UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Travis Whitfill

Travis Whitfill is a PhD student at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP).

Travis Whitfill
Travis Whitfill is an American venture capitalist, academic researcher, and entrepreneur in healthcare and biopharma. His background began in molecular biology and biochemistry after receiving scientific training at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Duke University. He has co-founded several biotech and healthcare startups companies, including Azitra Inc., which is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is using living medicines to treat skin diseases.

Travis is a Partner at Bios Partners, a healthcare-focussed venture capital fund based in the United States that has approximately $100 million USD assets under management. He serves on the board of several companies, including Incysus Therapeutics Inc., 410 Medical Inc., Azitra Inc., and Immusoft Corporation (observer).

He is also an Associate Research Scientist in the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Yale University and focusses on health policy and health systems in pediatrics and emergency care. He serves on the board of two research organisations, the International Pediatric Simulation Society (IPSS) and the International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research and Education (INSPIRE).

Mr. Whitfill received degrees from Yale University (MPH) and Dallas Baptist University (BS in biology). His background in entrepreneurship and business was recently acknowledged when he was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2018.


Using his background in venture capital and biotechnology, Travis will study the financialisation of biopharma at IIPP. He will study ways to strengthen and leverage public directional investment for the public good in the context of biopharma innovation.

His previous publications offer insight into both molecular biology and the characterisation of health systems in the US.

Select Publications

  • Whitfill T, Auerbach M, Scherzer DJ, Shi J, Xiang H, Stanley RM. Emergency Care for Children in the U.S.: Epidemiology and Trends Over Time. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2018 May 21.. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2018.04.019. PMID: 29793h3812
  • Whitfill T, Gross I, Auerbach MA. “Establishing and Maintaining Multi-Site Studies in Healthcare Simulation Research.” Healthcare Simulation Research: A Practical Guide. Eds.: Nestel D, Hui J, Kunkler K, Calhoun AW, Scerbo MW. New York: Springer. 2019.  
  • Whitfill T, Gawel M, Auerbach M. A Simulation-Based Quality Improvement Initiative Improves Pediatric Readiness in Community Hospitals. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2017 Jul 17. PMID: 28719479.
  • Butler M, Whitfill T, Gawel M, Gross I, Auerbach M. The Impact of Telemedicine on Teamwork and Communication, and Clinical Performance: A Simulation-based, Randomized, Controlled Trial. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2018 Jun 29. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0017. PMID: 2995715.
  • Auerbach M, Brown L, Whitfill T, Baird J, Abulebda K, Bhatnagar A, Montgomery EE, Gawel M, Walsh B, Tay K, Lavoie M, Dudas RA, Kessler D, Katznelson J, Nadkarni V, Ganghadaran S, Hamilton MF. Adherence to Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Guidelines Across a Spectrum of Fifty Emergency Departments: A Prospective In situ Simulation-Based Study. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2018. doi: 10.1111/acem.13564. PMID: 30194902.
  • Auerbach M, Whitfill T, Gawel M, Kessler D, Walsh B, Gangadharan S, Hamilton MF, Schultz B, Nishisaki A, Tay KY, Lavoie M, Katznelson J, Dudas R, Baird J, Nadkarni V, Brown L. Differences in the Quality of Pediatric Resuscitative Care Across a Spectrum of Emergency Departments. JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Oct 1;170(10):987-994. PubMed PMID: 27570926.
  • Abulebda K, Lutfi R, Whitfill T, Abu-Sultaneh S, Leeper KJ, Weinstein E, Auerbach MA. A Collaborative In Situ Simulation-based Pediatric Readiness Improvement Program for Community Emergency Departments. Acad Emerg Med. 2017 Oct 4. PMID:28977717
  • Schumacher MA, Chinnam NB, Cuthbert B, Tonthat NK, Whitfill T. Structures of regulatory machinery reveal novel molecular mechanisms controlling B. subtilis nitrogen homeostasis. Genes Dev. 2015 Feb 15;29(4):451-64. PubMed PMID: 25691471; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4335299.
  • Murray DS, Chinnam N, Tonthat NK, Whitfill T, Wray LV Jr, Fisher SH, Schumacher MA. Structures of the Bacillus subtilis glutamine synthetase dodecamer reveal large intersubunit catalytic conformational changes linked to a unique feedback inhibition mechanism. J Biol Chem. 2013 Dec 13;288(50):35801-11. PubMed PMID: 24158439; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3861631.
  • Tonthat NK, Milam SL, Chinnam N, Whitfill T, Margolin W, Schumacher MA. SlmA forms a higher-order structure on DNA that inhibits cytokinetic Z-ring formation over the nucleoid. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 25;110(26):10586-91. PubMed PMID: 23754405; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3696773.
  • Dupaigne P, Tonthat NK, Espéli O, Whitfill T, Boccard F, Schumacher MA. Molecular basis for a protein-mediated DNA-bridging mechanism that functions in condensation of the E. coli chromosome. Mol Cell. 2012 Nov 30;48(4):560-71. PubMed PMID: 23084832.