Zafrira Avnur PhD


In October 2016 Dr. Avnur Joined Quark Venture Inc., a venture investment fund focused on life sciences investments as Chief Scientific officer. Previously, she was the Global Head of Academic Innovation, Roche Partnering from 2009 until October 2016. In this role she was responsible for creating relationships with the world's leading academic institutions and innovators, gaining Roche early access to innovation. Dr. Avnur has established 20 agreements with over 50 universities, started more than 100 academic programs in 16 locations and created the ROADS (Roche Alliance with Distinguished Scientists) program, a model for collaboration between Industry and Academic institutions.

Also while at Roche, Dr. Avnur held the role of Global Head of Neglected Diseases Roche Partnering, where she established six collaborations and connections with non-profit organizations, and created nine start-up companies. In 2006, Dr. Avnur joined Roche's Partnering group and assumed responsibility for scientific evaluations of partnering opportunities and started the "Finder" group for Biomarkers for all therapeutic areas. Prior to her partnering roles, Dr. Avnur worked in the areas of diagnostics, biomarkers, and pharmaceutical research and development for nearly 20 years, and oversaw the pre-clinical and early clinical stage development of several pipeline compounds. As a researcher, Dr. Avnur participated in global committees that managed the research drug discovery portfolios for both Inflammatory and Viral Diseases and managed teams of up to 44 scientists. Dr. Avnur was named Distinguished Scientist, the highest scientific appointment at Roche.