Dr. Mira Chaurushiya knew she wanted to be a biologist since she was 12 years old. She fulfilled that childhood dream – and then some.
After spending several years working as a research assistant at universities across the country, she earned her PhD from the University of California, San Diego and was then a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physiological Chemistry at Genentech.
The best thing about working as a scientist, says Chaurushiya, was that she never got bored. “I worked in different cities, labs, and therapeutic areas, including gene therapy, oncology, and antibiotic resistance,” she explains. “As a scientist, you’re always working toward an answer and every once in a while, you get a result that teaches you something new about the world.”
As it turned out, the same was true for life sciences investing. While exploring opportunities at biotech companies, Chaurushiya was connected with 5AM Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm. Instead of working for one of 5AM’s portfolio companies as she’d planned, she ultimately joined the firm itself. She started as an associate and took on positions of increasing responsibility, eventually becoming a partner.
“I fell in love with venture capital,” Chaurushiya says. “It’s an amazing way to see the output of your and your team’s efforts turn into something meaningful. That’s what originally attracted me to biotech, and in venture capital, there is the opportunity to expand that remit and work with many companies. I can help the best scientists in the world move their research forward and do great things for patients.”
In 2022, Chaurushiya brought her science and investing experience to Westlake Village BioPartners as senior partner. Chaurushiya believes that life sciences investing allows her to work at the best place in the world: the intersection of translational science and medicine. “That’s the vision of Westlake BioPartners, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” she says.
Raised in Los Angeles, she is excited to be back after a long time away and see how much the city has grown into a life sciences hub. “I’m looking forward to working with the Westlake team to expand our life sciences ecosystem and help the world’s most innovative companies achieve their ultimate potential,” she says.
Chaurushiya is a fellow of the Society of Kauffman Fellows. She has served as a director or observer on the boards of multiple companies, including Precision Nanosystems (acquired by Danaher), Ideaya Biosciences (IDYA), Enliven Therapeutics (ELVN), Escient Pharmaceuticals, Magnetic Insight, Novome Biotechnologies, Purigen Biosystems, and TMRW.
Chaurushiya received her PhD in biological sciences from UCSD in conjunction with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where she was awarded the Martin Kamen Thesis Prize in Biochemistry. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Carleton College.