Nassim Usman, Ph.D.
Nassim joined Morgenthaler Ventures as Entrepreneur-in-Residence in 2005 and is now a Venture Partner. He is currently CEO and a member of the Board of Directors at Catalyst Biosciences. Prior to joining Morgenthaler in 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:RNAI – acquired by Merck NYSE:MRK). He also held various R&D positions at both Sirna and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:RZYM), including VP of R&D and Chief Scientific Officer. During his industrial career, Nassim entered several drugs into clinical development, completed multiple licensing deals with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and raised capital in both private and public financings.
Prior to moving into the biotechnology industry in 1992, Nassim was an NIH Fogarty and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Scientist in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1992. He has authored more than 70 scientific articles and 130 patents and applications.
Nassim serves on the Boards of Mosaic Biosciences, Principia Biopharma and Osprey Pharmaceuticals, is a past director of Archemix Corporation (Cambridge, MA) and atugen AG (now Silence Therapeutics, LSE/AIM:SLN) and served on the SABs of RXi Pharmaceuticals (Worcester, MA) and Noxxon Pharma AG (Berlin, Germany). He received his B.Sc. (Honours) and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from McGill University. In his doctoral dissertation he developed a method for the solid-phase synthesis of RNA that is widely used in science and in a marketed RNA product (Macugen™).