The VIC Tech investment model is unique; it sources promising life science innovation directly from universities across the nation, allocating funding to form startup companies and advance these technologies to exit via acquisition. In addition to the initial capital, VIC provides its portfolio companies with business and scientific resources, including interim management, accounting, marketing, and research support, creating a complete venture development ecosystem.
The VIC Fellows program, now in its third class, was created to help support this ecosystem. The program allows individuals to be involved in the process of identifying and evaluating life science technologies to form and support new companies created to develop and commercialize these assets.
It is an outstanding opportunity for those contemplating a transition into the investment sector (venture capital, private equity, investment banking, etc.), strategic partnering, technology transfer, or more entrepreneurial endeavors. Fellows are at various career phases, including graduate students (PhD, MD, MBA), postdoctoral fellows, or early-career professionals.
"When we first discussed creating a Fellows program in late 2019, we had multiple goals. The first was to increase the diversity of our team, not only in the traditional sense of the word—the investment sector has historically been very homogenous—but also from the standpoint of expertise, geography, and fresh perspectives," says Michael Artinger, the manager of the Fellows program.
We are pleased to highlight the new class of VIC Fellows:
Evan Goldberg, PhD - Senior Fellow: Evan serves as the Director of Scientific Affairs for the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), a Georgia Tech affiliate. He works with academic faculty to help commercialize their early-stage technology and with industry partners to expand their academic collaborations. With over ten years of experience as a Study Director, he has managed hundreds of preclinical research projects for medical device, pharmaceutical and biologics companies of varying complexity.
Cristhiaan Ochoa, MD, PhD - Senior Fellow: Cristhiaan is a staff Pulmonary and Critical Care physician at JPS Health and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. With over 20 peer-reviewed publications and two patents pending, he is passionate about medical research and innovation. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI and NCI) and the American Heart Association. Cristhiaan is also a medical officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Alexandra Antonioli, MD, PhD - Fellow: Alexandra is currently a PGY4 resident and member of the Psychiatry Research Track at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her thesis research and brief postdoctoral work focused on combining structural biology with translational immunology experiments to better understand mechanisms that drive inflammation and autoimmunity. In addition, Alexandra has a passion for volunteer work. She has spent time volunteering in Yamoransa, Ghana, with the Yale Alumni Service Corps.
Danielle France, PhD - Fellow: Danielle is a scientist and biotech entrepreneur fascinated by emerging biotechnologies and their path to meaningful impact. As a researcher, France looked for details that make or break an experiment or a new technology. As an entrepreneur, she brought technology out of the lab and onto the path to market. As a result, she can ask the tough questions that determine if it’s time to take that first brave step on the path to commercialization. Danielle holds a BS in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in biological engineering from MIT.
Mark Jarboe, MBA - Fellow: Currently, Mark is COO of Health Connect South, whose mission is to bring together executives, researchers, and entrepreneurs from across the Southeast to share ideas and be a platform for strategic collaborations and partnerships. In addition to Health Connect South, he also serves on several advisory boards and consults with early-stage companies. Jarboe has spent his entire career with innovative healthcare companies. He is experienced in comprehensive start-up business operations, including business development, strategic partnerships and product development.
Matthew Leming, PhD - Fellow: Matthew Leming is a former bench scientist who now serves as a strategic advisor for healthcare-focused startup companies. He has ten years of experience in basic science research with ten peer-reviewed publications in journals ranging from BMC Genomics, Journal of Neuroscience, and Scientific Reports. This is complemented by more than six years of direct healthcare-focused startup project management and technology transfer experience. His passion truly lies in the commercialization of medical innovations.
Ronald Walls, MD, MBA - Fellow: Ronald attended medical school at Drexel College of Medicine and did his residency at U.C. Davis Medical Center and a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. In 1999, Walls decided to pursue a career in the biopharmaceutical industry. To understand both the commercial and medical sides of the industry, in 2006, he received his MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Business. This experience exposed him to the Healthcare/ Life Science venture capital industry.