Board of directors

eLife’s editors, early-career advisors, governing board, and executive staff work in concert to realise our mission.

Board of directors

  1. Prachee Avasthi

    Prachee Avasthi


    Prachee Avasthi received her PhD in Neuroscience in 2009 from the lab of Wolfgang Baehr at the University of Utah. She then completed her postdoctoral studies with Wallace Marshall at the University of California in San Francisco. In 2020, she moved her laboratory from the University of Kansas Medical Center to the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where she is now Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Using a unicellular green alga as a model system, her lab uses chemical biology, biochemistry, genetics and quantitative live cell imaging to uncover novel mechanisms regulating assembly of the ubiquitous cellular antenna, the cilium. Prachee is also a strong supporter of preprints and serves on the Board of Directors of ASAPbio. She is involved in various efforts to support early-career scientists and founded the online peer-mentoring community, New PI Slack, for junior faculty.

  2. Toby Coppel

    Toby Coppel


    Toby is a Co-Founder and Partner at Mosaic Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in London. He has been in investing and operating roles in the internet sector since 1996. Prior to Mosaic, as a Partner at Virgin and an active angel investor over the past four years, Toby has made investments in companies such as Criteo, CreativeLive, Hailo, Pinterest and Transferwise, and served on boards including Criteo, Virgin Care, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Mobile (France). Toby was previously SVP Corporate Development and Chief Strategy Officer at Yahoo! from 2001-2007 where he led the team that invested $1 billion into Alibaba for a 40% ownership stake in 2005 and acquired over 30 startups, including Flickr, Inktomi and Overture, for an aggregate of over $4 billion. Toby also ran Yahoo!’s European operations from 2007-2009, a $1 billion division of Yahoo! with over 2,000 employees. Prior to this, Toby was an Internet Investor at Windsor Media and Allen & Company, and was a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs. Toby graduated with an MA from Oxford University, where he was awarded a First in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later earned an MBA (with Distinction) from Harvard Business School.

  3. Christian Hernandez Gallardo

    Christian Hernandez Gallardo


    Christian Hernandez Gallardo has over 16 years of operating experience in technology companies, developing and scaling products and businesses internationally. Prior to co-founding White Star Capital, Christian worked at Facebook and led the international expansion of the company's Business Development, Platform and Gaming Partnerships groups. He previously held leadership roles in the US and Europe at Google and Microsoft and started his career in technology at MicroStrategy, a start-up he joined prior to its 1999 IPO. Christian has worked closely with entrepreneurs and leading VCs and has been an active angel investor and advisor. He serves on the Board of Advisors of Seedcamp and the Digital Task force for the EVCA.

    Christian holds a degree in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from The Wharton School. Born in El Salvador and having grown up across the Latin America, the US and Europe, he now resides in London with his wife and three children.

  4. Bill S Hansson

    Bill S Hansson


    Bill S Hansson is vice president of the Max Planck Society and Director at the Max Planck institute for chemical ecology. He was born in Jonstorp, in the south of Sweden, and studied biology at the University of Lund. After his PhD in ecology and a postdoctoral stay in the United States, he became Professor for Chemical Ecology, first in Lund and, beginning in 2001, at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp. In 2006, he was appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society. As vice president of the Max Planck Society, Bill Hansson's main area of responsibility is the biological-medical section, where he is in charge of science and functionality in general. He also has a general responsibility for internationality and construction within the Max Planck Society. As head of the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Bill Hansson focuses on neurophysiological and behavioral aspects of interactions between insects and their host plants. His main research interest is insect olfaction: How do insects detect odors, how is semiochemical information processed in the insect brain, and how does olfaction affect insect behavior? Bill Hansson is Honorary Professor at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and a fellow of several national and international science academies, such as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Entomological Society. He has also received several distinguished awards for his research. He has lived in Jena with his wife and two children since 2007. Nevertheless, he maintains close ties to his home country, where he and his family usually spend the summer in their own forest.

  5. Nouria Hernandez

    Nouria Hernandez


    Nouria Hernandez was born in Geneva, Switzerland. She obtained a master in Biology from the University of Geneva in 1980 and a PhD from the University of Heidelberg in 1983. She carried out postdoctoral studies with Dr. Alan M. Weiner at Yale University and in 1987 joined Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor, New York, as an Assistant Professor. She became a full Professor in 1993 and joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an Associate Investigator in 1994, and an Investigator in 1999. In 2005, she joined the faculty of the University of Lausanne as the Director of the Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG). Nouria is a member of the EMBO and the Academia Europaea, and a recipient of the prize from the Professor Max Cloëtta Foundation. As of the summer of 2016, she will be the President of the University of Lausanne. Nouria studies mechanisms of gene expression using mammalian cultured cells and the mouse as models, and biochemistry and genomics as tools. She focuses on mechanisms of transcription by RNA polymerase III and on the functions of RNA polymerase III transcription regulation.

  6. Erin O'Shea


    Erin O’Shea is president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Paul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. O’Shea was named an HHMI investigator in 2000, became HHMI’s chief scientific officer in 2013, and became the institute’s president in 2016. Prior to joining HHMI’s leadership team, she spent eight years at Harvard, where she directed the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Center for Systems Biology. O’Shea also served on the faculty of the UC-San Francisco. She earned a PhD in chemistry from MIT and a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Smith College.

    O’Shea is known as a leader in the fields of gene regulation, signal transduction, and systems biology. She is currently developing a lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has won numerous awards.

  7. Robert Tjian

    Robert Tjian


    Robert Tjian was formerly the president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a position he held from 2009 to 2016. He is a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Tjian has made major contributions to the understanding of how genes work, including the pioneering discovery of proteins called transcription factors, which regulate gene expression. He received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Harvard. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with James Watson, he joined the Berkeley faculty in 1979. He was named an HHMI investigator in 1987. Five years later, he co-founded the start-up company Tularik. Dr. Tjian is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He currently serves on the board of the Lasker Foundation and the journal eLife. He has served on the scientific boards of Genentech, Chiron and Amgen and has received numerous awards for his scientific contributions.

  8. Mike Turner

    Mike Turner


    Mike Turner is currently Interim Director of Science at The Wellcome Trust. He joined Wellcome in 2014 as Head of Infection and Immunobiology, and in January 2019 took on the role of Interim Director of Science. He is responsible for leading the Science Division and managing a broad portfolio of research.

    Before joining Wellcome, Mike was at the University of Glasgow where he held Beit, Royal Society and Leverhulme Fellowships. Latterly, he became Professor of Parasitology. At various points he was Head of Division, Assistant Director of Faculty and Deputy Dean of the Graduate School.

    His research interests focused on cell biology, genetics, genomics and population biology of trypanosome parasites that cause African sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in livestock. He has also worked on the genomics of malaria parasites and the immuno-epidemiology of schistosomes.