Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO, Atea Pharmaceuticals
Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2015. Dr. Sommadossi has served as the founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since December 2013. Prior to that, he co-founded Pharmasset, Inc. and held several roles at Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including Principal Founder and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. Dr. Sommadossi serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held therapeutics company. He is also a member of the Harvard Medical School Discovery Counsel and a Senior Advisor to PureTech Ventures. Dr. Sommadossi received his Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Marseilles in France.
Franklin M. Berger, CFA
Founder, FMB Research
Franklin M. Berger, CFA, has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2016. Mr. Berger worked at Sectoral Asset Management as a founder of the small-cap focused NEMO Fund from January 2007 through June 2008. Before that, he served at J.P. Morgan Securities, most recently as the Managing Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst and served in similar capacities at Salomon Smith Barney and Josephthal & Co. Mr. Berger has served as a member of the board of directors of Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. since October 2014, Immune Design Corp. since March 2014, Bellus Health, Inc. since May 2010, ESSA Pharma, Inc. since March 2015, and Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. since February 2016. Mr. Berger previously served as a member of the board of directors BioTime, Inc. and Seattle Genetics, Inc., both publicly held biotechnology companies. Mr. Berger received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Master of Arts degree in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School.
Former CFO and COO, Assembly Biosciences
Graham Cooper has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2017. From March 2018-September 2019, Mr. Cooper served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Assembly Biosciences. Previously, Mr. Cooper was the Chief Financial Officer of Receptos, Inc. from February 2013 until its sale to Celgene in August 2015 and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of finance and business development at Geron Corporation from January 2012 to December 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Cooper served as the Chief Financial Officer of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. and held several positions at Deutsche Bank Securities, including director, Health Care Investment Banking. Mr. Cooper also worked as an accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he earned his title as a certified public accountant. Mr. Cooper serves as a board director for Unity Biotechnology and Bioniz Therapeutics, and previously was a member of the board of directors of Celladon Corporation. Mr. Cooper received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Jason R. Dinges, Ph.D., J.D
Investment Advisor, Morningside Technology Advisory LLC
Jason R. Dinges, Ph.D., J.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2018. Since February 2011, Dr. Dinges has served as an Investment Advisor at Morningside Technology Advisory LLC. Before that, Dr. Dinges was an associate attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP, practicing intellectual property law in the firm’s chemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical practice group. Dr. Dinges also serves on the board of directors of various privately-held biotechnology companies. Dr. Dinges received his Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics from Iowa State University and a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
John Fowler is our Co-Founder and has served as our Chief Executive Officer since March 2015 and as a member of our board of directors since February 2015. Prior to founding our company, Mr. Fowler was the Chief Executive Officer of HealthCPA, a provider of patient advocacy and insurance navigation services, from June 2009 to October 2014. Mr. Fowler received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Stanford University.
Elizabeth Garner, MD, MPH
CMO, ObsEva SA
Dr. Garner brings over a decade of pharmaceutical development experience to Kezar’s board, holding roles of increasing strategic responsibility in large and small companies, including Merck, Abbott (AbbVie), Myriad Genetics, and Agile Therapeutics developing deep expertise in clinical trial design and execution. She joined ObsEva as Chief Medical Officer in July 2019, and she was previously Chief Medical Officer at Agile Therapeutics, where she led the company’s clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs strategies and presented and moderated the company’s successful 2019 FDA Advisory Committee. Prior to her tenure at Agile, Dr. Garner was Vice President, Medical Affairs, Women’s Health/Preventive Care at Myriad Genetics. Earlier in her pharmaceutical career, she oversaw all clinical aspects of the global Phase 3 endometriosis development program for Orilissa® at Abbott Laboratories, and while at Merck Research Labs she was the core presenter for the 2010 FDA Gardasil® Advisory Committee Meeting. Dr. Garner was a 2019 awardee of the PharmaVoice 100 most inspiring individuals in the life-sciences industry.
Dr. Garner received joint M.D. and M.P.H degrees from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. She was trained in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s/Massachusetts General Hospitals and completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Brigham and Women’s and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Prior to entering the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Garner had several years of experience in academic clinical practice, basic science research in ovarian cancer, and teaching and mentorship at Harvard Medical School. She is also an author on numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers.
Michael Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D
Co-Founder and CEO, Karyopharm Therapeutics
Michael Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2016. Dr. Kauffman co-founded Karyopharm Therapeutics, Inc. in 2008 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since January 2011 and as a member of its board of directors since 2008. Dr. Kauffman also served as the President of Karyopharm Therapeutics, Inc. from January 2011 to December 2013 and as its chief medical officer from December 2012 to December 2013. Prior to that, Dr. Kauffman served as the chief medical officer at Onyx, and as Chief Medical Officer of Proteolix, Inc. Dr. Kauffman also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of both Epix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Predix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and was an operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Dr. Kauffman also held several senior positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Biogen Idec, Inc. Dr. Kauffman has served on the board of directors of Verastem Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company, since November 2012. Dr. Kauffman received his Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Amherst College and his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Immunology from Johns Hopkins Medical School.
Christopher Kirk, Ph.D
President and CSO, Co-Founder
Christopher Kirk, Ph.D., is our Co-Founder and has served as our President and Chief Scientific Officer since March 2015 and as a member of our board of directors since February 2015. Before founding our company, Dr. Kirk was the Vice President of research at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Onyx, from April 2010 to April 2014. Dr. Kirk previously served as Director of Pharmacology and biology at Onyx and at Proteolix, Inc. Dr. Kirk has served as a member of the scientific advisory board at Karyopharm Therapeutics, Inc., C4 Therapeutics, Inc., and Avidity Biosciences LLC.
Dr. Kirk received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.