Speaker Biography

Thorsten Melcher, Ph.D.

Thorsten MelcherSenior Director, New Ventures and Partnerships
Johnson and Johnson Innovation

Thorsten is Senior Director for New Ventures and Partnerships at the J&J Innovation Center in Menlo Park, California. Trained as a molecular biologist, Thorsten is an entrepreneur at heart and was involved in starting three biotechnology companies in Silicon Valley, wearing different hats ranging from R&D roles to business development and operations. At J&J Innovation, he focuses on establishing and guiding collaborative partnerships with academic centers and biotech companies, and on facilitating new company formation by internal and external entrepreneurs.

Before joining J&J, Thorsten was leading the biomedical efforts at Varian Medical Systems, an instrumentation and software company in radiation oncology. At Varian, he established a spin-out company to integrate radiotherapy with targeted cancer therapeutics. Before Varian, Thorsten was co-founder and was serving in several R&D, business development and operational and roles at AGY Therapeutics, EnVivo Pharmaceuticals and Saegis Pharmaceuticals. These California-based start-up companies focused on discovery and early development in various neurological and mental disorders. Thorsten’s scientific experience spans therapeutics in neuroscience and oncology, companion diagnostics and early clinical development. On the business side, he focuses on licensing and collaborative arrangements and private financings.

Thorsten received his M.S. in Biochemistry from the University and Medical School in Hannover, Germany and his Ph.D in Molecular Neurobiology from the Center of Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.