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Poseidon Innovation Collaboration

On September 5, 2018 the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) and Deerfield Management announced the creation of Poseidon Innovation, LLC to advance disease-curing therapeutics.

Through Deerfield Management’s $65-million commitment in Poseidon Innovation, UC San Diego investigators will have the funding and support to weather risky early-stage processes and expedite the drug-development cycle, allowing patients to receive treatment faster.

Projects that enter Poseidon Innovation will be directed by a joint steering committee and have access to sufficient funding for a full drug development program. Investigational New Drug (IND) application-enabling work will be done in labs on campus and externally.

Poseidon Innovation leverages UC San Diego’s courage to dissect convention, and together with Deerfield Management, creates cross-disciplinary, flexible approaches to advance research and break down silos that often cause roadblocks to advancement.

“Poseidon Innovation provides a new pathway for our investigators to push their discoveries to fruition. The funding and drug development support provided can enable therapies to get to patients faster. In breaking the traditional rules of discovery, we can create a greater impact and a better future for patients,” stated Sandra A. Brown, vice chancellor for research at UC San Diego.

This is just another collaboration in which UC San Diego – ranked in the top 15 research universities in the world – is driving innovation and change to advance society, propel economic growth and make our world a better place.

For more information, email


Dr. James McKerrow

james-mckerrow-150x150.jpegDr. James “Jim” McKerrow is the dean of Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego Health Sciences. Dr. McKerrow came to UC San Diego from UC San Francisco, where he served as professor of pathology and director of the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases, a consortium of academic and industry scientists dedicated to the discovery and development of new drugs for neglected tropical diseases. Dr. McKerrow has a wealth of experience in natural product research and drug discovery and development. Dr. McKerrow founded and served as chief executive officer of Demeter Pharmaceuticals, a nonprofit company focusing on acquisition and screening of the largest marine natural products library in the United States. He is an active teacher and mentor in graduate and postdoctoral programs, lectures to medical and health profession students and has hosted underrepresented students each year for summer research internships. Committed to fostering science education in the community, he gives talks each year to elementary and high school students and has presented three public lectures in the “Ask a Scientist” series in San Francisco. He is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, American Society of Microbiology, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Parasitologists and the American Society of Immunologists.

He currently serves on the editorial boards of Chemical Biology and Drug Design and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He has co-authored more than a dozen book chapters, published more than 250 articles and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences and symposia. His many honors include the Gregor Mendel Honorary Medal from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook. Dr. McKerrow completed his residency training at UC San Francisco in pathology and his internship in Internal Medicine, as well as his medical degree, at SUNY, Stony Brook School of Medicine. Dr. McKerrow completed his doctoral degree in biology at UC San Diego and received his Bachelor of Science degree in both chemistry and biology at Haverford College in Haverford, Penn.


Paul Roben

Paul-Roben.jpegPaul Roben, Ph.D., was named Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego in June 2015. Working with the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Roben is transforming the functions provided by the Technology Transfer Office, Industry Research Alliances, and Industry Contracting into an integrated organization to include patenting, strategic corporate research partnering and industry contracts. He oversees the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, which will establish a campus-wide innovation platform to build a systemic and sustainable innovation culture, create a vibrant regional ecosystem, and accelerate the commercialization of UC San Diego inventions. Previously he was Senior Director of Office Technology Development at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, working with multiple academic institutes to develop strategic processes to drive innovation alliances, and help translate their research programs into products for patients and society.

He guided the formation of multiple new start-up companies and was responsible for the negotiation of a broad spectrum of technology licenses to industry. As a key member of Ireland’s Innovation Taskforce (2009 to present), he co-authored a national economic-development plan for Ireland, among other achievements. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology, as well as his Ph.D., at Dublin City University in Ireland, and studied as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Greg Silverman at UC San Diego.


Dr. Alan Saltiel

Saltiel-150x150.jpegDr. Alan Saltiel investigates the hormone insulin and its role in regulating cellular sugar levels, including how cells send and receive signals. Understanding these processes may shed light on dysfunctioning glucose and lipid metabolism, particularly as it related to Type 2 diabetes. He hopes to elucidate the precise function of these pathways and their roles in the pathogenesis of diabetes, with the goal of developing new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of diabetes and related disorders. Dr. Saltiel has spent his research career in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. His work has been largely devoted to the role of cellular signaling in understanding the actions of insulin and growth factors; beyond a deeper knowledge of diabetes, this work has also led to insights about cancer, heart disease and nervous system disorders. He has an international reputation as an expert on the hormone insulin and its role in diabetes and cellular signaling. Before he joined the UC San Diego faculty in July 2015, Dr. Saltiel was Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan in 2001, Dr. Saltiel was Distinguished Research Fellow and Senior Director of the Department of Cell Biology at Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research Division (now Pfizer Global Research). Insulin controls cell growth, differentiation of cell types, gene expression, enzyme activity, and the movement of proteins within a cell. His laboratory has pioneered investigations into how signals are segregated into special regions in cells. They discovered a novel group of proteins called “molecular scaffolds” that direct enzymes and other proteins to specific compartments in the cell. These processes insure that the right cell responds in the right way to insulin and other hormones. Dr. Saltiel holds 18 patents and has extensive experience with the FDA's testing and approval process for new drugs. He has developed drugs for diabetes and cancer.


William Slattery

Slattery-Bill-white-400x400.jpegWilliam Slattery is a Partner, in collaboration with the Deerfield Discovery and Development team and joined the Firm in 2000. Prior to Deerfield, Mr. Slattery was a senior healthcare analyst for ten years at Amerindo Investment Advisors, where he oversaw biotechnology investments. He has held various positions in research including those at National Medical Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, and HMSS. Mr. Slattery is the Chairman of Gilda’s Club New York City, a non-profit organization supporting cancer patients and their families. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from State University of New York at Albany and completed coursework in Immunology at the Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University.


Christine Brideau

Christine-Brideau-400x400.jpegChristine Brideau is Vice President of In Vitro Pharmacology for Deerfield Discovery and Development, and joined Deerfield in 2019. Prior to Deerfield, Ms. Brideau was Vice President of In Vitro Pharmacology at WuXi AppTec and led the development of WuXi’s US-based in vitro biology unit in New Jersey. Before WuXi, Ms. Brideau spent 24 years at Merck, where she most recently served as Executive Director of In Vitro Pharmacology and supported multiple drug discovery projects from hit-to-lead to clinical candidate. She is the co-author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of pharmacology, assay development, screening day analysis, automation and compound management. Ms. Brideau is currently an editorial board member of SLAS Discovery and has served as a reviewer for the NIH Molecular Libraries Program study section.



What is the collaboration between the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) and Deerfield Management?

UC San Diego is collaborating with Deerfield, an investment firm dedicated to advancing healthcare, to create Poseidon Innovation. This partnership will accelerate the translation of research in UC San Diego faculty laboratories into clinical therapeutics. Poseidon Innovation is a Deerfield company that will support UC San Diego’s innovative translational research and leverage Deerfield’s expertise in accelerating state-of-the-art drug development.

Poseidon will fund projects with the aim of establishing novel, life-saving therapeutics to cure diseases.

Through Poseidon, Deerfield has committed up to $65 million in initial funding to support promising UC San Diego translational research. Deerfield will provide operational support, and may make additional capital investments into spin-off companies emerging from Poseidon projects that show commercial potential.


Who is eligible to apply?

Principal Investigators who are full-time employees of UC San Diego or who have a faculty appointment at UC San Diego and are subject to UC San Diego’s policies regarding the conduct of research and ownership of intellectual property.


How can I apply?

To submit an application, email Justin Chapman


Is there a deadline to apply?

Poseidon Innovation accepts proposal submissions on a rolling basis.  Proposals are reviewed monthly.


Are there limits on how many times a submission can be re-submitted?

No. Re-submissions may be made for all projects based on the constructive feedback provided by the Scientific Collaboration Director and the Joint Steering Committee.


Does Poseidon have a therapeutic area of interest?

No. We welcome applications from all therapeutic areas.

About Deerfield Management

Launched in 1994, Deerfield Management Company is an investment firm dedicated to advancing healthcare through information, investment, and philanthropy—all toward the end goal of cures for disease, improved quality of life, and reduced cost of care. As of December 2021, the firm manages more than $13 billion in assets. For more information, visit