Dr. Williams is President and CEO of Codiak Biosciences. He previously served as Biogen’s Executive Vice President, Research and Development from January 2011 to July 2015. Dr. Williams joined Biogen from ZymoGenetics, where he was CEO and member of the Board of Directors. ZymoGenetics was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb during his time as CEO for $985 million. Previously, he held leadership positions within the biotechnology industry, including Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Seattle Genetics Inc., and Senior Vice President and Washington Site Leader at Amgen Inc.
Dr. Williams also served in a series of scientific and senior leadership positions over a decade at Immunex Corp., including Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President of Discovery Research and Vice President of Research and Development. Prior to joining Immunex, Dr. Williams served on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Williams has served on numerous boards of directors for companies in the biotechnology industry and currently is a director of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Regulus Therapeutics and Ovid Therapeutics.
Dr. Wierenga currently serves on boards for several biotechnology companies, including Concert Pharmaceuticals, Apricus Biosciences, Ocera Therapeutics, and Cytokinetics where he is also a director. He also serves on the scientific advisory board for Ferring Pharmaceuticals Research Institute. Most recently, Dr. Wierenga was the executive vice president R&D at Santarus from 2011 until its acquisition by Salix in 2014. Prior to that he held the positions of: executive vice president of R&D at Neurocrine Biosciences, chief executive officer at Syrrx (acquired by Takeda), senior vice president of worldwide pharmaceutical sciences, technologies and development at Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert, and held multiple positions at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals. He has led or participated in the research and development of more than 70 INDs, 15 NDAs and 15 marketed products, including Lipitor®, Neurontin®, Lyrica®, Cognex®, Ruconest®, Uceris® and Cerebyx®. He earned a B.A. from Hope College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.
Dr. Rink is director of Kymab Ltd., and previously was chairman of the Wellcome Trust Technology Transfer Strategy Panel, chairman and chief executive officer of Aurora Biosciences, president and chief technical officer of Amylin Pharmaceuticals and vice president for research at SmithKline. In addition, he has served as a director of several biotechnology companies, including Adnexus, Akubio, Alanex, Astex, BioVex, Ciphergen, CoCensys, Gryphon Sciences, Lorantis, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Santhera Pharmaceuticals, Sepracor, Solexa (as chairman, acquired by Illumina), and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and served on the scientific advisory board at Serono SA. Dr. Rink has been involved in the development of numerous therapeutics, including Requip®, Protonix®, Symlin®, Byetta®, Sensipar®, and Catena®. He earned a Sc.D., M.A., and M.D. from the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Negulescu is Vice President, Research, at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He is responsible for leading the Vertex San Diego research site. Previously, he was Director of cell biology at Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex). Under his leadership, Vertex San Diego has produced several novel drug candidates, including VX-770, a CFTR potentiator in Phase 3 clinical studies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. He earned both a B.S. and Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. James is the President of Ferring Research Institute in San Diego, and the Senior Vice-President R&D. Dr. James has spent his career in pharmaceutical R&D, having worked 29 years for Pfizer both in Europe and the United States. Prior to joining Ferring he also held the post of Visiting Investigator at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. He has led research programs across many therapeutic areas, both delivering clinical candidates and in many cases leading these into early development. He was responsible for research leading to the discovery of Relpax® for migraine and Selzentry® for HIV, and was recognized for his contributions with the Industrial Lectureship award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2000. He graduated from Imperial College in London and received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Cambridge. He spent two years as a NATO Research Fellow at Stanford University, California and Columbia University, New York before beginning his drug discovery career.
Dr. Heyman is a biopharmaceutical executive with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Most recently he served as CEO of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on the development of drugs targeting hormone dependent cancers that was acquired by the Roche group. He was also co-founder and CEO of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson in 2013. Previously, he co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics, a company that developed compounds targeting nuclear receptors for the treatment of metabolic diseases, acquired by Exelixis in 2004. As Vice President of Research at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, he led the development of 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 Directors for BIOCOM, Organovo Inc., The Jenna Druck Center, and ORIC Pharmaceuticals. He was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute and received a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota. He completed his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Gage is chairman of the board of directors at Cytokinetics and from 1998 to 2002 served as President of Wyeth Research and subsequently Senior Vice President, Science and Technology. From 1989 to 1998, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Genetics Institute, Inc., first as head of Research and Development, then as Chief Operating Officer, and eventually as President. From 1971 to 1989, Dr. Gage held various positions in research management with Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., most recently serving as Vice President responsible for U.S. drug discovery. Dr. Gage has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals since April 2013. Dr. Gage served on the Board of Directors of Neose Technologies from 2002 to 2009, and as the Chairman of its Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009. He served on PDL BioPharma, Inc.’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2008, as the Chairman of its Board of Directors in 2007, and as its Interim Chief Executive Officer from 2007 to 2008. Dr. Gage earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Ezekowitz is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence for Cardinal Partners and president and CEO of Abide Therapeutics, which he co-founded with Drs. Dale Boger and Ben Cravatt from The Scripps Research Institute. He is a pioneer in the field of innate immunity, and, along with Drs. Charles Janeway, Fotis Kafatos and Nobel laureate Jules Hoffman, helped define the role of pattern recognition molecules in first line host defense. He was previously senior vice president and franchise head of bone, respiratory, immunology, and endocrine at Merck Research Laboratories, where he led the overall scientific direction of the drug discovery and development process for these key therapeutic areas. Previous to Merck, Dr. Ezekowitz served as chief of Pediatric Services and chaired the Executive Committee on Research at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He also served as chief of Pediatric Services for Partners HealthCare in Boston and the Charles Wilder Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining MGH, he served on the staff of Children’s Hospital in Boston for 11 years. In 2008, Dr. Ezekowitz was honored with the establishment of the R. Alan Ezekowitz Professorship in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He has served on the board of directors of Partners HealthCare, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Anika Therapeutics and NatImmune, a biotech company that he founded. Dr. Ezekowitz completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Children’s Hospital Boston in the Division of Hematology and Oncology and Oxford University. He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University and received his medical training at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Dr. Daniel has contributed to improving healthcare as physician, educator, basic and translational scientist and, most recently, as a senior research and development executive in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies. He is currently Chairman & President of Vividion Therapeutics, is a venture partner at ARCH Venture Partners, and serves as director at Zafgen, Inc., JUNO Therapeutics, Magenta Therapeutics, and VIR Bio. Dr. Daniel advises the Parker Institute for Cancer Research, aTyr Pharma, Inc., is a director of the Alliance for Lupus Research and serves as a member of the Biomedical Science Advisory Board of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was recently Chairman of Research at Celgene Corporation, and served as President of Research and Early Development at Celgene over the past decade. Previously, he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Director at Ambrx Inc., was Vice President of Research at Amgen, and Senior Vice President of Discovery Research at Immunex. A nephrologist and former academic investigator, Dr. Daniel was C.M. Hakim Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology at Vanderbilt University and co-director of the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program). He formerly led NIH supported research groups, conducted research in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, earned his M.D. from the University of Texas, Southwestern, and completed medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.