Damon Runyon News

September 1, 2023

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Timmerman Traverse, an adventurous initiative that brings leaders and investors in biotech together to scale extraordinary physical—and philanthropic—heights. Since 2017, biotech journalist and mountaineer Luke Timmerman has led expeditions up Mt. Everest, the Matterhorn, and the seven highest peaks in the White Mountains, raising over $7.6 million to combat cancer and poverty. Participants in the 2024 Timmerman Traverse will summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, the African continent’s highest peak, while aiming to raise at least $1 million to benefit Damon Runyon’s cancer researchers.

Mr. Timmerman has recruited an intrepid team of twenty scientific luminaries to join the February 2024 expedition. Each member of the team has committed to raising at least $50,000 for cancer research and will train to prepare themselves to hike at more than 19,000 feet above sea level.  

“I’m committing because I believe in Damon Runyon’s mission and am impressed with its ability to execute on a national scale,” says Mr. Timmerman. “By betting on young scientists, Damon Runyon has sparked revolutionary advances, including targeted therapies, CRISPR gene editing, and cancer immunotherapy. We’re going to help the young scientists of today pursue their dreams and raise the bar even higher.”

Team members include:

  • Luke Timmerman, founder & editor, Timmerman Report 

  • Joanne Smith-Farrell, CEO, Be Biopharma

  • Greg Verdine, founder and CEO, LifeMine Therapeutics

  • Circe Lyu, investor

  • Chengwei Luo, founder and CEO, Quantum Sky 

  • Nagesh Manhanthappa, executive chair, Exo Therapeutics

  • Erika Smith, CEO, ReNetXBio; BIO board member

  • Kim Kamdar, managing partner, Medical Excellence Capital

  • Abbas Kazimi, chief business oficer, Nimbus Therapeutics

  • Soufiane Aboulhouda, co-founder and chairman, Nucleate; PhD candidate, George Church Lab, Harvard University, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering

  • George Eastwood, board chair, interim executive director, Emily Whitehead Foundation

  • Martin Strebl-Bantillo, principal, Clarion, a Lumanity Business

  • Stella Paffenholz, venture capital fellow, Nextech Invest

  • Mike Huckman, global practice leader, executive communications, Real Chemistry; BIO board member

  • Henry Kilgore, postdoctoral researcher, Whitehead Institute, Richard Young Laboratory; Damon Runyon Fellow

  • Wei (Will) Chen, postdoctoral researcher, University of Washington, David Baker Laboratory; Damon Runyon Fellow

  • Katherine Anderson, head of life sciences and healthcare, HSBC USA commercial banking

  • Mairin Rooney, senior managing director, investment banking, Leerink Partners

  • Dave Frakes, vice president, regional medical officer, PPD, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific

  • Jason Steiner, biotech<>techbio architect 

  • Hari Pujar, operating partner, Flagship Pioneering

  • Teri Loxam, chief financial officer, Gameto 

  • Pablo Luboth, investor, Hummingbird Ventures

  • Yaron Werber, senior biotechnology analyst, TD Cowen

To learn more about the climbers and support their fundraising, visit the Timmerman Traverse 2024 team page.