Takes Major Step Forward in Global Cancer Care with Four New Board
GO welcomes new board members: Benz, Link, Varma, and Yeshwant
Leaders from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Stanford University, Vision Medicines, Inc. and GV Added to
Board of Directors on December 7, 2016
Boston, MA. – December 6, 2016 – Nonprofit <a href=”https://globalonc.org”>Global Oncology, Inc. (GO)</a> today announced
that Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., Dr. Michael Link, Dr. Chris Varma and Dr. Krishna Yeshwant will join GO’s Board of
Directors adding key experience and leadership in medical care and global health to the pioneering organization
dedicated to bringing the best in cancer care to underserved populations worldwide. The appointments are
effective Dec. 7, 2016.
GO was established in 2011 by Dr. Ami Bhatt and Dr. Franklin Huang to address the disproportionate share of the
global cancer burden shouldered by low- and middle-income countries. GO is specifically focused on building a
global network of individuals and organizations to solve today’s problems in cancer care, with the ultimate goal of
improving care and bettering the lives of patients in resource-limited settings.
GO’s Board Chair, George Bickerstaff, Managing Director of M.M. Dillon stated, “Expanding the Board to include
these incredibly respected professionals and giants in their fields will give GO a boost of innovation and energy. GO
now has a ‘dream team’ to help drive the organization into 2017 and beyond.”
Benz, Link, Varma and Yeshwant join an already stellar Board comprised of GO co-founders Dr. Bhatt, Assistant
Professor of Medicine and of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of Global Oncology,
Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, and Dr. Huang, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School
and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and postdoctoral scholar at the Broad Institute, Bickerstaff as well as
Michele Galen, a former pharmaceutical executive and independent health care advisor, and global health advocate
Benz recently retired as CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is currently President Emeritus of DFCI. He
received GO’s first Visionary Award at their October 1 benefit concert. Link is the Lydia J Lee Professor in Pediatric
Cancer at Stanford University and a past-President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Varma is
currently the President and CEO of Vision Medicines, Inc., which he co-founded in 2013, and he previously cofounded
and served as President and CEO of Blueprint Medicines, Inc., a leading oncology therapeutics company.
Yeshwant is a General Partner at GV, formerly Google Ventures, where he has worked since its inception and leads
a health-focused portfolio. See additional biographical details for all four new Board Members below.
GO’s Executive Director, Donna Barry remarked, “We are so pleased and excited to have these four outstanding
leaders join our Board of Directors to help us continue shaping GO as a leading global health nonprofit. Each of
them provides unique, wide-ranging expertise that will enable us to better carry out our mission and programs to
reduce disparities in access to care around the world.“
Additional Biographical Details:
Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, is President Emeritus at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, President Emeritus of DanaFarber/Partners
Cancer Care, Principal Investigator and Director Emeritus of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer
Center, Director Emeritus of Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, and a member of the Governing
Board of Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center. He is the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor
of Medicine, professor of pediatrics, and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benz is an
internationally recognized hematologist who is an active National Institutes of Health-funded Investigator. He is an
expert in inherited anemias, and his laboratory studies focus on the molecular regulation and functions of
membrane cytoskeletal proteins that were originally discovered in the red blood cell. He has authored more than
300 peer reviewed articles, reviews, chapters, and abstracts. He is Co-editor of “Hematology: Principles and
Practice,” which received the First Place Award for Textbooks from the British Medical Journal and of the “Oxford
Textbook of Medicine,” for which he and his colleagues received the Royal Society of Authors Textbook Award. He
is an Associate Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Benz’s accomplishments have been recognized
by a number of distinctions, including membership in the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of
Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society
of Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He is a past President of the American Society
of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the
American Clinical and Climatological Association, and the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing.
Michael P. Link, MD isthe Lydia J. Lee Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Link earned his medical degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed his
internship and residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Boston, and fellowships in immunology and
hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School.
He returned to Stanford in 1979 to join the faculty in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. He rose
through the ranks to Professor with tenure and served as the Chief of the Division of Pediatric
Hematology/Oncology from 2000-2010. Dr. Link was the vice chairman of the Pediatric Oncology Group for more
than a decade, and he is currently an Associate Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group. He recently completed
terms as member of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration, the Board of
Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
He was President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) from 2011-2012. His research interests
include the biology and treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphomas and Hodgkin disease, as well as clinical management
of bone and soft tissue sarcomas in children.
Dr. Chris Varma is a successful entrepreneur and investor in the life sciences industry. In May 2013, Dr. Varma cofounded
Vision Medicines, Inc., an orphan ophthalmology company, and serves as its president and chief executive
officer. In 2010, he co-founded Blueprint Medicines, a leading oncology therapeutics company located in
Cambridge, MA and served as its president, chief executive officer, and director from its founding, where he raised
$40M in a Series-A financing and oversaw the building of the scientific platform and therapeutic pipeline that is
now in clinical testing. Previously at Third Rock Ventures as an entrepreneur-in-residence, Dr. Varma co-founded
Warp Drive Bio, which executed a $125M strategic partnership with Sanofi. Prior to Third Rock Ventures, he was a
partner at Flagship Ventures focusing on life science investments such as Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TTPH) as well as investment opportunities in oncology. Before joining Flagship, he oversaw efforts spanning business development, strategy, and sales and marketing at Novartis AG. Dr. Varma holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health
Sciences & Technology (HST), a M.S. in Management from Stanford University, and a M.S. and a B.S. in Computer
Science from Stanford University. Dr. Varma serves as a member of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Therapeutics
Advisory Council and the HMS Discovery Council, as well as a leadership board member of The McGovern Institute
for Brain Research at MIT.
Dr. Krishna Yeshwant is currently a General Partner at GV in Cambridge MA. Dr. Yeshwant is a physician,
programmer, and entrepreneur who has been working with GV since its inception. He first joined Google as part of
the New Business Development team. Prior to Google he helped start an electronic data interchange company that
was acquired by Hewlett-Packard and a network security company that was acquired by Symantec. Previously, Dr.
Yeshwant published several book chapters and journal articles in the field of computer-guided surgery, completed
research in tissue engineering, and developed and licensed multiple surgical devices. He has worked with the
technology transfer offices of MIT, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Yeshwant holds a B.S. in
computer science from Stanford University. He also earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, an MBA from
Harvard Business School, and completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA where he
continues to practice.
Donna Barry, GO Executive Director