Sarah Cooley, M.D., M.S. is Senior Vice President, Clinical Translation at Fate Therapeutics and oversees translational medicine across the cell-based cancer immunotherapy programs and for early clinical development of cell product candidates. Dr. Cooley, an expert in the field of natural killer (NK) cell receptor immunogenetics and in the clinical development of NK cell cancer immunotherapies, brings to Fate Therapeutics more than 12 years of leadership in the field of NK cell clinical research and development. Prior to joining Fate, she was an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation at the University of Minnesota where her clinical practice included adult Hematologic Malignancy and Blood and Marrow Transplant service and her research included leading 15 clinical trials of NK cell or immunotherapy-based cancer treatments. At the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, Dr. Cooley played a critical role in the development of translational research infrastructure, serving as the Medical Director for the Clinical Trials Office, for the Oncology Informatics Shared Resource and as Director of the Cancer Research Translational Initiative. Dr. Cooley received an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from Cornell University and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Minnesota, where she also received her M.S. in Clinical Research from the School of Public Health.
Jerome Bressi, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Quality at Fate Therapeutics, overseeing all aspects of regulatory and quality functions related to clinical development, CMC, and future commercialization. Previously, Dr. Bressi held the positions of Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Quality and Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs at Fate Therapeutics. Prior to joining Fate, he served as President of BioPharma Regulatory Solutions, as well as played key regulatory roles at Hyperion Therapeutics and Mast Therapeutics. Dr. Bressi has more than 20 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience in drug development within oncology, autoimmune, and inherited genetic disorder therapeutic arenas. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington and his B.S. from the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego.
Mr. Beitel is Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, at Fate Therapeutics and is responsible for developing and implementing strategic growth initiatives including expanding the company’s induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapy pipeline through corporate partnerships. Mr. Beitel has more than 20 years of leadership experience in corporate development, strategy, sales and marketing, project management and finance with experience across the spectrum of life science companies. Mr. Beitel was previously Vice President of Corporate Development and Operations at Avanir Pharmaceuticals, where he facilitated the company’s growth into a multi-product organization and the subsequent acquisition of Avanir by Otsuka. Prior to Avanir, Mr. Beitel held various business development, sales and marketing, strategy and finance roles with increasing responsibility at Amgen, La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company and Zacharon Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Beitel holds a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Kansas.
Bahram (Bob) Valamehr is the Chief Research and Development Officer at Fate Therapeutics, overseeing the company’s research and development activities. Previously, Dr. Valamehr has held the positions of Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Cancer Immunotherapy at Fate and prior to that played key scientific roles at Amgen, the Center for Cell Control (a NIH Nanomedicine Development Center) and the Broad Stem Cell Research Center developing novel methods to control pluripotency, to modulate stem cell fate including hematopoiesis and to better understand cellular signaling pathways associated with cancer. He has co-authored numerous studies and patents related to stem cell biology, oncology and materials science. Dr. Valamehr received his Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA, his M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and his B.S. from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA.
Cindy Tahl is General Counsel at Fate Therapeutics and is serving as a key advisor in day to day operations, providing legal advice and counsel for all functions of the business and overseeing company compliance. Ms. Tahl also directs the development and expansion of the Company’s IP portfolio. Prior to joining Fate, Ms. Tahl was a technology transactions attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., and practiced intellectual property law in the New York office of Kenyon & Kenyon, LLP. Ms. Tahl has worked extensively with biotechnology companies at all stages of growth, representing clients in numerous corporate transactions and executing patent strategy to advance corporate goals. Ms. Tahl received a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. She is admitted to the state bars of California and New York, and is registered to practice as a patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Brian Powl is Chief Commercial Officer at Fate Therapeutics. Prior to joining Fate, Mr. Powl most recently served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Development & Marketing at MEI Pharma, Inc., where he led the commercialization efforts of a late-stage small molecule program in B-cell malignancies across marketing, sales, market access and commercial operations. Prior to MEI Pharma, Mr. Powl was Vice President, Global Commercial CAR T lead at Celgene Corporation, where he oversaw a global portfolio of new cell therapy products in the hematology franchise. During his tenure at Celgene, he also held various senior level positions, including leading their flagship multiple myeloma franchise in which he led the marketing of Revlimid and Pomalyst and the strategic development of multiple pipeline products in myeloma. He also led the global commercial operations group for Celgene outside the United States. Prior to Celgene, he held sales and marketing positions at Novartis Oncology and Centocor, Inc. Mr. Powl holds a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA in Healthcare Management/Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Mark Plavsic is Chief Technical Officer at Fate Therapeutics, overseeing the company’s cell therapy manufacturing, supply chain, and technical operations. Dr. Plavsic has more than 20 years of broad experience in process development and end-to-end product development of large scale commercial biologics. Prior to joining Fate Therapeutics, Dr. Plavsic served as Chief Technical Officer at Lysogene, a late stage clinical development gene therapy company with headquarters in Paris, France. Before joining Lysogene, Dr. Plavsic was SVP of CMC at Torque Therapeutics, Inc., and was Head of Product Biosafety at Genzyme/Sanofi, where he was responsible for process improvements and viral safety of all commercial biological products and associated manufacturing processes. Previously, Dr. Plavsic was in charge of gene therapy development at Genzyme, overseeing the upstream, downstream, formulation and analytical developments of viral vectors used in gene therapy applications. Before Genzyme, he held various senior leadership positions with AstraZeneca, Q-One Biotech, and Life Technologies, Inc. Dr. Plavsic’s professional experience ranges from Europe, Australasia and USA, and his technical expertise spans across a wide spectrum of drug development and manufacturing activities, including critical animal origin raw materials, cell culture media, GMP QC testing, GLP non-clinical studies, process and analytical development, GMP manufacturing, contract manufacturing, and supply chain. Dr. Plavsic received his Ph.D. in Virology and Molecular Cell Biology, M.Sc. in Virology and Immunology, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. He has a Board certification in Microbiology, subspeciality Virology, from the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.
Edward Dulac is Chief Financial Officer at Fate Therapeutics. Prior to joining Fate, Mr. Dulac served as Vice President of Business Development & Strategy at Celgene, where he was responsible for business development opportunities in the therapeutic areas of hematology and oncology, inflammation and immunology, and neuroscience. During his tenure at Celgene, he also held various positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s hematology and oncology franchise, including portfolio development strategy and commercial planning. Prior to Celgene, Mr. Dulac worked as a biopharmaceutical equity research analyst at Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers and in corporate finance at Pfizer. Mr. Dulac received a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
Dr. Yu-Waye (Wayne) Chu is Chief Medical Officer at Fate Therapeutics, overseeing the company’s clinical development strategies. Prior to joining Fate, Wayne assumed roles of increasing responsibility in Product Development Oncology at Genentech since 2009, where he worked on the development of the HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla). He joined the Early Clinical Development group in Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED) in 2011 where he led the early clinical development of molecules spanning multiple therapeutic platforms including antibody drug conjugates, checkpoint inhibitors, and immune cell bispecific antibodies, notably the development of polatuzumab vedotin (anti-CD79b antibody drug conjugate), tiragolumab (anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody) and mosunetuzumab (CD20/CD3 bispecific antibody), and continued to lead the global development of mosunetuzumab in Product Development Oncology at Roche/Genentech. Dr. Chu conducted his clinical training in pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute. His major clinical and research interests included hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of pediatric cancers, and T-cell biology with a focus on T-cell development and maturation, T-cell homeostasis and immune reconstitution following stem cell transplant. Dr. Chu graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, and earned his M.D. with Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Mr. Wolchko is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Fate Therapeutics and is responsible for the company’s finance, administration and operations. Mr. Wolchko began his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley & Co., where he served for six years in the firm’s New York City and Menlo Park, California offices. As a member of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Health Care Group, he assisted emerging growth companies in the health care technology sector complete capital-raising and M&A transactions. Prior to joining Fate Therapeutics, Mr. Wolchko served as the Chief Financial Officer of Bocada, Inc., where he oversaw all corporate service-related operations, and previously led Corporate Development at drugstore.com, where he was responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing financial and business development opportunities. Mr. Wolchko holds an M.S. in biochemical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a B.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Vermont.