It was about helping bottlenose dolphins.
We began our studies to understand how changes in the ocean impact the dietary needs of these amazing mammals.
But before we get into that, a little about us...
We’re partners — in life and purpose.
Two serial entrepreneurs, dedicated to service.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
- CO-FOUNDER & CEO
- Veterinary Epidemiologist.
- Public Health Scientist.
- 40 patents + 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
- 2 decades of leading efforts to understand and improve dolphin health.
- CO-FOUNDER & COO
- US Navy Veteran.
- 20+ years as a Military Physician.
- Launched and led 3 life science companies.
- Supports entrepreneurship programs for military Veterans in San Diego.
Stephanie served as an epidemiologist tracking diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. She co-founded the National Marine Mammal Foundation and is a recipient of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
Eric held multiple leadership roles as a US Navy military physician, with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Experienced in growing companies with medical technologies, he was awarded the 'Best Entrepreneur' in the Startup Company Category at the Veteran and Military Conference and Awards.
Now back to the dolphins.
To see how these human-like mammals were affected by changes in the ocean and the fish they eat, we looked at two groups:
San Diego, CA
But even though both populations were generally healthy, we noticed something strange.
A tale of two pods.
The California Pod
More dolphins with aging-related conditions.
The Florida Pod
Fewer dolphins with aging-related conditions.
And those aging-related conditions?
They’re the precursors to diabetes, heart disease and stroke in humans.
So what was the difference?
The Florida pod ate different fish than their California friends. Fish with higher levels of fatty acid C15:0 (aka FA15™).
When the California pod switched to fish with higher levels of C15:0 (aka FA15™), their aging-related conditions stabilized and their cells stabilized, too.
Bottlenose dolphins are a lot like us.
They live for a long time. They’re social and intelligent. And they can develop aging-related conditions.
But with our fatty15 breakthrough, we’re just getting started helping both humans and dolphins age in healthier ways.*
We believe that if we can impact health at its core, we can change the world from the inside, out.
The team behind the vision.
Society spent a generation avoiding fat, we’ve dedicated our lives to harnessing it.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
Steph is a serial entrepreneur of for-profit and not-for-profit companies, a veterinary epidemiologist and public health scientist with over 40 patents and 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and previously served as an epidemiologist tracking diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization.
Eric Venn-Watson, MD, MBA
Eric is a physician, US Navy veteran and serial entrepreneur with experience starting new companies, raising capital, leading teams, and growing companies with medical technologies. Prior to Seraphina Therapeutics, Eric founded multiple companies in the drug discovery, healthcare analytics, and medical device industries as well as working in leadership roles in several life science companies.
Kim Kamdar, PhD
Board Chair, Co-Founder
Kim is a Managing Partner of Domain Associates, a life sciences venture capital firm, and has been involved in numerous cutting-edge therapeutic start-ups. She was also a research director at Novartis, where she led a team to uncover small molecules that modulated signaling pathway networks.
Nicholas Schork, PhD
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Nicholas is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Quantitative Medicine and Systems Biology Division at Translational Genomics Institute, an affiliate of The City of Hope. In addition, as a leader in the design and analysis of studies of longevity, Nicholas is Scientific Director for the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Aging-sponsored Longevity Consortium.
Chief Financial Officer
Mike is a CPA, a professor in UC San Diego’s MBA program, and an experienced executive, having served as CEO of two publicly traded companies. Mike has advised and led companies ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar global firms in the food, technology, medical device, and aerospace industries.
Chief Product & Brand Officer
Susi is an accomplished Product and Brand Executive, prior Chief Product Officer of Allbirds, and was responsible for taking global brands like Lululemon and Nike to the next level by using product, materials, and marketing acumen to create long term brand loyalty and continued business successes.
Dennis Bernstein, MBA
VP of Marketing & Growth
Dennis is a marketing and brand builder, with an entrepreneurial mindset. He has 20+ years of experience leading the development of innovative brands and launching successful consumer products into the marketplace, working at some of the most rapidly evolving Omni-channel and DTC companies, including Procter & Gamble and Dollar Shave Club. Dennis developed and led such projects as the Thank you Mom campaign for the London Olympics and global launches for the Crest/Oral B and Gillette brands.
Social Media Marketing
Having worked with top DTC brands, Tatiana has developed a sixth sense for what makes an audience tick. A brand builder at heart, she holds storytelling paramount and strives to unearth the deeper meanings and messagings within all that she creates. Currently playing with words and making memes on fatty15's social.
Lauren Kleinman is the Founder of a DTC Marketing & Growth consultancy, Dreamday, and the Co-founder of a fast-growing media company, The Quality Edit. Lauren was most recently part of the Founding Team and VP of Marketing at Ritual. Prior to Ritual, Lauren was an early employee at Scopely, helping to scale the company to become one of the largest mobile game publishers in the world.
Edward Dennis, PhD
Ed is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacology specializing in lipid research at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Ed, who is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard University, was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Lipid Research and has 375 peer-reviewed publications, including roles of fatty acids in health.
Ronald Krauss, MD
Ron is a Senior Scientist and Director of Atherosclerosis Research at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at UC Berkeley. Ron is a graduate of Harvard University, is board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Nutrition and American Heart Association. He has 450 peer-reviewed publications, including leading papers on dairy-based fats and health.