Harry R. Jacobson, M.D. Co-founder & Director
Brian P. Laden, Ph.D. Co-founder & Director
Christopher P. Rand, CFA Co-founder & Director
David Landman President
Mary Kosinski, Ph.D. Vice President
Lisa McWilliams Vice President of Operations
Harry R. Jacobson, M.D.
Co-founder & Director
Dr. Jacobson is a Co-founder and Director of Vertex, as well as a Co-founder and Partner in both TriStar Technology Ventures and Epiphany Health Ventures, and a Partner in MedCare Investment Funds. Prior to this, Dr. Jacobson was Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University and the CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). VUMC consists of a Medical School, Nursing School and a healthcare system. During Dr. Jacobson’s 11+ year tenure, VUMC revenues grew from $750 million to $2.5 billion, its federally-funded (NIH) research program moved from 24th to the top 10 in the country, it opened over $1 billion of newly constructed facilities, it was recognized as a “most-wired” hospital, as well as a U.S. News and World Report honor-roll hospital, and, most recently, as a Fortune 100 top place to work. Dr. Jacobson has been a successful investor and entrepreneur having founded or co-founded ten companies. In addition, in his role at VUMC, he participated in the oversight of technology transfer operations, which resulted in the creation of over 30 companies. Notable co-founded companies include Contact Software (the developer of Act!, the world’s leading contact management software), acquired by Symantec (SYMC:NASDAQ); Renal Care Group (RCG:NYSE), a leading dialysis service company, acquired recently by Fresenius (FMS:NYSE); Ambulatory Services of America (currently privately held), a diversified outpatient ancillary services provider, currently providing dialysis and radiation oncology services; CeloNova Biosciences, a medical device company with two CE-approved and IFDA-approved products (coronary stent and embolic microspheres). Dr. Jacobson has been both a formal and informal advisor to several venture and private equity funds. He was also recently named Chairman of the Board of Artemis (formerly digiChart, Inc.). Dr. Jacobson received his M.D. from the University of Illinois and completed his medical residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He then completed his specialty training in Nephrology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Brian P. Laden, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Director
Brian is a Co-founder and Director of Vertex, as well as a Partner in TriStar Technology Ventures, and a UK alumnus. TriStar Technology Ventures is a venture capital investment group currently managing two investment funds totaling approximately $40 million. Brian’s primary focus is in life sciences, including medical devices, diagnostics and drug discovery. He sits on the Board of five portfolio companies and actively oversees TriStar’s interest in two others. Prior to co-founding TriStar and Vertex, Brian served as the Assistant Director in the Office of Technology Transfer and Enterprise Development at Vanderbilt University. That role involved leading various technology transfer functions for Vanderbilt, which included identifying, protecting, marketing and licensing promising new technologies to companies of all stages and sizes, as well as developing collaborative, sponsored R&D and material transfer relationships with industry. Brian has executed over 50 exclusive and non-exclusive licensing deals for more than $7 million in cash and $110 million in milestones. He has also participated in management of the office’s venture investment and company formation activities. Since beginning as the Chancellor Fund in 2000, Vanderbilt has invested a substantial amount of capital into 30 different Vanderbilt-related companies. In his role at Vanderbilt, he worked closely with researchers, administrators, legal counsel, investors and company partners in forming and nurturing long-term commercial relationships. Brian’s technology portfolio at Vanderbilt was focused primarily on biotech and pharmaceutical innovations. He is also active in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), previously serving as the Associate Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to moving into technology transfer, Brian worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt, where his work focused on structure-function studies of the cytochromes P450. He holds a doctorate in Toxicology from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s degree in Environmental and Industrial Health from the University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree in Biology from Penn State University.
Christopher P. Rand, CFA
Co-founder & Director
Christopher is a Co-founder and Director of Vertex, as well as a Partner in TriStar Technology Ventures. Prior to co-founding TriStar and Vertex, Christopher was the Manager of New Venture Development in Vanderbilt’s Office of Technology Transfer and Enterprise Development. That responsibility included licensing Vanderbilt intellectual property, assisting in the formation of new start-up companies and working with existing start-ups. Since beginning as the Chancellor’s Fund in 2000, Vanderbilt has invested a significant amount of capital into 30 different Vanderbilt-related companies. Christopher was responsible for managing this portfolio and represented Vanderbilt on the Boards of five of these companies. He is active in Nashville’s entrepreneurial community and serves on the Boards of the Nashville Capital Network, the Nashville Technology Council and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, as well as being on the Boards of seven of TriStar’s portfolio companies. Christopher is also active in the national technology transfer association (AUTM) and frequently leads educational sessions on topics such as intellectual property valuation and the interaction between venture firms and technology transfer offices. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he worked in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ valuation group, providing consulting and transaction support services. Christopher received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from Vanderbilt.
David Landman, MBA
David is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics. Upon graduating from college, David spent five years with GE Healthcare working on multiple projects at world headquarters in Wisconsin before taking on a sales role in their capital radiology division. David then went on to get his MBA at the University of Michigan, where he led the healthcare team of the student-run investment fund. While at Michigan, David also co-authored an award winning business plan and subsequently helped launch AmbiqMicro, a venture-funded tech startup that produces ultra energy efficient microcontrollers. AmbiqMicro has raised over $10M in venture capital to date. After leaving Michigan, David went on to work at Medtronic Ventures, where he helped manage the venture portfolio and worked more specifically on therapies to treat chronic kidney disease and congestive heart failure. Immediately prior to joining Vertex, David led business development and operations for VenX and Device Innovation Group, helping lead development of early-stage medical device products. David has had ample industry experience that will be pertinent to the evaluation and licensing of healthcare technologies. He also sits on the Board of Vanderbilt Imaging Services, a joint venture imaging company with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Mary Kosinski, Ph.D.
Mary previously worked at the Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, where she handled a large and diverse portfolio of technologies. Mary was responsible for identifying, protecting, marketing and licensing Vanderbilt developed technologies in the life science area. She also served as the Director of Business Development for the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD), where she managed all of the business interactions, contracting and intellectual property for the VCNDD. Mary has negotiated and executed numerous exclusive and non-exclusive licenses, sponsored research agreements and material transfer agreements, including several large pharmaceutical contracts, helping to increase Vanderbilt’s revenue from $11 million to over $22 million. Prior to working at Vanderbilt, Mary did her postdoctoral work in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt and worked as a technician at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. She received her Doctoral degree in cell biology from Vanderbilt University, holds a Master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Nebraska and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Westfield State University. Mary is also an active member of Association of University Technology Managers (ATUM) and the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC). She is still working with VCNDD and the ADDC and is leading the effort in organizing the first National ADDC conference in Nashville in October 2013.
Vice President of Operations
Lisa is Vice President of Operations for Vertex, as well as Director of Investor Relations for TriStar Technology Ventures. Prior to joining TriStar and Vertex, Ms. McWilliams served as the Communications Coordinator in Office of Technology Transfer and Enterprise Development at Vanderbilt University where she was responsible for internal marketing, public relations and communications within the Vanderbilt community. She also collaborated with licensing associates to develop long-range marketing goals and implement various outreach initiatives, including development and dissemination of information to community partners, assistance in creating and editing executive summaries used to market Vanderbilt-developed technologies to potential investors and licensees, and market research to help evaluate commercial potential of those technologies. Ms. McWilliams also served on various planning committees for the Association for University Technology Managers (AUTM) and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Prior to joining Vanderbilt, she worked as a Marketing Coordinator at The Beach Company, a real estate and development firm in Charleston, South Carolina.Ms. McWilliams received her undergraduate degrees in Advertising and Sociology from The University of Georgia.
Harry R. Jacobson, M.D. Co-founder & Director