J.C. Lopez, MD


J.C. is a Principal on NEA’s healthcare team, focused on life sciences investments—particularly in biopharma. Before joining NEA in 2020, J.C. led Global Search and Evaluation for Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, and Rare Diseases at Genentech and Roche. He received a BS in biological sciences from Stanford University, an MD from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from The Wharton School, where he was a Joseph Wharton Fellow.

Your career has been rooted in life sciences. What excites you about this space?

I believe very few things can impact an individual person as profoundly as therapeutics. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to find those therapies, companies, and ideas that can provide that level of impact—and then work to help scale it.

How has your previous experience working inside of pharmaceutical companies served you in your current role as an investor?

Before joining NEA, I was doing business development for Genentech. Working internally at a large pharmaceutical organization, I gained insight into what these companies look for in startups when considering a deal or acquisition. I’m able to apply those learnings in my current role to help early-stage companies position themselves strategically to be targeted by larger pharma players.

Describe a part of your personality that makes you well-suited for your role.

I like to learn. Luckily, this is an inherent aspect of venture and life sciences. It’s all about trying to see what’s next and why, so you have to be open-minded toward learning new things and challenging your own assumptions.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Most decisions are driven by very basic and fundamental motivations. If you start by trying to figure out what those are, you can make sense of most scenarios.

What do you appreciate most about the culture at NEA?

Everyone at NEA is truly a team player—both internally with colleagues and externally with founders and other investors. We’re all working together toward a common goal. It’s a quality that’s always been important to me, and it’s one that is deeply ingrained in our culture here.

How would you describe your philosophy on relationship-building?

Always be genuine. It’s the foundation upon which trust is built.

Give us a quote that you turn to for inspiration.

The Haitian proverb “Dèyè mòn, gen mòn,” which translates to “Behind mountains, more mountains.” It represents the idea that there will always be another challenge awaiting you, but it makes any challenge you’re currently facing feel transient and surmountable.

Languages spoken
Years spent in school
Feet climbed to reach the top of Kilimanjaro