political Science from the University of Rochester. Robert has over 10 years of trading and operations experience. Prior to joining Avoro Capital in 2019, Robert helped launch and was Head Trader at Jafra Capital Management. Before Jafra, he was a Trader at Jericho Capital Asset Management. He began his career on the Trade Operations team at TPG Axon.

    Robert Raphael

    Robert holds a BA Cum Laude in Political Science from the University of Rochester. Robert has over 10 years of trading and operations experience. Prior to joining Avoro Capital in 2019, Robert helped launch and was Head Trader at Jafra Capital Management. Before Jafra, he was a Trader at Jericho Capital Asset Management. He began his career on the Trade Operations team at TPG Axon.

  • Stacia Rogers

    Stacia Rogers

    CAIA | Investor Relations & Marketing

    Stacia has over 20 years of client management and investment-related experience. Over the course of her career, Stacia has served as an Investor Relations and Marketing professional with three hedge funds; Serengeti Asset Management, Knighthead Capital and Lazard Asset Management. Additionally, Stacia was a Product Specialist with the Private Funds Group at PineBridge Investments and began her career as an Institutional Investor on behalf of Wells Fargo’s corporate pension plan. Stacia holds a B.S.B. and M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst. Stacia joined Avoro Capital in 2018.

    Stacia Rogers

    Stacia has over 20 years of client management and investment-related experience. Over the course of her career, Stacia has served as an Investor Relations and Marketing professional with three hedge funds; Serengeti Asset Management, Knighthead Capital and Lazard Asset Management. Additionally, Stacia was a Product Specialist with the Private Funds Group at PineBridge Investments and began her career as an Institutional Investor on behalf of Wells Fargo’s corporate pension plan. Stacia holds a B.S.B. and M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst. Stacia joined Avoro Capital in 2018.

  • Anastasia Voevodin

    Anastasia Voevodin

    PhD | Analyst

    Anastasia received her B.A. from Boston University and earned a M.A. and PhD from Columbia University in Chemistry. Anastasia’s PhD research involved designing functional materials from nanoscale building blocks and evaluating their emergent properties. While at Columbia University, Anastasia was a fellow with Columbia Technology Ventures focused on assessing commercial opportunities for Columbia inventions. After graduate school, Anastasia worked as a strategy consultant with ZS Associates supporting emerging pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients across therapeutic areas and stages of development. Anastasia joined Avoro in 2022 and is primarily focused on evaluating mid-to-late stage biotechnology investment opportunities.

    Anastasia Voevodin

    Anastasia received her B.A. from Boston University and earned a M.A. and PhD from Columbia University in Chemistry. Anastasia’s PhD research involved designing functional materials from nanoscale building blocks and evaluating their emergent properties. While at Columbia University, Anastasia was a fellow with Columbia Technology Ventures focused on assessing commercial opportunities for Columbia inventions. After graduate school, Anastasia worked as a strategy consultant with ZS Associates supporting emerging pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients across therapeutic areas and stages of development. Anastasia joined Avoro in 2022 and is primarily focused on evaluating mid-to-late stage biotechnology investment opportunities.

  • Andy Washkowitz

    Andy Washkowitz

    PhD | Director

    Andy holds a B.A. from Harvard University, and earned his M.A. and PhD in genetics from Columbia University. While at Columbia, Andy was a fellow at the Technology Ventures office, focusing on out-licensing discoveries from Columbia labs. After graduate school, Andy worked in sell-side equity research at Stifel focusing in the biotechnology sector. Andy joined the Avoro Capital team in 2015 and is primarily involved in evaluating platform technologies and early clinical development programs.

    Andy Washkowitz

    Andy holds a B.A. from Harvard University, and earned his M.A. and PhD in genetics from Columbia University. While at Columbia, Andy was a fellow at the Technology Ventures office, focusing on out-licensing discoveries from Columbia labs. After graduate school, Andy worked in sell-side equity research at Stifel focusing in the biotechnology sector. Andy joined the Avoro Capital team in 2015 and is primarily involved in evaluating platform technologies and early clinical development programs.