In memoriam: Nicola Campbell

Venture capitalist Nicola Campbell has passed away at the age of 37. She was serving as a partner with Sofinnova Ventures, which she joined in 2004 to focus on early stage investment opportunities in drug discovery and biologic development.

Previously, Campbell focused on mid-stage investment opportunities in drug discovery at BA Venture Partners (now known as Scale Venture Partners). Before that, she was with Burrill & Co. Her deals included Alimera Biosciences, Cellective Therapeutics, Marinus Pharma and Phenomix.

Campbell began her career as an immunologist, working in the research department of Genentech after she received a Ph.D. from Mount Sinai Medical Center. While at Mount Sinai, she was a recipient of the American Gastroenterology Association’s Outstanding Research Award. Part of her passion for the work was sparked by her own battle with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, although it is unclear if that condition led to her passing.

On, a PE Week affiliated website, friends and colleagues remember Campbell as cheerful and energetic, and posts noted how she had successfully launched a Bay Area program that connected life sciences VCs with area physicians and medical researchers. One peHUB post, by a person named Jens, said that Campbell was “was one of those smart and colorful people out there who make our VC job worthwhile.”

Another post by Tammy Oropeza, said: “I met Nicola while working at the Children’s Health and Research Center at the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston, Texas, many years ago. I remember her beautiful smile, bubbly personality and how she could light up a room. I remember my husband stating how she could ‘get your attention’ just by her smile.”

“I will always remember a very genuine and energetic person with a great sense of humor,” said Eric Buatois, a Sofinnova general partner. “She was always ready to help and contribute. The whole Sofinnova ventures team has been devastated by the news.”

Campbell will be buried in a ceremony in her native Canada. Her parents request that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, 386 Park Avenue South, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016. —Dan Primack and Alastair Goldfisher