Autism Impact Fund Announces Key Additions to its Executive Team

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 11, 2021## Today Autism Impact Fund (AIF) announces key  additions to its executive team. Rob Sarrazin joins as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and  Managing Director to help establish a solid life science strategy for the Fund. Dr. Ashok  Srinivasan signs on as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), bringing decades of scientific rigor to the  Fund’s selection process. 

 

“Rob’s background as a longtime healthcare investor and corporate development executive,  coupled with Ashok’s extensive expertise in translational research, provide the firm with the  deep experience we need to build a strong portfolio,” the Fund’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, Chris Male, stated. “Under their leadership, the Fund’s life sciences portfolio will  support early-stage, high impact companies that measurably improve quality-of-life for members  of the autism community.” 

 

Mr. Sarrazin recently served as VP Global Head of External Innovation and Direct Investments  at GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) Consumer Health Division, where he directed strategic corporate  development, and built an investment team responsible for fielding all external corporate  opportunities, including academic co-development, venture direct investments, corporate  partnerships, licensing and M&A. He has worked across the evolving healthcare spectrum, with  emphasis on digital devices and diagnostics. Prior to GSK, Mr. Sarrazin was a private equity  investor; a Senior Partner at CSW; and formerly as a Partner with the Private Equity division of  Charter Oak. He has invested across the healthcare, consumer products, and industrials  sectors and completed over 30 control-oriented acquisitions, including investments in start-ups  like Brass Eagle (NASDAQ: XTRM), high growth opportunities like The Sqwincher Corporation,  and buy-and-build consolidations like Orchid Orthopedics. 

 

“I am thrilled to be joining the Autism Impact Fund with its unique mandate combining the  collective energy of the broad ASD research landscape, legacy non-profit organizations,  passionate investors directly affected by ASD, and best-in-class deep scientific discovery and  innovation. The Fund will focus on finding, validating, and commercializing the best ideas;  growing early-stage companies; all resulting in tangible benefit to the ASD community,” said Mr. Sarrazin. 

 

Dr. Srinivasan joins AIF from NSABP Foundation/NRG Pittsburgh, where he served as  Translational Research Scientist working to move scientific advances into clinical trials for  breast and colorectal cancer. Dr. Srinivasan spearheaded the implementation and management  of one of the first Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) facilities in Pittsburgh, with research  focused on NGS based analysis, genome and transcriptome sequencing, mutational analyses,  the identification of disease genes (zebrafish, mouse, human), functional genomics, and  metagenomics. He formerly served as Staff Scientist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood  Institute (NHLBI) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a Research Assistant Professor  at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of  Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Madras. Dr. Srinivasan  was an Inlaks Scholar in Genetics at the University of Cambridge and completed his  postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and the Cardiovascular Research Center at the  Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

“Dr. Srinivasan brings a valuable combination of knowledge and experience in model systems  and human clinical trials, and has authored over 20 publications,” explained Chris Male. “The heterogeneity of ASD parallels that of cancer,” said Dr. Srinivasan. “However, in the  absence of proven ASD biomarkers, molecular subtyping has not been achieved. The  transformation of cancer multi-omics, immuno-oncology, and metagenomics into technologies  capable of manipulating the genome, proteome, immune system, and microbiome for  therapeutic ends has the potential to alter diagnosis and treatment strategies for many  diseases, including ASD, profoundly impacting human health.” 

 

About Autism Impact Fund: 

Autism Impact Fund’s bold mission is to revolutionize the status quo for diagnosing, treating,  and living with autism. Through a venture capital model, the Fund will accelerate bringing emerging technologies, translational science, and innovative services into the hands of patients.  We are committed to building a world where autism is diagnosed earlier and with greater  precision, and where all individuals have access to effective biological interventions and  services that support them throughout the lifespan. For inquiries, please contact Katie  Mangialardi (katie@autismimpact.fund).