Board of Directors

John McKearn, Ph.D.


John McKearn, Ph.D. has three decades of drug development and investing experience in life sciences. He joined RiverVest in April 2008 and focuses on early-stage biotechnology investments. Currently, Dr. McKearn serves on the Boards of Arch Oncology, Inc., Allakos (NASDAQ: ALLK), OncoResponse, Inc., Good Therapeutics, Wugen and Adarza Biosystems, Inc.  He previously served on the Boards of Lumena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. acquired by Shire Plc), Otonomy Inc. (NASDAQ: OTIC), and ZS Pharma (NASDAQ: ZSPH; acquired by AstraZeneca Plc).  Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Kalypsys, Inc. from 2003 to 2006. Earlier, he was an executive at Searle/Pharmacia (Pfizer, Inc.) from 1987 to 2003, where he held positions of increasing responsibilities, including the Global Head of Research. He helped establish the groundwork for studies that led to the commercialization of several major products, including DayPro®, Arthrotec®, and Celebrex®, one of the leading pharmaceuticals to treat arthritis. He also served on the Boards of IDM Pharma, Inc. (acquired by Takeda America Holdings, Inc.), Epimmune, Inc., and Keel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Earlier, he was a Senior Scientist at E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company; a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland; and a Research Associate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

Laurence Blumberg, M.D.


Laurence Blumberg, M.D. is a Director and also serves as Arch Oncology’s President and Chief Executive Officer. He has over thirty years of experience in the biotechnology industry as an executive, entrepreneur, analyst, and board member. Before joining Arch Oncology, he was Co-founder, Founding Chief Executive Officer, and Director for Syntimmune, which was acquired by Alexion for a total cash consideration of up to $1.2 billion in 2018. At Syntimmune, he led key operational roles as President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all development through clinical proof-of-concept as well as for finance and business development functions. Previously, Dr. Blumberg worked at Kadmon Corporation, serving as Senior Vice President, Project Management and leading business development. Earlier in his career, he was Co-founder and Director of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, from the Company’s founding in 1998 through its acquisition by Biogen in 2007. Subsequently, spun out as Bioverativ, Syntonix’s hemophilia therapy program has generated over $2 billion in sales annually and was acquired by Sanofi for approximately $12 billion. As an investment professional, Dr. Blumberg was Managing Member of Blumberg Capital Management, an Analyst covering biotechnology and medical device companies for Alliance Capital Management, and held Associate-level positions at venture capital and public equity firms.

He received a B.A. from Brandeis University, an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine, and an Executive MBA from Columbia University School of Business. He completed an Internship in Surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital and was an Otolaryngology resident at Geisinger Medical Center prior to his biotechnology career.

Drew Dennison

Drew Dennison is Managing Director at Lightchain Capital, LLC, the family office for Scottrade Founder and former Chief Executive Officer Rodger Riney. At Lightchain, Mr. Dennison is responsible for venture capital investments in the life science and technology sectors. He also assists the Riney Foundations with their philanthropic endeavors. Previously, Mr. Dennison served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. He led the Company’s operations, technology, operations, finance, and strategic planning functions and worked at the Company for over a decade. Mr. Dennison led the sale of Scottrade to TD Ameritrade, then co-led the integration project, successfully combining the two companies. In addition, Mr. Dennison serves as Chairman of the Board of CareVet Holdings and as a Board Member of FinTech Studios.

Julie Hambleton, M.D.

Julie Hambleton, M.D. is a biotechnology executive with over 20 years of experience in drug development, spanning from preclinical research to product approval and launch. Dr. Hambleton serves as a Director for Accent Therapeutics, Arch Oncology, Erasca, IGM Biosciences (NASDAQ: IGMS) and SpringWorks Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SWTX). From August 2020 until March 2021, she served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer for Arch Oncology. Earlier, she was Chief Medical Officer of IDEAYA Biosciences. Previously, she was Vice President, Head of U.S. Medical at Bristol-Myers Squibb, overseeing Medical & Health Economic and Outcomes Research activities in support of the Oncology, Immuno-Oncology, Specialty and Cardiovascular marketed portfolios. Earlier in her career, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Five Prime Therapeutics and Vice President, Clinical Development, at Clovis Oncology. Dr. Hambleton began her industry career at Genentech, most recently as Group Medical Director, Global Clinical Development. Dr. Hambleton completed her medical and hematology-oncology training at the University California, San Francisco, where she then served on faculty from 1993 to 2003. She received an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a B.S. from Duke University, and was Board-certified in Hematology and Internal Medicine.

Carole Nuechterlein

Carole Nuechterlein has headed the Roche Venture Fund since 2001. Prior to her current position, she worked in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry as an attorney for ten years. She joined Roche from SangStat in Fremont California where she was General Counsel.  She currently serves as a director at Aligos Therapeutics, Arch Oncology, CiVi Therapeutics, Maculogix, Millendo, Mission Therapeutics, Lumos, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc, Second Genome and Vivet. She was formerly a director at Allakos and AveXis. She also led the investments on Alios, Ambit, Ambrx, Conatus, Envoy, Nereus and Pharmasset. She has a B.A. from Valparaiso University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.