Brenda Gavin
By Karen Pallarito
The making of a venture capitalist.

Long before Brenda Gavin began investing in life science companies, she toiled in the trenches of public health. Fresh out of veterinary school, the Missouri native landed a two-year assignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), a team of doctors, researchers, and scientists who investigate epidemics across the United States and around the globe.

Gavin's team was passionate about its work and kept long hours. Once when a task force was dispatched to Kingsport, Tenn., to investigate an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in 1977, she and...

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