Meet the team
Founder | General Partner
Shahram is Founder and General Partner of Civilization Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on supporting cutting edge innovations in health tech and biology.
Prior to founding Civilization Ventures, Shahram was a life sciences entrepreneur and angel investor for more than a decade. Shahram was the founding CEO and later Executive Chairman of Rgenix, a biotech company with multiple first-in-class therapeutics for cancer now in Phase 1b clinical trials. Prior to Rgenix, he was founding CFO and VP of Corporate Development at NextBio, a genomics pioneer acquired by Illumina. Shahram sits on the boards of Foresight Diagnostics and Rewrite and has been one of the first checks into frontier tech companies such as Omada Health, CatalogDNA, Evonetix, BilliontoOne, Lemonaid Health, Avantome (acquired by Illumina), Bina (acquired by Roche), Rocket Pharma (IPO), and Counsyl (acquired by Myriad).
Shahram began his career in Silicon Valley over twenty years ago at Wilson Sonsini and went on to advise some of the world’s preeminent technology leaders while at Goldman Sachs. He earned his JD from Harvard Law School, where he led 175 editors as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal, and obtained a BA in Economics from Pomona College. Shahram founded CV in 2017 to support innovations that could – with some luck and perseverance – improve human health, preserve the world’s natural resources, and further our shared civilization.
OUR AMAZING SCIENTISTS
THEMASAP KHAN, PhD
Themasap is Vice President at Civilization Ventures, where he leads the firm’s scientific due diligence and academic outreach programs. Themasap first started working at CV in 2018 as an Associate at the inception of Civilization Ventures’ second fund.
Themasap received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, where he was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Stanford Graduate Fellow. His research focused on using stem cell biology, genome engineering, and live imaging to elucidate biological mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. Themasap’s thesis work on cerebellar organoid models was published in Nature Medicine in 2020.
Prior to Civilization Ventures, Themasap consulted for CRV, Menlo Ventures and Biotech Connection Bay Area. He also started and led a successful tutoring business while at Stanford. Themasap obtained his B.S. in Neuroscience from NYU where he also did primary research in stem cell biology and cancer.
Zoya Khan (no relation to Themasap) is an analyst at Civilization Ventures where she supports the firm’s due diligence, community outreach, and portfolio companies’ success. Prior to joining CV, Zoya advised early-stage digital health startups as a Strategy Manager at SMACK.health. She was also the Editor-in-Chief of The Health Care Blog, overseeing the publication of content related to the health care industry and collaborated with many of its leaders.
Zoya received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Neuroscience with a focus on Cognitive Science and a minor in Film & Media Studies. At Northwestern, Zoya received the Wildcat Excellence award for spearheading collaborative efforts among on-campus student organizations.
Our Network of Advisors
Civilization Ventures leverages an extensive network of world-class scientists and clinicians (including half a dozen MDs and PhDs), as well as accomplished founders and CEOs from our portfolio companies, to gain access to and understand the leading innovations in our space. Our network is truly global, with key advisors located in Silicon Valley, Cambridge and NY in the US, as well as Europe and Asia.
Our international reach and deep domain expertise has empowered us to invest in exponential health technologies and synthetic biology companies worldwide, with founders who have earned advanced degrees from leading academic institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, and Caltech, among others. Our core mission is to back truly disruptive innovation that has the potential to advance our civilization.