Catalyst



Charles Hart, PhD

Director
Catalyst

Charles Hart is the director of the Catalyst program. From 2004 to 2017 he was at Threshold Pharmaceuticals and responsible for both in vitro and in vivo preclinical translational studies. He was also project leader for the global clinical development program for the hypoxia-targeted anticancer drug evofosfamide (TH-302), a partnership with Merck KGaA. Prior to joining Threshold, Charles was Senior Director of Biology at Galileo Pharmaceuticals (2001 to 2004), Director of Drug Discovery at Signature Bioscience (2000 to 2001), and a Research Unit Director at Affymax (1990 to 2000). Charles received his AB in cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, an MS in developmental biology from Stanford University in 1980, a PhD in molecular biology and genetics from Yale University in 1987, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Strasbourg, France in 1990.

Jeni Janci, PhD

Program Director
Catalyst

Jeni began her life science career in the start-up biotech industry before earning her Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley in Mike Levine’s laboratory. Her thesis was focused on gene regulatory networks of heart development in the primitive chordate, Ciona intestinalis. Directly after her graduate career, she re-entered the life science industry, where at Entelos she provided Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) Modeling and Simulation services to assist Research & Development for international pharmaceutical companies and other life science applications. Through consulting projects, she applied large-scale, mechanistic systems models to make critical decisions in various stages of the drug discovery and development lifecycle. She was also one of the architects of the novel Hypertension, Renal Failure, and Heart Failure PhysioLab model. Jeni then expanded her work globally on the PhysioLab platforms via training programs and consulting services. 

Jeni is excited to help advance UCSF’s world-class research to positively impact people’s health and lives. As the newly hired Program Director, Jeni will manage the diagnostics, digital health and bio-tools projects for the Catalyst Program.

Nathaniel Prorok, MHA

Program Manager
Catalyst

Nathaniel Prorok brings a diverse and wide ranging skill set and experience to the Catalyst Program team. After undergraduate studies in Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at Loyola Marymount University, Nathaniel worked with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps - International in Tacna, Perú, with local communities to develop sustainable solutions to the problems they faced in health and education. Afterwards, Nathaniel earned a graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Marquette University and worked with Children’s Hospital Wisconsin to develop a medical home for youth in foster care. Prior to joining the Catalyst Program, Nathaniel completed a fellowship at the University of Utah Health where he worked on various population health, wellness, and social determinants of health projects.

Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD

Associate Director
Catalyst

Roopa Ramamoorthi brings a diverse scientific background in drug development, bacteriology, biotechnology, and engineering. Prior to joining UCSF, Roopa was Associate Director Partnering and Scientific Affairs at BIO Ventures for Global Health, where her focus was putting together collaborations between academic, non profit and pharmaceutical organizations to accelerate the development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for Neglected Tropical Diseases, TB and Malaria for the WIPO Re:Search Consortium. She worked for Bayer in California for more than five years as a scientist and senior scientist in development of antibody and other biological therapeutics and evaluating and bringing in platform technologies and has experience in science and technology consulting with Strategic Perspectives.

Roopa received her Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington and at MIT. She is a registered patent agent and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Roopa grew up in India where she received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.