Chaya Patel

  • Leib Lab '20

  • Associate, Mission Biocapital

During a record-breaking polar vortex, I arrived in Hanover from California for interview weekend and was struck, not by the frigid cold, but by the warmth and spirit of the MCB community. This camaraderie became a common thread linking my years of graduate school and supported me both academically and personally. I joined Dr. David Leib's lab in Microbiology and Immunology and delved into understanding how we can better harness maternal immunity for protection against neonatal viral infection. This is important for many pathogens, but particularly for herpes simplex virus (HSV) which is pervasive in adults but deadly to neonates. Along the way, discoveries in how neonatal HSV can have an impact on the developing brain and behavior led us in exciting directions that are now being pursued by talented scientists in the lab. Excited by translational research, I pursued a fellowship in biotech venture capital to better understand the path from bench to bedside. This laid the foundation for my current position at Mission BioCapital, a venture firm based in Cambridge, MA, investing in early-stage life science companies. While no longer at the bench, I spend my day invigorated discussing cutting-edge research with inspirational scientists and entrepreneurs.

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