Meet the Team
Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder
Barry Kurokawa has been a professional investor focused on healthcare for over 25 years. He was a Senior Portfolio manager at INVESCO Funds Group, in charge of the firm’s healthcare funds with $1.5 billion in assets under management and over $100 million in private venture investments. He co-founded and was the principal portfolio manager of ProMed Management, one of the first healthcare crossover healthcare hedge funds investing in both private and public companies. He later founded BlackRiver Capital Management, a healthcare investment advisory and corporate consulting firm. He has sat on the Board of Directors of several private and public healthcare companies and is currently is a Board member of a private aesthetic company, Eirion Therapeutics, Inc., a company created on January 2016 after the acquisition of Anterios, Inc. by Allergan to develop assets that were previously own by Anterios, where development rights were retained on some of the technologies and products.
Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder
William Murphy, PhD, is the Harvey D. Spangler Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, and Co-Director of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center at the University of Wisconsin, and Co-Founder of Stem Pharm. He received his B.A. in Physics from Illinois Wesleyan University, holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and postdoctoral training in Chemistry at the University of Chicago. As Principal Investigator of his Murphy Group BioInspired Laboratory, his research interests focus on creating new biomaterials inspired by materials found in nature. Murphy’s research group is using new biomaterials to understand stem cell behavior and to induce tissue regeneration. He has published more than 120 scientific manuscripts, filed over 30 patents, co-founded start-up companies, and received awards that include the National Science Foundation Career Award, the Wisconsin Vilas Associate Award, and induction as a Fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Kurtis Knapp, PhD, has advised many biotech start-ups with intellectual property and is currently a Director of Intellectual Property for Siluria Technologies, a private company focused in the conversion of natural gas to liquid fuels and chemicals. He is a registered Patent Agent and works at Wilson Sonini Goodrich and Rosati drafting patent applications and office actions for genomics and technology companies. He has founded several clean technology companies and is still actively involved with Forax, Inc, a company focused on converting CO2 to solvents and oxygenates, and Hyrax Energy, a private company founded to process cellulosic biomass to sugars and chemicals with ionic liquids. Dr. Knapp has a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Carter Cliff is Co-Founder of Opsis Therapeutics, a private retinal disease company, and Co-Founder of RPRD Diagnostics, a private pharmacogenetics testing company. Carter is also founder and Principal at D1ASP0RA consulting. He previously served as Director of Business Development at Cellular Dynamics International (CDI, a FUJIFILM company), where he established and managed a pipeline of therapeutic development programs targeting Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Heart Failure, Parkinson's Disease, among others. These programs were designed to pair a core-competency in induced-pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) manufacture scale-up with a team of external clinicians and scientific experts. Prior to Cellular Dynamics, he held positions at leading drug discovery tools companies, including Meso-Scale Discovery, Life Technologies, Ingenuity Systems, and Upstate Biotechnology.
Anna EB Clements
Anna Clements, PhD is a Senior Scientist with Dianomi. Previously, as a research assistant and doctoral student in the Murphy Group Bioinspired Materials Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her research focused on developing delivery platforms for biologically active proteins to control inflammation in orthopedic applications. She received her B.S. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been a patent engineering intern at Quarles and Brady LLC, a summer student at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Materials Science Division, a teaching assistant and instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a student ambassador for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).