A student-run evergreen investment fund dedicated to educating graduate students on investing in emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies through investment analysis, experiential portfolio management, bookkeeping and finance modules, and professional networking opportunities, while seeking capital growth.
Leverage our scientific expertise to detect and invest in small-mid cap life science companies that are undervalued due to market inefficiencies.
We are looking to outperform standard biotechnology ETFs.
Dilek provides program management for the development of vaccines and therapeutics and supports the planning and delivery of government and commercial programs. She received her PhD in bioelectrochemistry under the mentorship of Dr. David Cliffel at Vanderbilt University.
Join us for biotech networking following the seminar at Old Glory located at 1200 Villa Pl Suite 103, Nashville, TN 37212 !
As advanced degree candidates, we possess knowledge and skills valuable to many sectors outside of academia and industry. While learning about and/or discovering biochemical and molecular mechanisms during research, we also become familiar with drug development processes, clinical trial and patient data, and drug regulatory pathways. Additionally, we learn how to parse vast amounts of scientific data with great attention to detail, work in and lead collaborative teams efficiently, and communicate scientific concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences with ease.
One little known sector where these capabilities are exceedingly valued is investment consulting. Several companies, ranging from Silicon Valley-based life science venture capital firms to Wall Street banks are hiring recent advanced degree graduates to perform equity research on biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to aid in investment decisions. However, most advanced degree and postdoctoral scholars lack the financial and investment expertise that would truly help them succeed in this career. One could apply for internships, but it is rare for any one internship to be able to offer a well-rounded experience in equity research in biotech and pharma, financial modeling, biotech stock market, and biopharma intellectual property laws
The Greater Nashville Area is home to a top-tier research environment that provides state-of-the-art facilities and abundant resources to ensure that graduate students become adept members of the scientific community. Yet, there is scarcely any support available for those of us interested in learning about investment research as a career post-graduate school. Considering this, we propose the establishment of a student-run investment fund that will allow advanced degree and postdoctoral students to learn about investing in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and apply that knowledge by making equity investments and managing portfolios.
Membership to the fund is open to advanced degree and postdoctoral scholars as well as undergraduates on a case-by-case basis. Partners will be selected through an application process. Elections will be held annually for management leadership positions. The leadership will comprise of a Managing Director and Directors of Strategy, Education, External Relations, Operations, and Finance. Non-leadership members will have Associate roles. Future roles at the fund will be added as and when required.
We will meet monthly to discuss biotech and pharmaceutical stock market news, screen investment leads, perform due diligence, review clinical trial data, make investment recommendations, and/or monitor portfolio companies. Additional events will include financial literacy modules and networking events, which will occur outside of the monthly meetings.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, CO-FOUNDER
Kavya Sharman is a 4th year PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University in the Chemical & Physical Biology Program. She received a BA in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in 2016, where she co-founded the Scientific Immersion & Mentorship (SIM) Program. After graduating, she worked at Vanderbilt’s Department
MANAGING DIRECTOR, CO-FOUNDER
Kavya Sharman is a 4th year PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University in the Chemical & Physical Biology Program. She received a BA in neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in 2016, where she co-founded the Scientific Immersion & Mentorship (SIM) Program. After graduating, she worked at Vanderbilt’s Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) as a business development coordinator, and then went on to work for MONQ, a startup in Nashville, as a product development scientist. She also worked as a freelance researcher for Seminal, where she created research briefs summarizing findings across broad topics such as artificial intelligence, labor markets, and the molecular basis of learning. She returned to Vanderbilt in 2018 and joined the lab of Dr. Richard Caprioli, where she is developing computational techniques for linking complementary imaging modalities such as imaging mass spectrometry and multiplexed immunofluorescence to understand Staphylococcus aureus infection in tissue. Through her varied experiences in industry, academia, healthcare, and informatics, she has focused on developing cross-disciplinary linkages with a focus on bridging the gap between scientific discovery and industry. In her free time, Kavya enjoys exploring the food scene in Nashville, traveling, and cooking. She is currently on a mission to find the best cappuccino in Nashville.
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, CO-FOUNDER
Cody Marshall is a 1st year biomedical science PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University. He received his BA in molecular cell biology with an emphasis in molecular neurobiology at University of California, Berkeley. He went on to gain his MS while helping discover a neural circuit associated with stress behav
DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, CO-FOUNDER
Cody Marshall is a 1st year biomedical science PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University. He received his BA in molecular cell biology with an emphasis in molecular neurobiology at University of California, Berkeley. He went on to gain his MS while helping discover a neural circuit associated with stress behavior under guidance from Dr. Danny Winder. To further develop his research experience, Cody worked at Stanford University where he learned computational and chemical methods of drug discovery with Dr. James Chen. Now as a PhD student, Cody is rotating through chemical and physical biology research labs at Vanderbilt that apply new technology to neuroscience drug discovery. Cody first developed a passion for investing and the business side of life science when he enrolled in “The Business of Biotechnology”, an interactive online course taught by Peter Kolchinsky, managing director at RA Capital. Cody also volunteers virtually as an analyst for Evexia, a similar student-led biotechnology fund consisting of biology graduate students located mainly throughout the Bay Area, CA. Outside of research, Cody enjoys exercising, reading, playing (but primarily still learning) the electric piano, and enjoying Nashville’s live music scene. His favorite summer vacations are traveling to new places with family and friends, and during the winter, you can usually count on him finding time to make ski trips.
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY, CO-FOUNDER
Pragun Tuladhar is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. An international student from Nepal, he received his BS in Biochemistry from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2018. At Vanderbilt, Pragun is a member of the Cliffel research lab, where he is developing techni
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY, CO-FOUNDER
Pragun Tuladhar is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. An international student from Nepal, he received his BS in Biochemistry from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2018. At Vanderbilt, Pragun is a member of the Cliffel research lab, where he is developing techniques to instrument microphysiological systems (organs- on-chips) with a multiplexed electrochemical detection platform to gain a broader understanding of cellular metabolic and ds physiological changes in response to toxins, infections, and therapeutics. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of his research, Pragun is familiar with concepts and techniques spanning several fields, including electrochemistry, cellular biology, immunology, neurology, toxicology, biomedical engineering, and material sciences. Outside the lab, Pragun enjoys learning about entrepreneurship and how scientific discoveries can be commercialized. At the BioTN Scipreneur Challenge Nashville held in spring 2021, his team pitched a commercialization plan for a novel nerve visualization technology and won 2nd place. He also volunteers as consultant in the Wond’ry Innovation Consulting Program at Vanderbilt. Pragun enjoys traveling, watching English football, cooking, and collecting trivia in his spare time.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
James White is a 5th year PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University in the department of Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB). He received a BS in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016. At Michigan, he studied under Dr. Catherine Keegan on a collaborative project investigating c
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
James White is a 5th year PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University in the department of Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB). He received a BS in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016. At Michigan, he studied under Dr. Catherine Keegan on a collaborative project investigating caudal misexpression of a pancreatic transcription factor in a mouse model of caudal dysgenesis. Matriculating to Vanderbilt in 2018, James sought out an interdisciplinary workspace through Dr. Andrea Page-McCaw, a cell biologist whose lab has an ongoing collaboration with Dr. M. Shane Hutson, a physicist. This co-mentorship allows James to explore the cellular behaviors that lead to wound closure from both a biological and biophysical perspective. James received invaluable leadership and negotiation experience as president of the CDB graduate student association. During his tenure, James created a successful pitch to triple the GSA budget and provide monthly lunches for graduate students and postdocs within CDB. James will expand his leadership and business skills by pursuing a career in business development with the long-term goal of starting a company. Outside of lab, James enjoys hosting dinner parties, hiking, training his rescue dog Preston, painting, and spending quality time with friends.
DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Shannon Taylor is a 3rd year biomedical engineering PhD student at Vanderbilt University. She received her BS in bioengineering with a focus on bioelectronics and minored in business at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Now at Vanderbilt, Shannon studies non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques un
DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Shannon Taylor is a 3rd year biomedical engineering PhD student at Vanderbilt University. She received her BS in bioengineering with a focus on bioelectronics and minored in business at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Now at Vanderbilt, Shannon studies non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques under the direction of Dr. Rachelle Crescenzi to investigate the interplay of tissue structure and lymphatic vascular function. Her interdisciplinary work incorporates image processing, physics, and translational physiology. She also serves as a General Body Member of the Vanderbilt Innovation Council. Shannon’s excitement for the role of science in the business landscape began during her undergraduate engineering capstone project while working with her team to conduct market research for their prototyped point-of-care device. Since then, she’s grown a passion for biotechnology startups and advocating for the translatable skills that graduate-level researchers can add to analytical teams in industry. Outside of research, Shannon enjoys traversing Nashville’s many coffee shops, doing the New York Times crossword, and playing tennis.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Hayden Pagendarm is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He received his BS in Bioengineering with a biomaterials concentration as well as a minor in Economics from Clemson University in 2020. While at Clemson, he completed his Departmental Honors thesis under t
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Hayden Pagendarm is a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He received his BS in Bioengineering with a biomaterials concentration as well as a minor in Economics from Clemson University in 2020. While at Clemson, he completed his Departmental Honors thesis under the guidance of Dr. Jeoung Soo Lee by helping develop a targeted drug delivery platform to reduce inflammation following spinal cord injury. He then joined the lab of Dr. John Wilson at Vanderbilt, where he is working on multiple projects aimed at modulating the immune system to achieve a therapeutic outcome. He is developing a scalable formulation pipeline to produce polymeric nanoparticles capable of delivering innate immune agonists to the cytosol, where they can activate their respective receptors and reinvigorate exhausted T cells to fight cancer. He is also developing an extracellular vesicle-based platform to co-deliver autoantigens and immunosuppressive cues to reprogram antigen-presenting cells to present autoantigens in a non-inflammatory context, subsequently inducing peripheral tolerance among autoreactive T and B lymphocytes. Outside of the lab, Hayden enjoys following the markets, trying new foods, traveling, cooking, exercising, and watching a variety of sports. He also enjoys volunteering at various local public schools by teaching STEM classes.
Partners will meet every month to discuss pitched companies and vote on investments. The Fund's day-to-day operations will be managed by an Executive Team, comprising a Managing Director, a Bookkeeper, a Broker, a Recruitment Lead, and a Research Lead. The Executive Team will be elected for a one-year term.
Absolutely! Part of our mission is to educate Partners about investing in biotech and pharma companies.
In biology, the S Phase is the stage of the cell cycle where DNA, the genetic code for the cell, is replicated. The growth of genetic information is a fundamental property of life and initiates growth. The S Phase Biotechnology Fund is looking to build on the concept of sharing information between experts in the life sciences in the hopes of "growing" value.
The average time commitment for Partners will be around 2 hours/month to attend meetings. Each Partner can expect to present at least one pitch per year, which for a monthly preparation for a pitch could be between 10-20 hours. This time may vary, as Partners may choose to do more than pitch per year. We encourage Partners to stay current on biotech and pharma news for engaging discussions during pitch meetings. Executive Partners will need more time commitment to fulfill Partner duties.
No, we are an independent investment club with no affiliations to any university or company.
Please use the sign-up form on our website. We'll follow up with an application as well as information about upcoming meetings.
After your application is accepted, you will be required to buy-in a minimum number of shares equivalent to $250 in value. The number of shares will vary depending on fund's valuation at time of purchase. Once your buy-in is deposited into the fund's brokerage account, you are officially a Partner!
Yes! The purchase of additional shares is allowed and encouraged.
We will be using Bivio, an accounting software for tracking investments, preparing taxes, and bookkeeping that is made for investment clubs like ours.
Any Partner may withdraw a part (a minimum investment of $250 is required for membership) or all of the value of his or her capital account in the Partnership at any time by notifying the Treasurer and Broker via email. Valuation of the Partner's assets will be calculated by Bivio when the market opens the next working day.
Partner contributions will initially be invested in the S&P 500 ETF. Once partners decide to invest in a pitched company by a majority vote, we will typically use 5-10% of the Fund’s assets to buy shares.
No. S Phase is a volunteer-led and run club. Executive Team Members and Partners do not receive compensation for their roles, except reimbursements for expenses related to the Fund's operations.
All Partners will be given access to view the fund's Bivio account. You will be able to monitor all transactions including the fund's net asset value, stock purchases, etc. While all Partners will vote during pitch meetings whether to take up a position in a company, only the Treasurer will have the power to execute those transactions.
Our Partnership is limited to less than 100 members and we only invest in publicly traded companies. For more information, please see: https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsinvclubhtm.html
Small- to mid-cap biotech companies developing novel therapies.
Long term value investing. We identify and invest in companies whose stock values are trading for less than their intrinsic value.
Currently, we are raising capital solely from Partner investments.
We will be benchmarking the Fund's performance against the iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB) by BlackRock. The IBB seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of U.S.-listed equities in the biotechnology sector. It currently has 375 holdings in its portfolio.
Yes, all members must file a K-1 form, provided by the fund, for the state and provide an SSN to file taxes and report earnings and losses,
The only charge is buying into the partnership. Annual operating costs will be deducted from the cash in the S Phase bank account.
Pitches will be held to identify biotech companies that are under-appreciated and therefore undervalued by the market. Each month, one or two teams of Partners will present these pitches, which will include the company’s scientific technology, clinical trial data, DCF valuation, etc. A template slide deck that describes the considerations and characteristics of an ideal pitch will be made available to Partners.
One month before the pitch, the Executive Team will decide on a biotech landscape. The team/s of Partners that will be pitching will then pick an emerging company developing novel therapeutics within that landscape and perform a thorough investment analysis.
Pitches will be followed by a discussion period where Partners will discuss and ask questions about the company that was pitched. All Partners will have 24 hours after the pitch to vote whether to invest in the pitched company. A 40% vote participation and a simple majority will be required to make investment decisions. Additionally, the team that pitched the company will also be responsible for monitoring stock prices during important catalysts like clinical trial data updates, conference presentations, etc.
We will put a stop order on the stock price to limit losses. Additionally, the team that pitched the company will also be responsible for monitoring stock price during catalysts like clinical trial data updates, conference presentations, etc. when heightened market activity is expected.
Featuring Ron Shigeta (co-founder of IndieBio and a serial biotech entrepreneur/VC based in San Francisco, CA), with guests Will Clem and Orin Wilson (co-founders of Bite Ninja, YC ’21 based in Memphis, TN)
Effective networking among those in the biotech/healthcare/venture space and exploratory discussions regarding the evolution of biotech, deal-sourcing, and innovating at the intersection of biotech, healthcare, and academia.
The seminar and meetup will be hosted in the 3rd floor lounge of the Wond'ry, located at 2414 Highland Ave, Nashville, TN 37213.
Max is a Senior Associate in the TechAtlas Division at RA Capital Management, where he identifies breakthrough products and puts data into context to identify potential investments. He also advises RA's portfolio companies on program and pipeline strategy. Max earned his PhD from the University of Michigan, where he also advised the Wolverine Venture Fund, a student-run VC fund.
This series aims to connect students and early career researchers with business professionals in the life sciences industry by hosting relevant speakers and panels every month. The format is a 30 minute talk followed by 30 minutes of Q&A/Discussion.
Evan manages equity investments in fundamentally under-valued public securities of the biotechnology sector. He obtained his PhD from UCSF, where he also co-founded Evexia BioFund, the Bay Area Biotechnology Group, and the Investment Club UCSF. Evan has worked as a consultant for ARCH Ventures and interned at Mission Bay Capital, Genentech, and Bayer Healthcare in the past.
After the seminar, join us for a biotech happy hour at Fable Lounge, located at
114 28th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37203. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be generously sponsored by the Vanderbilt Quantitative Systems Biology Center! RSVP required.
Sara manages BioCentury’s comprehensive database of global biopharmaceutical companies to provide key insights to clients in the pharmaceutical industry and venture capital firms. In her current role as a Senior Data Analyst, she performs analysis to investigate the market trends. She obtained her PhD in chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 2021.
After the seminar, join us for biotech networking at TailGate Music Row (1538 Demonbreun St, Nashville, TN 37203)