Chief Executive Officer, Co-FounderView Bio
Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder
John Fowler is our Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the board of directors, bringing over 20 years of executive leadership experience to the company. Prior to co-founding Kezar, between 2009 and 2014 John co-founded and was CEO of HealthCPA, a provider of patient advocacy and insurance navigation services. From 2003 to 2008 John served as CEO of specialty shipping company Aero Logistics, which he and a business partner acquired using a specialty investment company they founded in 2001. Prior to his CEO roles, John also worked with Idealab Silicon Valley and as a management consultant with William Kent International, advising clients on international acquisition opportunities and market entry strategies. He began his career on Capitol Hill and later in the Clinton Administration, as a Congressional Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Trade Representative. John received both his A.B. in International Relations and his M.B.A. from Stanford University, where during his undergraduate years he competed on the varsity track team.
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Co-FounderView Bio
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder
Christopher Kirk, Ph.D. is our co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer and is an immunologist and tumor biologist by training. Prior to founding Kezar, he was the Vice President of Research at Onyx Pharmaceuticals where he played a key leadership role in the discovery and development of 2 proteasome inhibitors, including carfilzomib (KYPROLIS™), currently approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Kirk has authored multiple publications in several select journals including Cell, Nature Medicine, and Nature Reviews and is listed as an inventor on over 40 patents. He sits on the scientific advisory board at C4 Therapeutics, Avidity Biosciences, Rain Therapeutics, the Institute of Applied Clinical Science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as well as the leadership council of the Life Sciences Institute of the University of Michigan.
Dr. Kirk received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.
Chief Medical OfficerView Bio
Chief Medical Officer
Noreen Roth Henig, M.D. is an accomplished leader whose career spans clinical practice, academic medicine, translational science, clinical development, medical and regulatory affairs. She currently serves on the Board of Avidity Biosciences and most recently served as Chief Medical Officer of Breath Therapeutics, which was acquired by Zambon SpA in 2019. As CMO, Dr. Henig built and led the clinical team and was responsible for all development activities including clinical and non-clinical science, clinical operations, regulatory, project management, and medical affairs. Prior to joining Breath, Dr. Henig was Chief Medical Officer at ProQR Therapeutics where she brought two unique RNA oligonucleotides through early clinical trials in rare diseases. Before ProQR, Dr. Henig spent 2008 through 2014 at Gilead Sciences where she held roles with increasing responsibility, including building and leading a global medical affairs organization, strategic development of clinical trials Phase 2-4, regulatory strategy, corporate development, leadership of key alliances and commercial strategy. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Henig spent nearly 10 years in leadership roles within academic medicine at Stanford University and California Pacific Medical Center. She is a board-certified physician in Pulmonary, Critical Care and board eligible in Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Henig received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in 1991 with a distinction in immunology. She trained in Internal Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and in Pulmonary/Critical Care and Allergy/Immunology at University of Washington, Seattle.
Chief Financial OfficerView Bio
Chief Financial Officer
Marc L. Belsky has served as our Chief Financial Officer and secretary since April 2018. Prior to joining us, from October 2009 to April 2018, Mr. Belsky held several roles at Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company, including most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before that, Mr. Belsky served in various roles at Cell Genesys, Inc., a biotechnology company acquired by BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Active Aero Group, Inc., DataWave Systems Inc., and Michigan National Corporation, a holding company for Michigan National Bank, which was acquired by BANA Holding Corporation. Mr. Belsky started his career as an auditor with Coopers & Lybrand.
Mr. Belsky received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Wayne State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan. He is also a certified public accountant.
Senior Vice President, Legal AffairsView Bio
Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs
Mark Schiller has served as our Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs since April 2019. Prior to joining us, Mr. Schiller was the Executive Director, Legal Affairs at Immune Design, a public biotechnology company, from October 2014 until Immune Design was acquired by Merck in March 2019. Immune Design was a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on oncology with offices in South San Francisco and Seattle. Before that, he led the legal function at 3-V Biosciences, a privately held biotechnology company in Menlo Park. Mr. Schiller began his legal career at Gunderson Dettmer LLP, a venture-capital firm in Menlo Park, CA, and subsequently worked as a corporate associate at Cooley, LLP, a life sciences and technology law firm in Palo Alto, CA. Mr. Schiller received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Vice President, Finance and Business OperationsView Bio
Vice President, Finance and Business Operations
Michael Wolfe brings twenty years of corporate finance and life science expertise to Kezar. Prior to the launch of Kezar Life Sciences in 2015, Mr. Wolfe served as the Head of R&D Finance at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its’ acquisition by Amgen, Inc. in 2013. Previously, he served in a commercial finance role at Mentor Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, pre-and post-acquisition. Mr. Wolfe’s career in the life sciences sector began at Amgen, Inc. where he held a number of positions of increasing responsibility within the finance organization. He began his finance career at 3Com Corporation, Inc., a leader in the manufacturing and sale of computer networking products, acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2010.
Mr. Wolfe earned a Bachelor of Science, in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Vice President, Corporate ControllerView Bio
Vice President, Corporate Controller
Pattie Chiang is our Vice President Corporate Controller. Prior to joining Kezar in May 2018, Ms. Chiang served as Corporate Controller for Achaogen, a publicly traded commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company from 2011 to 2018. In her span of career, Ms. Chiang held multiple finance leadership positions at venture-backed companies in the life science and high-tech industries. Ms. Chiang started her career in public accounting at Price Waterhouse.
Ms. Chiang received a BS degree in accounting from National Taiwan University. She is also a certified public accountant.
Vice President, Investor Relations and External AffairsView Bio
Vice President, Investor Relations and External Affairs
Gitanjali Jain joins Kezar with over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She most recently served as Managing Director at Solebury Trout where she advised small and mid-cap biopharmaceutical companies on investor relations strategies, messaging/communications, and capital market transactions. Ms. Jain previously served as a research associate at Medarex and StemCells, Inc. where she worked on the development of neural markers as they related to monoclonal antibody and protein fragments. She also co-authored a publication in the Journal of Neuroscience Research while in that role.
Ms. Jain holds a B.A. in Economics from Brown University and a M.A. in Biology from New York University. She also holds Series 7, 79 and 63 securities licenses.
Vice President, Global Regulatory AffairsView Bio
Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs
Michelle Greenman is Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs. She is responsible for leading the regulatory affairs team, managing regulatory operations and medical writing resources, and strategic regulatory planning for Kezar’s assets. Prior to joining Kezar in June 2020, Ms. Greenman served as Global Regulatory Lead for Retrophin (now, Travere Therapeutics). Ms. Greenman has held positions of increasing responsibility at Vital Therapies, Shire Regenerative Medicine, and Advanced BioHealing and gained experience with small molecule drug development, combination products (biologics and medical devices), advertising and promotional reviews, post-marketing commercial support and application maintenance. Most of her career in regulatory affairs has been spent working in the rare disease space.
Ms. Greenman earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University.
Vice President, Clinical Development - OncologyView Bio
Vice President, Clinical Development - Oncology
Rui Li, M.D. brings over 15 year years of clinical research experience to Kezar as a Vice President, Clinical Development, Oncology. Dr. Li has worked in small to large size of pharmaceutical companies including Roche, Janssen, Dainippon Sumitomo, Allergan, Lundbeck, and Luye. She had increasing responsibilities including drug safety and clinical development. She led a number of global teams as Head of Global Clinical Development, Clinical Leader, Medical Monitor, Medical Safety Physician, supported more than 20 IND and NDA submissions in multiple therapeutical areas, including oncology and was responsible for all development activities including clinical and non-clinical science, clinical operations, drug safety, regulatory, and medical affairs. Most relevant to Kezar, She has worked on programs of targeting gene mutations, anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies, and CAR-T cell therapy in solid tumors. Prior to joining industry, she spent about 5 years in leadership roles within DNA sequencing and oligonucleotide synthesis facility of cancer center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Dr. Li is a physician trained in OB/GYN and GYN oncology having completed her studies at the Medical School affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Bengbu Medical College, and then practiced at Shanghai Renji Hospital. In addition, Dr. Li was a PhD candidate in the School of Pharmacy at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Vice President, Drug Metabolism & PharmacokineticsView Bio
Vice President, Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics
Jinhai Wang, Ph.D., has over 20 years of industry experience covering organic chemistry, analytical and bioanalytical fields, managing preclinical ADME and clinical pharmacology studies, and developing small molecule drugs across a range of therapeutic areas including autoimmune and oncology diseases. Prior to joining Kezar, Jinhai worked at Cleave Biosciences as a Senior Scientist and was responsible for analytical, bioanalytical, and formulation strategy and assay development to support early and late-stage drug discovery programs.
Jinhai received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from West Virginia University and holds M.S in analytical chemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Vice President, BiologyView Bio
Vice President, Biology
Dr. Andrea Fan joined Kezar upon its founding in 2015 and currently serves as our Vice President, Biology and Head of Translational Research. She is an accomplished R&D leader, who brings over 20 years of experience in both small molecules and biologics drug development in immunology and oncology. Her career spans across discovery, pre-clinical, translational research, and clinical development. Most recently, she served as Head of Biology at Fluxion Bio, where she oversaw its oncology translational research programs. Previously, she led the biology/pharmacology group at Maxygen/Perseid Therapeutics and brought multiple next-generation protein therapeutics into autoimmunity and inflammation clinical trials in alliance with Astellas Pharma leading to corporate acquisition. Prior to that, she held senior research positions at diaDexus (a SB/Incyte joint venture) in novel genomic-based cancer target discovery and antibody drug development, and at GSK/Affymax in peptide mimetic and combinatorial chemistry drug discovery. She started her biopharmaceutical career at ChemoCentryx, an immunology therapeutics company founded by her post-doc advisor from DNAX Research Institute/Schering-Plough. She has made significant contributions to the discovery and early development of multiple now-approved products: PLAC®, OMONTYS® (Peginesatide), Nplate® (Romiplostim) and TAVNEOS® (Avacopan). Dr. Fan received her Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research.
Vice President, BiometricsView Bio
Vice President, Biometrics
Steven Y. Hua is Vice President of Biometrics. He brings over 25 years of life science experience to Kezar and works to build/oversee the Biometrics organization with responsibility for study designs, data management, data analysis and results interpretation, and collaboration with partner functions in Development, Research and Medical Affairs.
Before joining Kezar, Steven served as Sr. Director of Biostatistics at Celgene Corp (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in 2019), where he led the statistical support for multiple late-stage trials in gastrointestinal indications, including regulatory submissions and approval of Zeposia® (ozanimod) for ulcerative colitis.
Prior to Celgene, Steven was a director of Biostatistics at Pfizer, where he led and contributed to strategic planning and execution for product life-cycle management and new indications (hematology, oncology, immuno-oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurology), successful regulatory submissions with approvals, clinical development, data integration/ standardization, resource needs and timeline acceleration.
Steven also held various roles at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Alcon Laboratories, Abbott Laboratory, and Johnson & Johnson Medical, supporting clinical programs and regulatory interactions in various therapeutic areas.
Steven received PhD degree in statistics from University of Texas at Arlington, MS degree in Biostatistics from University of Illinois at Chicago.
Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry & Head of Drug DiscoveryView Bio
Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry & Head of Drug Discovery
Neel K. Anand, D. Phil. (Ph.D.) joined the team at Kezar in January 2022 to lead discovery of first-in-class therapeutics leveraging Kezar’s expertise in protein secretion via the Sec61 translocon. He brings over 20 years of research experience contributing to the discovery of novel clinical candidates with the objective of addressing critical unmet needs of patients.
Prior to joining Kezar, Dr. Anand served at Nektar Therapeutics in positions of increasing responsibility and was most recently Executive Director, Head of Discovery Chemistry, where his team discovered NKTR-262, a PEG-conjugated TLR7/8 agonist. Earlier in his career, Dr. Anand developed his skills as a medicinal chemist at Exelixis, where he contributed to the discovery of six investigational new drugs (INDs). Notably, he is a co-inventor of cobimetinib (COTELLICTM), a once-daily oral allosteric MEK inhibitor which is approved for use in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, having served as the chemistry lead on the research project team and led the technical transfer which established the basis for the CMC route.
Dr. Anand has authored multiple scientific publications and is a co-inventor on over 20 issued U.S. patents. He received his B.Sc. (Honors, First Class) in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, U.K. and his D. Phil. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford, U.K.
Vice President, Program & Alliance ManagementView Bio
Vice President, Program & Alliance Management
Jyotin Vyas joined Kezar Life Sciences as Vice President, Program and Alliance Management in early 2022. Jyotin brings extensive experience in Program and Alliance Management and Innovation. Jyotin has worked in multiple therapeutic areas, across multiple phases of drug development.
Over his 25+ year career, Jyotin has held leadership roles in large global organizations including Bayer, Pfizer, BMS, and Parexel. More recently, he jumped into the biotech world and held a similar position at Immunovant where he supported their early growth. He has built and led global teams, designed and implemented standardized business processes, and led global strategic initiatives.
Jyotin received his Master’s in Health Services Administration (MHSA) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also has degrees in Science from Mumbai University.
Vice President, Pharmacology & ToxicologyView Bio
Vice President, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Tony Muchamuel serves as Vice President, Toxicology and Pharmacology at Kezar Life Sciences, and has led nonclinical drug development efforts in immunology and oncology since 2016. Tony has performed research in the biopharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years including at Amgen, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Proteolix, Corgentech Inc., and DNAX Research Institute. He has authored/coauthored 22 scientific publications and 8 US patent applications.
Tony attended San Francisco State University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Master of Science degree in Clinical Science.
Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development & CMCView Bio
Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development & CMC
Kieron Wesson joined Kezar as Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development and CMC in early 2022 to lead the development and supply of API/drug substance, drug product, and CTM. He brings 20 years of pharmaceutical experience, with a focus in process research, manufacturing, and regulatory CMC.
Prior to joining Kezar, Dr. Wesson has served in positions of increasing responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry and was most recently Vice President of Drug Manufacturing Development at AN2 Therapeutics, where he oversaw process development, supply, and CMC for drug substance and finished drug product for their lead clinical candidate, epetraborole, an antibiotic.
Earlier in his career, he led drug substance development as a Director on the development team at Anacor Pharmaceuticals, including through Anacor’s integration into Pfizer. There, he drove manufacturing functions to support the company’s first successful drug registration, approval, and subsequent commercial launch of Kerydin® (tavaborole) for the treatment of onychomycosis. He then contributed to the successful approval of Anacor's second drug, Eucrisa® (crisaborole), a treatment for atopic dermatitis.
Prior to Anacor, Dr. Wesson contributed his drug discovery and manufacturing development expertise to several programs that progressed into advanced clinical phases, including PCI‑27483 — a TF-Factor VIIa inhibitor for oncology (Phase 2, Celera Genomics/Pharmacyclics), and EPI‑A0001, EPI‑743, and EPI‑589 — modulators of mitochondrial function for neuromuscular and neurological diseases (Phase 2/3, Edison Pharmaceuticals/PTC Therapeutics).
Dr. Wesson is an author on several scientific publications and an inventor on over 20 issued patents. He is a graduate of Cambridge University, U.K. with a BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) and continued there to earn his PhD in Organic Chemistry with Professor Steven V. Ley.