President & CEO
Geoff is an experienced CEO with proven success leading innovative businesses. While CEO of Organogenesis Inc., the company treated 1 million patients with living cell therapies, received the first FDA CBER allogeneic cell-therapy approval and achieved an unparalleled position within regenerative medicine. Geoff was founding CEO of eGenesis, applying CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing to xenotransplantation. Geoff spent 11 years at Novartis in senior leadership positions within the Global Transplantation & Immunology franchise. Past activities include Chairman of the Board of MassBio, Chairman of the Board of the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, and Advisory Council to the Health Policy Commission for Massachusetts. Through his public and private enterprise work, Geoff is dedicated to applying innovation to reshape and improve the quality of healthcare.
Birgitte Volck, MD, PhD
President of Research & Development
Birgitte is a seasoned biotech executive and R&D leader. She was formerly Senior Vice President and Head of R&D, Rare Disease at GSK in the UK, where she oversaw 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), a biopharmaceutical company, leading the development of their portfolio of products and product candidates in rare diseases across hemophilia, inflammation, metabolism, neonatology and genetics. 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. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Copenhagen University, Denmark, where she is now an external lecturer.
Steven Avruch, JD
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 25 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. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Boston Center for the Arts.
Chris Mason, MD, PhD, FRCS
Chief Science Officer
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, 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
Chief Financial Officer
Erik brings over 20 years of finance and biotech operating experience, including with 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 was instrumental in the build-out of the company’s U.S. and global operations. In addition, he led several financings and played a key role in multiple strategic transactions. Prior to joining Summit, Erik was Vice President of Finance at Organogenesis Inc., and 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
Chief Business Officer
Deanna is a broadly skilled senior executive with leadership experience in global business development and strategic planning. Deanna previously was the head of business development for Shire’s rare disease business where she and her team identified and evaluated new business opportunities, and negotiated and executed more than 40 transactions in 5 years (public and private M&A, licenses and other partnerships), including a $4.2 billion dollar acquisition of ViroPharma. Prior to joining Shire, Deanna was Vice President of Business Development at Agenus Inc. and at Coley Pharmaceutical Group. Deanna is on the Board of Directors for Tecogen, Inc. (TGEN) and was previously on Boards for Armagen, American DG Energy (ADGE), the Massachusetts Biotechnology Association, the Boston Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and for the Boston BioPharma Executive Council.
Kim Warren, PhD
Head of Operations
Kim is an experienced scientist with entrepreneurial and business management experience in cell therapy. She spent the last 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 Ph.D. in Comparative Physiology from University of Maryland and postdoctoral training in Immunology at USUHS, Bethesda MD.
Josie Yang, PhD
Head of Regulatory Affairs
Josie has over 25 years of experience in biomedical research in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and in bio-pharmaceutical industries including in regulatory affairs across all stages of drug development with biologics and small molecules in oncology, anti-inflammatory, gastroenterology and neurology therapeutic areas. Josie held leadership positions as VP and Head of Global Regulatory Strategy at PTC Therapeutics, a global biopharma company, and an Associate VP, Global Regulatory Affairs at ImClone Systems/Eli Lilly and Company. She has a DVM from National Taiwan University and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Auburn University.