Carol Sands on Una Ryan

“Do something useful.”

Dr. Una Ryan asked a lot of questions in school. When her teachers didn’t have answers, Una decided to find them on her own. Her natural curiosity and brilliance have led her through three storied careers: esteemed biologist (winner of the Albert Einstein Award), successful biotech inventor and businesswoman (developing inexpensive vaccines and therapies for global health), and finally artist and advocate. Dr. Ryan is a major proponent of STEAM (adding ARTS to the STEM program), an investor in women-run businesses, and a fine artist in her own right. (Check out the video, the art is breath-taking.) Carol Sands shares the story of this extraordinary woman whose mantra of “do something useful” is a challenge and inspiration to us all.


Carol Sands


Carol Sands is the Founder and Managing Member of The Angels’ Forum and the Founder and Managing General Partner of the Halo Fund. She has over 20 years of experience in early stage investment and teaches angel investing and board governance at Stanford University. She is interested in investing in capital efficient, fast growing companies, across technology and life sciences.

Featured Woman

Una Ryan

Una Ryan is a British-American biologist who has conducted research on vascular biology, publishing over 300 papers. After an extended research and academic career she began a career in the biotech industry. She was Director for Health Sciences of Monsanto Company; CEO, president and director of AVANT Immunotherapeutics; and is currently the Chairman of The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative, among many other associations. She is an angel investor and focuses her funds on women-led companies. She has won numerous awards and recognition during her career including the National Institute of Health’s 10-year merit award, Order of the British Empire and the Albert Einstein Award.