About UsOur

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.



Meet our Leaders

Erik Ostrowski, MBA

"Our strategy focuses on commercially attractive indications where significant unmet medical need is coupled with a sizable patient population." Connect
on LinkedIn

Erik Ostrowski, MBAInterim CEO & 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.

Steven Avruch, JD

"Every second counts for the patient communities we serve, so we try to operate with smart speed -- working quickly but always with integrity, compliance and safety as core elements of all our activities." Connect
on LinkedIn

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

"Our industry-leading gene therapy platform, plato®, can be scaled to support late-stage clinical development and commercialization globally." Connect
on LinkedIn

Azadeh Golipour, PhDChief 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 in 2016; 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.

Essra Ridha, MD, MRCP, FFPM

"Our pursuit of personalized gene therapies is motivated by the experiences of patients living with these life-threatening disorders - patient safety is our commitment and guides our development path." Connect
on LinkedIn

Essra Ridha, MD, MRCP, FFPMChief 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, Essra 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.

Kirsten Dupuis

"From the scientists to the administrative team members – it takes an army to bring a therapy to the clinic." Connect
on LinkedIn

Kirsten DupuisChief of Staff

Kirsten has been with AVROBIO since March 2016, providing strategic and operational support to the CEO and Executive Team to ensure successful business planning and implementation of all AVROBIO initiatives. She has more than 17 years of experience in the biotechnology industry.

She has extensive experience working with startup companies. Prior to joining AVROBIO, she worked with the CEOs at Organogenesis, Generation Health and Alseres Pharmaceuticals on developing business strategy, managing priority projects and overseeing timing of milestone achievements.

Her career in biotechnology was preceded by working as a consultant in business management, consulting and marketing, advising Fortune 500 companies including Fidelity, Ford Motor Company, Goldman Sachs, McDonald’s, NBC, Raytheon and Toyota. Kirsten holds a B.S. in marketing from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Dawn Golightly

"I am grateful to work alongside a talented and dedicated team of both internal and external partners to remove barriers and find solutions ensuring that we deliver high quality drug product to our patients in the rare disease community." Connect
on LinkedIn

Dawn GolightlyVP, Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Dawn brings decades of experience to her role at AVROBIO, where she leads a team responsible for supply chain, external manufacturing, analytical sciences and technology and apheresis operations.

Prior to AVROBIO, she led Operations and Project Management at Lentigen Technology, Inc. for five years. Lentigen Technology, Inc is a CDMO specializing in cGMP manufacturing of lentiviral vector for cell and gene therapy. During her time, she built the Project Management team responsible for interacting with clients and directing internal deliverables to meet contractual requirements. She worked cross functionally to develop the serum free suspension platform process for lentiviral vector manufacturing that leads the field today. Previously, she worked at the Southern Research Institute for 11 years in a variety of scientific roles and ultimately led a team responsible for analytical development, qualification, and validation of assays to support GLP preclinical studies for infectious disease therapies and vaccines. Additionally, she was responsible for site data management and project coordination to support both government and commercial client contracts.

Early in her career, she worked at the bench at Genetic Therapy, Inc., a Novartis Company, driving forward various vector platform technologies impacting gene therapy programs for hemophilia A and B, oncology indications as well as ocular disease.

Dawn graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Molecular Biology.

Scott Gottesman

"Delivering strategic solutions for people-centric challenges in an unprecedented time in our industry and in the world is meaningful, rewarding, and keeps me coming back for more. HR is our people function and I love being a strategic advisor on our most valuable assets." Connect
on LinkedIn

Scott GottesmanVP, Human Resources

Scott is an HR leader who brings over 15 years of HR/TA experience across all business functions and geographies within life sciences. He has direct knowledge and working experience in TA/HR in over 25 countries. He has been deployed several times, for long stretches, overseas where he did both turn around- and build-work in the EU, APAC and LATAM.

Prior to AVROBIO, he spent over 8 years at Biogen and held various leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including the ownership of the recruiting strategy and operations for designated regions (US, APAC, LATAM, EU) within Corporate Functions, Global Commercial Operations, R&D, Manufacturing and Executive Search. His last role at Biogen was the Head of Talent Acquisition for Biogen’s US Organization, International Markets, Medical and Global Product Strategy & Commercialization. Prior to Biogen, Scott spent six years as a Senior Consultant at Winter Wyman & Company, an award-winning, 40+ year old recruiting agency. Scott’s earlier career consisted of him founding and running his own vinyl record import business for over 8 years, including a retail store at 279 Newbury Street in Boston, MA.

Scott is an Advisory Board Member for Enspira, an innovative, LGBTQ-owned HR services, search and technology firm working to re-imagine and revolutionize the human work experience. Scott has a BA from Brandeis University.

Richard W. Pfeifer, PhD, DABT

"I am energized by bringing new testing methods, processes and procedures into a company to tackle new business challenges." Connect
on LinkedIn

Richard W. Pfeifer, PhD, DABTVP, Toxicology, Research and Preclinical Development

Rich is a nonclinical development strategist and board-certified toxicologist with more than 25 years of experience in industry, including expertise in planning, conduct and/or management of GLP-compliant safety testing of small-molecule and anti-sense-based therapeutics, biopharmaceuticals, enzyme and mRNA replacement therapies, vaccines, genetic therapies and medical devices. At AVROBIO, he provides timely and resource-efficient execution of all pre/nonclinical activities needed to advance unique HSC-based gene therapies into Phase I/II testing (LD/rare disease indications).

Before joining AVROBIO, Rich spent seven years at Shire (now Takeda) as Head of Toxicology and, more recently, as Nonclinical Research Fellow, Global Nonclinical Development. Prior to joining Shire, Rich functioned as a drug safety expert on exploratory, discovery and Global Development/Learn Teams across a broad range of therapeutic areas for Wyeth Research (now Pfizer). He previously worked at Wyeth and Ciba-Geigy (now Syngenta).

He was Assistant Professor of Toxicology in the Purdue University School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and is recognized as an expert in immunotoxicology, molecular carcinogenesis (tumor promotion), intrathecal enzyme replacement, and ex vivo gene therapy. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 papers, abstracts and book chapters. Rich pursued postdoctoral fellowships in Immunotoxicology at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He received a BS in Biology from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Anita Treohan, MPH, PMP, LSSMBB

“I am passionate about enhancing the lives of patients and their families by bringing people and innovation together to provide personalized therapies.” Connect
on LinkedIn

Anita Treohan, MPH, PMP, LSSMBBVP, Clinical Development Operations

Anita Treohan brings extensive and diverse drug development expertise coupled with experience in building sustainable and high-functioning teams at several life sciences companies. At AVROBIO, she steers a multi-disciplinary operational team to foster a culture of execution, compliance and quality.

Previously, she served as Vice President, Development Operations at IMARA, spearheading the strategic and operational execution of two rare disease programs and maximizing organizational efficiency across clinical development. As the Portfolio and Program Manager and Interim Regulatory and QA Lead at Axcella Health, she led strategic, portfolio and product development for all assets while building a sustainable infrastructure across all drug development functions. In prior program and operational roles at ImmusanT, FORUM Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, she advanced portfolio and development strategies for Phase 1 – 4 global clinical programs and studies across multiple therapeutic areas, including rare, pediatric and vulnerable populations.

Anita maintains certifications in Project Management and Lean Six Sigma. In 2018, she served on the advisory committee for the Clinical Leader Forum and was accepted to Harvard University’s Women on Boards program. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Emory University and her MPH in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Social Behavioral Sciences from Boston University.

Doug Sanders, PhD

“It is a privilege to work for the benefit of patients with rare diseases while also expanding the boundaries of science.” Connect
on LinkedIn

Doug Sanders, PhDVP, Translational Medicine

Doug is a seasoned scientific leader with extensive experience in rare diseases, translational medicine and analytical development. Doug’s experience includes graduate work performing natural history characterization of larger animal models of lysosomal diseases and developing a more complete understanding of subpopulations of stem cells in the bone marrow compartment that might be amenable to stem cell and ex vivo gene therapy applications.

Most recently, Doug led the Analytical Sciences team at Affinia Therapeutics, a startup AAV gene therapy company working to develop next-generation AAV capsids with specific targeting, safety and manufacturing characteristics to address some of the common challenges with AAV-mediated gene therapy. Previously, Doug worked as a diagnostic development scientist at Novartis and EMD Serono in the Companion Diagnostics groups. At Sarepta Therapeutics, Doug led the Translational Development laboratory, where his group was responsible for developing methods to measure dystrophin protein production and other biomarkers in patients from Sarepta’s PMO and gene therapy clinical trials.

Doug holds a Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathobiology from the University of Missouri and has published multiple articles in the field of neurodegenerative disease animal models and biomarkers.

Board of

Bruce Booth, DPhil Bruce Booth, DPhil

Bruce Booth, DPhil


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 is the chief executive officer of ProMIS, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics targeting misfolded proteins such as toxic oligomers, implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Gail was formerly the executive vice president and global chief development officer at Zogenix, Inc., a rare disease company, since July 2015, where she led 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.

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 the former CEO of Faze Medicines, a biotechnology company focused on biomolecular condensates. He also was previously 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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