Board of Directors

Fred Eshelman, PharmD

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

Previously, he founded and served as CEO and Executive Chairman for Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (PPDI, NASDAQ) until sale of the company to private equity interests (Carlyle, Hellman & Friedman). His career has 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. He serves on a number of of industry boards. Eshelman has served on the executive committee of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina and the board of the NC Biotechnology Center.

He is active in higher education, serving on the Board of Governors for the UNC System (chaired Audit Committee) 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 US, in May 2008 the school was named the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, in recognition of his many contributions to the school and profession.

He has received many awards, including the Davie and Outstanding Service awards from UNC-Chapel Hill and outstanding alumnus awards from UNC and University of Cincinnati schools of pharmacy. He has also received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the NC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award.

Dr. Eshelman holds a BSc pharmacy from UNC-CH, a doctor of pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati and completed a hospital residency at Cincinnati General Hospital. He completed the Owner/President/Manager program at Harvard Business School.

Glenn P. Muir

Glenn P. Muir has extensive experience in financial management, having guided Hologic 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 over $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 IPO in 1990. Currently on the Board of Repligen Corporation and the Audit Committee Chair at ReWalk Robotics and RainDance Technologies, his Board of Director experience also includes Hologic, Inc. from 2001 to 2013 and Vivid Technologies, Inc. from 1996 until the company was sold to EG&G in 1999. He was named one of America’s Best CFOs by Institutional Investor in 2009 and CFO of the year by Boston Business Journal in 2011. Mr. Muir holds a B.B.A. with a major in accounting from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MSc in taxation from Bentley College Graduate School of Business. Mr. Muir is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Tyrell Rivers, PhD

Tyrell 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, Tyrell was at MedImmune Ventures where he specialized in biotechnology investing, and at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led the technical support for multiple commercial vaccine franchises and subsequently directed global business initiatives for accessing key technologies for research and development.  Tyrell earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Texas at Austin, and his MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business.  Tyrell also serves on the Board of Directors for Armaron Bio Ltd and Corvidia Therapeutics and as a Board observer for several private companies.

Seth Rudnick, MD, Chair

Dr. Seth 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 Shering-Plough and directed pharmaceutical development efforts at Biogen.

Dr. Rudnick was a Yale Fellow in medical oncology where he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar. 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 chariman of Liquidia Technologies and Meryx, and serves on the board of Abyrx. 

Christy Shaffer, PhD

Christy L. Shaffer, PhD, has over 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 CEO, Dr. Shaffer grew the company from 20 scientists to nearly 250 employees with revenues of over $100 million. Dr. Shaffer retired from Inspire in March, 2010 and the company was acquired by Merck 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, NC, 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 UNC-Chapel Hill campus (2010 - 2012). She has served on numerous boards including the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the NC 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 current Foundation Board Chair for the NC School of Science and Mathematics. Dr. Shaffer is a receptor pharmacologist by training, earning her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee. Her post-doctoral training was completed at The Chicago Medical School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mark Velleca, MD, PhD

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 CGI was acquired by Gilead Sciences, 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 a BS from Yale University and an MD and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis. He has served on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards of several biotechnology companies, including Intellikine, an oncology therapeutics company that was acquired by Takeda in 2011. He most recently served as executive vice president at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Sir Andrew Witty

Andrew is Chancellor of the University of Nottingham and recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline plc a position he held between 2008 and 2017.

Andrew joined Glaxo in 1985 and held a variety of roles in the UK and overseas, including South Africa, the USA and Singapore. During his tenure GSK consistently achieved the Top Position in every Access to Medicine Index.

While in Singapore Andrew was also a Board Member of 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 then in August 2012 was awarded the Public Service Star. He continues to be a member of the EDB International Advisory Council.

Andrew has served in numerous advisory roles to governments around the world including South Africa, Guangzhou China and the UK, where he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group from 2010 - 2015. In 2012 Andrew was awarded a knighthood for services to the economy and the UK pharmaceutical industry. In 2014, he was appointed as a Business Ambassador for the UK Government and in 2015 Andrew became a Member of the Advisory Council for the China-Britain Business Council.

Andrew 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 Andrew was appointed as a Member of the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines. In May 2016, Andrew became a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, London. He is also serves on the Board of UnitedHealth Group.

Andrew has a Joint Honours BA in Economics from the University of Nottingham and holds Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Exeter, Manchester and Nottingham.