New president named for UPMC Enterprises

Veteran life sciences venture capitalist Jeanne Cunicelli promoted; Tal Heppenstall announces retirement

Jeanne Cunicelli has been named president of UPMC Enterprises succeeding Tal Heppenstall, who is retiring from UPMC after 17 years.

Cunicelli, who has led Enterprises’ Translational Sciences focus area since 2017, will take over on Jan. 1, 2021. She is a veteran venture capitalist in the life sciences industry, having been a managing director at Bay City Capital in San Francisco before joining UPMC.

Under Cunicelli’s leadership, the Translational Sciences team has grown to more than 20 scientific and investment professionals working to accelerate the transfer of scientific discoveries into life-changing medicines, diagnostics, and devices.

The team has formed five startup companies based on University of Pittsburgh research and is expanding its focus nationally and internationally to deploy $1 billion by 2024 in life sciences to grow their portfolio of syndicated investments alongside their company formation efforts. Collaborating with other leading venture capital firms, the team has participated in investment rounds for Werewolf Therapeutics and Cerevance.

Cunicelli, who will also become an executive vice president at UPMC, earned an MBA in finance from the University of San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she is currently a member of the board of trustees.

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