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Ruth McKernan

Venture Partner

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Ruth joined SV in 2018 as a Venture Partner. She has co-founded a number of SV companies; AstronauTx, LoAus23 and Cumulus alongside the Dementia Discovery Fund as well as Alchemab.

Ruth has over 25 years in the pharma industry having held roles at Merck and Pfizer, leading several Research Sites in the UK and US. She has set up new Research Units, including Pfizer Regenerative Medicine and Neusentis, initiated multiple neuroscience partnerships, acquisitions and spinouts and played an active role in taking more than 10 compounds into the clinic. Immediately prior to joining SV, Ruth spent three years as Chief Executive Officer of the UK Government’s Innovation agency, InnovateUK, supporting the UK’s Industrial Strategy with responsibility for investing an annual budget of £1bn into Technology centres and SMEs.

Outside of SV, Ruth is a Trustee for Alzheimer’s Research UK and previously served as Chair of the UK’s BioIndustry Association. She is an enthusiast for innovation and entrepreneurship, sitting on multiple innovation and translation boards including the Academy of Engineering and the Francis Crick Institute. Ruth was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to business and innovation in 2013 and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015. In her spare time Ruth is an award winning science writer, avid gardener and spokesperson for Women in Innovation.

Academic credentials
Ruth Has a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry, a PhD in neuroscience and Honorary DSc from two Universities.


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We invest in talented innovators. We strongly adhere to the view that diversity, including under-represented groups, strongly adds to success. If you are an entrepreneur seeking investment and a partner who can help you to build your business, we would love to hear from you. Please get in contact with our team.