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Shelley Chu, MD, PhD
Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

Dr. Shelley Chu joined Lightspeed as a Partner in 2020 to lead its biotechnology investment arm. She brings two decades of investing and operating experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Her passion is working closely with entrepreneurs to navigate scientific, clinical, regulatory, business development, and commercial hurdles, in order to bring to market innovative new medicines that address significant unmet needs.


To date, her investments across all stages, from seed to growth, have led to seven new drug approvals (NDAs) by the FDA, nine drug candidates in active clinical development, and 16 exits through mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, or partnerships—all of which exemplify her personal mission of “doing well by doing good.” At Gilead Sciences, where Dr. Chu led R&D strategy across all therapeutic areas and business development in immuno-oncology and hepatitis B virus, three NDAs were approved and launched.


Since joining Lightspeed, Dr. Chu has led the firm’s new biotech investments in multiple seed, Series A, and crossover companies. She is a current or former member of the board of directors at Enlaza Therapeutics, Abata Therapeutics, 3T Biosciences, Medikine, Scorpion Therapeutics, Tizona Therapeutics (acquired by Gilead Sciences), Trishula Therapeutics (partnered with AbbVie), SFJ Pharmaceuticals, Phathom Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PHAT), IFM Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb), IFM Tre (acquired by Novartis), IFM Due (partnered with Novartis), IFM Quattro, Q32, and Venatorx Pharmaceuticals. Previous investments in which Shelley worked closely with the senior management team and board include Stromedix (acquired by Biogen), Rempex (acquired by The Medicines Company), Tobira (NASDAQ: TBRA; acquired by Allergan), Anaptys (NASDAQ: ANAB), Marcadia (acquired by Roche), Calixa (acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals), and Cerexa (acquired by Forest Laboratories).


Dr. Chu holds an MD and a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and a BA in molecular biology from Princeton University, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Princeton alumni school committee. She is also a member of the scientific advisory board for BioCentury and the advisory committee for BIO Investor Forum.

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