Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Warf News & Media

WARF board welcomes three new trustees

Biomedical innovator, investment officer and medical device executive

Jeanan Yasiri Moe
Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
[email protected] | (608) 960-9892

MADISON, Wis. – Asha Collins, Paul Leff and Thomas Tefft, three leading executives in the fields of biomedical research, investments and corporate medical device innovation, have joined the board of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).

Asha Collins

Asha Collins brings 18 years of biomedical research experience to the WARF Board of Trustees. Collins is currently the General Manager of the BioBanks Data Analysis Platforms for DNAnexus, a cloud-based biomedical and data management platform for health care and life sciences. Prior to joining DNAnexus, Collins was the U.S. head for country clinical operations at Genentech.

Collins, who holds a doctorate in cancer biology/microbiology from UW-Madison, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH), an organization that helps support human health research for NASA’s space exploration efforts. She is also an independent corporate director for IDEXX Laboratories Inc. as well as an independent corporate director for LifeScience Logistics.

“WARF has a long and impressive legacy commercializing research assets from across the UW landscape,” says Asha Collins. “I am proud and excited to be stepping into that legacy to help increase the impact of our great research enterprise with the Board and specifically with WARF Therapeutics.”

Paul Leff

Paul Leff currently leads his family office opportunity fund, Warbasse67. Leff co-founded the New York City-based Perry Capital in 1988 and served as its Chief Investment Officer until his retirement in 2014.

Leff received a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and a master’s degree in finance from UW-Madison. Leff is a founding member of the Wisconsin Naming Partners and served 12 years as a board member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation including as Vice Chair of its Investment Committee.

“I’m honored to join the WARF board and look forward to assisting the organization to further its worthy mission,” says Leff.

Tom Tefft

Tom Tefft is retired from his position as Senior Vice President and the President of the Neuromodulation Business for Medtronic, a global health care technology company. Prior to that role he held numerous finance leadership roles including international assignments at Medtronic.

Tefft currently serves on the boards of directors for American Family Insurance, HistoSonics Inc., Nico Corporation and the Foundation of the American Nurses Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UW-Madison.

“I am honored to join the Board of Trustees and look forward to assisting in continuing WARF’s strong legacy of advancing innovative technologies and its support of UW-Madison,” says Tefft.

“Asha, Paul and Tom bring tremendous experience to the WARF Board of Trustees,” says Erik Iverson, WARF’s CEO. “We are honored to include these three accomplished alumni who will complement and build upon WARF’s strengths in their fields and beyond.”

“Our three new trustees bring backgrounds in the areas of biology, technology, business and finance that WARF needs to serve the University of Wisconsin,” said Dr. James Berbee, WARF’s Board Chair. “All three are graduates of UW-Madison, have exemplary careers in their fields, and share the same dedication to the university as the other WARF trustees. I thank each of them to their commitment to serve WARF and the University of Wisconsin.”


About WARF

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) patents and licenses discoveries from UW-Madison research, manages an investment portfolio generated from licensing and investment proceeds, and provides annual grants to the campus to support further scientific investigation and research. By driving collaborations among researchers, investors, industry and entrepreneurs, WARF commercializes innovations from campus through various initiatives. WARF Accelerator improves the commercialization potential of university intellectual property through industry engagement and investment in proof-of-concept milestones to validate market potential, demonstrate commercial value and de-risk technology. WARF Therapeutics partners with UW-Madison and Morgridge Institute researchers employing an industry-focused approach to improve the value propositions of drug candidates. WARF Ventures is an early-stage venture fund that invests in startups based on UW/WARF technologies. Learn more at warf.org.