Breakout Ventures Launches Partnership with Nucleate and Selects PhD Candidates and Postdocs for Fellowship Program

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Breakout Ventures, the home for creative bioscience entrepreneurs, today announced its selection of eight PhD candidates and Postdocs for its two-year Fellowship Program and an inaugural sponsorship of Nucleate, a student-run, nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of biotech leaders by educating today’s academic trainees.

Breakout Ventures invests and supports the growth of companies building in creative biosciences where biology and chemistry converge with technology and tools of scale to create novel solutions in human health and sustainability. Breakout has spent over a decade investing in and coalescing the ecosystem for early-stage, deep science companies and has been working with graduate students since it launched the fellowship program in 2015. Breakout Fellows provide important connectivity to universities and research labs across the country, introduce new deals and support diligence with their expertise. The firm’s two-year Fellowship attracts PhDs and Postdocs interested in venture, entrepreneurship, and commercializing science. Through workshops, mentorship, and events, the Breakout team hopes to pull the curtain back on venture capital while fellows keep the firm plugged into their local innovation hubs. The eight new fellows joining the program are:

  • Asmi Chakraborty, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University Medical School focused on solid tumor glyco-immunology
  • Danny Carbonero - PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University
  • Eirini Vamva, PhD - Postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University focused on the species specific tropism of AAV vectors used in clinical trials
  • Eric Hsu - PhD candidate in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University
  • Garrett Ginell - PhD candidate in the Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology program at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Jake Glickman - Dermatology Resident and PhD candidate in computational immunology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
  • Jonathan Chen - PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University
  • Katie Pohl - PhD candidate in the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Program at UCLA

“The Breakout Fellowship experience was one of the highlights of my graduate school experience. The Breakout team and their ecosystem of founders, investors, and industry professionals, showed me first-hand there is a way to combine my scientific training with my interest in entrepreneurship,” said Nima Ronaghi, former Breakout Fellow and now Associate at Breakout Ventures. “The Breakout Fellowship exposed me to a world I didn’t know existed, at the intersection of business and science, and helped shape the start of my career post-Ph.D.”

Breakout Ventures has also announced its sponsorship of three regional chapters of Nucleate’s Activator Program. The Activator Program aims to guide early-stage founders through a series of workshops and events, culminating in a final pitch event to investors. Breakout Ventures has already invested in two Nucleate companies: EnPlusOne in Boston and Vitra Labs in the Bay Area.

EnPlusOne, a technology spinout from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, joined Nucleate in 2020 and was voted “most investable” at the final pitch competition. The company is pioneering an enzymatic-based RNA synthesis platform to address the systemic problems inherent with existing chemical synthesis methods. Its ezRNA™ platform can incorporate a diverse array of nucleotide modifications and promises to be the manufacturing process to sustainably deliver therapeutic RNA at commercial scale.

Vitra Labs is using a stem cell induction approach to revolutionize in vitro fertilization. The company is a spinout from the Gladstone Institutes and was a Pillar Funding Award winner as part of the 2022 Nucleate Activator Program.

“Breakout Ventures understands the tremendous potential of novel, early-stage research and values the determination of bold scientist-entrepreneurs,” said Lindy Fishburne, Managing Partner at Breakout Ventures. “We are thrilled to partner with the Bay Area, Boston, and Atlanta chapters of Nucleate as they support founders driving technologies out of the lab and into the market.”

To learn more about Breakout Ventures, please visit:

About Breakout Ventures

Breakout Ventures is the home for creative bioscience entrepreneurs. We invest in early stage companies harnessing the power of cells to build solutions in human health and sustainability. Our team has spent the last decade supporting science-driven companies moving with urgency. We partner with bold founders throughout the entire life cycle, from seed to scale. Portfolio companies include Twelve, Immusoft, Ecovative, and Parthenon Therapeutics.

Breakout Ventures was founded in 2016 and is based in San Francisco, CA.

Breakout Ventures. Building a future powered by science.


Renée Shelton

Release Summary

Breakout Ventures announces partnership with Nucleate and selects candidates for fellowship program


Renée Shelton