Board of Directors

Peter Wirth

Chairman of the Board
Former EVP, Legal and Corporate Development, Genzyme

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Peter Wirth

Chairman of the Board
Former EVP, Legal and Corporate Development, Genzyme

Peter Wirth is an industry veteran with a track record of value creation in biotechnology. Mr. Wirth was a senior executive at Genzyme from 1996 until its acquisition by Sanofi in 2011, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Development, Chief Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary. During his time at Genzyme, Mr. Wirth had senior management responsibility for the company’s legal function, corporate development function, molecular oncology division, polymer drug discovery and development division and enterprise risk management function. He was instrumental in helping build Genzyme from a small start-up to a diversified, multi-billion dollar enterprise with more than 12,000 employees in locations spanning the globe. Prior to Genzyme, Mr. Wirth practiced law at Palmer & Dodge LLP, where he was head of the firm’s biotechnology practice group and served as outside counsel for Genzyme as well as numerous other biopharmaceutical companies. He is currently Chairman of FORMA Therapeutics, a small molecule drug discovery company, Executive Chairman of ZappRx, a digital health company, and Senior Advisor to Zai Lab Limited, a Shanghai-based biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Wirth was a 2012 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Srinivas Akkaraju

Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital

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Srinivas Akkaraju

Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital

Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D., has nearly 20 years of investment and operational experience in the life sciences sector. Dr. Akkaraju is a Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital. Prior to founding Samsara BioCapital, he served as a General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures from April 2013 to June 2016, Managing Director of New Leaf Venture Partners from January 2009 to April 2013, and Managing Director of Panorama Capital, a private equity firm that he helped found, from September 2006 to December 2008. Before co-founding Panorama Capital, he was a Partner at J.P. Morgan Partners, and earlier in his career, he was in Business and Corporate Development at Genentech (now a wholly owned member of The Roche Group). Dr. Akkaraju currently serves as chairman of the board of Versartis and as a director of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Seattle Genetics and aTyr Pharma. Previously, he served on the boards of Barrier Therapeutics, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, ZS Pharma, Synageva Biopharma Corp. and Amarin Corp. Dr. Akkaraju received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University and undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University.

Marsha H. Fanucci

Former Chief Financial Officer, Millennium Pharmaceuticals

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Marsha H. Fanucci

Former Chief Financial Officer, Millennium Pharmaceuticals

Marsha H. Fanucci is has served in a number of executive leadership positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals from 2000 to 2009, including Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Strategy, Vice President of Finance and Strategy, and Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy. During her tenure, Ms. Fanucci directly contributed to a series of strategic processes, advanced Millennium to profitability and was instrumental in the acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in 2008 for $8.8 billion. Previously, Ms. Fanucci was Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Genzyme Corp. and Vice President and Director at Arthur D. Little. Ms. Fanucci serves on the boards of directors of several biotech companies, including Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, FORMA Therapeutics, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and non- profit organization The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care. Ms. Fanucci received a B.S. in pharmacy from West Virginia University Medical School and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.

Amir Nashat, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Polaris Venture Partners

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Amir Nashat, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Polaris Venture Partners

Amir Nashat, Ph.D., is a managing partner at Polaris Venture Partners, where he has worked since 2002, and focuses on investments in the life sciences. Dr. Nashat serves on the boards of directors of AgBiome, aTyr Pharmaceuticals, BIND Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics, Promedior Pharmaceuticals, Scholar Rock and Selecta Biosciences. Dr. Nashat also serves on the board of the Partners Innovation Fund and is a mentor with the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has been named to the Forbes Midas list of Top 100 Venture Capitalists. Prior to joining Polaris, Dr. Nashat completed his Ph.D. as a Hertz Fellow in Chemical Engineering at MIT with a minor in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer. He earned his M.S. and B.S. in materials science and mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Robert Nelsen

Co-founder and Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners

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Robert Nelsen

Co-founder and Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners

Robert Nelsen is a co-founder and a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. He joined ARCH at its founding and played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than thirty companies, including twelve which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion. His seed and early-stage investments include Illumina (ILMN); Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY); Juno Therapeutics; Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO); Sage Therapeutics (SAGE); Ikaria (acquired by Madison Dearborn); Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH), Aviron (AVIR, acquired by Medimmune-MEDI); Sapphire Energy; NetBot (acquired by Excite-ATHM); R2 Technology (acquired by Hologic-HOLX); XenoPort (XNPT); Caliper Life Sciences (CALP, acquired by PerkinElmer); Bluebird Bio (BLUE); Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN, acquired by Emergent BioSolutions-EBS); Adolor (ADLR, acquired by Cubist-CBST); deCODE Genetics (acquired by Amgen-AMGN); Array BioPharma (ARRY); Nanosys; GenVec (GNVC); IDUN Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer- PFE); Genomica (GNOM, acquired by Exelixis-EXEL); Classmates.com (acquired by United Online-UNTD); Nura (acquired by Omeros-OMER); Receptos (RCPT); Kilimanjaro Energy; Hua Medicine; VLST; Ensemble Therapeutics; Accelerator; Theraclone Sciences; Fate Therapeutics (FATE); NextCODE Health; Bellerophon Therapeutics; Syros Pharmaceuticals, and Everyday Learning Corporation (acquired by Tribune Corp.-TRIB.) Mr. Nelsen is a director of Agios Pharmaceuticals, Juno Therapeutics, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Sapphire Energy, Sage Therapeutics, Ensemble Therapeutics, Syros Pharmaceuticals, NextCODE Health, and serves as Chairman of Hua Medicine. He previously served as a Trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and as a director of the National Venture Capital Association. Mr. Nelsen holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound with majors in Economics and Biology.

Sanj K. Patel

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals

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Sanj K. Patel

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals

Sanj K. Patel is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals. Before founding Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals in 2015, Mr. Patel was President and Chief Executive Officer of Synageva BioPharma Corp. as well as a director of the company. He created Synageva in 2008 to focus on rare diseases and oversaw the company’s lead program, Kanuma®, for LAL deficiency. Mr. Patel took Synageva public in November 2011, raising more than $1 billion in capital in less than five years, and he led the $9.5 billion (including cash) acquisition of Synageva by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in June 2015. Prior to Synageva, Mr. Patel served in a variety of senior leadership roles at Genzyme Corp. from 1999-2008, including head of U.S. Sales, Marketing and Commercial Operations for Genzyme Therapeutics’ Lysosomal Storage Disorder franchise, Vice President of Clinical Research and Head of the Global Clinical Research Operations Council. Earlier in his career, Mr. Patel held roles in clinical research and commercial operations at Burroughs Wellcome, Hoechst Marrion Roussel and Fujisawa/Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. He is currently a member of the board of directors of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded company. He is also founder and director of the Sanj K. Patel and Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports charities focused on patients with rare and devastating diseases. Mr. Patel earned his BSc with Honors in Biotechnology from the University of the South Bank, London. He completed his management and business studies at Ealing College in London and his Pharmacology research program at the Wellcome Foundation.

Vicki L. Sato, Ph.D.

Professor, Harvard Business School

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Vicki L. Sato, Ph.D.

Professor, Harvard Business School

Vicki L. Sato, Ph.D., is a Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, and Professor of the Practice in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at Harvard University. She was previously President of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Currently, Dr. Sato is a member of the Board of Directors for publicly held companies Bristol Myers Squibb Company, PerkinElmer Corporation, and Galapagos NV. Dr. Sato joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School and Harvard University in 2006, following her retirement from Vertex. Prior to becoming President of Vertex, she was the Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development leading programs in HIV, HCV, cystic fibrosis, inflammation and oncology. She joined Vertex in 1992, after serving as Vice President of Research at Biogen. Dr. Sato received her A.B. from Radcliffe College, and her A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. She conducted her postdoctoral work at both the University of California Berkeley and Stanford Medical Center.

Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.

Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Phillip Sharp, Ph.D.

Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., a world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry, is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Much of Dr. Sharp's scientific work has been conducted at MIT's Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute), which he joined in 1974 and directed from 1985 to 1991. He subsequently led the Department of Biology from 1991 to 1999 before assuming the directorship of the McGovern Institute from 2000-2004. His research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977. His discovery fundamentally changed scientists' understanding of the structure of genes and earned Dr. Sharp the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. His lab has now turned its attention to understanding how RNA molecules act as switched to turn genes on and off (RNA interference). Dr. Sharp has authored over 385 scientific papers and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. He earned his B.A. from Union College, KY in 1966 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969. His did his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the molecular biology of plasmids from bacteria.

Nancy Simonian, M.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer, Syros

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Nancy Simonian, M.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer, Syros

Nancy has an established track record of value creation in biotechnology. Prior to Syros, she was Chief Medical Officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and, previously, Vice President of Clinical Development at Biogen. Nancy has overseen the development of the numerous medicines including AVONEX, TYSABRI, VELCADE, ENTYVIO as well as multiple drugs currently in development in oncology. Under Nancy's leadership at Millennium, VELCADE became a mainstay of treatment for multiple myeloma and a billion-dollar commercial blockbuster. Nancy also built and advanced Millennium's promising pipeline of clinical-stage investigational medicines for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Nancy started her career as a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School and neurology staff at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She trained in neurology and internal medicine at the MGH and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Princeton. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Seattle Genetics.

Richard A. Young, Ph.D.

Member, Whitehead Institute

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Richard A. Young, Ph.D.

Member, Whitehead Institute

Richard A. Young, Ph.D., is a member of the Whitehead Institute and professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In May 2012, he was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Young’s research focuses on the regulatory circuitry that controls the gene expressions programs in each cell, including mapping the regulatory circuitry that controls cell state and differentiation in mice and humans. Experimental and computational technologies are used to determine how signaling pathways, transcription factors, chromatin regulators and small RNAs control gene expression programs in embryonic stem cells. Dr. Young has served as an advisor to Science magazine and the World Health Organization. In 2006, Dr. Young was recognized as one of the top 50 leaders in science, technology and business by Scientific American. His awards include a Burroughs Wellcome Scholarships, the Chiron Corporation Biotechnology Research Awards, and Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal. Dr. Young received his Ph.D. from Yale University.