About UsOur
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

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-Cas9 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.

Steven Avruch, JD

Steven Avruch, JD

Chief Legal Officer

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 JD from Boston College Law School.

Azadeh Golipour, PhD

Azadeh Golipour, PhD

Chief Technology Officer

Azadeh Golipour is a senior leader with global experience and proven track record in cell and gene therapy process development, analytical development and GMP manufacturing. She is a CMC subject matter expert with ability to provide and execute CMC strategies from early-stage through late-stage product development. Azadeh is experienced in progressing novel therapies to regulatory filings and leading CMC interactions with global regulatory authorities.

Azadeh joined AVROBIO five years ago; during this period, Azadeh designed and implemented AVROBIO’s platform plato®. Azadeh has also built and led multiple teams during her time at AVROBIO.

Prior to AVROBIO, Azadeh spent time at CCRM, a catalyst for commercializing regenerative medicine-based technologies and cell and gene therapies. CCRM enables product development through its unique translational platforms and process development and manufacturing capabilities. During her time at CCRM, Azadeh led the due diligence, business planning and program leadership for two successful company concepts developing iPSC-derived cell therapies as part of CCRM’s company incubation program. Both of these companies attracted funding from venture capitalists and were spun out of CCRM.

Azadeh holds a PhD in molecular genetics from University of Toronto (Canada) and has published multiple articles, including two first-author articles in the prestigious journal Cell Stem Cell and one article in the prestigious journal Nature. Azadeh’s landmark articles on reprogramming stem cells have been cited more than 1,000 times.

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.

Deanna Petersen, 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.

Kim Raineri, MBA

Kim Raineri, MBA

Chief Manufacturing and Technical Operations Officer

Kim has deep global experience in the cell and gene therapy industry, biologics and medical device spaces, with a distinguished track record of innovation and implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Prior to joining AVROBIO, he served as the vice president of operations for Nikon CeLL innovation Co., Ltd, a Japanese contract development and manufacturing organization. During his tenure, he established the company as the preferred provider of custom process development and manufacturing services for cell and gene therapy products in the Japanese market. Previously, Kim held management positions at Lonza, serving as the business director for cell therapy contract manufacturing operations in Singapore for five years, and prior to that as director of operations at Lonza’s Maryland facilities. Kim was also previously the senior manager of the Tissue Processing Lab at CryoLife Inc. He holds a BS from the University of Miami and an MBA from Kennesaw State University.

Essra Ridha, MD, MRCP, FFPM

Essra Ridha, MD, MRCP, FFPM

Chief Medical Officer

Essra is a global medical leader with extensive experience in clinical research and development, translational medicine, and clinical medicine with specialist training in cardiology and internal medicine.

Essra’s experience includes strategically and scientifically advancing the ex vivo lentiviral gene therapy now licensed for the treatment of metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and the first CAR-T regulatory cell therapy to enter the clinic for the induction of immunological tolerance in solid organ transplantation. She has worked in leadership positions within AVROBIO as well as Sangamo Therapeutics and GlaxoSmithKline, on highly innovative cell and gene therapy programs in rare neurological, metabolic (including lysosomal disorders) and immunological diseases. Previously, Dr. Ridha worked as a medical expert at Bristol Myers Squibb advising on late-stage clinical development, medical affairs, real-world evidence and HEOR in cardiovascular medicine.

In addition to her industry leadership, Essra is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of London, as well as a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine. She was also an expert panel member at the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Advisory Committee to develop Global Standards for the Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing. She earned her medical degrees from the Royal Free and University College London Medical School and earned her neuroscience degree with Basic Medical Sciences degree with honors from University College London.

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.

Board of
Directors

Bruce Booth, DPhil Bruce Booth, DPhil

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 Arkuda Therapeutics, Hotspot Therapeutics, Kymera Therapeutics (Nasdaq:KYMR), Nimbus Therapeutics, and Quench Bio. He also serves on the board of Magenta Therapeutics (Nasdaq:MGTA) and several seed stage companies. He previously served on the boards of past Atlas companies Avila (acquired by Celgene), Lysosomal Therapeutics, miRagen (Nasdaq:MGEN), Padlock (acquired by BMS), Prestwick (acquired by Biovail), Rodin Therapeutics (acquired by Alkermes), Stromedix (acquired by Biogen), Unum Therapeutics (Nasdaq:UMRX), and a number of other ventures.

Bruce serves or has served as an advisor in various capacities to Takeda, UCB, and the Gates Foundation. He also serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania State Research Foundation, which helps with technology transfer for Penn State, 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 DPhil (PhD) in molecular immunology from Oxford University. He received a BS in biochemistry, summa cum laude, from The Pennsylvania State University.

Bruce enjoys running, skiing, hiking, and fly fishing. He lives in Wellesley, MA and has three wonderful kids.

Ian Clark Ian Clark

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 of Takeda, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Guardant Health and Corvus Pharmaceuticals, and serves as chairman of the board of Olema Oncology. He is an operating partner of Blackstone Life Sciences and a member of the BioFulcrum Board of the Gladstone Institutes. Ian previously served on the boards of Shire, Kite Pharma, Dendreon, Solazyme, Forty Seven 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 BS in biological sciences and an honorary DSc from Southampton University in the United Kingdom.

Phillip Donenberg Phillip Donenberg

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. He has held leadership roles overseeing strategic transactions, financing management and accounting operations, controls and reporting processes for growing life sciences companies. Phillip has served as a member of AVROBIO’s board of directors and audit committee chairman since June 2018. He also serves on the board of directors and as the chairman of the audit committee of Taysha Gene Therapies, a gene therapy company.

Phillip is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Gene Therapy, LLC., an early-stage gene therapy company, and has served in such roles since February 2020. Previously, Phillip served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Assertio Therapeutics, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from July 2018 to November 2018. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AveXis, Inc., a gene therapy company, from October 2017 to June 2018 and as Vice President, Corporate Controller from September 2016 to October 2017. Prior to joining AveXis, Phillip served as Chief Financial Officer of RestorGenex Corporation from 2014 until its merger with Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC, a pharmaceutical company, in January 2016, and served as the merged company’s consultant Chief Financial Officer until September 2016. Phillip earned a BS in accountancy from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana College of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Gail Farfel, PhD

Gail Farfel, PhD

Gail brings more than 25 years of pharmaceutical development and regulatory rare disease experience in rare diseases with both large and small pharmaceutical companies. She has been executive vice president and global chief development officer at Zogenix, Inc., a rare disease company, since July 2015. At Zogenix, she leads all product development activities, including preclinical and clinical development, and regulatory strategy. Prior to joining Zogenix, Gail was chief clinical and regulatory officer of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, establishing and overseeing clinical, medical and regulatory strategies for adult and pediatric seizure disorders, including a pediatric epileptic orphan disease. Previously, she was vice president, therapeutic area head for neuroscience clinical development and medical affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where she oversaw a portfolio of products for multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Gail began her career in pharmaceutical drug development at Pfizer Inc., where she worked in clinical development and global medical affairs, directing programs through all stages of clinical development and regulatory submissions.

She has authored more than 50 scientific articles in the areas of neuropsychopharmacology and drug effects. Gail currently serves on the board of directors of DURECT Corporation (Nasdaq: DRRX) and is a director on the Board of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics. She holds a PhD in neuropsychopharmacology from the University of Chicago, where she received the Ginsburg Prize for Dissertation Excellence and is a director on the Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Board. Gail also holds a BA in biochemistry from the University of Virginia.

Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP

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 Biotech and Vium, Inc., and is a director on the boards of Ardelyx, Oncimmune Holdings plc, AgeX, Affimed, PlaqueTec Ltd. 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.

Geoff MacKay Geoff MacKay

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.

Christopher Paige, PhD, FCAHS Christopher Paige, PhD, FCAHS

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.

Philip Vickers, PhD

Philip Vickers, PhD

Philip is CEO of Faze Medicines, a biotechnology company focused on biomolecular condensates, and has served in that role since January 2021. Previously, he was 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.

Philip is currently a member of the board of directors of Revance Therapeutics. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Toronto and a BS 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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