Ralph E. (Chris) Christoffersen, PhD – Chairman

Chris is a Founding Partner of Lightstone Ventures focusing on biopharmaceutical investments out of the firm’s Boulder, CO, office. Chris joined Morgenthaler, Lightstone’s predecessor fund, in 2001 and serves as a General Partner. His signature deals include Avidia (acquired by Amgen in 2006), Threshold (NASDAQ: THLD), Morphotek (acquired by Easai in 2007), Orexigen (NASDAQ: OREX) and FoldRx (acquired by Pfizer in 2010). He serves on the boards of Asterand Biosciences (formerly Stemgent), Calithera Biosciences, Catalyst BioSciences, Elcelyx Therapeutics, Galleon Pharmaceuticals, Nimbus Therapeutics, Scioderm, and Tragara Pharmaceuticals. Chris brings to Lightstone more than 20 years of operations experience, having served as CEO and President of Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals (a/k/a Sirna Therapeutics; acquired by Merck for $1.2B), Senior Vice President of Research at SmithKline Beecham, Vice President of Discovery Research at The Upjohn Company, and President of Colorado State University.

Chris is a recognized thought leader in the field of biotechnology. He received an honorary doctor of law degree from Cornell College in 1983, the Outstanding Research of Year Award from the International Society of Quantum Biology in 1981, the W. E. Upjohn Award for contributions in biotechnology in 1988, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 from the Colorado Biosciences Association.

Chris is a General Partner of Lightstone Ventures focusing on biopharmaceutical investments out of the firm’s Boulder, CO, office. Chris joined Morgenthaler, Lightstone’s predecessor fund, in 2001 and serves as a General Partner. His signature deals include Avidia (acquired by Amgen in 2006), Threshold (NASDAQ: THLD), Morphotek (acquired by Easai in 2007), and FoldRx (acquired by Pfizer in 2010). He serves on the boards of GlobeImmune, Catalyst BioSciences, Galleon Pharmaceuticals, Tragara Pharmaceuticals, Stemgent, Elcelyx, and Calithera Biosciences. Chris brings to Lightstone more than 20 years of operations experience, having served as CEO and President of Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals (a/k/a Sirna Therapeutics; acquired by Merck for $1.2B), Senior Vice President of Research at SmithKline Beecham, Vice President of Discovery Research at The Upjohn Company, and President of Colorado State University.

Chris is a recognized thought leader in the field of biotechnology. He received an honorary doctor of law degree from Cornell College in 1983, the Outstanding Research of Year Award from the International Society of Quantum Biology in 1981, the W. E. Upjohn Award for contributions in biotechnology in 1988, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 from the Colorado Biosciences Association.