Board of Directors
Sunil Agarwal, M.D., joined our board of directors in March 2016. Dr. Agarwal is a partner in Sofinnova, a Menlo Park, Ca. based biotech-focused investment firm. He is the former executive vice president and chief medical officer for Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, where he managed the company's clinical development and operations, regulatory affairs, biometrics, pharmacovigilance, medical affairs, pharmacology and toxicology. Dr. Agarwal served in various leadership roles at Genentech for more than a decade, including senior vice president and global head of clinical development for ophthalmology, metabolism, neurosciences, immunology and infectious diseases. He led the approval of multiple therapies at Genentech including RITUXAN®, ACTEMRA®, LUCENTIS® and XOLAIR®. Earlier in his career, Dr. Agarwal was at MedImmune and Guilford Pharmaceuticals, where he served in both development and medical affairs, and led the formation of the medical affairs organization for Guilford. He completed his residency at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), Washington, D.C., and practiced in the CNMC Pediatric Emergency Department. He has served on the faculty at George Washington University School of Medicine as Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics.
Dr. Agarwal obtained a B.S. in neurobiology at Cornell University, and earned his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.
Mary Cranston joined MyoKardia as an independent director in April 2016. Ms. Cranston is a retired senior partner of Pillsbury Winthrop Pittman LLP, an international law firm. She was formerly chair and chief executive officer of Pillsbury.
Ms. Cranston currently serves as a director of Visa Inc., The Chemours Company and CSAA Insurance. She is also the chair of the board of the Stanford Children's Hospital and Children's Health Network. She previously served as a member of the boards of Juniper Networks, International Rectifier Corporation, Exponent, Inc. and GrafTech International, Inc., and is a former member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Ms. Cranston has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.
Ms. Cranston holds both A.B. and J.D. degrees from Stanford University.
Chief Executive Officer
Tassos Gianakakos joined MyoKardia in October 2013, bringing more than 17 years of senior leadership experience and business development and finance expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry to the company. He joined MyoKardia from MAP Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Allergan in March 2013), where he was most recently senior vice president and chief business officer. In this position, Mr. Gianakakos played an integral role in advancing the company’s two Phase 3 clinical programs and regulatory filings for LEVADEX®, and led the successful co-promotion partnership agreement for the program with Allergan, as well as a global partnership with AstraZeneca for the company’s Unit Dose Budesonide program. Prior to MAP, Mr. Gianakakos led the formation of Codexis, Inc., a spin-off of Maxygen, Inc., in 2001. At Codexis, Mr. Gianakakos served as president and senior vice president, business development, and global head of Codexis' Pharmaceuticals Business Unit. Before forming Codexis, Mr. Gianakakos was director of business development at Maxygen, where he led the company’s business development efforts for its vaccine and bio-industrial platforms, as well as financing activities including the company’s initial public offering. Prior to Maxygen, Mr. Gianakakos was a process engineer in Merck & Co.’s vaccine division.
Mr. Gianakakos holds B.Sc. degrees in chemical engineering and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.Sc. in biotechnology from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
David Meeker, M.D., is executive vice president and head of Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi that focuses on rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology, and immunology. As executive vice president of Sanofi, he served as a member of the executive committee. Dr. Meeker joined Genzyme in 1994 and held positions of increasing responsibility including vice president, medical affairs, chief operating officer and ultimately president and chief executive officer. Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Meeker was director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and an assistant professor of medicine at The Ohio State University. He has authored more than 40 articles and multiple book chapters.
Dr. Meeker received his M.D. degree from the University of Vermont Medical School. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2000.
Mark Perry is a biotech veteran with more than 30 years of industry experience. Mr. Perry has served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures and as president, chief executive officer and director of Aerovance, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of human therapeutics for respiratory and allergic diseases. From 1994 to 2007, Mr. Perry served in several executive roles at Gilead Sciences, Inc., including executive vice president of operations, as well as general counsel and chief financial officer. Earlier in his career, Mr. Perry was a partner of Cooley LLP, where he maintained a corporate and securities practice with an emphasis on biotechnology and high technology companies, investment banks and venture capital partnerships. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Pathway Therapeutics and director of Nvidia Corporation. Mr. Perry is also a member of the California State Bar Association and the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers, and serves on several nonprofit boards.
Mr. Perry holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis.
Kim Popovits has been widely recognized for her contributions to science and the commercialization of the biotechnology industry. Ms. Popovits has been Genomic Health’s chairman of the board since 2012, and chief executive officer and president since 2009. She served as president and chief operating officer since joining the company in 2002. Previously, Ms. Popovits spent 15 years at Genentech, where she led the successful commercialization of 14 new therapies. Before joining Genentech, Ms. Popovits served as division manager for American Critical Care, a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation. She currently serves on the boards of American Clinical Laboratory Association, California Life Sciences Association, Personalized Medicine Coalition, and ZS Pharma. She is president of The Coalition for 21st Century Medicine and serves as an advisor to the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Ms. Popovits holds a B.A. degree in business from Michigan State University.
Co-Founder and Partner, Third Rock Ventures
Kevin Starr is a proven operational leader with more than 25 years of experience building and operating leading biotech companies. Mr. Starr co-founded Third Rock Ventures in 2007 and focuses on the formation, development and business strategy of the firm's portfolio companies as well as actively identifying and evaluating new investments. In addition to his role at Third Rock, he also serves as the interim chief executive officer of SAGE Therapeutics. Prior to Third Rock Ventures, Mr. Starr was chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he led key roles in raising billions of dollars in capital through strategic alliances and public financing and driving growth through company expansion and mergers and acquisitions. Earlier in his career, he served in various executive roles at Millennium BioTherapeutics, Biogen and Digital Equipment Corporation. He is currently a board member of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and SAGE Therapeutics.
Mr. Starr holds a M.S. in corporate finance from Boston College and a B.A. in mathematics and business from Colby College.
Eric J. Topol, M.D., joined MyoKardia in September 2015 as a member of our board of directors and as chair of our Science and Technology Committee. Since 2006, Dr. Topol has served as a Professor of Translational Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, the Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, a Senior Consultant in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Scripps Clinic and the Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health, where in 2009 he was named the Gary and Mary West Chair of Innovative Medicine. Dr. Topol has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Medscape since 2013. From 1991 to 2006, Dr. Topol was at Cleveland Clinic, where he served as Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, and additionally as Chief Academic Officer from 2000 to 2005. Additionally, Dr. Topol was the Founder and Provost of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. From 1985 to 1991, Dr. Topol was a Professor with Tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Topol holds a B.A., with highest distinction, in Biomedicine from the University of Virginia and an M.D., with honor, from the University of Rochester. Dr. Topol completed residency training in Internal Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and fellowship training in Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2004.
Wendy Yarno held positions of increasing responsibility over a 26-year career at Merck & Co, Inc., leading multiple business groups. Most recently, she served as chief marketing officer, leading the global organization charged with all aspects of pre-and post-launch commercialization of pharmaceuticals in more than 20 therapeutic areas. Ms. Yarno also served as Merck’s senior vice president of human resources, where her successful efforts to develop and implement new corporate HR strategies proved transformative for this key business function. Previously, Ms. Yarno was vice president of the Johnson & Johnson Co. unit Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical’s highly profitable Women’s Health Care Franchise. Ms. Yarno has served on the boards of ADial Pharmaceuticals, Durata Therapeutics, Medivation, St. Jude Medical, and PluroGen Therapeutics.
Ms. Yarno received an M.B.A. from the Fox School of Business at Temple University and a B.S. in business administration from Portland State University.