ABOUT US Our
Leadership

ONE TEAM striving to pioneer a new frontier in medicine

Our leadership team moves in one direction: forward. Our focus unites the world-class experts we have brought together across cell and gene therapy, rare disease, clinical development and manufacturing. We share a passion for science, a commitment to teamwork and, above all, dedication to families and individuals living with genetic diseases.

We are AVROBIO.

EXECUTIVE BIOS

Meet our
Leaders

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Geoff MacKay

Geoff MacKay

President & CEO

Geoff is a pioneer in cell and gene therapy with a track record of successful leadership at innovative biotechs. He is the former CEO of Organogenesis Inc., the world’s leading cell therapy company. During his tenure at the helm, the company treated 1 million patients with living cell therapies, received the first approval of an allogeneic cell therapy from the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and led the field of regenerative medicine. Geoff is also the founding CEO of eGenesis, a biotech dedicated to applying CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing to xenotransplantation. Earlier in his career, Geoff spent 11 years at Novartis in senior leadership positions within the global transplantation and immunology franchise. Geoff sits on the boards of Talaris Therapeutics and Satellos Bioscience. Past activities include chairman of the board of MassBio, chairman of the board of the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, and a member of the advisory council to the Health Policy Commission for Massachusetts.

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Chris Mason, MD, PhD, FRCS, FMedSci

Chris Mason, MD, PhD, FRCS, FMedSci

Chief Scientific Officer

Chris is a clinician-scientist with more than 25 years of cell and gene therapy experience spanning R&D, clinical medicine, bioprocessing and commercialization. He works to train the next generation of world-class scientists as a professor of cell and gene therapy at University College London and reviews cutting-edge research from around the world as senior editor of the journals Cell and Gene Therapy Insights and Regenerative Medicine. Chris was instrumental in the founding of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), the UK-Israel Science Council and the London Regenerative Medicine Network. He’s on the scientific advisory board for several public and private companies, the UK Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult, and the Canadian Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine.

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Deanna Peterson, MBA

Deanna Petersen, MBA

Chief Business Officer

Deanna is a seasoned biotech executive with unparalleled experience in global business and corporate development and strategic planning. She previously led business development for Shire’s rare disease unit, where she and her team identified and evaluated new business opportunities and negotiated and executed more than 40 licenses, mergers, acquisitions and other transactions in five years, including a $4.2 billion acquisition of ViroPharma. Prior to joining Shire, Deanna was vice president of business development at Agenus Inc. and at Coley Pharmaceutical Group. Deanna sits on the board of directors for Tecogen, Inc. (TGEN) and has previously served on boards at Armagen, American DG Energy (ADGE), the Massachusetts Biotechnology Association, the Boston chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and the Boston BioPharma Executive Council.

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Erik Ostrowski, MBA

Erik Ostrowski, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Erik brings over 20 years of finance and biotech operating experience, including a focus on rare diseases and cell-based therapies. He was previously CFO at Summit Therapeutics, where he led the finance and investor relations functions and played a key role in multiple strategic transactions to build out the company’s U.S. and global operations. Prior to joining Summit, Erik was vice president of finance at Organogenesis Inc. He previously worked in investment banking, including as a director of healthcare investment banking with Leerink Partners. Erik began his career as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and received a BS in accounting and economics from Babson College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Holly May, MBA

Holly May, MBA

Chief Commercial Officer

Holly is a rare diseases leader with deep experience in commercial strategy and operations. She was previously vice president and head of commercial at SOBI, Inc., where she led all aspects of commercial strategy, operations and performance. Prior to joining SOBI, Holly held leadership roles of increasing strategic importance across marketing, operations, sales, and strategic planning at Sanofi and Genzyme. As vice president in the Genzyme rare disease unit, she led the team responsible for brand, disease and digital marketing for Fabry and other lysosomal disorders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Miami University of Ohio, and an MBA with a concentration in marketing from the University of Akron.

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Georgette Verdin

Georgette Verdin

Chief of Human Resources Officer

Georgette is an accomplished leader with deep experience developing HR strategies aligned to drive business results. She previously led global human resources at Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, where she partnered with executives and their scientific research teams across seven sites in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Before that, she served as vice president of global corporate human resources at Biogen Inc. She lived and worked in Europe for more than 10 years nurturing startups and has proven expertise at helping build cultures that attract, retain and develop world-class talent. Georgette has a passion for supporting women in business and paying forward the benefits of mentorship. She founded the Professional Women’s Association in Budapest, Hungary in 1998. She also founded Girls Night Out in Seattle in 2005 and then extended the organization to Boston. Girls Night Out is dedicated to connecting and supporting women in their careers and through their transitions. Georgette received a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. in International Relations from the American University School of International Service.

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Kim Warren, PhD

Kim Warren, PhD

Chief Manufacturing and Technology Officer

Kim is an experienced scientist with entrepreneurial and business management experience in cell and gene therapy. Prior to AVROBIO, she spent 10 years at Lonza developing a services business, including tissue acquisition, process development, bioassays and related services to support GMP manufacturing of cellular therapeutics. Kim also headed R&D at Cambrex, developing cell-based research products. She founded and ran Poietic Technologies, acquired by Cambrex in 1999. She has also held research positions in pharma (Otsuka) and biotech (Cetus). Kim has a PhD in comparative physiology from University of Maryland and postdoctoral training in immunology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Birgitte Volck, MD, PhD

Birgitte Volck, MD, PhD

President of Research and Development

Birgitte is a senior executive and industry R&D leader who brings outstanding experience in rare disease research and development and commercialization, with a focus on innovative therapeutic modalities including gene therapy. She previously served as senior vice president and head of rare diseases R&D and medical affairs at GSK in the UK, where she oversaw an innovative rare diseases portfolio including ex vivo gene therapy programs for orphan disease indications. Prior to GSK, Birgitte was chief medical officer and SVP, head of development at Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (SOBI), leading the development of their portfolio in rare diseases including hemophilia, inflammation, neonatology and genetic metabolic diseases. In addition, Birgitte has held senior R&D and medical affairs positions with Genzyme, Pharmexa and Amgen, where she led early and late stage programs and worked with product commercialization from pre-approval to launch and lifecycle management. Birgitte serves on the advisory board of World Orphan Drug Congress and as non-executive director at Ascendis Pharma and Soleno Therapeutics. In the past, she has served on the boards of Wilson Therapeutics and Trial Form Support International CRO. She received her MD and PhD degrees from Copenhagen University, Denmark, where she is now an external lecturer.

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Steven Avruch, JD

Steven Avruch, JD

General Counsel

Steven was chief corporation counsel and assistant secretary (VP) at Biogen Inc., and prior to that worked at Biogen as an associate general counsel. A corporate attorney, Steven has more than 30 years of experience in a broad range of industries including life sciences and technology companies. He graduated with an AB in Russian Studies from Dartmouth College, and later earned his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. 

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Jose F. Gomez

Jose F. Gomez

SVP, Global Market Access & Value

Jose is a seasoned biotech commercial leader with deep expertise in value and access, strategic pricing, reimbursement, new product development and global commercialization. He successfully built and led market access, pricing and reimbursement functions at three leading biopharma companies, with in-depth experience in gene therapy and rare diseases. Jose previously led the global market access and global strategic marketing functions at AveXis. Prior to AveXis, he worked at Shire Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories and Eli Lilly. While at Shire, Jose led global market access for the rare diseases business, including the lysosomal disorders commercial and pipeline products.

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Kathryn McNaughton, PhD

Kathryn McNaughton, PhD

SVP, Portfolio & Program Management

Kathryn has 20 years of experience in the biotech industry encompassing R&D, program management and assessment of business development opportunities. She brings to AVROBIO deep expertise in global program leadership and orphan drug development, extending from the preclinical stage through commercialization. Kathryn was previously vice president for R&D pipeline program management at Synageva and held roles of increasing responsibility at Shire and Praecis Pharmaceuticals. Kathryn earned a PhD in chemistry from Princeton University and a BS in chemistry from Monmouth University.

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Monique da Silva

Monique da Silva

SVP, Corporate Communications

Monique is a global communications leader with extensive experience in the biotechnology and healthcare industries. She was previously vice president, corporate communications at Spark Therapeutics, where she was responsible for internal and external communications, and led the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. While at Spark, she led the communications efforts for the regulatory approval and launch of the first gene therapy for a genetic disease in the U.S. Previously, Monique led the U.S. public affairs group for Biogen, where she was responsible for advocacy relations, employee communications and external communications to support the company’s $6.5 billion U.S. business, launching four new medicines in two years. Before Biogen, she worked in U.S. and global leadership positions at Ogilvy PR and MSLGroup. Monique is part of the leadership team for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, New England. She has a BA from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine and completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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Josie Yang, PhD

Josie Yang, PhD

Head of Regulatory Affairs

Josie’s expertise in regulatory affairs stems from more than 25 years of experience in biomedical research in both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and in industry. She has worked on regulatory affairs across multiple modalities and all stages of drug development. Josie held leadership positions as VP and head of global regulatory strategy at PTC Therapeutics, a global biopharma company, and was an associate VP, global regulatory affairs at ImClone Systems/Eli Lilly and Company. She has a DVM from National Taiwan University and a PhD in immunology from Auburn University.

Board of
Directors

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Bruce Booth, DPhil Atlasventue logo

Bruce Booth, DPhil

Chairman

Bruce Booth is a partner at Atlas Venture and focuses on the discovery and development of novel medicines and therapeutic platforms. Bruce is currently chairman of AVROBIO, Kymera Therapeutics, Hotspot Therapeutics, Nimbus Therapeutics and Unum Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UMRX), and also serves on the boards of Lysosomal Therapeutics and Magenta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGTA). He previously served on the boards of past Atlas companies Avila (acquired by Celgene), Padlock (acquired by BMS), Rodin Therapeutics (acquired by Alkermes), Prestwick (acquired by Biovail), Stromedix (acquired by Biogen), Zafgen (NASDAQ:ZFGN), and a number of other ventures. Bruce serves as an advisor in various capacities to UCB, Takeda, and the Gates Foundation. He also serves on the boards of the National Venture Capital Association, the Pennsylvania State Research Foundation, and New England Disabled Sports, a charity dedicated to adaptive sports. Bruce blogs about biotech and venture capital topics at LifeSciVC.com, which is syndicated on Forbes. Prior to joining Atlas in 2005, Bruce was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, as well as an investor for Caxton Health Holdings. As a British Marshall Scholar, Bruce received a D.Phil. (PhD) in molecular immunology from Oxford University. He received a BS in biochemistry, summa cum laude, from Pennsylvania State University.

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Geoff MacKay Avrobio logo

Geoff MacKay

President & CEO

Geoff is the president and CEO of AVROBIO and a veteran biotech executive with deep experience in cell and gene therapy. He is the former CEO of Organogenesis Inc., the world’s leading cell therapy company. During his tenure at the helm, the company treated 1 million patients with living cell therapies, received the first approval of an allogeneic cell therapy from the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and led the field of regenerative medicine. Geoff is also the founding CEO of eGenesis, a biotech dedicated to applying CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing to xenotransplantation. Earlier in his career, Geoff spent 11 years at Novartis in senior leadership positions within the global transplantation and immunology franchise. Geoff sits on the boards of Talaris Therapeutics and Satellos Bioscience. Past activities include chairman of the board of MassBio, chairman of the board of the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, and a member of the advisory council to the Health Policy Commission for Massachusetts. 

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Ian Clark Genentech logo

Ian Clark

Ian has more than 35 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, most recently serving as CEO and a member of the board of directors for Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, until his retirement in 2016. During his seven-year tenure as CEO, Ian and his team brought 11 new medicines to market for patients fighting rheumatoid arthritis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and various types of cancer. Ian was among the highest rated CEOs by Glassdoor, recognized as the Bay Area’s most admired CEO by the San Francisco Business Times and awarded the Honorable Mentor of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Prior to joining Genentech, Ian held various positions of increasing responsibility at Novartis, Sanofi, Ivax and Searle, working in the USA, UK, Canada, Eastern Europe and France.

Currently, Ian is on the board of directors for AVROBIO, Takeda, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Guardant Health, Forty Seven and Corvus Pharmaceuticals. He is an operating partner of Blackstone Life Sciences. He is also on the BioFulcrum Board of the Gladstone Institutes. Ian previously served on the boards of Shire, Kite Pharma, Dendreon, Solazyme and Vernalis. He was also on the board of Biotechnology Industry Association and on the Economic Advisory Council of the 12th District of the Federal Reserve.

Ian received his bachelor of science in biological sciences and an honorary doctorate of science from Southampton University in the United Kingdom.

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Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP Dimesion & Merck logo

Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP

Annalisa is a life science thought leader with over 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience. She has recent experience in the fields of gene therapy and rare disease, having served as president and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., until its acquisition in November 2017. Her prior leadership roles at global pharmaceutical companies included serving as executive vice president, global development and medical for Merck Serono. She also held several senior positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb including as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Annalisa was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Currently, she chairs the boards of CellMedica, Cocoon, Vium, Inc., and Silence Therapeutics; serves as chief executive advisor to PlaqueTec Ltd.; and is a director on the boards of Ardelyx, Oncimmune Holdings plc and a number of early–stage private biotech and life science companies. She also serves as a committee member of the science board to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Annalisa graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.

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Phillip Donenberg Aptinyx, Inc. logo

Phillip Donenberg

Phillip brings more than 20 years of leadership expertise in finance, mergers and acquisitions and operations focused in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. His background includes recent experience with a gene therapy company, AveXis, Inc., where he served as the chief financial officer and senior vice president until June 2018, following its acquisition by Novartis. He currently serves as a financial consultant for Aptinyx, Inc. (Nasdaq: APTX).

Phillip has held leadership roles overseeing strategic transactions, financing management and accounting operations, controls and reporting processes for growing life sciences companies. Most recently, he was chief financial officer and senior vice president of Depomed, Inc. Previously, Phillip was the chief financial officer at RestorGenex Corporation from 2014 to 2016, when RestorGenex merged with Diffusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. From 1998 to 2013, he served as the chief financial officer at BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until the merger of the company with ANIP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Phillip earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois, and he is a Certified Public Accountant.

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Christopher Paige, PhD, FCAHS University Health Network (UHN) logo

Christopher Paige, PhD, FCAHS

Christopher earned a PhD in Immunology at the Sloan-Kettering Division of Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 1979. He became a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland in 1980 where he worked until joining the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) as a senior scientist in 1987. In 1990, Christopher became the founding director of the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre as well as director of research at The Wellesley Hospital. In 1997, he returned to OCI, now part of the University Health Network (UHN), to assume the role of vice president, research at UHN. Christopher now serves as senior scientist at UHN and is a professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at the University of Toronto.

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Philip Vickers, PhD Northern Biologics, Inc. logo

Philip Vickers, PhD

Phil is president and CEO of Northern Biologics, Inc., a company focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies as immuno-oncology therapeutics to treat targeted populations of cancer patients. Prior to joining Northern Biologics, from 2010 to 2017, he was global head of research and development at Shire, responsible for overseeing preclinical research and development, clinical research, regulatory affairs and medical affairs. Phil oversaw Shire’s growing product portfolio and as executive vice president and a member of Shire’s Executive Committee he played a key role in developing and executing Shire’s global business strategy, with a particular focus on rare diseases. Prior to joining Shire, he had roles of increasing responsibility in drug discovery in a range of therapeutic areas at Merck, Pfizer, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Resolvyx. Phil is also a member of the board of directors of Revance Therapeutics. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Toronto and a B.S. in applied biochemistry from the University of Salford, Manchester UK. He was also a visiting fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

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