MassBio® Welcomes 10 New Board Members

Mar 28, 2018

Blanchard, Cox, Gillheeney, Greenwood, Marcus, O’Neill, Payne, Sosnowski, Sapountzis and Thompson Bring Fresh Perspectives and Increased Diversity to Board

March 28, 2018 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) appointed 10 new life sciences executives to the organization’s Board of Directors, along with new board leadership, announced at the MassBio Annual Meeting last week. In its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in the life sciences industry, especially at the executive and board levels where women are under-represented, MassBio’s newly appointed board members are 50% women.

“Our industry is facing unprecedented growth driven by breakthrough innovations, which is creating both new opportunities and challenges. MassBio no longer represents just the biotech industry, but with the convergence of drugs and medical devices and advancements in digital health, we must cater to the needs of all of life sciences,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio. “We need the best and brightest to guide us through these changes and we’re thrilled to welcome our new board members and a new executive committee to bring further value to our organization and the individuals we serve.”

Joining the Board of Directors this year:

  • Cheryl Blanchard, Ph.D., President & CEO of Microchips Biotech
  • Troy Cox, CEO, Foundation Medicine
  • Gary Gillheeney, Sr., President and CEO of Organogenesis Inc.
  • Luba Greenwood, Strategic Business Development and Corporate Ventures at Verily
  • Joel Marcus, Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments
  • Gilmore O’Neill, Senior Vice President, Late Stage Clinical Development at Biogen
  • Kathryn Payne, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at AMAG Pharmaceuticals
  • Barbara Sosnowski, Vice President and ERDI Head, Cambridge Research Units
  • Ioannis Sapountzis, Head of Business Development & Licensing for the USA & Specialty Care at Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Tamar Thompson, Executive Director, State Government Affairs/Alliance Development and Federal Payment for Bristol-Myers Squibb

The 2018-2019 Executive Committee is now comprised of:

  • Chair: David Lucchino, Co-founder, President and CEO of Frequency Therapeutics
  • Vice Chair: Charles Wilson, President and CEO of Unum Therapeutics
  • Treasurer: Michael O’Hara, Partner at Deloitte
  • Clerk: Pam Randhawa, Founder and CEO of Empiriko
  • Counsel: Lawrence Wittenberg, Senior Partner in Goodwin Procter’s Technology Companies & Life Sciences Group and Co-Chair of the firm’s Healthcare Technology and Services Practice

“I’m honored to serve as chair of the MassBio board and to build on the critical work of outgoing chair Abbie Celniker to increase diversity and inclusion across our industry, and to remain patient focused in everything we do,” said David Lucchino, Chair of the Board of Directors at MassBio, and Co-founder, President and CEO of Frequency Therapeutics. “MassBio’s committed to leading by example in its efforts to create a more inclusive board and I’m confident it will have a positive impact in terms of bringing diverse perspectives to the organization to ensure we meet all member needs, from biotech startups, to medical device and digital health companies.”

About the New Board Members

Dr. Cheryl Blanchard joined Microchips Biotech in July 2014 as Chief Executive Officer. She is a medical device, drug delivery and biologics executive with over 25 years of leadership experience. Most recently she was a corporate officer with Zimmer, Inc., where she served as Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and General Manager of Zimmer Biologics. During her 12 years with Zimmer, she held global leadership responsibilities across R&D, advanced technologies, clinical, quality, medical and regulatory affairs, medical education, health economics, reimbursement, and general management.  Under her leadership, the Zimmer Biologics business experienced significant growth through disciplined execution of an R&D pipeline, strategic partnership and business development. Prior to joining Zimmer, Dr. Blanchard led and developed the medical device practice at Southwest Research Institute while serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, in San Antonio, TX.  She holds a BS in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University, and an MS and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2015, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Troy Cox joined Foundation Medicine in 2017 as its Chief Executive Officer. He’s driven by improving the lives of patients. Prior to joining Foundation Medicine, Troy served as Senior Vice President and Officer at Genentech, where he led US BioOncology, the #1 Oncology Company fueled by over 1,500 people passionately delivering for patients. He serves on the boards of Dream Foundation and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (H.B.A) San Francisco Chapter.

Troy joined Genentech in February 2010. Prior to taking BioOncology leadership in 2013, he led diverse in-market specialty and primary care franchises as well as US market preparation for 6 new medicines. Further, he was selected to lead the worldwide launch readiness for two high priority launches. Troy has over 25 years of extensive and diverse BioPharma experience and has contributed to over 20 product launches. Before coming to Genentech, Troy had global P&L responsibility for Specialty Commercial Operations including Sales, Marketing, and Medical Affairs at UCB BioPharma. Prior to UCB, Troy led a large US Primary Care Business Unit for Sanofi-Aventis. He also led Global Marketing and Medical for Anti-Infectives at Aventis. Troy’s diverse experience includes senior roles in European Country General Management, US Managed Care Sales Leadership, and US Claritin Marketing with Schering-Plough. His pharmaceutical career began as a Sales Representative after earning his MBA at the University of Missouri. He also received a BBA in Finance from the University of Kentucky.

Gary S. Gillheeney, Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Organogenesis Inc. has led the company’s growth and development for more than 15 years.  When Mr. Gillheeney joined the company as CFO/COO, Organogenesis had just launched its flagship product, Apligraf® in wound care.  Under his guidance, the company has grown, both through organic development as well as acquisitions, into its current position as a leading regenerative medicine company offering a portfolio of products for the advanced wound care and surgical biologics markets.  For his work at Organogenesis, Mr. Gillheeney was recognized in 2009 as one of Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Mr. Gillheeney’s career in Executive Management, Operations and Finance spans more than 25 years. Prior to joining Organogenesis, he held executive positions at Innovative Clinical Solutions, Ltd. as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, as well as Treasurer and Secretary. Prior to that he held positions as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary at Providence Energy Corporation. Mr. Gillheeney has a B.S. in Accounting from American International College and an MBA from Bryant College. 

Luba Greenwood serves as Strategic Business Development and Corporate Ventures at Verily, an Alphabet company. Luba brings to Verily pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and digital health industry experience and expertise in building and advising innovative technology companies and providing strategic counsel to global corporations. Previously, Luba has served as Vice President of Global Business Development and Mergers & Acquisitions at Roche, where she also established and led the East Coast Partnering Hub for the Diagnostics Division.  Luba is on the Board of IRX Therapeutics, an immunotherapy company. She is also a Lecturer at Boston University Law School and School of Management where she has taught courses in life sciences, business law, innovation, and entrepreneurship since 2014.

Luba’s career has spanned leadership roles in venture investing, business development, Mergers & Acquisitions, law, and operations, previously serving as Venture Partner at Colt Ventures, leading BD and Strategy for Pronutria, a Flagship Ventures company, and serving as Senior Mergers & Acquisitions Counsel at Pfizer Inc. Luba began her career practicing law at a leading national law firm, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where she represented clients in securities, IP, regulatory, corporate, and litigation matters.

Luba is a recipient of several awards and honors for her work in the community, including in the Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award for her commitment to advocating for women in science and technology. Luba served as non-profit board member of Longwood Symphony Orchestra, executive coach for MassNextGen, co-chair of MassBio’s Entrepreneur’s University, and mentor and judge for MassCONNECT, MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and MassChallenge.

Joel S. Marcus is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), an urban office REIT uniquely focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations. Mr. Marcus co-founded Alexandria in 1994 as a garage startup with $19 million in Series A capital and has led its growth into an S&P 500 company with an approximately $18 billion total market capitalization and a total shareholder return of nearly 1,350% since the company’s IPO in 1997. Today, Alexandria, which celebrated its 20th anniversary as an NYSE listed REIT in May 2017, is the only publicly traded pure-play office/laboratory REIT.

Mr. Marcus has built Alexandria’s unique business model around four business verticals — real estate, venture investments, thought leadership, and corporate responsibility. With its core focus on real estate, Alexandria has a proven track record of developing Class A buildings clustered in urban life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland, and Research Triangle Park. In 1996, Mr. Marcus founded the company’s venture investments arm, Alexandria Venture Investments, to provide strategic investment capital to innovative life science and technology entities developing breakthrough therapies and technologies. Mr. Marcus introduced the company’s renowned, highly unique, and interactive thought leadership platform in 2011, when he co-founded the renowned Alexandria Summit®. The Alexandria Summit convenes a diverse group of visionary partners and key stakeholders — from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agribusiness, technology, medical, academic, venture capital, private equity, philanthropic, patient advocacy, and government communities — to address the most critical challenges in global healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. Focusing on philanthropy and sustainability, Alexandria’s fourth business vertical, corporate responsibility, affirms the company’s commitment to making a positive impact on the world. Mr. Marcus is also personally engaged in numerous mission-critical philanthropic efforts, including through his service as Chair of the Navy SEAL Foundation’s 2017 New York City Benefit, which raised $12.8 million to help support the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

Mr. Marcus was one of the original architects and co-founders of Accelerator Life Science Partners, for which he serves on the board of directors, and AgTech Accelerator Corporation, for which he serves as Chairman of the board. He also serves on the boards of Applied Therapeutics Inc., Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRA), Boragen Inc., Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITCI), MeiraGTx Limited, and Yumanity Therapeutics; Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Friends of Cancer Research, NewYorkBIO, and The Scripps Research Institute; the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Navy SEAL Foundation, the Partnership for New York City, and Robin Hood Foundation; as well as on Nareit’s 2018 Executive Board.

Prior to co-founding Alexandria, Mr. Marcus had an extensive legal career specializing in corporate finance and capital markets, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions. During that time, he acquired an expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry and was one of the principal architects of the Kirin-Amgen EPO joint venture in 1984. He was also a practicing certified public accountant and tax manager with Arthur Young & Co., where he focused on the financing and taxation of REITs. Mr. Marcus earned his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was named one of Real Estate Forum’s 2017 Best Bosses in commercial real estate and was previously a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of the Year Award (Los Angeles — Real Estate).

Gilmore O’Neill is currently Senior Vice President, Late Stage Clinical Development at Biogen. He is responsible for all late stage development programs at Biogen, which include Pain, MS, Dementia, and Rare diseases. Dr. O’Neill led the MS R&D Franchise from 2014-2016. During his tenure running Biogen’s Neurology Clinical Development team he played an integral part in the development of some of Biogen’s leading compounds including Tysabri®, Tecfidera®, Zinbryta , Nusinersen, and Plegridy®. He has also worked on drug development programs in Immunology and Inflammation, Fibrosis, Pain, Rare disease and Gene and Cell Therapy, Spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Remyelination.

Dr. O’Neill joined Biogen in 2003 as an Associate Director of Clinical Development, making the transition from practicing neurology full time at Massachusetts General Hospital, to industry. While a full-time physician at MGH, he served as director of the Leukodystrophy Service and was a staff neurologist specializing in Neuromuscular disease. Dr. O’Neill has maintained his practice at MGH for many years while at Biogen. He has been a guest speaker at some of the industry’s leading conferences and has co-authored a volume of publications on clinical trials.

Dr. O’Neill obtained his bachelors of Medicine from University College in Dublin, holds a Master of Medical Science from Harvard University and is board certified in Neurology.

Kathryn Payne is senior vice president of corporate affairs and head of communications and public affairs at AMAG. Katie’s responsibilities include directing AMAG’s internal, external and product communications, corporate brand strategy, advocacy programs and government relations. Katie joined AMAG in early 2014 and has led the communications strategy for five significant business development transactions, including AMAG’s transformative acquisition of Lumara Health in 2014. By driving pivotal conversations with key policymakers and health experts, Katie has helped ensure that AMAG continues to meet the needs of patients and providers through increased education, support and access.

Katie also oversees AMAG’s corporate responsibility and community affairs activities and has played a key role in the company’s efforts to collaborate with healthcare experts and advocacy groups to better understand and address root causes to systemic barriers to better health outcomes. Under Katie’s leadership, AMAG has engaged leading maternal and minority health experts to identify and break down barriers to optimal outcomes in maternal and neonatal health caused by health inequities, particularly related to preterm birth. In 2016, Katie also launched a robust employee volunteer program, which provides AMAG employees with volunteer opportunities with organizations such as Girls on the Run, Life Sciences Cares and March of Dimes, including March of Dimes’ annual March for Babies. Katie is also a member of the Boston-Manchester March of Dimes board of directors.

Katie joined AMAG from a global public affairs and strategic communications firm where she spent a decade advising multinational healthcare companies on communications, public affairs and advocacy matters, with a special focus on reputation and issues management. Earlier in her career, Katie served as a communications associate at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and as a healthcare research associate at Forrester Research, a publicly traded research and advisory firm.

Katie graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with high honors from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. with a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and business management and a master’s degree in communications.

Dr. Ioannis Sapountzis has over 15 year experience in the pharmaceutical industry with specific expertise in drug discovery and business development in Oncology. Ioannis is currently serving as the Head of Business Development & Licensing for the USA & Specialty Care at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously, he was Boehringer’s Global Head of Oncology Business Development & Licensing. Ioannis joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2005 as a medicinal chemist and project leader in the Oncology therapeutic area, and later transitioned to strategic roles in the Corporate Department of Research Networking.

Ioannis holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and did his postdoctoral fellowship with David Evans at Harvard University working on total synthesis of antibiotics.

Barbara Sosnowski is Vice President and ERDI Head, Cambridge Research Units. Barbara has had multiple expanding roles within Pfizer since her arrival to Pfizer 8 years ago.  She is currently Vice President and External Science & innovation (ES&I) Head, Cambridge Research Units; Global Head, WRD External Partnerships, Worldwide Research & Development.  This role oversees identifying external opportunities from discovery to Phase 2b in the areas of Inflammation and Immunology, Cardiovascular, Neuro-inflammation, Rare Disease, Gene Therapy, Genonme Science and Technology, Platform technologies and Vaccine R&D.  Barbara oversees a group of scientists that are experts in each of these areas. Prior to joining Pfizer Barbara was Vice President, Biologics Development of Cardium Therapeutics and was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Tissue Repair Company following Cardium’s acquisition of Tissue Repair Company in August 2006. Prior to the acquisition, Dr. Sosnowski served as President and CEO of Tissue Repair Company. Dr. Sosnowski has more than 25 years in the health care industry. From June 2001 to December 2004 she served as Vice President Research and Development of Selective Genetics Inc. a tissue repair company that developed wound repair, orthopedic and cardiovascular products. At Selective Genetics, she co-invented and helped develop the targeted gene therapy program, both viral and non-viral. Prior to Selective Genetics she was employed by Prizm Pharmaceuticals from October 1992. Prior to joining Prizm, Dr. Sosnowski was at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, where her efforts were focused on identification of small molecule inhibitors of osteoporosis. Dr. Sosnowski received her BA in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD in Biological Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a registered patent agent.

Tamar Thompson is a health policy and reimbursement strategist with extensive experience working with governmental agencies, private payers, Congressional leaders, and patient advocacy groups to improve patient access to existing and new medical therapies. She has more than 20 years of leadership experience in health care, including the ability to develop strategic and tactical recommendations to ensure optimal reimbursement and market access for products. Tamar currently serves as executive director, state government affairs/alliance development and federal payment for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and she also serves as the Chair for Healthy Women.

Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Mrs. Thompson served a strategic policy advisor and consultant for three premiere Washington DC based firms, ADVI, Kimbell & Associates and Avalere Health, where she managed a diverse portfolio of clients, including medical device, biotech, pharmaceutical, and specialty drug, companies. Preceding her time in Washington DC, Ms. Thompson was Director of Health Policy & Reimbursement at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (MIP) where she was charged with developing and launching reimbursement strategy for cutting-edge molecular diagnostic and therapeutic treatments options. She has also held health policy and reimbursement leadership strategy roles at GE Healthcare and Bracco Diagnostics. Tamar has also served as claims operations director and benefit plan manager in the managed care sector for Humana and ValueOptions.

Tamar holds a M.S. in Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health from Trident University in Cypress California. She also has an Executive Leadership certificate from Columbia University (in partnership Bristol-Myers Squibb Company), and maintains active certifications from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) and Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P).


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