Our passion is to develop important, disease-modifying therapies for devastating pulmonary diseases – and Cystic Fibrosis is the first target on our list.

We are building a dedicated team of scientists, clinical staff, management and advisors with the skills and vision to make this a reality.

Tim Shannon, MD


Dr. Shannon is a board-certified pulmonologist with multidisciplined experience in research, strategic drug development, and medical and clinical affairs, including prior roles in industry, academia, and clinical practice. He is a General Partner in the healthcare practice at Canaan Partners focused on early-stage investing. In this role, he was the founding CEO of Canaan portfolio companies Arvinas and Aldea and sits on the boards of IDEAYA Biosciences, Nextcure, Arvinas (Chair), and Vivace Therapeutics.

Previous to joining Canaan, Dr. Shannon was President and CEO of CuraGen, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company. Earlier, he was Senior Vice President of Global Medical and Clinical Development for Bayer Pharmaceuticals, responsible for all strategic and operational aspects of clinical development and drug safety. Prior to his career in industry, Dr. Shannon was an Assistant Professor in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division at Yale University School of Medicine and an Attending Physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the West Haven VA Medical Center.

Dr. Shannon received his postgraduate medical training at the Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School and Boston University. He earned his medical degree from the University of Connecticut and has a BA in Chemistry from Amherst College.

Christy Shaffer, PhD

Vice Chair

Dr. Shaffer is a entrepreneur, biotech executive, and venture investor with over 25 years of experience in the life science industry. She joined Hatteras Venture Partners in 2011 as Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery and became a General Partner in 2016. In addition to serving as Vice Chair for Spyryx, Dr. Shaffer sits on five other Hatteras portfolio company boards and chairs four of them: Artizan Biosciences (Chair), Clearside Biomedical (Chair), GrayBug Vision (Chair), Trefoil Therapeutics (Chair), and G1 Therapeutics. She is a former member of the board of trustees of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) and past board chair of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., the nonprofit drug development affiliate of CFF. She received the Breath of Life Award from CFF in 2009.

Following her career at Burroughs Wellcome, she joined Inspire Pharmaceuticals as the first full-time employee, ultimately becoming President and CEO. She was responsible for raising over $300 million for the company, including taking the company public in 2000, and growing annual revenues to over $100 million.

Dr. Shaffer earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee and did post-doctoral training at Chicago Medical School and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Brian Daniels, MD


Dr. Daniels is a highly regarded drug developer with over two decades of leadership experience in research, clinical development and medical affairs. His therapeutic experience extends across a broad range, including immunology, pulmonary, virology, cardiovascular and oncology. He joined 5AM Ventures as a Venture Partner in 2014 and is a senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group. In addition to Spyryx, Dr. Daniels is a board member of Novo Nordisk, Nohla Therapeutics, and Armaron Bio. He also sits on advisory boards for a number of companies.

Prior to joining 5AM, Dr. Daniels was Senior Vice President for Global Development and Medical Affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he directed the development of numerous innovative medicines. More than ten of the medicines under his guidance achieved sales greater than $1 billion annually. Earlier in his career, he also had development experience at Merck and Genentech.

Dr. Daniels received BS and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MD from Washington University in St. Louis. He trained in internal medicine at New York Hospital and rheumatology/immunology at University of California – San Francisco.

Roger Jeffs, PhD


Dr. Jeffs is a recognized leader in the biopharmaceutical arena with over 25 years of industry experience in R&D, clinical development, regulatory, medical affairs and commercialization, with an emphasis on therapeutics for rare disease. He is the co-founder and co-owner of Bull City Select Investments, an early-stage investor in pharmaceutical companies and/or products. Dr. Jeffs is also a seed founder of Evecxia, a Duke University spin-out working on CNS disorders. In addition to Spyryx, he serves as a board member for 4 public biopharma companies: Albireo Pharma, Axsome Therapeutics, Dova Pharmaceuticals and Sangamo Therapeutics.

Previously, Dr. Jeffs was an executive at United Therapeutics for 18 years, retiring in 2016 as President and Co-CEO. During his tenure there, he served on the Board of Directors from 2001-2016 and led the clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of six rare disease products and managed the commercial effort that produced $1.5 billion in annual revenue with a greater than 20% compound annual growth rate. Prior to joining United Therapeutics, he held positions in clinical development at Amgen and Burroughs Wellcome.

Dr. Jeffs holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in pharmacology from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Robert Tarran, PhD 


Dr. Tarran is the scientific founder of Spyryx Biosciences, based on his discovery of the SPLUNC1/ENaC regulatory pathway in the respiratory tract. He is an Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, a member of the Lineberger Cancer Center, and a member of the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Diseases Research and Treatment Center. Additionally, he is the founder and Director of UNC’s NIH/FDA-funded Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. Dr. Tarran has served on advisory and steering committees for the FDA and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Dr. Tarran’s research interests have centered on the role of ion channels in chronic lung diseases such as CF, COPD, and asthma. He has studied this field for more than 20 years and is widely published, including his work on SPLUNC1 as a key regulator of ENaC and airway hydration and its dysfunction in CF airways. He was also a member of the team that discovered airway surface liquid (ASL) dehydration to be one of the most significant defects in the CF airway and a target for therapeutic intervention. During his career, Dr. Tarran has significantly contributed to the establishment of confocal assessment of ASL height as a method for studying airway epithelial function.

Dr. Tarran received his BSc (hons) from The University of Leeds, UK. His PhD in Physiology was awarded at Newcastle University. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, he completed post-doctoral research in ion channel physiology at University of California-Berkley and at UNC-Chapel Hill.