President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Andrew Allen is a co-founder of Gritstone Oncology and serves as president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors. He was a co-founder of Clovis Oncology where he served as executive vice president of clinical and preclinical development and chief medical officer. Prior to that, he was chief medical officer at Pharmion Corporation, which was sold to Celgene Corporation for $2.9 billion following the development of Vidaza™ for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes and Thalomid™ for the front-line treatment of multiple myeloma. Previously, Dr. Allen served in clinical development leadership roles at Chiron Corporation and Abbott Laboratories, and worked at McKinsey & Company, where he advised life science companies on strategic issues. He currently serves on the board of directors of Epizyme and Cell Design Labs. Dr. Allen received a medical degree from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in immunology from Imperial College London.
Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Karin Jooss serves as executive vice president of research and chief scientific officer. She joined Gritstone from Pfizer, where she was head of cancer immuno-therapeutics in the Vaccine Immuno-therapeutics Department. While at Pfizer, she built and led immuno-oncology teams, was a member of the vaccine immuno-therapeutics leadership team, and served as head of the immuno-pharmacology team. Her responsibilities included overseeing the assessment of all cancer vaccine in-licensing opportunities and developing and launching Pfizer’s first clinical cancer vaccine program, which deployed a variety of vaccine platforms and immune modulators to create a multi-component vaccine-based immunotherapy regimen. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Jooss served as vice president of research at Cell Genesys, where she oversaw all research activities related to the company’s cancer vaccine and oncolytic virotherapy programs. She is on the editorial board of Molecular Therapy and the Journal of Gene Medicine and is a member of the Immunology and Educational Committee of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and the Industry Task Force of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). Dr. Jooss received a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Marburg in Germany and performed postgraduate work in gene therapy and immunology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Roman Yelensky serves as chief technology officer and is responsible for overseeing the Company’s genomics, proteomics and informatics programs. He joined Gritstone at its inception in October 2015 as executive vice president of sequencing and bioinformatics. Prior to that, he was vice president of biomarker and companion diagnostic development at Foundation Medicine, which he joined at its inception. While at Foundation Medicine, he co-led sequence data analysis for FoundationOne™ and led validation studies supporting clinical laboratory accreditation and testing of more than100,000 patients. Dr. Yelensky established Foundation Medicine’s FDA-regulated products program, leading to the FDA approval of FoundationFocus CDxBRCA, the first NGS-based companion diagnostic. He also contributed to key national initiatives on the clinical implementation of next-generation sequencing (NGS), leading to the diagnostic implementation of Lung-MAP, a first-of-its-kind NCI-sponsored trial matching lung cancer patients to investigational treatments using comprehensive genomic testing. Prior to Foundation Medicine, Dr. Yelensky was a senior scientist in biomarker development at Novartis. He has co-authored more than 75 manuscripts on bioinformatics, statistical genetics, NGS biomarker and assay development and cancer genomics. He earned an M.S. in computer science from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in bioinformatics and integrative genomics from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.
Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer
Dr. Matthew Hawryluk serves as executive vice president and chief business officer and leads partnering activities. Prior to Gritstone, he served as vice president of corporate and business development at Foundation Medicine, where he led the biopharmaceutical business and a team responsible for business development, strategic alliances and operations. While there, Dr. Hawryluk forged partnerships with dozens of biopharma companies, providing comprehensive genomic profiling for clinical trials, molecular information and companion diagnostics. Previously, he held roles in business development, marketing and product management across multiple divisions of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Dr. Hawryluk earned a Ph.D. in cell biology and protein biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and an M.B.A. at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business as a Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Raphaël F. Rousseau serves as chief medical officer and is responsible for leading the development of the Company’s cutting-edge neoantigen immunotherapy platform. He has experience in both the biotechnology industry and academia. He also has extensive expertise in innovative study designs and in Phase 1-3 studies of targeted therapies, including small molecule inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, gene-modified immune effector cells and vaccines, and nanosize vectors. Prior to Gritstone, Dr. Rousseau worked at Genentech, a member of the Roche group, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Dr. Rousseau created the innovative Pediatric Oncology Drug Development (iPODD) team and the pediatric franchise at Roche-Genentech, a unique approach to pediatric drug development in the pharma industry. He served as chair of the Development Review Committee for pediatric oncology, reviewing and making decisions about early- and late-stage compounds across the Roche-Genentech oncology portfolio. He also launched the iMATRIX master trial concept, an innovative Phase 1-2 multi-tumor, multi-drug collaborative drug development platform for patients with high-risk pediatric malignancies. Before Genentech, Dr. Rousseau was international medical leader, hematology, at Roche. Before joining Roche, Dr. Rousseau was a professor of medical and pediatric oncology at the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. At the Léon Bérard Comprehensive Cancer Center in Lyon, Dr. Rousseau was head of the pediatric translational research program. Earlier in his career, he was a clinical fellow at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and a research fellow at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He earned a Ph.D. in therapeutic biotechnologies at the Université Denis Diderot and an M.D. from Université René Descartes, both in Paris. He is board certified in pediatrics and has a sub-specialty certification in pediatric hematology-oncology.
Senior Vice President and Global Head of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance
Erin E. Jones serves as senior vice president and global head of regulatory affairs and quality assurance. Prior to Gritstone, he served as global head of regulatory, medical writing and pharmacology/toxicology at Puma Biotechnology, where he supported the late-stage development of neratinib. Earlier in his career, he worked at Genentech, where he held a variety of positions including head of regulatory intelligence and leader of the HER Franchise Regulatory Group, where he oversaw late-stage development, BLA submissions and ODAC preparations for Kadcyla™ and Perjeta™ in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and led approvals for Herceptin™ in HER2-positive adjuvant breast and gastric cancers. Jones has directed the regulatory development of dozens of small molecules, monoclonal antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, plasmids, adenoviral gene therapies, and companion diagnostics in oncology and hematology at BioMarin, Cephalon and Centocor. He received his M.S. in computer systems at Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Richard A. Heyman is executive chairman and co-founder of Metacrine, a biotech start-up company developing new therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Previously, he served as chief executive officer of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Genentech/Roche. Prior to Seragon, he co-founded and was chief executive officer of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in his career, Dr. Heyman co-founded and served as chief scientific officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics and held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, where he identified and developed Panretin® and Targretin®, retinoids approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer. He is the author or inventor on more than 120 publications and patents. Dr. Heyman serves on the board of trustees of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and is a board member of Receptos, Organovo and BIOCOM. He is also a member of the Therapeutic Advisory Board for aTyr Pharma and serves on the Executive Committee of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Heyman received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota. He was an NIH post-doctoral fellow and staff scientist at the Salk Institute.
Patrick J. Mahaffy is a co-founder of Clovis Oncology and has served as president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors since the company’s inception. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer and as a member of the board of directors at Pharmion Corporation, which he founded and sold to Celgene Corporation. Before that, Mahaffy was president and chief executive officer of NeXagen and its successor, NeXstar Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, Mahaffy was a vice president at the private equity firm E.M. Warburg Pincus and Co. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Orexigen Therapeutics and Flexion Therapeutics and is a trustee of Lewis and Clark College. Mahaffy has a B.A. in international affairs from Lewis and Clark College and an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University.
Nicholas Simon has been a managing director of Clarus Ventures since the firm’s inception. Prior to Clarus, he was a general partner at MPM Capital, a healthcare venture capital firm. He has more than 20 years of operating and investment experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including serving as vice president of business and corporate development at Genentech. Simon is currently a member of the board of directors of Nuvelution Pharma and chairman of Sientra. He has been a member of the board of directors of numerous private and public life science companies, including Achillion, Avanir Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals), Barrier Therapeutics (acquired by Stiefel Laboratories), Biovitrum AB, Cotherix (acquired by Actelion), InterMune (acquired by Roche), Pearl Therapeutics, (acquired by AstraZeneca), Quatrx Pharmaceuticals, Rigel and Sangstat (acquired by Genzyme). Simon is a member of the Foundation Board at the Gladstone Institute, a private not-for-profit research institute affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco. He received a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from Loyola University.
Peter Svennilson is the founder and managing partner of The Column Group (TCG), a San Francisco-based biotech venture firm. He has worked in venture capital and finance for the past 30 years. He was the chairman of Aragon Pharmaceuticals from its inception until it was sold to Johnson & Johnson and was the chairman of Seragon Pharmaceuticals until it was sold to Genentech. Prior to TCG, he was the founder and managing partner of Three Crowns Capital where he helped finance large parts of the venture capital for biotech companies including Tularik, Rosetta, PTC, Chemocentryx, Rinat, Tercica, Somalogic, Infinity and Five Prime. Prior to joining Three Crowns Capital, he was the associate managing director in charge of European Investment Banking Origination at Nomura in London. Svennilson is the chairman of ORIC Pharmaceuticals and a member of the boards of directors of NGM Biopharmaceuticals and Immune Design. He is also a trustee at The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
Dr. Tom Woiwode is a managing director at Versant Ventures, where he previously served as a venture partner. At Versant, he has served in a number of operating roles, most recently as chief operating officer of Okairos, a biopharmaceutical company developing genetic vaccines for major infectious diseases. Dr. Woiwode led the process that culminated in the sale of Okairos to GlaxoSmithKline for $325 million. Prior to his role with Okairos, he co-founded EuroVentures, a wholly owned biotech incubator within Versant Ventures and, in this role, served as the founding chief business officer for three biotech companies created within Versant: Flexion (public), Synosia (public, merged with BioTie), and Amira (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for up to $475 million). Prior to his role as a venture partner at Versant Ventures, he was a principal and served on the boards of Antipodean, Metabolex and Saegis. Before joining Versant, Dr. Woiwode was a research scientist at XenoPort. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Annapurna, Anokion, Audentes, CRISPR, Kanyos Bio and Therachon. He graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in English and received the Departmental Citation for his B.S. in chemistry. He earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry as an NSF Fellow at Stanford University.
Judith J. Li is a Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), based in Hong Kong / Shanghai and focused on early and growth stage investments across biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics both domestically and cross-border. Judith holds board appointments at a variety of LAV’s portfolio companies, including Crown Biosciences (6554:TT), Just Biotherapeutics, Veritas Genetics, and Nextcure. Her prior experience includes McKinsey’s New York office, hospital administration at Partners Healthcare, and co-founding an interventional nephrology medical device venture. Judith holds a B.A. in Neurobiology from Harvard and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and currently resides in Hong Kong, splitting her time between Hong Kong, Shanghai, and the Bay Area.
Dr. Mark Cobbold is an expert in HLA-peptide mass spectrometry. He is an associate professor of medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and a member of the MGH Center for Cancer Immunology. His research focuses on understanding how the healthy human immune response is able to recognize and target cancerous cells and, when it fails, how it could be strengthened to recognize this threat. Dr. Cobbold undertook his early clinical training at the University of Edinburgh and followed an academic clinical training path at the University of Birmingham in clinical immunology. He was awarded a Ph.D. for work in antigen-specific cellular immunotherapy for patients who had received a stem cell transplant. During this period he developed new methods for manipulating and selecting antigen-specific cells for therapeutic use leveraging MHC class-I tetramers. Dr. Cobbold undertook his post-doctoral training at the University of Virginia, identifying modified MHC class-I bound tumor antigens and later exploring immunity against these antigens in both healthy individuals and patients with cancer. His more recent work has focused on developing new strategies to modify MHC class-I antigen-display to redirect existing immunity against cancer. Dr. Cobbold is passionate about translational medicine and is a scientific co-founder of several companies including SeraScience, PhosImmune and Revitope.
Dr. James L. Gulley is an expert in human immune responses to cancer immunotherapies. He is chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch at the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He also serves as senior investigator and head of the Immunotherapy Section and director of the Medical Oncology Service in the Office of the Clinical Director at the CCR. He is an internationally recognized expert in cancer immunotherapy, therapeutic cancer vaccines, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and the combination of immunotherapy with other therapies. Since 1998, he has conducted investigator-initiated clinical trials at the NCI evaluating cancer vaccines and other immunostimulatory agents, as well as the combination of immunotherapy with other treatment strategies. He played a central role in the clinical development of a prostate cancer vaccine that was created at the NCI, and currently serves as principal investigator of an international, randomized Phase 3 clinical trial of that vaccine. He is also the coordinating principal investigator for an international trial of an anti-PDL1 antibody.
Dr. Graham Lord is an expert in T-cell biology. He is professor of medicine at King’s College London and head of the Department of Experimental Immunobiology and director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Center at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College London. Since his appointment in 2006, Dr. Lord has built up a research group at King’s College investigating fundamental immune cell biology, and the translation of this knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with organ transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases. As director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Center, he is responsible for the delivery of programs of Translational Research and Experimental Medicine, with a significant part of the Center’s portfolio focused on regenerative and personalized medicine, advanced therapeutics and informatics. He was elected an NIHR Senior Investigator. As a National Health Service (NHS) consultant, he practices clinical nephrology and has a particular interest in renal and pancreatic transplantation. He trained in medicine at Cambridge University and undertook a period of research in molecular immunology at Imperial College London that led to a Ph.D. He conducted post-doctoral studies at Harvard University.
Dr. Alessandro Sette is an expert in understanding immune system-protein interactions. He is center head of the Division of Translational Immunology and Vaccine Discovery, director of the Center for Infectious Disease and Head of the Initiative for Emerging Diseases and Biodefense at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. He has devoted more than 30 years of study to understanding basic mechanisms of antigen recognition and immune responses, measuring and predicting immune activity, and developing disease intervention strategies against cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and allergies. His research is focused on improving the understanding of how the body successfully battles infection, and conversely, how pathogens escape the immune system, causing the individual to succumb to disease. He has developed techniques to understand the T-cell response to common allergens, which has resulted in the development of bioinformatic tools used to map the human T-cell response to a large panel of common allergens. Dr. Sette earned a Dr.Biol.Sci.in immunology at the University of Rome and completed post-doctoral work at the Laboratory of Pathology, Cassaccia, in Rome, and at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver. He has authored more than 650 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and has nearly 30 issued patents.
Prof. Jean-Charles Soria is an expert in clinical cancer research. He is a professor of medicine and medical oncology at South-Paris University. He also is a cancer specialist at Institut Gustave Roussy (IGR) in Paris, chair of the Drug Development Department at IGR, and a member of the lung cancer unit with a focus on targeted therapies. His main research interests are early clinical development, Phase 1 trials across solid tumors, pharmacodynamic biomarkers, lung cancer and personalized medicine. Previously, Prof. Soria was a member of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Executive Committee and served as an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) committee member. He was the scientific chairman of the ECCO-ESMO 2011 meeting and chair of the EORTC-NCI-AACR 2014 meeting. He was the president of the Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT) meeting in 2013 and 2015. Prof. Soria has contributed to more than 420 peer-reviewed publications, including publications as first or last author in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He is currently editor-in-chief of Annals of Oncology. He trained as a medical oncologist and received the silver medal from Paris Medical School. He then received a Ph.D. and completed his training with a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Thoracic Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is an adjunct professor.