Laura Shawver, Ph.D.


Laura has loved science from an early age and came very close to blowing up her high school chemistry lab. Thankfully, it was rescued by the fire department. When not engaged in an experiment, Laura surfs at various southern California beaches.

Laura Shawver is president, CEO of Capstan Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on mRNA and targeted lipid nanoparticles for cell therapy.

Prior to Capstan Therapeutics, Laura was president and CEO of Silverback Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company advancing a pipeline of therapies that are systemically delivered, but locally active and target fundamental disease pathways in cancer, fibrosis and virology, from 2020 through it’s merger with ARS Pharmaceuticals in 2022. Prior to Silverback, Laura was president and CEO of Synthorx, Inc., a company developing engineered cytokines for cancer and autoimmune disorders, from 2017 through its acquisition by Sanofi in 2020. Previously, she was CEO of Cleave Biosciences and an entrepreneur in residence for 5AM Ventures. Earlier in her career, Laura was the CEO and director of Phenomix Corporation and president of SUGEN, Inc. after holding various positions.

Laura is the founder of the non-profit organization, The Clearity Foundation, which helps women with ovarian cancer improve their treatment options. In addition to Relay, Dr. Shawver serves on the board of Nkarta and chairman of Cleave Therapeutics.

Laura holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Iowa.