Board of Directors
Chair, Board of Directors, Ribon Therapeutics
Jodie Morrison has served as chairman and a member of our board of directors since July 2020. Ms. Morrison is an accomplished executive and board member with experience from start up through mid-size public biotech and pharmaceuticals. Her most recent operating role was Chief Executive Officer of Cadent Therapeutics where she led the growth of the company from early-stage clinical trials through the successful acquisition by Novartis in 2021. Prior to Cadent, Ms. Morrison served as interim Chief Executive Officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (leading the successful merger with Akebia Therapeutics) and Acting Chief Operating Officer at Syntimmune (acquired by Alexion). Prior to Syntimmune she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (led IPO in 2014 and merger in 2016) and held other senior positions including Chief Operating Officer and VP/Head of Clinical and Program Operations. Prior to joining Tokai, Ms. Morrison held roles in clinical operations and medical affairs at Dyax Corporation, Curis, Inc., and Diacrin, Inc. Ms. Morrison currently sits on the Board of Aileron Therapeutics (ALRN). She previously served on the Cadent board and the pre/post-merger boards for Keryx/Akebia Biopharmaceuticals and Tokai/Novus Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Morrison received her business training through the GBEP program at the MIT Sloan School of Management, her clinical research certification from Boston University School of Medicine and her B.A. in neuroscience from Mount Holyoke College.
James E. Audia, Ph.D.
EVP, Drug Discovery & Early Development, Flare Therapeutics; Visiting Scholar, Northwestern University
James Audia, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2018. Dr. Audia is the chairman of our scientific advisory board. Dr. Audia is the president and sole proprietor of Audia Consulting, LLC, a scientific consulting firm which he founded in September 2019. Since November 2019, Dr. Audia has served as an entrepreneur in residence for Third Rock Ventures, a venture capital firm, and as the head of medicinal chemistry and senior advisor for Karuna Therapeutics, Inc. He is a founding scientist and executive vice president of drug discovery and early development for Flare Therapeutics. Dr. Audia has been an advisor to the Alzheimer’s Association since January 2020. Dr. Audia served as executive director of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, or CBC, a collaborative effort of Northwestern University, The University of Chicago and The University of Illinois-Chicago, focused on enhancing biomedical innovation, from August 2017 to October 2019 and retains a visiting scholar appointment at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the CBC, Dr. Audia served as the chief scientific officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from January 2011 to July 2017. Dr. Audia served in various roles at Eli Lilly & Company from 1987 until December 2010. Dr. Audia served on the board of directors of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from July 2019 until July 2021 when the company was acquired by Morphosys, Inc. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of South Carolina and completed postdoctoral training at Yale University.
Laura Brass, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Managing Director, Novartis Venture Fund
Laura Brass, Ph.D., M.B.A. has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2021. Dr. Brass is a Managing Director at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, Laura was a Managing Director at MPM Capital, and prior to that, she was a member of the founding management team and SVP of Business Development for TriNetX, a healthcare IT company focusing on big data analytics of live patient data for clinical research. Laura has also held roles in business development and IP strategy at Elixir Pharmaceuticals, and was CEO of Aferon, Inc., an early-stage antiviral start-up company. Laura holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Venture Partner, The Column Group
Jeff Goater has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2021. Jeff Goater is a Venture Partner at The Column Group. Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Surface Oncology. During his tenure at Surface, the company fostered an award-winning culture, advanced four programs into clinical development, completed its initial public offering and secured multiple strategic collaborations, including a transformative partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to Surface, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Voyager Therapeutics where he was one of the members of the founding management team. While at Voyager, he led its crossover financing, initial public offering and strategic partnership with Sanofi Genzyme. Previously, Mr. Goater spent nearly a decade in investment banking, most recently as a managing director at Evercore Partners, advising on more than $100 billion in strategic transactions in the biopharma industry. He began his career as a research scientist in the field of AAV gene therapy and holds master’s degrees in microbiology/immunology (M.S.), pathology (M.S.) and business administration (M.B.A.) from the University of Rochester. In addition to Ribon Therapeutics, Mr. Goater also serves on the boards of Atavistik, LogicBio Therapeutics, Surface Oncology and Vaccinex.
Co-Founder & General Managing Partner, Peregrine Ventures
Mr. Lifschitz is a Co-Founder & General Managing Partner at Peregrine Ventures, an Israeli life sciences venture capital fund that focuses on pharmaceuticals, therapeutic devices and medical software. On behalf of Peregrine, Mr. Lifschitz serves on the boards of Memic Innovative Surgery, Ribon Therapeutics, Nectin Therapeutics, Kahr, Raziel Therapeutics, CardioValve, Cordio Medical and others. Mr. Lifschitz serves as the Chairman of the Israeli Early-Stage Investors association (IEI) & Technology Incubator Forum (ITIF).
Prakash Raman, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Ribon Therapeutics
Prakash Raman, Ph.D. has served as Ribon’s president, chief executive officer and board member since February 2022. Dr. Raman brings to Ribon decades of biopharmaceutical business development and executive leadership experience, blending his scientific background, program and portfolio management and strong business development experience. Prior to joining Ribon, he served as Senior Partner, Chief Business Development Officer at Flagship Pioneering from October 2019 to February 2022, where he leveraged the platforms and assets in Flagship’s network to generate opportunities for significant value creation. Prior to Flagship, Dr. Raman spent nearly fourteen years at Novartis, most recently as Vice President, Global Head of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) Business Development and Licensing (BD&L). During his time at Novartis, Dr. Raman was instrumental in forging key collaborations in immuno-oncology, executing many out-licensing opportunities and guiding the acquisitions of Advanced Accelerator Applications, Endocyte, IFM Tre and Selexys. In addition, he has led cross-functional drug discovery and early development project teams that successfully progressed compounds to clinical testing in patients. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Raman spent six years as a Senior Scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and two years as a post-doctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute. He completed his undergraduate work at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and received his Ph.D. in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Independent Board Director
Emma Reeve has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2020. Emma is an accomplished biopharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of global financial experience across pharmaceutical, medical device, and bio-pharma companies. Most recently, Emma served as Chief Financial Officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public development-stage oncology company, prior to its acquisition by MorphoSys AG in 2021. Prior to Constellation, Emma acted as interim Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Controller of Parexel International, a global biopharmaceutical services company, where she was responsible for all aspects of finance, investor relations, procurement, and facilities. In this role, she led the finance aspects of a sell-side process which culminated in an agreement to take the company private in a $5 billion leveraged buy-out. Earlier in her career, Emma served as Chief Financial Officer of both Inotek Pharmaceuticals and Aton Pharma. Additionally, she held senior finance and operational roles at Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, and Novartis. Emma serves on the Board of Directors of PTC Therapeutics, Inc., Editas Medicine, Inc., and Aadi Bioscience, Inc. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Tufts Medical Center. Emma holds a B.Sc. in computer science from Imperial College, University of London and is an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Jonathan Root, M.D.
General Partner, US Venture Partners
Jonathan Root, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2015. Dr. Root has served as a managing member of Presidio Management Group XI, L.L.C., the general partner of U.S. Venture Partners XI, L.P., and of the several general partnerships for the other U.S. Venture Partners’ venture capital funds, since 1998. Dr. Root currently serves on the board of directors of Inari Medical, Inc. (NARI) and several private companies in the healthcare industry. Dr. Root served on the board of directors of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from August 2004 until its merger with Mereo BioPharma Group plc in April 2019. Dr. Root received an A.B. in economics from Dartmouth College, an M.D. from University of Florida, College of Medicine and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Cameron Wheeler, Ph.D.
Partner, Deerfield Management
Cameron Wheeler, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2016. Dr. Wheeler has served as a partner at Deerfield Management Company, L.P., or Deerfield, a healthcare investment firm, since December 2018, and previously served as a principal at Deerfield beginning in September 2014. Prior to joining Deerfield, Dr. Wheeler was at Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc. (now Sesen Bio, Inc.), where he was responsible for corporate development and commercial strategy. Dr. Wheeler previously served on the board of directors of Homology Medicines, Inc. from March 2018 to July 2019. Dr. Wheeler received a Ph.D. and S.M. in Biological Engineering and an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.