Astarte Medical is comprised of a distinguished management team and world-class advisors in neonatology, microbiome and predictive analytics.
I feel incredibly fortunate, every single day. I’ve been blessed with good health, a beautiful family, great friends and a career I absolutely love. I wake not knowing what the day will hold. My calendar is a good plan, but as the country song aptly says, “You make a plan and you hear God laughing”. The spontaneity and dynamism of life is what makes it so fun…so frustrating…and so fascinating. What matters day in and day out are the people. The people I work with, the people I meet, the people who challenge me, who support me, who make me the best I can be.
My career has taken me on a journey from the transactional to the transformational. A good start in banking provided fundamentals in deal structure and business assessment, but I realized my favorite part of every deal was the management team. But when the deal was done we parted ways. I wanted more – to see how the story developed. So after business school, I transitioned to a venture investor supporting management teams, determining strategy, and forcing accountability in execution. My portfolio had ups and downs, there were winner and losers. I met good investors after whom I wanted to model myself, and others who taught me a noble profession can quickly be corrupted by greed and self-interest. And then it happened; I started my first company.
And then another. Then my first exit as a founder and entrepreneur. Building something, driving an organization, hand-picking the team with whom you work – that’s the ultimate career. I am honored to work side by side with passionate, bright, hard-working, ethical people who wish to make a difference in the world. I can’t wait to see where the journey leads, but I can tell you this, I’m just getting started.
In a business reference a few years ago, I was compared to a classic “utility infielder.” I was told that I have the versatility of being willing and able to cover the basics and then instantly transition my game to more complex, creativity-demanding decisions with skill and balance, and illustrate that rare quality with not only agile intellect, but the requisite agile attitude so important to real, fast-paced, and high-ramification decision-making and execution.
As Co-founder and CFO of Astarte Medical, this skillset has proven effective time and time again. Building a company from an idea requires grit, versatility, humor, patience, long hours, occasionally a glass of wine and above all, passion. And finding your true passion is not easy and isn’t always obvious. During the 15 years I spent as CFO of three early stage venture capital funds, I would have told you I enjoyed my work and found satisfaction in my many accomplishments. As a CPA, I’ve always found some amount of pleasure in all things accounting.
But sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. I am now working to build a company with a mission to improve health outcomes for the tiniest, most vulnerable babies. I am surrounded by like-minded, talented, authentic people who wholeheartedly believe we can make a meaningful and measurable impact. I am working harder today than I ever have – and having the time of my life.
I think the classic utility player comparison is dead on. I’m happy to be in the background supporting all the awesomeness going on around me. Doing what it takes to make the team successful. I’m interested in building relationships through a combination of trust, mutual respect, collaboration, reliability and the willingness to put in the hard work that it takes to build a sustainable business that make a difference in the world.
I love working with smart people to solve complex challenges. I have worked in a variety of roles but have always enjoyed making a difference. 16 years ago, my sister-in-law gave birth to twins at 27 weeks of gestation. They weighed under 2 pounds each and could fit in the palm of your hand. They are now amazing teenagers. The first 1,000 days are a critical period of development and Astarte Medical is providing tools to ensure that our most fragile babies can thrive.
I have a Molecular Biology degree but have focused my career on delivering technology that drives better decisions. After graduating from Princeton and working in big consulting for a few years, I was drawn to the impact that small companies can deliver. A tight knit team pulling in the same direction is a powerful force. Applying my experiences in financial services, software development and healthcare to help preemies achieve appropriate growth goals so that they can turn into amazing teenagers and people is a true privilege.
Before joining Astarte Medical, I was the CEO and founder of Affirmative Prescription Solutions. APS focused on providing prescribers real-time information related to opioid prescriptions. I have worked with the top financial services firms and have launched technology companies. Working with neonatologists, nurses and dietitians to standardize feeding while understanding individual needs is a challenge that I look forward to solving with our team.
Clinical & Scientific Advisory Board
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Dr. Gregory has dedicated her research and clinical career to improving the health outcomes for preterm infants and their families, focusing primarily on nutrition, the microbiome, and its role in gut health for these fragile patients.
Dr. Gregory began her work as a registered nurse more than 20 years ago and has practiced in the Neonatal ICU at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY and in the NICU at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. She has previous experience as a nurse scientist and as an assistant in biology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. She currently serves as the senior nurse scientist for Pediatric Newborn Medicine and Nursing at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Gregory’s Lab, The Brigham Baby Biome Lab, focuses on the influence of clinical interventions on the preterm infant intestinal microbiome and inflammation. Her lab is newly funded to investigate the human milk microbiome and how it may impact immune mediated health outcomes. Dr. Gregory is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Gregory is also Associate Chief Nursing Officer for Women’s and Newborn Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In this role, she oversees the clinical operations of Center for Labor and Birth, Newborn Intensive Care Unit, and the Mother-Baby Unit. She is also the Neonatal Editor for the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.
Newcastle Upon Tyne UK
Dr. Nicholas Embleton is Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician, and Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Newcastle upon Tyne UK, having completed paediatric and neonatal training in the UK and Vancouver, Canada. His doctoral thesis was on ‘Protein Requirements in Preterm Infants’. Dr. Embleton helps lead a broad portfolio of research coordinated by the Newcastle Neonatal Research Team based in Newcastle (see www.neonatalresearch.net). This includes the unique Great North Neonatal Biobank led by Clinical Director Dr. Janet Berrington (orcid.org/0000-0002-6185-2843). These include large-scale NIHR nutrition trials that recruited
more than 5000 preterm infants (www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/elfin and /sift), along with mechanistic microbiomic and metabolomic studies – the MAGPIE study.
Dr. Embleton coordinates the Newcastle Preterm Birth Growth study that has tracked the growth and metabolic outcomes of children who were born preterm into late adolescence, including measures of insulin sensitivity and body composition, along with epigenetic correlates. Current trials include exploring the impact of exclusive human milk diets in extremely preterm infants (INDIGO) and feeding in late and moderately preterm infants (FLAMINGO). Dr. Embleton leads a series of qualitative studies exploring the experiences of parents (and the staff who cared for them) who suffered a reproductive or neonatal loss, recently completing a project with staff and parents where one of a twin pair dies. This led to the creation of a bespoke educational film based website – the BUTTERFLY PROJECT www.neonatalbutterflyproject.org. He is elected member of the ESPGHAN Committee of Nutrition, coordinates the UK based Neonatal Nutrition Network (N3 www.neonatalnutritionnetwork.org, and has >140 peer reviewed publications in addition to numerous educational articles and book chapters.
University of Florida
Dr. Josef Neu, MD, did his medical school training at the University of Wisconsin, was a pediatric resident at Johns Hopkins and a postdoctoral neonatology fellow at Stanford University. He came to the University of Florida as an associate professor in 1984 to continue his research in developmental gastroenterology and neonatal biochemical nutrition. In 1987 he pursued additional research training at the University of Bern (Switzerland) on basic mechanisms affecting intracellular processing of lactase in the intestinal epithelium. He is internationally recognized for his research in developmental gastroenterology and nutrition and has most recently focused his research efforts on the intestinal microbiome and mucosal immunology. He has been NIH RO-1 funded to study the developing microbiome in babies at risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis. This involves a multicenter evaluation of intestinal microbiota using novel non-culture based technologies. He is also evaluating the effects of the fetal microbiome as it relates to prematurity and evaluating the effects of antibiotics on the fecal microbiome and metabolome of preterm neonates.
Dr. Neu maintains an active interest in residency and fellowship training. He has served as director of the neonatology fellowship training program at UF since 1986 and on the Council for the Organization of Neonatal Training Program Directors (ONTPD) and served as National chairman of the ONTPD for 2 years. He is on the editorial board of 7 journals, has served on numerous NIH study sections and is also active in international education; as a member of International Postgraduate Organization for Knowledge Transfer Research and Teaching Excellent Students (IPOKRaTES), he has organized seminars in neonatal gastroenterology and nutrition innumerous countries. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the IPOKRaTES Foundation.
Dr. Neu has been involved in the direct mentorship of over 20 postdoctoral M.D. neonatology fellows, three pediatric gastroenterology fellow, approximately 15 visiting international scholars, 3 Ph.D. postdoctoral fellows, over 20 undergraduate independent study students (the majority of whom have gone on to medical, veterinary or graduate school in the sciences). He has also mentored 15 high school students in his laboratory.
University of Colorado Denver
Dr. William W. Hay, Jr. is Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology) at the University of Colorado Denver. He was Head of the Section of Neonatology from 1982-1992 and Director of the ACGME/RRC accredited Training Program in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine from 1982 until 2003. He has been Director of the Child Maternal Health Program, now the Early Life Exposures Program, and Director for 36 years of the Neonatal-Perinatal Clinical Translational Research Center, for the NIH-NCATS-Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Dr. Hay’s principal administrative role is Scientific Director of the UCDenver–Department of Pediatrics/Section of Neonatology Perinatal Research Center. He is principal investigator and program director for an NIH-NICHD T32 Training Grant in Perinatal Biology and Medicine, and he is the Program Director for the Department of Pediatrics NIH-NICHD K12 Child Health Research Career Development Program. He serves the school of medicine in several administrative capacities. He continues to attend in the University of Colorado Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a clinical Neonatologist.
Dr. Hay graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA degree (cum laude) in biology and was a Senior Fellow conducting independent study in philosophy for his senior year. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 1971. From 1971-1974, he completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and then served as Chief of Pediatrics at the U.S. Air Force Regional Hospital, Minot, North Dakota. He returned to the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1976 for a research fellowship in Perinatal Biology and Medicine and as an Instructor in Neonatology. He became a full time member of the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1978 as an Assistant Professor. He rose to Associate Professor in 1983, to Professor in 1988, and received tenure in 1989.
As a senior scientist in our perinatal research program Dr. Hay has conducted and directed basic, translational, and clinical research in perinatal medicine and biology for more than 40 years. His research, supported by NIH and occasionally other funding sources (e.g., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) has been focused on the mechanisms by which maternal nutrition and diseases (such as diabetes) that produce different plasma nutrient substrate and hormone concentrations regulate placental uptake, metabolism, and transfer to the fetus of essential nutrients (principally glucose and amino acids), and in turn, how these processes are interrelated to nutrition, metabolism of nutrient substrates, hormone balance, and growth rate in the fetus. A major focus over the years has been on placental and fetal intrauterine growth restriction and both acute and chronic fetal hypoglycemia and hypoxemia and how these conditions in the placenta and fetus adversely affect fetal insulin production, variable insulin action, hepatic glucose production, skeletal muscle metabolism and growth, and other aspects of fetal metabolism and growth. This research is fundamental for learning how we might provide selective nutrition to the pregnant mother and nutrients, hormones, growth factors, and oxygenation to the fetus in order to better nourish the fetus and prevent or correct acute and long-term adverse consequences of abnormal fetal nutrition, growth, and development. Dr. Hay’s original studies of fetal glucose and oxygen metabolism focused on placental glucose transport and fetal glucose utilization. He has done pioneering work in developing methods using tracers (glucose and lactate) to measure rates of fetal glucose utilization and oxidation. More recent studies have focused on fetal insulin production and action (with Paul Rozance MD) and how both hypoglycemia and hypoxia induce fetal hepatic insulin resistance (with Stephanie Wesolowski PhD), in contrast to peripheral insulin sensitivity, that promotes glucose production that serves to sustain fetal energy metabolism in the presence of reduced glucose supply. Other studies are focused on how amino acid supply regulates fetal myocyte development and growth of skeletal muscle (with Laura Brown MD).
Board of Directors
As co-founder and CEO of Astarte Medical, Tracy leverages her experience in entrepreneurship and nearly two decades as an early stage venture capital investor. Tracy previously co-founded Astarte Ventures, an early stage investment firm focused exclusively on investing in companies with technologies to support women’s and children’s health and wellbeing. This passive portfolio includes eight companies supporting this market focus. It was through the efforts associated with Astarte Ventures, Tracy and her co-founders came together to form Astarte Medical to dramatically impact health outcomes in the first 1000 days of life, from conception through age 2.
Prior to Astarte, Tracy served as general partner at Battelle Ventures and focused on investments in health & life sciences, as well as emerging energy technologies. Tracy led the firm’s investments in NuPathe (NASDAQ: PATH; acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals for $140 million), BioNano Genomics (NASDAQ: BNGO), Micro Interventional Devices, and SmartSynch (sold to Itron for $100 million). While at Battelle Ventures, Tracy co-founded NellOne Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on soft tissue regeneration.
In 2014, Tracy to co-found FedIMPACT, LLC in 2014, a commercialization enterprise to identify and launch technologies from federal laboratories. Having successfully spun-out four companies in just 18 months with over $5M of funding, FedIMPACT was acquired by IP Group, plc in December 2016.
Tracy received her BS in Accounting and International Business from New York University and her MBA at Columbia Business School in Finance.
As co-founder and CFO of Astarte Medical, Tammi manages financial reporting, marketing and PR, human resources, investor relations, legal and equity management and oversees internal operations.
Prior to founding Astarte Medical, Tammi co-founded Astarte Ventures, a fund dedicated exclusively to the health and wellbeing of women and children. Astarte Medical is a portfolio company spinout of Astarte Ventures.
More recently, Tammi successfully sold a business she co-founded to a publicly traded technology and development organization based in the UK.
From 1998-2015, Tammi was CFO for three early stage venture funds based in the Princeton, NJ area and was actively involved in more than 75 financing transactions in the areas of health and life sciences, energy, and security.
Tammi is a graduate of University of Wisconsin – Platteville, where she holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Tammi is a Certified Public Accountant and an honored Member of the Kauffman Fellows Society.
Eric is a strategic executive with extensive entrepreneurial experience in healthcare. In addition to co-founding BehaveCare and serving as the interim founding CEO, Eric currently serves as an adjunct professor at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania teaching healthcare entrepreneurship.
Prior to co-founding BehaveCare, Eric served as SVP, Chief Commercial Officer of Software Solutions at naviHealth Inc., a Cardinal Health Company, serving over 650 hospitals and 10,000 post-acute care providers nationwide. In 2012, Eric co-founded and served as president and CEO of RightCare Solutions, an evidence-based venture-backed health care IT company specializing in care transitions and discharge planning. In December 2015, RightCare Solutions, Inc. was successfully acquired by naviHealth, Inc.
Prior to RightCare, he was an investment professional at Domain Associates, LLC, a leading life-science venture capital fund with over $2.5 billion under management.
Prior to Domain, Eric was an Equity Research Analyst and a member of an Institutional Investor top-ranked team at Bear Stearns covering the Managed Care sector.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering with a focus in healthcare systems from the University of Pennsylvania. Eric also completed his MBA from Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012.
Steve is currently a Partner in the national CEO Advisory Network, providing consulting, interim leadership and education for healthcare CEOs. Steve also serves as an advisor to venture capital and private equity firms and their portfolio companies in the healthcare sector. In addition, he serves as an executive coach to a Louisville startup incubator, XLerateHealth; most recently serving as CEO to one of the startups in the 2018 cohort.
He is a senior executive with a consistent track record serving five health systems and four independent hospitals providing services to seven states over a multi-decade career. Most recently he served as CEO of Baptist Health of Kentucky and Indiana, a nine hospital $3 billion revenue health system. He has also worked in leadership roles at Texas Health Resources, Appalachian Regional Healthcare and several predecessor organizations to IU Health, Kaleida (Buffalo), Ascension and UnityPoint Health.
Steve has also chaired the American Hospital Association’s Council on Health Systems and a number of key national, state, and local organizations. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Board of Directors of the Scottsdale Institute, a national organization focused on healthcare information systems.
Steve holds a Master of Public Health, Health Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a BS in Urban and Regional Planning from Iowa State University.
Giulia C. Kennedy is Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for Veracyte. Since joining the diagnostics company in 2008 as part of the founding team, Dr. Kennedy has overseen the development of five commercialized genomic tests that resolve diagnostic uncertainty and are becoming standard of care. Through Dr. Kennedy’s scientific leadership, Veracyte continually pushes the boundaries of what is possible by using big data and machine learning to develop tests that answer critical clinical questions. Prior to Veracyte, Dr. Kennedy was Senior Director of Genomics Collaborations at Affymetrix, Inc. and led the transition of a novel microarray-based genotyping method from early research through product development and successful commercialization.
Previously, Dr. Kennedy was a scientific leader for the colon cancer and breast cancer gene discovery efforts at Chiron Corporation. Before that, she was a scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where she implemented genetic approaches to study diabetes. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California at San Francisco in the Biochemistry Department and Hormone Research Institute. Dr. Kennedy has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is a co-inventor on more than 20 patents.