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Jessica Owns

We’ve been labeled “Kleinerologists,” that is, students of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Living up to that label, we point out the firm has just added Jessica Owens to its team, to work on investments in pandemic preparedness and bio-defense.

Jessica did research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which resulted in the discovery of genetic shift among “Hantavirus” strains. She also worked at Genentech, did corporate finance on the life science team at investment bank Robertson Stephens and diagnostic research at Thomas Weisel Partners.

She has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS from the Department of Cancer Biology at Stanford University.

Personnel moves like this are significant because it shows where the high-profile firm (it backed Google, Amazon, Netscape, Sun, to name just a few) is going. John Doerr, the firm’s leader, says he’s spending half his time on clean-tech, and half on investments in the pandemic/health area. The firm has made a series of hires in this health area, and Owens is just the latest example.

We’re wondering, if Larry and Sergey of Google were looking for cash now, instead of in 1999, whether they’d approach Kleiner. The firm has been relatively quiet on the whole Web 2.0 phenom.

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