Fellows Directory

Niall O'Donnell

RiverVest Venture Partners

Niall O’Donnell joined RiverVest in 2006 as a Kauffman Fellow and became a principal in 2010. He focuses on biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical device opportunities and contributes to the formation, development and business strategies of RiverVest portfolio companies.

Niall currently is a board observer at Otonomy, Inc. and Lumena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and was an observer at Mpex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Aptalis Pharma. He also served on the board of Excaliard Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Pfizer Inc. Niall helped co-found and seed Excaliard, as well as develop its clinical strategy. He is a co-inventor on several key Excaliard patents.

Prior to joining RiverVest, Niall spent five years as an immunologist at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development in San Diego. He was part of a successful cross-disciplinary team of chemists and biologists that drove small molecule anti-inflammatory drugs into clinical trials. Niall co-authored the first paper validating the newly discovered histamine H4 receptor as a key regulator of immune pathologies.

Education, Personal, and Fellowship

Niall earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Dundee, Scotland, and M.A. in Biochemistry from Pembroke College, Oxford. He also received an M.B.A. from the Rady School of Management of the University of California, San Diego. His professional affiliations include the American Thoracic Society, American Association of Immunologists and the Society of Glycobiology. Niall is a guest lecturer to the Kauffman Global Scholars entrepreneurship program at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

A member of Fellows Class 11, Niall served his fellowship under the mentorship of Jay W. Schmelter at RiverVest Venture Partners in St. Louis.