Years In Industry
Years In Academia
Years as Board Members + Advisors

Christine Aylward


Founder & Managing Partner

Christine is the Founder and Managing Partner of Magnetic Ventures and has worked at the forefront of healthcare innovation since the beginning of her career at Roche. She has been in the venture capital business since 2011. As a founder, business executive and investor, Christine evaluates companies through a unique lens, making her an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs.

Christine began her career at Roche, where she launched the revolutionary technology polymerase chain reaction (PCR), formed the first cross collaboration between the pharmaceutical and diagnostic divisions, and was placed on the Executive Development Track. At Sanofi in the Advance Therapeutics and Oncology Division she launched four drugs. Christine then transitioned to the startup world, working with new technology platform companies, including Genomic Health. 

She has a proven track record of investing in healthcare leaders, and her meaningful relationships and expertise span pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, genomics, technology, and finance. Her experience commercializing global franchises and building companies has awarded her deep domain and industry operating expertise. She has launched more than 20 products in the pharmaceutical, genomics, healthcare technology and diagnostic sectors.

Prior to founding Magnetic, Christine was a Managing Director at Foresite Capital, which she joined at its founding. She was instrumental in building the firm to $1.2 billion in assets under management and helped identify and grow some of the most valuable companies within the portfolio. Christine has also been an entrepreneur in the media sector and was a partner at a technology-focused investment bank acquired by Goldman Sachs. Christine currently sits on the Boards of Relation Therapeutics, Weave Bio, Circle Bio, Branch Biosciences, Same Sky Health, and Amydis.

Umut Eser, PhD


Venture Partner

Umut earned his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University and was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Genetics at Harvard University. He has worked in the biotechnology start up environment, as Sr. Deep Learning Scientist at Quantum-Si (4Catalyzer company), Director of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at AI Therapeutics, Head of Machine Learning Research at Cellarity (Flagship Pioneering company), and Chief Innovation Officer at Doctor Evidence.

Umut is driven by a desire to “solve the unsolvable” by applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to healthcare decision-making and emerging biomedical and biotech innovation. Umut’s previous experience includes both leadership and hands-on roles developing pioneering artificial intelligence and machine-learning-based platforms, innovation tools and algorithms for biomedical intelligence, biomedical devices, drug repurposing, discovery, and development, protein engineering.

Jillian Shaw, PhD


Venture Partner

Jillian completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the University of Southern California and was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Stanford University. Currently, Jillian serves as the Scientific Advisor to the Rare Genetic Disease group at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Jillian’s research interests are focused on uncovering detailed, mechanistic understandings of disease pathways and circuits that serve as the foundation for the development of targeted therapeutics, with a special interest in difficult-to-treat diseases and genetically defined disorders. This work has culminated in high-impact publications across genetics, neuroscience, and cell-biology.

Jillian previously worked for the non-profit Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, an organization that has donated more than $165 million to high risk; high reward research projects. In addition, Jillian has worked as a consultant for numerous startups and worked on the team at the Broad Institute that pioneered a platform to assay the cellular effects of lipids to identify novel modulators of lipotoxicity.

Lloyd Appel


Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Appel has over 30 years of financial management experience, mostly as the Chief Financial Officer of alternative asset firms, including hedge funds and venture capital funds. 

Since 2020, Mr. Appel has been consulting for numerous established and start-up venture capital funds by providing strategic guidance, setting up and maintaining books and records, writing policies, assisting with service provider selections and relationships, and coordinating compliance responsibilities.  Prior to that, Mr. Appel was the CFO of two venture capital firms – focused on technology and/or life science investments.  Previously, Mr. Appel was the CFO or controller of several hedge funds, as well as the controller of a large multi-strategy alternative asset platform.  Mr. Appel began his career at BDO, where he left as a financial services audit manager. 

Mr. Appel received a BA in Accounting and Economics from Queens College.  He is a CPA and a CFA.

Jim Weiss


Senior Advisor

Jim Weiss, Chairman and Founder of Real Chemistry, is a health care, biopharma and medical tech visionary, entrepreneur, business leader, investor, citizen advocate and digital health pioneer. Over the past 22 years, he evolved Real Chemistry from a one-person consultancy to a global health innovation company that uses real-world data, proprietary technologies and analytical insights to solve the health care industry’s most significant challenges.

Jim built Real Chemistry through a #MakeItHappen work ethic, deep values and a relentless pursuit of innovation. He started his corporate career at biotechnology bellwether Genentech during its formative years where he learned to follow the data to get to the right outcome. Jim is a pioneer in the application of analytics, data and precision targeting to the biopharma and health care industry. He is an action-oriented driver to advance diversity, inclusion and health equity to make the world a healthier place for all.  

He is often recognized as one of the most influential people in the health care industry. Recent accolades include being named a Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Winner(2023), Agency Entrepreneur of the Year (2021), a Top 50 Health Influencer (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and Innovator of the Year (2020). He was inducted into the Newhouse School’s 50 Forward as one of its most accomplished graduates of the last 50 years.

Jim is a board member and investor in Indapta Therapeutics, a natural killer cell company focused on cancer, and investor in HAVAH Therapeutics, an Australian company developing innovative, proprietary hormonal therapies that aim to improve the quality of life for women across the world. He is also a Board member and contributor to several nonprofits, including the Foundation for the Institutes of Health, LAGRANT Foundation, the Cancer Research Institute, the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Jim and his wife Audra founded the Weiss Center for Social Commerce at his alma mater, Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Jim and Real Chemistry also sponsor the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab, an innovative learning experience focused on data, technology and audience engagement.

Jim resides with his wife and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area.