Restoring fundamental processes

Life Leaders


John D. Mendlein, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, Director

John D. Mendlein, Ph.D. has served as our Chief Executive Officer since September 2011 and as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2010. Dr. Mendlein served as our Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors from July 2010 to December 2015. Dr. Mendlein is Vice Chairman of the Board of Fate Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and also holds board positions with Editas Medicine, Inc., Moderna Therapeutics, Inc. and Axcella Health, Inc., which are all biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Mendlein also serves on the Biotechnology Industry Organization (“BIO”) emerging companies board. Dr. Mendlein previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Adnexus Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2005 to 2008, which was purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 2008. Dr. Mendlein also served on the board of directors of Monogram Biosciences, Inc., an HIV and oncology diagnostic company that was acquired by Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings in 2009. Before that, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Affinium Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (acquired by Debiopharm Group) from 2000 to 2005, and as a board member, General Counsel and Chief Knowledge Officer at Aurora Bioscience Corporation (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals), a biotechnology company, from August 1996 to September 2001. Dr. Mendlein holds a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of California, Los Angeles, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Miami. Dr. Mendlein is the co-author or co-inventor of over 210 publications and published patents, including a number of patents associated with our company.

Sanjay S. Shukla, M.D., M.S.

Chief Medical Officer

Sanjay S. Shukla, M.D., M.S. has served as our Chief Medical Officer since March 2016. From April 2015 to March 2016, Dr. Shukla worked in an advisory capacity for a number of companies, including as a consultant to aTyr from January 2016 to March 2016. Prior to that, from October 2012 to April 2015, Dr. Shukla served as Vice President and Global Head of Integrated Medical Services for Novartis, a biopharmaceutical company, where he led global medical affairs operations, with oversight for all pharma general medicines therapies, both inline and in development. Dr. Shukla served as Chief Executive Officer of RXMD, a clinical development consultancy that assisted in advancing proof of concept for early stage drug candidates, from April 2009 to September 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Shukla served in a variety of clinical development, data analytics and drug safety roles at Vifor Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company, and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Vifor Pharma). Dr. Shukla received his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine and his Bachelors of Science and Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Maryland.

Sanuj K. Ravindran, M.D.

Chief Business Officer

Sanuj K. Ravindran, M.D. has served as our Chief Business Officer since January 2016. Prior to joining aTyr, Dr. Ravindran was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for The Medicines Company (“MDCO”), a biopharmaceutical company, and responsible for Business Development, Competitive Intelligence, and Alliance Management. From January 2010 to June 2012, Dr. Ravindran was a co-founder and Managing Director of Asian Healthcare Fund, a New Delhi based private equity fund focused exclusively on healthcare and life sciences in India. As a Principal of Radius Ventures from 2007 to 2010, Dr. Ravindran invested in and assumed Board roles with several biotechnology companies. Prior to Radius, Dr. Ravindran was a Director of Burrill & Company and also the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch. Dr. Ravindran is trained in Internal Medicine and completed his residency training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was a National Cancer Institute Research Fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a member of the Society of Kauffman Fellows and remains a Venture Partner with Asian Healthcare Fund. Dr. Ravindran received a B.A. with Honors from Northwestern University, his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, and his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management.

David J. King, Ph.D.

Senior VP, Research

David J. King, Ph.D. has served as our Senior Vice President, Research since September 2016. David’s industry experience is highlighted by his tenures at Medarex, Inc., (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2009) and Celltech Therapeutics Ltd. (acquired by UCB in 2004). At Medarex, he led programs to identify therapeutic antibodies and played a key role in programs targeting novel biologics (including PD-1), and at Celltech, he directed the protein biochemistry and antibody engineering activities that led to the discovery and development of Cimzia® (TNF antagonist). After Medarex, Dr. King served as Chief Scientific Officer at AnaptysBio, Inc. from November 2008 to February 2016 where he led research that developed a novel technology for generating antibody therapeutics, which was successfully used to generate innovative clinical candidates for a number of pharmaceutical partnerships and for internal development. Most recently, Dr. King served as Senior Vice President of Research at Tunitas Therapeutics, where he led the company’s research and preclinical activities from February 2016 to September 2016. Dr. King received his B.S. from the University of Warwick and his Ph.D. from the University of Surrey, both in the United Kingdom, and was a Glaxo Group Research postdoctoral fellow.

Ashraf Amanullah, Ph.D.

VP, Biologics Development and Manufacturing

Ashraf Amanullah, Ph.D. has served as Vice President, Biologics Development and Manufacturing since November 2015. Prior to joining aTyr Pharma, he served as Senior Director at Gilead Sciences from September 2011 to August 2015, a biopharmaceutical company, where he was responsible for CMC operations for Biologics overseeing drug substance, analytical operations, quality controls, formulations, drug product and device development as well as external manufacturing operations. Prior to Gilead, Dr. Amanullah was Director of Process Development at Genentech from September 2006 to August 2011, a biotechnology company, with responsibility for process development for early stage therapeutics and support of late stage and post approval process development. Dr. Amanullah has also held various positions at Merck & Co. Inc., a global health care company, over a nine year tenure with responsibility for vaccines process development, clinical manufacturing and commercialization support. He is the author of 55 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Amanullah received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Birmingham (U.K.) and conducted post-doctoral studies with Novo Nordisk and University College London/Merck & Co. Inc.

John T. Blake

Senior VP, Finance

John T. Blake has served as the Vice President, Finance of the Company since October 2015 and the Senior Director Finance and Controller of the Company since March 2015. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Blake served as the Director, Financial Planning and Analysis of Volcano Corporation, a publicly traded medical device company, from March 2010 to March 2015 and as the SEC Reporting Manager from November 2008 through March 2010. From April 2007 to November 2008, Mr. Blake served in various senior finance roles at Entropic Communications, a semiconductor company. Prior to 2007, Mr. Blake served as an auditor in public accounting and an analyst for BD Biosciences. Mr. Blake is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accountancy from National University.

Andrea Cubitt, Ph.D.

VP, Product Protection

Andrea Cubitt, Ph.D. has served as Vice President, Product Protection since September 2011. Dr. Cubitt worked as a consultant for us from January 2011 to September 2011. Prior to that, from 2009 to 2011, she worked as a senior patent agent for the Global Patent Group LLC, a patent consulting firm. She co-founded Anaptys Biosciences, a therapeutic antibody company, in 2005 and served as Executive Director of Corporate Development until 2009. She also served as Senior Manager, Technology and Intellectual Property at Aurora Bioscience Corporation, a biotechnology company. Dr. Cubitt did her postdoctoral training at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and at the University of California San Diego, where she was part of team that initiated development of the green fluorescent protein (“GFP”) with Roger Tsien, Ph.D. Dr. Cubitt holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Sheffield and a first class honors degree (B.Sc) in medical biochemistry from the University of Birmingham in the UK. Dr. Cubitt is a co-inventor or co-author of 18 issued US patents and 20 publications.

Grove Matsuoka

Senior VP, Product Programs and Planning

Grove Matsuoka has served as our Senior Vice President, Product Programs and Planning since May 2016. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Matsuoka served as Senior Vice President, Commercialization at CoDa Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2007 to 2016, where he led the development of commercialization plans for novel cellular gap junction modulating platform technology through in-depth assessment of the market, competitive environment, regulatory and market access hurdles. Prior to that, from 1995 to 2007, he worked in various positions at Amgen, Inc., most recently as Director, Medical Affairs, Strategic Planning and Operations, where he established and managed the strategic and operational function for the newly formed Medical Affairs organization. Mr. Matsuoka was also Clinical Research Project Team Leader for an FC Fusion Program while at Amgen. He received his M.B.A. from Boston College and his B.A. in Microbiology and Immunology from University of California, Berkeley.

Nancy Krueger

VP Legal Affairs

Nancy D. Krueger has served as our Vice President, Legal Affairs since October 2014 and provided consulting services to us from 2013 to 2014. Ms. Krueger practiced law in the corporate department at Cooley LLP and was named partner in 2000. Her practice at Cooley was focused on securities and corporate matters, including private financings, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance and disclosure issues. Ms. Krueger holds a J.D. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law and B.A. in Economics and Business from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Holly Chrzanowski Winter

VP, Enterprise Talent and Organization

Holly Chrzanowski Winter has served as our Vice President, Enterprise Talent and Organization since April 2013 and provided consulting services to us from 2010 to 2013. Prior to joining aTyr, she operated her own human resources consulting practice, HC Consulting, for 12 years, providing human resources consulting services to a wide variety of biotechnology companies located nationwide. She also served as a Director, Human Resources at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated as a consultant and Senior Manager, Human Resources at Aurora Biosciences Corporation. Prior to this, Ms. Chrzanowski Winter held a variety of management level positions in human resources at Geometric Results Incorporated, a multinational subsidiary of Ford Motor Company (acquired by MSX International). Ms. Chrzanowski Winter attended the University of Salzburg, Austria where she studied German language. She holds a B.A. in political science from California State University at Long Beach.

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