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.
Christopher Kirk, Ph.D.
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.
Noreen Roth Henig, M.D.
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 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, Strategy and External Affairs
Ms. Economides has nearly 20 years of experience in the life sciences and biotech industries, spanning finance, corporate strategy, communications, patient advocacy, clinical, medical and government affairs. Before joining Kezar in 2019, Ms. Economides served as Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Inc, where she led the company’s investor relations, corporate communications, and patient advocacy efforts, establishing relationships and alliances with key advocacy groups across the company’s therapeutic focus. Previously, she served as Director, Global Medical Affairs and Director, Clinical Operations at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc. after the Company’s acquisition of Prosensa where she led IR and corporate communications. Earlier in her career, she led investor relations and program development at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and worked at a healthcare-focused hedge fund and in financial services focusing on the biotech sector. Ms. Economides received her Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University.
Vice President, Legal Affairs
Mark Schiller has served as our 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 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.