Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Abbie Celniker, PhD , Third Rock Ventures 
Abbie Celniker, PhD
Third Rock Ventures

Abbie is CEO of Rheos Medicines and a partner at Third Rock Ventures, which she joined in 2016 bringing 30 years of experience in R&D and senior leadership roles. She is currently a board member of Goldfinch Bio and former President and CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics.  Previously, Abbie was the president and CEO of Taligen Therapeutics, when Taligen Therapeutics was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals; following the acquisition, she served as Alexion’s Executive Vice President, Translational Medicine. She has served as the Global Head of Biologics of Novartis AG, the Senior Vice President of R&D Strategy and Operations of Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda) and the Vice President of Protein Technologies of the Wyeth Research facilities. Abbie is a member of the MassBio Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Panoptica and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Adimab. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the nonprofits Unitio and T1D.

Abbie received a B.A. in biology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Arizona.

Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, UCSF, Parker Institute 
Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD
UCSF, Parker Institute

Jeffrey is president and CEO of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor at the University of California at San Francisco.  He is one of the leading immunologists in the field of T-cell activation and immune tolerance research that has led to the development of multiple immunotherapies, including the first FDA-approved drug targeting T-cell co-stimulation to treat autoimmune disease and organ transplantation and the first CTLA-4 antagonist drugs approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

Dr. Bluestone is an academic leader on a national and international scale. He was the founding director of the Immune Tolerance Network, the largest NIH-funded multicenter clinical immunology research program, testing novel immunotherapies in transplantation, autoimmunity and asthma/allergy; executive vice chancellor and provost emeritus at UCSF and the former director of the UCSF Diabetes Center. Finally, Dr. Bluestone has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications and has received numerous awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He was also appointed a member of Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel.

J. Duncan Higgons, Board of Directors 

J. Duncan Higgons currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for PsiOxus Therapeutics and Jounce Therapeutics. Mr. Higgons recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Agios Therapeutics. Prior to joining Agios, Mr. Higgons served as Executive Vice President, and interim president and Chief Executive Officer at Archemix Corporation. Prior to Archemix, Mr. Higgons served as the Chief Commercial Officer at TransForm Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biotechnology company, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson Company. Mr. Higgons holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics from King’s College University of London and an M.Sc. in Economics from London Business School.

Cary Pfeffer, MD, MBA, Third Rock Ventures 
Cary Pfeffer, MD, MBA
Third Rock Ventures

Cary is CBO at Rheos Medicines and a partner at Third Rock Ventures and has more than 20 years of business development and transaction experience, along with a broad array of biotech product development experience. Cary has played an instrumental role in the development of a number of innovative alliances and collaborative company building efforts across Third Rock’s portfolio, including an industry-leading global strategic collaboration between Agios and Celgene in the field of cancer metabolism. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Jounce Therapeutics, Neon Therapeutics (as Chairman), and Tango Therapeutics.

Before joining Third Rock, Cary founded The Pfeffer Group, a boutique consulting firm that provided business development and strategy advisory services, completing multiple transactions for leading biotechnology and life sciences companies. Prior to that, Cary spent more than a decade at Biogen where he held a variety of senior and executive level management roles focused on U.S. and global business and market development, product development and commercial operations. Earlier in his career, Cary spent several years in corporate finance in the Health Care Investment Banking Group of Lehman Brothers. He earned his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. in biochemistry from Columbia University.

Stephen Sherwin, MD, UCSF 
Stephen Sherwin, MD

Steve is a venture partner at Third Rock Ventures who brings more than 30 years of experience in medical oncology and the biotechnology industry.  Prior to joining Third Rock Ventures, Steve was chairman and chief Executive Officer of Cell Genesys, a cancer immunotherapy company prior to its merger with BioSante Pharmaceuticals (now ANI Pharmaceuticals). He was also co-founder and chairman of Abgenix, an antibody company which was acquired by Amgen, and co-founder and chairman of Ceregene, a gene therapy company which was acquired by Sangamo Biosciences.  Earlier in his career Steve served as vice president of clinical research at Genentech and was on the staff of the National Cancer Institute. In addition, Steve previously served as a director and chairman of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and was a member of the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Drug Development.

Steve is also Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a volunteer Attending Physician in Hematology-Oncology at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he is involved in patient care and teaching in his specialty of medical oncology. He is also a member of the scientific steering committee of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Steve holds a B.A. in biology from Yale University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

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