Mariana Mihalusova focuses on biotech and pharmaceutical investments. Mariana brings to Venrock deep experience spanning the entire spectrum of drug development – from preclinical, to marketing approval, to lifecycle management. Prior to joining Venrock, Mariana was an executive at Celgene Corporation (Research & Early Development), where she led the global development strategies for over a dozen drugs across a diverse set of disease areas (hematology, oncology, inflammation/immunology, neurodegenerative diseases) and modalities (small molecules, biologics, engineered cell therapies).
Mariana received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University, MBA from Harvard Business School, and Sc.B. in Biochemistry from Brown University.
I was born at Guide Dogs for the Blind in Marin as part of a G-litter (that is how I got my name – all my brothers and sisters have names that start with G). As a kid I was pretty distractible, so I moved to Dogs for Diabetics where they help type 1 diabetics with hypoglycemia. Some type 1 diabetics can not tell when their blood sugar is dropping, but I can smell it and would let them know so they did not go unconscious. I was about to go live with a teenage girl in Humboldt, but I got cancer and they had to operate, which meant that even though I was really, really good at my job, I could not do it. So now I follow Bryan wherever he goes. I’m the only dog at CloudFlare, so I get lots of belly rubs there, Kartik at Encoded is my buddy so I wiggle extra hard, and there are pretty good treats under the table at 10x. Sometimes I still help type 1 diabetics who don’t know they are going low in blood sugar. Boy are they surprised, but dude – I am that good…
Racquel Bracken joined Venrock in 2016 and focuses on pharmaceutical and biotech investments, as well as company creation. She currently serves on the Board of Cyteir Therapeutics, Prothelia and Federation Bio, a company she co-founded and initially served as CEO. She is also a Board Observer at Inscripta. Prior to Venrock, Racquel was an early employee of Clovis Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing targeted small molecule therapies in combination with companion diagnostics. She held a variety of business development and commercial roles and was responsible for the acquisition of four pipeline products, and led the commercial launch efforts for the PARP inhibitor program in ovarian cancer.
Earlier in her career, Racquel was on the investment team at Domain Associates where she focused on early-stage healthcare investing. During her tenure there, Racquel also led business development at Calixa Therapeutics (acquired by Cubist Pharmaceutical). Prior to joining Domain Associates, she was a consultant with Easton Associates (now Navigant Consulting), a management consultancy dedicated to the medical industry.
Racquel is an avid backcountry skier, mountaineer, and mountain biker as well as a supporter of high school debate programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from Harvard University and is also a member of the Kauffman Fellows.
Cami Samuels focuses on healthcare with an emphasis on biotech, medical devices, and consumer health. She currently serves on the board of Iris, Unity (UBX), and XCaliber – and previously served on the board of several other Venrock companies including Corvidia (sold to Novo Nordisk), Spirox (acquired by Stryker via Entellus) and RegenXBIO (RGNX). Prior to Venrock, Cami was a Managing Director at Versant Ventures where she supported many companies including Genomic Health (GHDX), Jazz (JAZZ), Kythera (KYTH/acq by Allergan), Novacardia (acq by Merck), and ParAllele (acq by Affymetrix). Before her venture career, Cami worked in business development at Tularik (acq by Amgen). During her early career, Cami worked in corporate development at Genzyme and Millennium Predictive Medicine and was a management consultant at LEK Consulting. Cami earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar.
Bryan joined Venrock as a Kauffman Fellow in 1997. He is based in Palo Alto and invests broadly across the healthcare industry. Bryan is currently involved with numerous public and private companies including 10X Genomics, Castlight Health, Devoted Health, Doctor on Demand, Encoded Therapeutics, Grand Rounds, Inscripta and Lyra Health. Past investments include Ariosa Diagnostics (acquired by Roche), athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), Ikaria (acquired by Mallinckrodt), Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN), Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD), Sirna Therapeutics (acquired by Merck), and Zeltiq (acquired by Allergan). Bryan was named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute in 2006 and has ranked on Forbes’ Midas List twelve times, 2008 – 2020. In 2019, the National Venture Capital Association presented him with the Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award.
Immediately prior to joining Venrock, Bryan received his Ph.D. in Chemistry & Chemical Biology from Harvard University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Bob Kocher, MD is a Partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. He currently serves on the Boards of Virta Health, Aledade, Renew Health and Lyra Health as well as Devoted Health, both of which he also co-founded, and the Blue Cross insurance company Premera. He is a Board Observer at Grand Rounds, Stride, Doctor on Demand, and Suki. He is formerly a Director at Jiff and Castlight Health (CSLT).
Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow and Advisory Board Member at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC. He serves on the Advisory Boards of Harvard Medical School Health Care Policy Department and National Institute of Healthcare Management (NIHCM). He is also a member of the Health Affairs Editorial Board.
Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council. In the Obama Administration, Bob was one of the shapers of the Affordable Care Act focusing on cost, quality, and delivery system reform and health IT policy. He was one of the leaders of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” childhood obesity initiative, led the formation of the Partnership for a Healthier America, and served on the Federal Advisory Panel charged with developing a national obesity strategy. He also co-founded the Health Data Initiative with Todd Park, a joint effort of HHS and the Institute of Medicine, to release healthcare data to spur private sector innovation to improve healthcare cost and quality. For five years, he served as Co-Chair of the Health Datapalooza.
Before the White House, Bob was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where he led McKinsey Global Institute’s healthcare economics work. He has worked widely across the US and international healthcare systems to improve regulatory policy, economic performance, labor productivity, clinical outcomes, and patient experience.
Bob received undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington and a medical degree from George Washington University. He completed a research fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health, and went on to complete his internal medicine residency training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard Medical School.