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. 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.

  5. Ulman Lindenberger


    Ulman Lindenberger is Vice President of the Human Sciences Section of the Max Planck Society and Director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. Together with Ray Dolan, he also directs the Max Planck University College London Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, located in London and Berlin. Ulman Lindenberger studied psychology and biology in Berlin and Berkeley. He completed his doctoral degree and habilitation in psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin, and then held a professorship at Saarland University. Currently, he holds honorary professorships with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Saarland University.

    His research interests include behavioral and neural aspects of plasticity across the lifespan, age changes in brain-behavior relations, lifespan developmental theory, and multivariate developmental methodology. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2010 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

    Photo copyright: David Ausserhofer

  6. eLife logo

    Dan O'Connor


    Dan O'Connor is the Head of Research Environment at Wellcome and until 2019 was the Head of Humanities and Social Science. He has a PhD in the History of Medicine and was previously on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He has published articles on the ethical challenges of using social media in healthcare, on the ethics of human enhancement, and on the history and politics of bioethics.

    The Research Environment team works to ensure that all of the research that Wellcome funds is open, engaged, ethical, efficient and equitable. The team leads Wellcome's activities in research culture, open research and open access, bioethics, the social and cultural impact of research, researcher-led engagement, and connecting Wellcome's community of researchers.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.