GRAIL Announces Appointment of Catherine Friedman as Chair of GRAIL Board
December 10, 2018

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GRAIL, Inc., a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured, today announced the appointment of Catherine Friedman as Chair of the GRAIL Board of Directors. Ms. Friedman succeeds Bill Rastetter, who will continue to serve as a Director on the GRAIL Board. The company also announced the promotion of Alex Aravanis to Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D.

“We are very grateful to Bill for his leadership during his time as Chair. GRAIL has a bold vision of reducing global cancer mortality through early detection, and is executing on a rigorous, science-based approach to develop a blood test that can detect multiple cancer types from a single blood draw,” said Ms. Friedman. “I’m honored to be asked to assume the role of Chairperson and look forward to an exciting year in 2019 and beyond for GRAIL.”

“I would like to thank Bill for all his support as I onboarded at GRAIL this year, and I look forward to his continued valuable contributions as a member of the Board,” said Jennifer Cook, Chief Executive Officer of GRAIL. “I’m excited to partner with Cathy in this new role. She brings a wealth of experience, and GRAIL has already benefited greatly from her insight and expertise.”

“I’m also very pleased to announce the promotion of Alex Aravanis to Chief Scientific Officer,” Ms. Cook continued. “Alex has built an impressive team that is leading the technical development of the assays and bioinformatics that will form the basis of our multi-cancer early detection blood test.”

Catherine Friedman joined GRAIL’s Board in July 2017. Ms. Friedman has been an independent financial consultant serving public and private companies in the life sciences industry since 2006. Previously, Ms. Friedman held numerous executive positions during a 23-year investment banking career with Morgan Stanley, including Managing Director, and Head of West Coast Healthcare, and Co-Head of the Biotechnology Practice. She is a member of the Boards of Directors of Altaba (formerly Yahoo!), Radius Health, and Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. She is a trustee of The Darden School Foundation at the University of Virginia. Ms. Friedman holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Alex Aravanis, MD, PhD, is a Co-Founder of GRAIL. Prior to his promotion to Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D, he served as Vice President of R&D. He previously served as Senior Director of R&D for Illumina, Inc., where he developed multiple products, including clinical assays for the analysis of RNA and DNA from fixed tissues, whole exome analysis, massively parallel single cell transcriptomics and liquid biopsy using cell-free nucleic acids. Additionally, Dr. Aravanis served as Vice President of Development and Chief Science Officer of Sapphire Energy Inc., and was a Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering of Pria Diagnostics, LLC. Dr. Aravanis holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an MS and PhD in electrical engineering, and an MD from Stanford University.


GRAIL is a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL is using the power of high-intensity sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology, and to develop and commercialize pioneering products for the early detection of cancer. The company is located in Menlo Park, California and Hong Kong. It is supported by leading global investors and pharmaceutical, technology, and healthcare companies. For more information, please visit


Charlotte Arnold, 650-255-1909