John G. Watson Foundation Board Members

The John G. Watson Foundation is led by a Board of Directors comprised of experienced representatives from leading local businesses with diverse professional backgrounds.

Sergio Gurrieri

sg-headshot-jgw-foundationDr. Sergio Gurrieri is a highly active Investor with Tech Coast Angels (TCA), one of the largest and most  active networks of angel investors in the US. He is the President & Chairman of the Board of the San Diego chapter of TCA, Member of the TCA Board of Governors, and Member of the Executive Committee of the Angel Capital Entrepreneurial (ACE) Funds with $11M under management. Dr. Gurrieri is also a Member of the Board (Observer) of Savara Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Gurrieri currently manages a highly diversified investment portfolio of startup companies across multiple industries, including Drug Discovery & Development, Medical Devices, Clinical Diagnostics, High-Tech, Software, Social Media, and Digital Marketing. Dr. Gurrieri is also a Partner in an early-stage VC fund, Moore Venture Partners.

Prior to TCA, Dr. Gurrieri was member of the executive management team at NextBio (acquired by Illumina in 2013), where he played a key business role in the identification and execution of new strategic opportunities. Before NextBio, Dr. Gurrieri was Marketing Group Manager at Millipore, where he led the development and execution of eBusiness strategies, covering a portfolio of about 25,000 Life Sciences products accounting for $700 million in total revenues. Dr. Gurrieri also held a number of Business Development, Marketing and R&D roles at Invitrogen  (aka Life Technologies, now ThermoFisher) and BD Biosciences Clontech. He also initiated and led a collaboration with Xeotron Corp., which resulted in the full acquisition of the company by Invitrogen in 2004.

Dr. Gurrieri holds an MBA in Management and Marketing from San Diego State University, and a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from the University of Oregon.

Stephen Flaim

SteveDr. Flaim holds a doctorate in Human Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California at Davis. He held faculty positions in Medicine and Physiology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and senior management roles at the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, the Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Alliance Pharmaceutical Corporation, Trega Biosciences, Inc. and Galileo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Flaim is Founder and President of Flaim Partners Consulting, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, and the Royal Society of Medicine. He is a board member of Pivotal Biosciences, Inc., Chairman of the Board for Leading Biosciences, Inc. and he is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Dr. Flaim is Director of the Angel Capital Association, Past Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Tech Coast Angels, Past President and Chairman of the San Diego Network of Tech Coast Angels, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with CONNECT, CEO of the John G. Watson Foundation and is active in numerous regional and national scientific organizations. He is a technology and business advisor to the William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at the University of California, San Diego, Co-founder and CEO of CardioCreate, Inc., Chairman & CEO of OncoFluor, Inc. and Senior Special Advisor and Investor in Residence to the Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination in the Division of Extramural Research Activities of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes of the National Institutes of Health.

Ned Israelsen

NedNed Israelsen is a co-founder and senior advisor to CardioCreate, Inc. He has been an active investor and participant in a number of life science startup companies. He is also the managing partner of the San Diego office of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, managing 120 lawyers and staff. Ned received his Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University National Law Center with High Honors and Order of the Coif. He served for two years as a law clerk to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; taught law school at Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles and California Western School of Law; and has been a lecturer on law, entrepreneurship, and venture funding at University of San Diego Law School and the UC San Diego Rady School of Management. Ned is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Utah State University.

He is currently treasurer and governing board member of the San Diego branch of Tech Coast Angels, the nation’s largest angel investing network. Ned has assisted dozens of innovative companies in the intellectual property aspects of private equity financing, initial public offerings, major licensing transactions, and corporate acquisitions, including InterMune, Inc., Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Orexigen Pharmaceuticals, and NovaCardia, Inc. He has been honored as one of The Best Lawyers in America; Top Lawyers in San Diego; Worldwide Top IP Lawyers; and is also honored in both the Southern California Super Lawyers Edition and the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition. Ned was named one of San Diego’s 120 Most Influential Individuals, and was selected from the 217,000 members of the California State Bar as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California.