Civilization Ventures takes on COVID-19 with Key Investments:
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 an entrepreneur and angel investor. Shahram is a founding executive in several life sciences companies, including Rgenix, a biotech company with first-in-class therapeutics for cancer, now in Phase 1b human clinical trials. Prior to Rgenix, he was founding CFO and VP of Corporate Development at NextBio, a genomics big data analytics pioneer acquired by Illumina. Shahram is also a seed investor in pioneering startups such as Omada Health, Counsyl (acq. by Myriad), Bina (acq. by Roche) and Avantome (acq. by Illumina).
Shahram began his career in Silicon Valley twenty years ago and advised some of the world’s top 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 beauty, and further our shared civilization.
OUR AMAZING SCIENTISTS
THEMASAP KHAN, PhD
Themasap is an associate at Civilization Ventures with a PhD in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine from Stanford University. His PhD work involved using state-of-the-art stem cell biology, genome engineering, live imaging and neurobiology approaches with high-throughput in-vitro assays to identify dynamic processes that are altered in cells derived from patients with psychiatric diseases with the end goal of finding novel therapeutic targets. Prior to Civilization Ventures, Themasap consulted for CRV, Menlo Ventures and McKinsey & Co, and he started a tutoring business which is still thriving. Themasap obtained his B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Finance from NYU.
SONYA IVERSON, PhD
Sonya is a research scientist developing novel gene therapies at Sana Biotechnology. She earned her PhD at Boston University where she studied synthetic biology, molecular biology, and computer-aided bio-design, with a focus on methods for streamlined genetic engineering using library-based DNA assembly. Sonya developed the first multipart DNA assembly standard and library for use in bacteria, a kit which is publicly available and still widely used. After earning her B.S. in Biotechnology with a minor in Genetics at Montana State University, Sonya started a non-profit organization for refugee youth in the U.S. and Lebanon which she still runs.
ANGELICA PARENTE, PhD
Angelica is a scientist-in-residence at Civilization Ventures and earned her PhD in biophysics at Stanford University focusing on single-molecule imaging, bioengineering, computational structural biology, and biotechnology translation. Angelica is currently at Nurix Therapeutics where she develops tools to accelerate discovery of small molecules that degrade disease-causing proteins. Angelica is a National Science Foundation Fellow, a Stanford MedicineX ePatient Scholar and served on the leadership team of the Stanford Biotechnology Group. She received her BS in Biochemistry from UCLA.
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.