RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Research Corporation Technologies is opening an office in the Triangle and will have a familiar face running the operation.

Doreen Grech, a principal at venture capital firm A.M. Pappas since 1998, is the director of RCT’s new office. She will lead the firm’s investment search across the Southeast.

“The RCT RTP office will be focused on the identification and evaluation of early-stage life science investment opportunities (from) ‘raw’ start-ups, project financings and syndicated rounds,” Grech tells Local Tech Wire. “We will focus on the greater Southeast/mid-Atlantic regions (from) Virginia to Florida.”

What excites Grech most about her new position, she adds, is: “The opportunity to be involved in the growth of the SE and the NC life sciences industry/market through my work with entrepreneurs and young companies.”

Grech also says she was impressed by what RCT has accomplished. “The firm’s rich history of working with universities and identifying and advancing early-stage technologies,” she explains is what drew her attention to RCT.

At Pappas, Grech worked with a variety of firms, including: Panacos Pharmaceuticals, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, Bayhill Therapeutics, Nereus Pharmaceuticals, Krenitsky Pharmaceuticals, Cognetix and X-Ceptor Therapeutics.

RCT will be watching for an opportunity to grow its North Carolina presence, Grech adds.

“For the near future, I will be an office of one, but RCT does have an interest in possibly expanding the office in the coming years,” she says.

RCT, which was formed in 1987 and is based in Tuscon AZ, also is opening new offices in Los Angeles and Boston. It has a staff of some 40 people.

The firm focuses on emerging biomedical companies and has more than $300 million under management.

Before joining Pappas, in 1998 Grech had 12 years of neuroscience and pharmacology research experience, including time as a research scientist at Cato Research. She has experience in working with oncology, antivenom, anti-stroke, antidepressant, wound healing and nutraceutical products.

Grech also was a research associate at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. She earned PhD in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, a master’s degree in physiology from Texas A&M University in College State and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Grand was co-founder and vice president for operations of Imagine Pharmaceuticals.

RTC named Michael Berendt and Jeffrey Moore to work out of the Boston office. Paul Grand will work in Los Angeles. Berendt is a managing director of the firm. Grech, Moore and Grand were named directors. Berendt was a managing director of AEA Investors. Moore came to RCT after completing an MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Mike, Jeff, Doreen and Paul bring us valuable additional experience in drug discovery and development, operational management and private equity investing,” said Shaun Kirkpatrick, chief executive officer of RCT in a statement. “We are very pleased to welcome them to RCT.”