ST. LOUIS, MO (July 23, 2019) – Life sciences venture capital firm RiverVest Venture Partners today announced the continued expansion of its team as Derek Rapp joins as managing director and Isaac Zike, Ph.D., as senior associate.

Most recently president & CEO of JDRF, a global organization funding type 1 diabetes research, Rapp also previously served as CEO for life sciences start-up Divergence, Inc., which he led to a successful exit. He also served as head of mergers and acquisitions at a global agtech company where he led transactions totaling more than $6 billion. In addition to being involved in RiverVest’s investment process, Rapp, who earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, will work closely with the management team on strategy, operations, fundraising and investor relations. He will also serve as RiverVest’s liaison to St. Louis’ growing innovation ecosystem.

“We are confident that Derek’s broad leadership experience within different facets of healthcare, along with his entrepreneurial and strategic skills, will create tremendous value,” said Jay Schmelter, RiverVest co-founder and managing director.

“Joining RiverVest is a tremendous thrill for me,” said Rapp. “I look forward to working with RiverVest’s outstanding team as we continue to make impactful investments in companies that will generate excellent returns and provide solutions to profound human health needs.”

RiverVest’s new senior associate Dr. Zike previously served as life sciences associate with Huron Consulting Group. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University and his B.S. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he double majored in Biochemistry and Genetics, Cell Biology and Development.

Rapp and Zike join RiverVest’s growing team which includes Sivan Weitzman who joined RiverVest earlier this year as the company’s first chief financial officer.  

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