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  • Board of Directors

    aTyr’s board of directors plays an important role in guiding the enormous potential of our science through the realities of running a biotech business.  Each member has an accomplished track record in biologics and building biotechs from a strong, novel scientific foundation and in navigating and supporting meaningful partnerships and product opportunities.

    • Srini Akkaraju, Ph.D.

      Board Member

      Srini Akkaraju has over 16 years of investment and operational experience in the life sciences sector. He joined Sofinnova in 2013 as a General Partner, and concentrates on biopharmaceutical investments. Srini’s board memberships have included Piramed (acquired by Roche), Eyetech Pharmaceuticals (EYET), Synageva BioPharma (GEVA), Seattle Genetics (SGEN), Intercept Pharmaceuticals, (ICPT), and Versartis. Prior to joining Sofinnova, Srini was a Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners. Prior to NLVP, he was a co-founder and Managing Director at Panorama Capital. Before forming Panorama, he served as Partner of JP Morgan Partners. Prior to JP Morgan Partners, Srini held business and corporate development positions at Genentech. He received BA degrees in both Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University and MD and PhD degrees in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine.

    • James C. Blair, Ph.D.

      Board Member

      Dr. Blair has been a partner of Domain Associates since the company’s founding in 1985.  Present board memberships include Astute Medical, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Cell Biosciences, Clovis Oncology, CoDa Therapeutics, Five Prime Therapeutics, GenVault, IntegenX, Meritage Pharma, NeuroPace, and Zogenix. Dr. Blair has more than 40 years experience with venture and emerging growth companies. In the course of his experience, he has been involved in the creation and successful development at the board level of more than 40 life sciences ventures, including Amgen, Aurora Biosciences, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, Dura Pharmaceuticals, GeneOhm Sciences, Molecular Dynamics, Nuvasive, Pharmion and Volcano. A former managing director of Rothschild, Dr. Blair was directly involved at a senior level with Rothschild/New Court venture capital activities. He was also associated with F.S. Smithers and Co. and White, Weld and Co., two investment banking firms actively involved with new ventures and emerging growth companies. Dr. Blair was an engineering manager with RCA Corporation, during which time he received the David Sarnoff Fellowship. Dr. Blair currently serves on the board of directors of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and on the advisory boards of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, and the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

    • John K. Clarke


      Mr. Clarke is managing general partner of Cardinal Partners. He entered the venture industry in 1982 with DSV Partners, a pioneer venture capital fund formed in 1968. John led DSV’s health care and life sciences efforts and was a co-founder and served as interim CEO of numerous successful companies including Alkermes, Arris Pharmaceuticals, DNX and Cubist Pharmaceuticals. As managing partner at DSV in later years, Mr. Clarke led the firm’s evolution into Cardinal Partners. Building on two decades in venture capital, he co-founded Cardinal Partners in 1997. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals and Verastem . He has also served as a director for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), TechRx (acquired by NDCHealth) and Visicu (acquired by Phillips Electronics). Mr. Clarke is also a Trustee of Hands Together, a non-profit organization that provides health care and education support to the needy in Haiti. Prior to his venture capital career, John worked for the General Electric Company in various sales and marketing positions. Mr. Clarke received his A.B. in economics and biology from Harvard University and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

    • Kathryn (Kate) Falberg

      Board Member

      Ms. Falberg most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC from 2009 to 2014, during which time the market capitalization of Jazz increased from approximately $200 million to approximately $9 billion. From 1995 to 2001, Ms. Falberg was with Amgen Inc., where she served as Senior Vice President, Finance and Strategy, Chief Financial Officer, and before that as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, and Vice President, Treasurer. During this time, Amgen’s sales grew from approximately $1.6 billion to approximately $4 billion and its market capitalization increased from approximately $8 billion to approximately $75 billion. Ms. Falberg currently serves on the board of directors and is the Audit Committee Chair at Ariosa Diagnostics, a medical diagnostics company; at Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company; and at Medivation, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company.

    • Mark Goldberg

      Board Member

      Dr. Goldberg, age 60, was the Senior Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs of Synageva BioPharma Corp. from September 2011 to January 2014, and served as Executive Vice President, Medical and Regulatory Strategy for Synageva BioPharma Corp. from January to October of 2014. While no longer an officer, he remains employed by Synageva contributing to medical and regulatory strategy. Dr. Goldberg served in a variety of senior management positions at Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company, most recently as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Global Therapeutic Group Head, Oncology and Personalized Genetic Health, from 1996 to July 2011. Prior to working at Genzyme Corporation, he was a full time staff physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where he still holds appointments. He has also been an Associate Professor of Medicine, part-time at Harvard Medical School since 1996. Dr. Goldberg is a board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist and has more than 50 published papers. Dr. Goldberg also serves on the board of directors of ImmunoGen, Inc., Idera Pharmaceuticals, and GlycoMimetics, Inc. and previously served on the board of directors of Synageva BioPharma Corp. Dr. Goldberg received his A.B. from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. We believe that Dr. Goldberg’s qualifications to sit on our board of directors include his extensive scientific and medical background, public company board experience and extensive experience in the management and operations of pharmaceutical companies.

    • John D. Mendlein, Ph.D.

      Executive Chairman

      Dr. Mendlein currently serves as CEO and executive chairman of aTyr Therapeutics and chairman for Fate Therapeutics.  He served as CEO of Adnexus Therapeutics until Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) purchased the company after the award-winning partnership between Adnexus and BMY.  Previously, Dr. Mendlein served as chairman and CEO at Affinium Pharmaceuticals, and he held a variety of roles, including board member, general counsel and chief knowledge officer, at Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, VRTX).  He has worked as an attorney at Cooley LLP, a law firm, in its life sciences and technology litigation practice groups and as a scientist in the Department of Molecular Biology and Protein Expression at Smith Kline & French, now GlaxoSmithKline. He is currently an advisory board member of Genesys Capital, a founder and board member of Homes for Sudan, a non-profit in Boston, and a scientific advisory board member for Ocean Discovery Institute, a non-profit in San Diego.  He is the author or inventor of more than 30 publications and patents. Dr. Mendlein earned a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of California, Los Angeles, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and a B.S. in biology from the University of Miami.

    • Amir Nashat, Ph.D.

      Board Member

      Dr. Nashat is a general partner in the Boston office of Polaris Partners where he focuses on investments in the life sciences. He also serves on the board of directors of Athenix Corporation, Avila Therapeutics, Bind Biosciences, Fate Therapeutics, Living Proof, Pervasis Therapeutics, Promedior Pharmaceuticals and Selecta Biosciences.  Dr. Nashat played an instrumental role in the inception of Living Proof, and Pervasis, serving as the founding president of both companies. He previously served as a director of Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb) and Hydra Biosciences and as an observer of GI Dynamics and Advion.  Prior to joining Polaris, he was a Hertz fellow in chemical engineering with a minor in biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he completed his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer.  During his time at MIT, Dr. Nashat also completed an internship in the London office of Goldman, Sachs & Company.  He received his M.S. and B.S. in materials science and mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

    • Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

      Board Member

      Dr. Schimmel is an Ernst and Jean Hahn Professor at The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He was formerly the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Department of Biology at MIT. The Schimmel laboratory’s major research activities have concentrated on the decoding of genetic information, with emphasis on the rules of the universal genetic code which are established through aminoacylation reactions catalyzed by a group of enzymes known as aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. The latter are believed by many to be among the first enzymes to arise on this planet in the early stages of the evolution of life.  In addition to founding aTyr, Dr. Schimmel has founded or co-founded a number of groundbreaking biotechs including Alkermes, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Metabolon, Repligen Corp., Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Schimmel graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, holds Ph.D. at Cornell University and MIT and did post doctoral work at Stanford University.

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