Our Board

ShiYin Foo

CEO, Board Member


ShiYin Foo is the scientific founder and CEO of Arvada Therapeutics. She is a cardiologist and immunologist with over 20 years of experience as a practicing physician and a catalyst in advancing innovative new programs through the various stages of drug development. She has been in executive roles at multiple biotechnology companies, including Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, Imara Therapeutics, Tiburio Therapeutics and Cydan II, and is currently on the Board of Directors at Thryv Therapeutics. ShiYin received her MD and PhD in Immunology from Stanford University, and a MMSc in Clinical Science from the Clinical Investigator Training Program at Harvard Medical School. She was clinical faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a dual Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and in Cardiology.

Aaron Nelson

Board Member


Aaron Nelson is a Managing Director at the Novartis Venture Fund in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he was an investor at dRx Capital, the joint investment company of Novartis and Qualcomm, focused on Digital Medicine. Previously, Aaron worked on technology strategy across multiple Business Units within Novartis, including Strategic Project Leader for the Trials of The Future program and Group Head in the Investigative Toxicology organization. Aaron studied medicine at Tufts University, cell and microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Karolinska Institutet, and completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University.

Thomas de Vlaam

Board Member


Thomas de Vlaam is a Principal at Pillar VC. Prior to Pillar VC Thomas was at Flagship Pioneering, where he was responsible for developing the science, business strategy, and intellectual property behind new platform companies. Before joining Flagship, Thomas was founder and CEO of Amylon Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup that focused on using RNA therapeutics to treat rare neurodegenerative disease. Thomas created Amylon as a spin-out from ProQR Therapeutics, where he was previously their head of CNS innovation. Thomas holds a B.Sc. degree in International Medicine and Global Health. His work has resulted in multiple patents and publications. Thomas was elected one of the top 10 young European biotech entrepreneurs by Labiotech, as well as one of the 30 rising leaders in life sciences by Invivo.

Andrew Levin

Board Observer


Andrew Levin is a Partner and Managing Director on the Investment Team at RA Capital Management and spearheads a drug discovery effort that has led to the formation of several new companies. Beginning in 2012, and prior to joining the Investment Manager, he was a Vice President at H.I.G. BioVentures. Previously he served as the Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Clinton Health Access Initiative. He holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MD from Harvard Medical School.

Adam Cotton

Board Observer


Adam Cotton is an Analyst at the Novartis Venture Fund in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he worked in the labs of Jim Wells and Ian Seiple, focusing on antibody engineering research. During his Ph.D. he worked as a technology analyst at UCSF Innovation Ventures focusing on patentability and commercial viability of UCSF inventions and in RA Capital’s company creation incubator. Through his own research and external projects, he has helped build three companies (co-founder of one) across different stages, modalities, and indications. Adam holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of California, San Francisco.