Chief Financial Officer
Diantha joined Genocea in March 2019, bringing broad life science financial leadership experience to the company. Most recently, Diantha served as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at Bioverativ, Inc. Prior to Bioverativ, she served as U.S. and Global Commercial Controller at Biogen and held a number of positions as an Executive Director at Merck and Co. While at Merck, her experiences spanned roles in venture investment, business development, joint ventures, and alliances, as well as operational controls and technical accounting. In addition, she gained extensive experience in SEC reporting, Sarbanes Oxley compliance, transaction support and risk management while at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Colby College and masters’ degrees in both Accounting and Business Administration from Northeastern University. Diantha is also a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Massachusetts.
Fun Facts about Diantha: enjoys traveling and skiing especially with her family and is an avid Boston sports fan.
Girish Aakalu, Ph.D.
Chief Business Officer
Girish joined Genocea in December 2018 as Chief Business Officer. In this role, he leads Genocea’s business development efforts. His broad skill set spans business development, corporate and R&D strategy, product portfolio management, commercial planning, and alliance management - experience he gained at previous positions at the Ipsen Group, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, which included Vice President: Global Head of External Innovation, and positions at Pfizer, Inc., which included Executive Director: Head of Strategy, Innovation & Operations for Pfizer’s External R&D Innovation team. His previous roles also include business development and oncology pipeline market planning positions at Genentech, Inc. and life science consulting experience at L.E.K Consulting. He received a B.A. in Biophysics with General and Departmental Honors from Johns Hopkins University, a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology following an M.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology, and has completed executive education in Corporate Governance at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.
Fun Facts about Girish: While he’s enjoying being back in the northeast after nearly two decades in California, he remains a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan.
Pamela Carroll, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Immuno-oncology
Pam joined Genocea in July 2016 as Senior Vice President, Immuno-oncology. Here, she leverages her expertise in cancer biology and immuno-oncology to guide the development and strategic direction of Genocea’s oncology pipeline. Pam’s previous positions include Vice President of Oncology Discovery at Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, Vice President of Janssen oncology at Johnson and Johnson Innovation, and founding Head of Research at the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Her broad skillset also comes from drug discovery experience working in applied genomics at Bristol-Myers Squibb and oncology research done at Merck Research Laboratories. Pam earned a B.A. in biology at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, a doctorate in cellular biology at Stony Brook University, and completed a post-doctorate fellowship at Stanford University.
Fun Facts about Pam: she holds a license to mudlark on the River Thames in London and has visited six of the seven continents.
Tom Davis, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Tom joined Genocea in October 2018 as Chief Medical Officer with 20+ years of academic and industry experience in immuno-oncology and cancer drug development. Most recently, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Gadeta B.V., a Dutch cell therapy company pursuing novel cancer targets, where he steered a novel cell therapy technology into first-in human clinical studies. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer of Celldex from 2006 to 2017, where he led all aspects of clinical and regulatory development including strategy, tactics, and execution. While at Celldex, Tom actively built and oversaw Clinical Science, Medical Affairs, Safety, Clinical Operations, Statistics, Regulatory Affairs, and Project Management, managed collaborations with large global pharmaceutical partners, and participated in investor relations activities. He also served as Chief Medical Officer at GenVec and as Senior Director of Clinical Science at Medarex.
Prior to joining the industry, Tom supervised clinical efforts at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and worked on the development of rituximab and idiotype vaccines at Stanford University. Dr. Davis received his B.A. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins, his M.S. in Physiology and his M.D. from Georgetown University, and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Stanford University.
Fun Facts about Tom: is a lifelong sailor and amateur explorer who is still trying to convince his wife that the one with the most boats wins, despite the endless hours required for upkeep.
Jessica Baker Flechtner, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Jess joined Genocea in 2007, soon after the company was founded, and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer. She is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of novel vaccines directed toward T cell immunity and has more than 20 years of experience in immunology, cancer, infectious disease, and vaccine development. She leads Genocea’s efforts to develop T cell-directed vaccines and immunotherapies against cancer using the company’s proprietary ATLAS platform to identify and characterize both common and personalized antigens.
Prior to joining Genocea, Jess served in a variety of roles developing vaccines and immunotherapies for cancer, infectious disease, autoimmunity, and allergy at companies including Mojave Therapeutics and Antigenics (now Agenus). Jess received a B.S. in Animal Science and a Ph.D. in Cellular Immunology from Cornell University, and performed her post-doctoral work at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. She is a member of Women in Bio, the American Association of Immunologists, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and the American Society for Microbiology. She is also an inventor on numerous pending and issued patents and is the author of multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Fun Facts about Jess: can trace her roots back to the original U.S. colonies, is an avid skier, and, in fact, hates being hot and would be just fine living somewhere with year-round snow!
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
Derek joined Genocea in September 2018 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In this role, Derek manages Genocea's legal affairs and advises the company on business strategy and implementation. He has extensive experience as a corporate attorney, serving for several years as the General Counsel to multiple Boston-based financial services firms, including a prominent biotechnology investment firm. Derek also previously served as Partner at the international law firm of K&L Gates, where he counseled various corporate clients on corporate governance, regulatory, and compliance matters, and as a Branch Chief in the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Derek earned a B.A. from The University of Michigan and a J.D. from The American University, Washington College of Law.
Fun Facts about Derek: used to be a part-time food critic and enjoys finding "hole in the wall" dining gems; he also is a drummer and can often be found attending rock concerts.
Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Manufacturing
Narinder Singh joined Genocea in March 2018, and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Manufacturing. Narinder has more than 20 years of experience in process development, scale-up, technical operations, and manufacturing supply chain of biopharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Genocea, Narinder served as Vice President of Drug Product Development and Manufacturing at Momenta Pharmaceuticals, where he built an integrated drug product group to support Momenta’s expanding portfolio of biosimilars and novel biologics.
Prior to Momenta, he held positions at Amgen, where he played a key role in development of Amgen’s biologics-based pipeline and commercial drug products with a strong focus on process development, commercialization, manufacturing, and new technology development. Narinder holds a B.Tech/M.Tech in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, and an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Fun Facts about Narinder: an avid technology enthusiast and news junkie, he also looks forward to gardening on the weekends.
Ali Behbahani, M.D.
Dr. Ali Behbahani has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2018. Dr. Behbahani is a General Partner on the healthcare team at NEA since 2018, having worked for the fund since 2007, specializing in investments in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors. He is also currently a member of the board of directors of CRISPR Therapeutics, Adaptimmune, Cardionomic, CVRx, Ivantis, Minerva Surgical, Oyster Point Pharma and Solace Therapeutics.
He has previously worked as a consultant in business development at The Medicines Company and held positions as a Venture Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners from 2000 to 2002 and as a Healthcare Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers from 1998 to 2000. Dr. Behbahani conducted basic science research in the fields of viral fusion inhibition and structural proteomics at the National Institutes of Health and at Duke University. He graduated summa cum laude and received his bachelor’s degree with distinction in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Chemistry from Duke University, earned an M.D. from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
Katrine Bosley has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2013 and, until December 2018, served as our chairperson. Ms. Bosley served as the Chief Executive Officer of Editas Medicine Inc. ("Editas") from June 2014 through February 2019. Prior to Editas, Ms. Bosley was the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Broad Institute from September 2013 to May 2014.
She served as Chief Executive Officer of Avila Therapeutics from May 2009 to March 2012, when Avila was acquired by Celgene Corporation. Before Avila, she was Vice President, Strategic Operations at Adnexus Therapeutics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and was Vice President, Business Development at Adnexus prior to that. She joined Adnexus from Biogen Idec where she held roles in business development, commercial operations, and portfolio strategy in the United States and Europe.
Earlier, she was part of the healthcare team at the venture firm Highland Capital Partners from 1993 to 1995. In addition to serving as a director of our Company, Ms. Bosley currently serves as a director of Galapagos NV and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. She also is a member of the BIO Governing Board and Chair of the Emerging Companies Section of that Board. Ms. Bosley graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Biology.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chip has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since February 2011 after serving as our Chief Business Officer from August 2010 to February 2011. Chip has also served on our board of directors since February 2011. Prior to joining Genocea, he served as Chief Business Officer at Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2004. While at Vanda, he led the company’s strategic and business development activities and played a central role in raising more than $400 million through business development deals and equity financings.
Prior to Vanda, Chip was a principal at Care Capital, a venture capital firm investing in biopharmaceutical companies, after serving in a variety of commercial and strategic roles at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). Chip holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Fun Facts about Chip: is happiest when exploring with his wife and children; his favorite Twitter follows are Muppets.
Ron Cooper has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2016. Mr. Cooper is President and CEO of Albireo Pharma, a position to which he was appointed in June 2015, and serves on the Albireo Board of Directors. Ron is a life sciences leader with a track record of growing and rejuvenating businesses, brands and organizations – ranging from entrepreneurial, resource-constrained organizations to organizations with sales up to $4.5 billion – in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to Albireo, he was with Bristol-Myers Squibb for more than 25 years working in five different countries and holding positions of increasing responsibility in sales, marketing, and general management, culminating in President of Europe. In Europe, he was responsible for more than 30 countries with sales exceeding $4.5 billion. While at BMS, Ron was directly associated with several product successes, including Abilify®, Avapro®, Atripla®, Eliquis®, Orencia®, Pravachol®, Plavix®, Reyataz®, Sustiva®, Sprycel®, and Yervoy®. He has successfully completed more than a dozen business development deals including the creation of the first single tablet HIV/AIDS regimen partnership. Ron is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University in Canada.
Michael Higgins has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2015. In January 2015, Mr. Higgins joined Polaris Partners as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Prior to Polaris, Mr. Higgins served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals from 2003 through 2014, playing a key role in Ironwood’s evolution from a privately funded discovery organization through its initial public offering and the launch of its first commercial product. Under his leadership, the company was able to raise more than one billion dollars to help support the development of the business during that period.
Prior to his work at Ironwood, from 1997 through 2003, Mr. Higgins worked at Genzyme Corporation in a variety of leadership roles including Vice President, Corporate Finance and Vice President, Business Development. While at Genzyme, he was involved with multiple businesses including the Cell Therapy, Gene Therapy, and Orphan Disease business units. Previously, Mr. Higgins served as Chief Financial Officer of Procept, Inc., from 1992 to 1997, and led the company through its initial public offering. Mr. Higgins currently serves as a director of Pulmatrix, Inc. and Voyager Therapeutics. Mr. Higgins began his pharmaceutical career as a sales representative for Schering-Plough Corporation in 1986. Mr. Higgins earned his B.S. from Cornell University and holds an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Howard Mayer, M.D.
Howard Mayer, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2017. Dr. Mayer was Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Shire plc and is currently in a transitional role as Head of the Rare Disease Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda. Dr. Mayer joined Shire in 2012 and is responsible for global clinical development across hematology, immunology, oncology, genetic diseases, GI/metabolic, neuroscience and ophthalmology therapeutic areas. Previously, he served as Chief Medical Officer at EMD Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, since 2009.
Prior to that, he held a variety of global roles at Pfizer Inc. including head of clinical development and medical affairs for Virology/Infectious Diseases. Prior to joining Pfizer, he served as Director of Infectious Diseases Clinical Research at Bristol-Myers Squibb for five years. He currently serves on the board of Autism Speaks in New England since 2011. Dr. Mayer obtained his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, which was followed by an internship and residency at Mount Sinai Hospital and an Infectious Diseases fellowship at Harvard Medical School. In 2011 and 2017, he was honored by PharmaVoice as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life Sciences Industry.
George Siber, M.D.
George Siber, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since 2007. From 1996 to 2007, Dr. Siber served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Wyeth Vaccines where he oversaw the development and approval of multiple widely used childhood vaccines, including Prevnar, a pneumococcal vaccine that has achieved multibillion dollar revenues; Acel-Imune, an acellular pertussis vaccine; and Meningitec, a meningococcal meningitis vaccine. Prior to Wyeth, Dr. Siber was Director of the Massachusetts Public Health Biologic Laboratories and a Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Medicine at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. During this time, Dr. Siber led the research and manufacturing of multiple vaccines and immune globulins including Respigam, a human immune globulin against respiratory syncytial virus.
Since 2007, Dr. Siber has served on the boards of directors of several vaccine companies, including Selecta Biosciences, Vedantra Pharmaceuticals and Affinivax Inc., and as a consultant or scientific advisory board member of ClearPath Vaccines Company, of which he is currently the Chief Scientific Officer, PaxVax, Vaxess Technologies, Inc., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission (on vaccinations), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Korean FDA. Dr. Siber serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Vaccine Institute. Dr. Siber received his undergraduate degree at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal, received post-doctoral training in Internal Medicine at Rush-Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and Infectious Disease and vaccinology training at Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston. In 2016, The Sabin Vaccine Institute awarded the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award to Dr. Siber for his outstanding contributions to immunology and infectious disease research through the development of life-saving vaccines for childhood diseases, including pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningococcus.
Chuck Drake, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of Genitourinary Oncology, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Co-director of Cancer Immunotherapy Programs at Columbia University Medical Center
One of the influential leaders in immunotherapy and in prostate cancer research and therapies, Dr. Drake is a physician-scientist known for rapidly incorporating discoveries made in the research lab into innovative clinical trials, including anti-tumor vaccines and immunotherapies. Previously, Dr. Drake served as the co-director of the Cancer Immunology Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and as co-director of the Prostate Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Clinic. Earlier in his Hopkins career, he was an associate professor in the Department of Oncology and an assistant professor of medical oncology. Dr. Drake received a B.S. in electrical engineering and an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University. He received a doctorate at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and later earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado.
George Siber, M.D., Chair
Chief Scientific Officer, ClearPath Vaccines Company
Former Chief Scientific Officer, Wyeth Vaccines
Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School
Dr. Siber is an internationally recognized vaccine expert with decades of experience in developing innovative vaccines. Dr. Siber’s prior professional experiences include Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Wyeth Vaccines Research, overseeing the development, approval and marketing of six innovative childhood vaccines including Prevenar 7, the first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Meningitec, the first Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine, Rotashield, the first rotavirus vaccine and FluMist, the first live nasal influenza vaccine. Prevenar 7 has dramatically reduced the burden of pneumococcal disease in the countries that have introduced it and has become the largest selling vaccine (more than $4 Billion per year). Previous to Wyeth, Dr. Siber served as Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories. Under his leadership, the specific immune globulins to CMV (Cytogam) and to RSV (Respigam) the precursor product to Synagis were developed and licensed to MedImmune. Currently, Dr. Siber is Chief Scientific Officer of ClearPath Vaccines Company, a vaccine development company focused on developing novel vaccines with high medical need to create a global vaccine portfolio for Astellas Pharma. Dr. Siber received his undergraduate degree at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec and his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. In 2016, The Sabin Vaccine Institute awarded the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award to Dr. Siber for his outstanding contributions to immunology and infectious disease research through the development of life-saving vaccines for childhood diseases, including pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and meningococcus.
Elizabeth Jaffee, MD
Deputy Director Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins
The Dana and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli professor of oncology
President-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (2017-2018)
Co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative
Dr. Jaffee is a distinguished leader in preclinical and early clinical development of vaccines for breast and pancreatic cancers. At Johns Hopkins, Dr. Jaffee is the Deputy Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center; Associate Director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy; and Co-Director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care. Dr. Jaffee is the leader of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)-Lustgarten Foundation Dream Team: Transforming Pancreatic Cancer to a Treatable Disease and serves as Chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board for the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Research Institute’s Scientific Advisory Council. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University before receiving her medical degree from New York Medical College.
Kwok-Kin Wong, M.D., Ph.D
Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology, New York University Langone Health Center
Anne Murnick Cogan and David H. Cogan Professor of Oncology, Department of Medicine
A renowned leader in the development of mouse models of lung cancer, Dr. Wong has made tremendous contributions to the understanding of the origins of cancer and the molecular determinants of treatment responses. Following a distinguished career at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Wong is currently Professor of Medicine and a practicing clinical oncologist at NYU Langone Health Center. While at Dana-Farber, Dr. Wong fostered partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry that accelerated cancer drug discovery. He directed the pioneering Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Research, a research center dedicated to translating current oncology research into clinical trials. Dr. Wong earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in the Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and in hematology-oncology at Dana-Farber. He is a recipient of the 2010 Team Science Award from the American Association of Cancer Research.
Kenneth Bate, Chair
Kenneth Bate has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2014 and as our chairman since December 2018. Mr. Bate is currently a director of AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Epizyme Inc. and Madrigal Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Bate previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix Corp. and NitroMed Inc., Chief Financial Officer of Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Biogen Inc., and co-founded JSB Partners LLC, a banking and advisory services firm for biopharmaceutical and life sciences companies. He holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Williams College.
Chip has served as Genocea’s President and Chief Executive Officer since February 2011 after serving as our Chief Business Officer from August 2010 to February 2011. Chip has also served on our board of directors since February 2011. Prior to joining Genocea, he served as Chief Business Officer at Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2004. While at Vanda, he led the company’s strategic and business development activities and played a central role in raising more than $400 million through business development deals and equity financings. Prior to Vanda, Chip was a principal at Care Capital, a venture capital firm investing in biopharmaceutical companies, after serving in a variety of commercial and strategic roles at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). Chip holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Eric Tran, Ph.D
Assistant Member, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Institute, Portland, OR
Dr. Tran is an expert in targeting mutated neoantigens using adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapy. His studies have provided the most direct evidence that T cells targeting neoantigens can mediate tumor regression in patients with metastatic epithelial cancers. Dr .Tran earned his Ph.D. at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and received postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health under the direct mentorship of Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, a leader and pioneer in human cancer immunotherapy.