Guna Rajagopal, PhD

Venture Partner

Guna joined Samsara BioCapital as a Venture Partner in 2022. Guna has experience in applying Informatics & Analytics across the entire drug discovery & development pipeline to advance the search and development of safe and effective medicines. His training and expertise encompass the fields of Data Sciences, AI/Machine Learning, Bioinformatics, Computational, Systems Biology & Pharmacology, Genetics & Genomics, High Performance Computing and Theoretical & Computational Physics. He has previously directed and supported global initiatives focused on advancing cross-disciplinary basic research, translational & clinical programs across all therapeutic areas and in collaboration with academia and national/international pre-competitive consortiums. 

Guna graduated with a BS and MS degree from the University of Malaya (Malaysia, 1986), and was appointed a Junior Fellow of the International Center of Theoretical Physics (Trieste, Italy) in 1985. He received his PhD in Computational & Theoretical Physics from Georgia Tech in 1991. He did post-doctoral training at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (1991 -1996).

Guna was an Assistant Director of Research at the Cavendish (1996-2000) and elected a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge (1996-2000). He moved to Singapore to be the founding Executive Director of the Bioinformatics Institute (2000-2007) that coordinated and supported biomedical computing & informatics supporting public & pharmaceutical R&D institutes at the BIOPOLIS. In 2008, he moved to Rutgers University to head the Bioinformatics & Systems Biology program at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (a NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center), with a joint appointment as Adjunct Professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and as a Member of the School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton (2007-2012). In 2012, he was recruited to Johnson & Johnson to lead efforts to develop and deploy Computational, Informatics and Data Science infrastructure & capabilities to support global programs in basic, clinical, translational research across all therapeutic and functional areas. After ten years at J&J, he retired as Scientific Fellow and Global Head of Computational Sciences and joined Samsara as a Venture Partner in September 2022.