Board of Directors

Fred Eshelman, Pharm.D.

Dr. Eshelman is the founder and principle of Eshelman Ventures LLC, investing in a variety of companies, primarily health care. Previously, he was the founding chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: FURX), a company sold to Forest Labs / Actavis in July 2014..

Dr. Eshelman also founded and served as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman for Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI) until the sale of the company to private equity interests (Carlyle, Hellman & Friedman). His career also included positions as Senior Vice President, Development and board member at Glaxo Inc., as well as various management positions at Beecham Laboratories and Boehringer Mannheim Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Eshelman is part of several industry boards and has served on the executive committee of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina and the board of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Dr. Eshelman is active in higher education, serving on the board of governors for the University of North Carolina (UNC) System (audit committee chair) and as an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Pharmacy, where he chairs the board of visitors. One of the top pharmacy programs in the U.S., in May 2008 the school was named the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, in recognition of his many contributions to the school and profession.

Dr. Eshelman has received numerous awards, including the Davie and Outstanding Service awards from UNC, Chapel Hill and outstanding alumnus awards from UNC and the University of Cincinnati schools of pharmacy. He also received the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" and North Carolina Entrepreneur Hall of Fame award.

Dr. Eshelman holds a doctor of pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati and completed a hospital residency at Cincinnati General Hospital. He has a B.S. in pharmacy from UNC, Chapel. In addition, he has completed the Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School.

Glenn P. Muir

Mr. Muir has extensive experience in financial management, having guided Hologic, Inc., from its early days with less than $10 million in revenue to its current position as one of the largest life science companies with annual revenues of more than $2 billion. He was Hologic’s Chief Financial Officer from 1992 to May 2014 and Executive Vice President since 2000 with a broad range of financial and operating responsibilities, including the oversight of the company’s strategic initiatives. Mr. Muir was at the helm for Hologic’s initial public offering in 1990. He is currently on the board of directors for Repligen Corporation and is audit committee chair at ReWalk Robotics and RainDance Technologies. His board of director experience also includes Hologic, from 2001 to 2013, and Vivid Technologies, Inc., from 1996 until the company was sold to EG&G in 1999. Mr. Muir was named one of America’s "Best CFOs" by Institutional Investor in 2009, and "CFO of the Year" by the Boston Business Journal in 2011.

Mr. Muir holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.S. in taxation from the Bentley College Graduate School of Business and a B.B.A. with a major in accounting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.. Mr. Muir is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Tyrell Rivers, Ph.D.

Dr. Rivers is an Executive Director within AstraZeneca’s Corporate Development group, having responsibility for strategic equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, and divestments.  Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Dr. Rivers was at MedImmune Ventures where he specialized in biotechnology investing, and at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led technical support for multiple commercial vaccine franchises and subsequently directed global business initiatives for accessing key technologies for research and development. 

Dr. Rivers earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business and his B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Rivers also serves on the boards of directors for Armaron Bio Ltd. and Corvidia Therapeutics, and as a board observer for several private companies.

Seth Rudnick, M.D., Chair

Dr. Rudnick has extensive expertise in oncology, drug discovery and development, and healthcare investments. He is recently retired from Canaan Partners, where he built the global venture capital firm's capability in biopharmaceutical investing. Prior to joining Canaan, he was the Chief Executive Officer and chairman of CytoTherapeutics, a developer of cell therapies to combat chronic diseases. He also helped start and led the development of Ortho Biotech, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in his career, Dr. Rudnick worked at Schering-Plough and directed pharmaceutical development efforts at Biogen.

Dr. Rudnick was a Yale Fellow and Robert Wood Johnson scholar in medical oncology. He earned his medical degree at the University of Virginia and holds a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, teaching and advising faculty members on biotechnology issues. He also currently serves as the chairman of Liquidia Technologies and Meryx, and serves on the board of Abyrx. 

Christy Shaffer, Ph.D.

Dr. Shaffer has more than 20 years of experience in the life science industry. Following her career as a clinical scientist, international project leader and Associate Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Burroughs Wellcome Co., she joined Inspire Pharmaceuticals.  As President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Shaffer grew the company from 20 scientists to nearly 250 employees with revenues of more than $100 million. Dr. Shaffer retired from Inspire in March 2010 and Merck acquired the company in 2011. Dr. Shaffer then began her role as Venture Partner and Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery, part of Hatteras Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., with a focus on biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and related opportunities in human medicine.

Dr. Shaffer played an integral role in the Chancellor's Innovation Circle to enhance entrepreneurship and innovation across the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill campus (2010 - 2012). She has served on numerous boards including the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Biotechnology Institute, BIO, PhRMA and Clinipace Worldwide. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is the foundation board chair for the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

Dr. Shaffer is a receptor pharmacologist by training, earning her Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Tennessee. Her post-doctoral training was completed at Chicago Medical School and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Velleca joined G1 as Chief Executive Officer in 2014. Previously, he was at CGI Pharmaceuticals, where he guided the company from its inception through its establishment as a drug discovery company that brought multiple drug candidates into clinical trials. After Gilead Sciences acquired CGI, Dr. Velleca served as a senior advisor to Gilead in R&D Strategy and Corporate Development. Earlier in his career, Dr. Velleca was an attending physician at Yale New Haven Hospital and on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Velleca earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. from Yale University. He has served on the boards of directors and scientific advisory boards of several biotechnology companies, including Intellikine, an oncology therapeutics company acquired by Takeda in 2011. He most recently served as Executive Vice President at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society..

Sir Andrew Witty

Mr. Witty is Chancellor of the University of Nottingham and recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plc, a position he held between 2008 and 2017.

Mr. Witty joined Glaxo in 1985 and held a variety of roles in the U.K. and overseas, including in South Africa, Singapore and in the U.S.. During his tenure, GSK consistently achieved the top position in every Access to Medicine Index.

While in Singapore, Mr. Witty was a board member for the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Singapore Land Authority. In 2003, he was awarded the Public Service Medal by the government of Singapore and in August 2012 he received the Public Service Star. He continues to be a member of the EDB International Advisory Council.

Mr. Witty has served in numerous advisory roles to governments around the world, including South Africa; Guangzhou, China; and the U.K., where he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group from 2010 to 2015. In 2012, Mr. Witty was awarded a knighthood for services to the economy and the U.K. pharmaceutical industry. In 2014, he was appointed as a business ambassador for the U.K. government. Mr. Witty became a member of the Advisory Council for the China-Britain Business Council in 2015.

Mr. Witty was president of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations from 2010 to 2013. From 2013 to 2015 he was the only pharmaceutical industry representative in the UNAIDS–Lancet Commission for Defeating AIDS and Advancing Global Health. In November 2015, Mr. Witty was appointed as a member of the U.N. High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines. In May 2016, he became a visiting professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, London. He also serves on the board of directors for UnitedHealth Group.

Mr. Witty has a joint honours B.A. in economics from the University of Nottingham and holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Exeter, Manchester and Nottingham.