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Board of Directors

Aro's Board of Directors is comprised of pharma and biotech industry experts and leading biotech investors

Susan Dillon, PhD

Chairman of the Board, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aro Biotherapeutics

Sue Dillon, PhD, brings 30 years of experience in executive leadership roles at pharmaceutical and biotech companies to Aro Biotherapeutics. During her more than 16 year career at Johnson & Johnson, Sue led global Immunology R&D, and achieved numerous regulatory approvals for innovative antibody products for autoimmune diseases including REMICADE®, SIMPONI®, STELARA® and TREMFYA®. She also built a robust Immunology development portfolio through internal discovery and external licensing, and championed research into the emerging areas of the microbiome and immune repertoire profiling. Multi-disciplinary teams under Sue’s leadership were twice recognized with the Prix Galien Award for PROMACTA® and STELARA®, each first-in-class medicines. Sue received her PhD in Immunology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology at Duke University. She was named by FierceBiotech as one of the “Top Women in Biotech” in 2013 and 2022.

Liz McKee Anderson

Independent Director

Liz McKee Anderson is the former Worldwide Vice President, Infectious Disease and Vaccines at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Liz brings more than 30 years of leadership in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines. She held senior leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson between 2003 and her retirement in 2014. Liz most recently served as Worldwide Vice President, Infectious Disease and Vaccines for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, where she directed the commercial development of an extensive portfolio of antivirals and vaccines with responsibility for global strategic marketing, market access, and global analytics for that division. She previously served in WWVP roles for Biotechnology, Immunology and Oncology.  Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Liz served as the Vice President and General Manager of Wyeth Lederle Vaccines from 1997 to 2002, where she was responsible for a broad product portfolio and the commercialization and launch of the PREVNAR vaccine. She also previously worked in executive leadership roles at Rhone Poulenc Rorer and the American National Red Cross. Liz serves on the boards of directors of GSK Plc., BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Insmed, Inc., Revolution Medicines Inc., and is a trustee of the Wistar Institute for Biomedical Research. She also previously served on the boards of directors of Bavarian Nordic A/S and the global marketing and communications company Huntsworth Plc.  Liz holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Rutgers University and a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland.

Lee Kalowski

Independent Director

Lee Kalowski brings over twenty years of biopharmaceutical experience and has served in multiple leadership and biotech CFO roles. Since 2023, Lee has served as an Interim CFO and a consultant to companies in the life sciences industry. Prior to this, Lee was the former CFO of Bicycle Therapeutics, from 2017-2023, and also the former President of Bicycle Therapeutics, from 2019-2023. In these roles, he led strategic finance and operations to support the company’s transition to a public clinical-stage biotech company and helped raise $1 billion in capital, consisting of over $700 million in private, public, and non-dilutive financings including the company’s 2019 IPO and all subsequent financings. Prior to Bicycle, Lee was Chief Financial Officer of Tokai Pharmaceuticals where he helped lead the company’s IPO in 2014. Prior to Tokai, Lee served in global biotechnology equity research as a Senior Analyst at Credit Suisse, where he covered companies in the biopharmaceutical industry. Lee received a B.A. in biology and economics from Union College and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Steve Liapis, PhD

Principal, Northpond Ventures

Steve Liapis is a Principal at Northpond Ventures where he focuses on biotechnology platforms and therapeutics investments. He also leads Northpond’s newco incubation efforts with the Wyss Institute at Harvard and the School of Engineering at MIT. Steve is Board Director at Walking Fish Therapeutics, Kyverna Therapeutics, Garuda Therapeutics, Opna Bio, Parthenon Therapeutics, and Totus Medicines. Previously, Steve was Director of Oncology Portfolio Strategy at Sanofi, where he led global strategy and resource prioritization for Sanofi Oncology. Prior to Sanofi, Steve was Head of Strategy at Arbor Biotechnologies and served in leadership positions at L.E.K. Consulting where he focused on R&D and commercial strategy for immuno-oncology as well as advanced therapeutic modalities including gene therapy, gene editing, and cell therapy. Steve holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Harvard University where he trained in the laboratory of Dr. John Rinn, focusing on the discovery and molecular characterization of novel long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), as well as identifying the role of lncRNAs in disease pathogenesis.

Christopher Mirabelli, PhD

Independent Director

Dr. Christopher Mirabelli has spent over 35 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as a research scientist, senior executive, and venture capital investor. Currently, he is a managing director of the venture capital firm HealthCare Ventures. Dr. Mirabelli is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leap Therapeutics, where he was the Chief Executive Officer from its founding in 2015 until 2020. Previously, Dr. Mirabelli was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of LeukoSite from its founding in 1993 until its acquisition by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1999. Dr. Mirabelli was also a Co-Founder of Ionis Pharmaceuticals. He began his industry career in R&D at SmithKline & French Laboratories, and earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Baylor College of Medicine and his B.S. in Biology from State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia.

Karyn O’Neil, PhD

Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Aro Biotherapeutics

Karyn O’Neil, PhD, has more than 30 years of experience in peptide, antibody and protein engineering. As the Venture Leader for Centyrex, a Johnson & Johnson Venture, Karyn focused on designer protein platform technologies. She is co-inventor on the Centyrin patents and has led the team advancing the Centyrin platform since its inception. She joined Centocor/Johnson & Johnson in 2001 where, prior to working on Centyrins, she held positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately becoming a Director of Antibody Therapeutics. There she played a leadership role in the discovery and optimization of multiple clinical candidates. Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Karyn was in the Applied Biotechnologies group at DuPont Pharmaceuticals. Karyn received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania where she focused on protein engineering and protein biophysics. She has authored more than 55 publications and holds over 30 patents. Karyn also serves as an editor for Protein Engineering, Design and Selection.  

Bruce Peacock

Independent Director

During his more than 40 year career in biotechnology, Bruce Peacock has held numerous senior leadership positions, including President and Chief Executive Officer of Adolor Corporation, Alba Therapeutics and Orthovita, Inc., and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Business Officer of Ophthotech. For over 10 years, he served as Venture Partner with SV Life Sciences Health Investors. Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cephalon Inc. and prior to this, he was CFO at Centocor, Inc. He is a cofounder of Carisma Therapeutics, Interius Biotherapeutics and Vittoria Therapeutics, companies focused on novel cell therapies for cancer. Bruce holds a BA in Business Administration from Villanova University.

Chris Picariello

President, Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Chris Picariello is the President of Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC.  Chris is responsible for leading the JJDC Investment Team and is a member of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Senior Leadership Team.    

 

Chris joined Johnson & Johnson in 1995 in the Finance Leadership Development Program progressing through a stellar career in corporate Finance.  Chris was most recently Vice President, Finance, North America Consumer and responsible for leading the NA Finance team and a member of the North America Consumer Leadership Team as well as the Global Consumer Finance Leadership Team. His strong business leadership and focus on long term, sustainable growth proved vital as he led his team through developing and implementing strategic initiatives to restructure the business to pivot for profitable growth. His approach as a servant leader is well recognized, creating a culture of agility, end-to-end leadership, prioritization and investment optimization which has enabled the NA Consumer business to outpace competition and substantially improve profitability.

 

Prior to that Chris was Chief Financial Officer and Global Head of Procurement, Government Grants Office and Project Management Office for Janssen Research & Development. As a member of the Pharmaceutical R&D Senior Leadership Team and chair of the R&D Investment Committee, Chris played an instrumental role in shaping and advancing the Janssen 2020 strategy, External innovation model, Global Public Health, Janssen Global Grants Office and several transformational efficiency programs to enable medical innovation for patients.  He helped execute and integrate many acquisitions and R&D collaborations including advancing alternative funding structures to support externalizing of key portfolio assets.  In addition, Chris has championed innovative approaches to advance the Pharmaceutical R&D model creating an external R&D CFO Forum, helping implement TransCelerate, the first JLABS, WAVE development, Janssen Incubator, Disease Interception Accelerator and Disease Area Strongholds models.  Under his leadership, Janssen R&D has developed one of the strongest and most productive pipelines in the industry.

 

Chris has been in roles of increasing complexity and scope across the enterprise in global and multi-region Finance leadership roles, including Vice President, Finance and CFO for the Global Baby Franchise, Supply Chain, US Selling and Customer Development within the J&J Consumer Sector;  Vice President, Finance and CFO for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (J&J PRD), LLC; CFO for Tibotec-Virco; Finance Director of Janssen R&D in Belgium; and, Finance Manager of International Operations Control.  Chris has successfully established Finance teams and has played a key leadership role in developing strategic plans and improving organizations’ abilities to deliver on key financial targets.   Chris has also championed the GEI Next Frontier process focusing on JLABS and the Innovation Centers, connecting sectors and external partners with the best science and technology.

 

Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Chris was a Staff Accountant with the City of Philadelphia. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from LaSalle University. 

Kevin Raidy

Managing Partner, Cowen Healthcare Investments

Kevin Raidy is a Managing Director at Blue Owl and the Head of Healthcare Opportunities. In this role, he oversees all private and public investment activity related to Healthcare Opportunities and sits on the Fund’s Investment Committee. 

Previously, Kevin was a founder and Managing Partner of Cowen Healthcare Investments, the predecessor to Blue Owl Healthcare Opportunities. Prior to his role at Cowen Healthcare Investments, Kevin was Cowen’s Head of Investment Banking and prior to that he was Co-Head of Cowen’s Equity Capital Markets Group. Before that Kevin was a Managing Director at Ramius LLC where he was responsible for direct investments and convertible bonds. Kevin’s sell side experience includes ten years at Shipley Raidy Capital Partners, a boutique investment banking firm which he co-founded. Prior to founding Shipley Raidy, Kevin was an associate at Philadelphia First Group. He started his career at Cantor Fitzgerald before moving to Merrill Lynch as an analyst in the municipal finance group. 

 

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of NodThera Ltd, Escient Pharmaceuticals, Neuron23, and Aro Biopharmaceuticals, while also a Board Observer at Delfi Diagnostics, Aktis Oncology and Evox Therapeutics.

 

Kevin received a BS in Economics with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mårten Steen, MD, PhD

Managing Partner, HealthCap

Mårten Steen, PhD, is a managing partner of HealthCap. Previously, he has worked with business development at Merck Serono focusing on both product and technology licensing. Mårten is a Medical Doctor trained at Lund University. He has pursued research in the field of protein chemistry and coagulation at Lund University and Novo Nordisk, rendering him a PhD in Clinical Chemistry in 2003. He is the author of 16 scientific papers and published in peer-reviewed journals. He has also a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from the Lund University School of Economics and Management.

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