Leadership

Executive leadership

Founded in 2013, we’re led by a seasoned team of inventors, scientists, and big thinkers. We combine our deep expertise in immunology, neurology, and genetics in our quest to deliver life-transforming medicines that can profoundly impact patients’ lives.

Arnon Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Director

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arnon rosenthal alector ceo

Arnon Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Director

Arnon co-founded Alector in 2013 and has served as a member of our board of directors, as Chief Executive Officer, and as our President since 2013. Arnon co-founded Annexon Biosciences, Inc., and served as its acting Chief Executive Officer from August 2011 to December 2014 and served as a member of the board of directors, including as Chairman from August 2011 to February 2017. Arnon co-founded Rinat Neuroscience Corporation (acquired by Pfizer Inc. in August 2006), and served as President, Chief Scientific Officer, and as a member of the board of directors from August 2001 to August 2006. From January 1985 to August 2001, Arnon served in various roles at Genentech, Inc., where he ultimately served as Staff Scientist and was appointed as a permanent member of Genentech’s Research Review Committee, where his team discovered the target for the cancer drug Erivedge. Arnon conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at Genentech, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sara Kenkare-Mitra, Ph.D.

President and Head of Research and Development

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Sara Kenkare-Mitra, Ph.D.

President and Head of Research and Development

Sara Kenkare-Mitra, Ph.D., joined Alector as President and Head of Research and Development in December 2021 to lead all aspects of the company’s immuno-neurology and oncology R&D efforts, including oversight of the research, development, clinical, manufacturing, regulatory, and related functions.

Prior to joining Alector, Sara held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech over the course of 23 years. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Development Sciences in Genentech’s research and early development unit.  During her tenure at Genentech, Sara led a large, integrated global organization of approximately 650 employees, and played a key role in the filing of more than 100 Investigational New Drug/clinical trial applications around the world, and the approval of 15 medicines for diverse diseases, including cancers and neurological diseases. Her team also enabled the successful development and approval of over 15 companion diagnostics.

Sara received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she also stayed on as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the school of medicine and completed a Fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology before joining Genentech.  Sara also holds adjunct faculty positions in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the UCSF and at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.  Sara is an elected member of the National academy of Medicine (NAM) and elected fellow of Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  She has been widely recognized for her work and leadership in the industry with awards such as the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ Alice E. Till Advancement of Women in Pharmaceutical Sciences Recognition, Endpoints’ 20 Most Extraordinary Women in Biopharma, Fierce Pharma’s Fiercest Women in the Life Sciences, and the University of California, San Francisco’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. She has served as a board member of the Genentech foundation and the Association of Women in Science (AWIS).

 

Marc Grasso, M.D.

Chief Financial Officer

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Marc Grasso, M.D.

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Grasso joins Alector from Kura Oncology, Inc., where he served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer. Prior to Kura Oncology, he served as Managing Director of Stifel, where he was responsible for building and managing the west coast life sciences and biotechnology investment banking business. Previously, Dr. Grasso was Managing Director of Investment Banking in the Global Healthcare Group at UBS, focused on the biotechnology sector, and prior to that, he was Managing Director of Investment Banking at Leerink Swann, where he was instrumental in the west coast expansion of their franchise. Dr. Grasso joined Leerink from Morgan Stanley and earlier held positions in the Global Healthcare Group of Credit Suisse First Boston and at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Dr. Grasso received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also performed research in molecular oncology. He obtained an A.B. in molecular biology with honors from Princeton University.

Robert King, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer

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robert king alector

Robert King, Ph.D.

Chief Development Officer

Robert has served as our Chief Development Officer since January 2017. Robert joined Alector from SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by a consortium led by GL Capital Partners, LLC), a biotechnology company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Product Development and Supply Chain from June 2011 to January 2017. Prior to SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Robert served as VP of Product Development and Manufacturing at biotechnology company Bayhill Therapeutics, Inc. from 2006 to 2011. Robert served as VP Product Development and Manufacturing at biotechnology company Rinat Neuroscience Corp. (acquired by Pfizer), from 2003 to 2006. Robert served in positions of increasing responsibility at COR Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2002) from 1993 to 2003. From 1991 to 1993, Robert served as a scientist in the Purification and Pharmaceutical Sciences groups at California Biotechnology/Scios. From 1988 to 1991, Robert was a scientist at Molecular Devices Corporation. Robert holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Washington.

Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

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Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Medical Officer

Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D., joined Alector as Chief Medical Officer in May 2022 to lead the company’s global clinical development strategy, including oversight of the clinical development, clinical operations, biometrics and digital science, and medical affairs functions.

Gary brings more than 25 years of experience in neurodegenerative disease to Alector, including 18 years in industry roles at Merck, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and Passage Bio. Gary served as the Chief Medical Officer of Passage Bio until May 2021, where he was responsible for the clinical development of gene therapies targeting rare monogenic central nervous system disorders and achieved Investigational New Drug and Clinical Trial Application clearances for three gene therapies. Prior to Passage Bio, Gary oversaw clinical development of the neurodegenerative disease portfolio for more than five years at Janssen as the Deputy Leader, Neurodegenerative Disease Area and Head of Development, Neurodegenerative Disease. He previously held other leadership positions at Janssen, including Head of Neuroscience Biomarkers and Head of Early Clinical Development. Earlier in his career, Gary served as the Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutic Area Group Co-Leader and Leader, Neuroscience Experimental Medicine at Merck.

Gary earned a B.S. in Biology from Trinity College, a Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology from Rockefeller University, and an M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his medical internship, neurology residency and neuromuscular fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served on the executive committee of the Innovative Medicines Initiative – European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (EPAD), and as the industry co-chair of the Critical Path Institute Coalition Against Alzheimer’s Disease. Gary currently serves on the board of directors of the ALS Hope Foundation and is an adjunct member of the neurology department at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

Danielle Pasqualone, Ph.D., J.D

Interim General Counsel

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Danielle Pasqualone, Ph.D., J.D

Interim General Counsel

Danielle Pasqualone, Ph.D., J.D., serves as the Interim General Counsel at Alector. She joined Alector in 2019 as the Vice President of Intellectual Property. In her role, Danielle oversees the company’s legal function, driving business objectives and decision-making. Partnering with teams throughout Alector, she also directs global intellectual property strategy and provides legal counsel on various matters, including transactions, such as the recent GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Adimab collaborations. Danielle’s diverse experience at and prior to Alector has included intellectual property strategy from research through commercialization, litigation and adversarial proceedings, licensing and transactions, IP-related FDA and regulatory matters, trade secret protection, trademark registration, privacy and data protection, and general corporate matters. Danielle earned a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Penn State University, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Cornell University, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Clare Hunt, M.B.A.

Head of People

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Clare Hunt, M.B.A.

Head of People

Clare has led our People team since January 2017. Prior to joining Alector, Clare spent seven years as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, where she was most recently a case team leader and worked in the Boston, London, Manhattan, and San Francisco offices. Clare is a leadership coach who managed a coaching sole proprietorship and completed the Coaches Training Institute’s coach certification and leadership programs, as well as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Clare has international operating experience, having lived and worked in Swaziland for a private sector development consultancy, and rural Kenya for a social enterprise startup. She holds a B.A. in international relations and economics from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Kristina Vlaovic, M.P.H.

SVP, Regulatory and Pharmacovigilance

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Kristina Vlaovic, M.P.H.

SVP, Regulatory and Pharmacovigilance

Kristina entered the pharmaceutical industry after graduating from the University of Michigan School of Public Health with a Masters in Public Health. Her first job was auditing neurology clinical trials for Parke-Davis, giving her a glimpse of the Clinical Research world and providing her an opportunity to transition into the project management of large epidemiological studies for the company, combining her interest in both science and public health.

Early in her career she shifted her focus on late-stage drug development, specifically the commercialization of products that she had helped to develop. She started her career in Commercial Regulatory Affairs, helping the Pfizer Marketing team promote women’s health, cardiovascular and oncology products throughout the years. Understanding the business was exciting, and a passion for finding regulatory pathways to develop & commercialize products was the perfect blend for her interests. Since then, she has worked across numerous therapeutic areas, from IND to commercialization at small, mid-sized and larger companies including Amgen, Genentech/Roche, Intermune, Halozyme and now Alector, Inc. Each role increased her leadership and enterprise expertise.

In her current role at Alector, Kristina Vlaovic leads the regulatory strategy & operations team and the safety & pharmacovigilance teams. She is responsible for the global regulatory development & safety strategy across the corporate portfolios for this exciting neuro-immunology and onco-immunology company.

Daniel Maslyar, M.D.

VP, Clinical Development, Oncology

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Daniel Maslyar, M.D.

VP, Clinical Development, Oncology

Daniel has been leading our clinical development program in oncology with shared responsibilities in neurology since August 2018. He joined Alector from Genentech Pharma Development Oncology, where he was Associate Group Medical Director from November 2015 to July 2018 leading global development of a small molecule signalling pathway inhibitor for the treatment of cancer. Prior to that time, he served as Medical Director in Oncology Early Clinical Development in gRED from May 2010 to October 2015, overseeing antibody drug conjugate development across the early stage solid tumor programs. Daniel served as Director of Clinical Development at Nektar from January 2009 to April 2010, evaluating pegylated-cytotoxic agents. Previously, he was Director of Clinical Research at Cell Genesys from July 2004 to December 2008, with increasing roles in responsibility engaged in clinical development of immunotherapeutics derived from oncolytic adenovirus, as well as autologous and allogeneic cell constructs. Daniel is a board certified oncologist in the United States. He holds an M.D. and fellowship training from the University of California San Francisco.

Virginia DeJesus-Rueff, M.B.A.

Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy

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virginia dejesus rueff

Virginia DeJesus-Rueff, M.B.A.

Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy

As the Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy, Virginia drives and coordinates the overall company strategy in partnership with the CEO and leads business planning and operations efforts to ensure clear decision-making aligns with the company’s strategic objectives. Virginia joined Alector in 2018, leading the Portfolio and Program Management function. Prior to Alector, Virginia held various roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech from 2007 through 2018, including in the global organization as a Disease Area Director and LifeCycle Leader. Prior to her work in the global organization at Genentech, Virginia held roles of increasing responsibility in the U.S. commercial organization, which spanned both the Marketing and Market Planning groups. Previously, she worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and as a Research Associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Virginia holds an A.B. in Economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar and a Siebel Scholar.

Board of Directors

Tillman Gerngross, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board

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Tillman Gerngross, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board

Dr. Gerngross co-founded Alector in 2013 and has served as a member of our board of directors and as Chairperson since 2013. Dr. Gerngross is a founder, director, and executive officer of numerous biotechnology companies. He is a founder and currently serving as Chief Executive Officer and as a director of Adimab, LLC. He is also a founder and Chairman of the board of directors of Avitide, Inc. and a founder and the Chairman of the board of directors of Arsanis, Inc. Dr. Gerngross is currently a Venture Partner at SV Life Sciences Advisors, LLC, which he joined in 2006. Dr. Gerngross co-founded GlycoFi, Inc. and served as its Chief Scientific Officer from 2000 to 2006 until it was acquired by Merck & Company, Inc. Dr. Gerngross currently teaches in the departments of Biology and Chemistry, as well as at the School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, where he has taught since 1998. Dr. Gerngross attended the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, where he received a B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in molecular biology.

Arnon Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

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Arnon Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder

Arnon co-founded Alector in 2013 and has served as a member of our board of directors, as Chief Executive Officer, and as our President since 2013. Arnon co-founded Annexon Biosciences, Inc., and served as its acting Chief Executive Officer from August 2011 to December 2014 and served as a member of the board of directors, including as Chairman from August 2011 to February 2017. Arnon co-founded Rinat Neuroscience Corporation (acquired by Pfizer Inc. in August 2006), and served as President, Chief Scientific Officer, and as a member of the board of directors from August 2001 to August 2006. From January 1985 to August 2001, Arnon served in various roles at Genentech, Inc., where he ultimately served as Staff Scientist and was appointed as a permanent member of Genentech’s Research Review Committee, where his team discovered the target for the cancer drug Erivedge. Arnon conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at Genentech, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Elizabeth Garofalo, M.D.

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Elizabeth Garofalo, M.D.

Dr. Garofalo is a veteran biopharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of experience in global clinical development and regulatory affairs, with a focus on neurology. Since 2016, Dr. Garofalo has served as the principal for EAG Pharma Consulting LLC. Previously, Dr. Garofalo worked for Novartis, serving as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development and as a member of its Global Development Leadership Team; she was also Chair of the Novartis Portfolio Stewardship Board and Co-Head of the Novartis Neuroscience Franchise. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Garofalo held several leadership positions, including Global Therapeutics Area Leader, CNS at Astellas; Ann Arbor Site Head, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs at Pfizer; and Ann Arbor Site Head of Neuroscience at Pfizer. Dr. Garofalo currently serves on the Boards of Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Exicure, Inc., and Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. She is also Chair of the Pediatric Oversight Committee at the Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials in Children and is the Chair of the Business Advisory Board for the Epilepsy Foundation of America. Dr. Garofalo holds an M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed fellowships in pediatric neurology and epilepsy at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Paula Hammond, Ph.D.

MIT

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Paula Hammond, Ph.D.

MIT

Professor Paula T. Hammond is the David H. Koch Chair Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. She serves on the board of directors for Alector and is a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the MIT Energy Initiative, and a founding member of the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology. Professor Hammond was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, and the Class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013. She won the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science, the AIChE Charles M. A. Stine Award, the AIChE Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research, and the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Teal Innovator Award. Professor Hammond has published over 320 papers and over 20 patent applications. She is a co-founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of LayerBio, Inc. and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Moderna Therapeutics.

Louis J. Lavigne Jr., M.B.A.

Lead Independent Director

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Louis J. Lavigne Jr., M.B.A.

Lead Independent Director

Louis J. Lavigne Jr. has served as the lead director since August 2020 and as the chairman of the audit committee of Alector since October 2018. Mr. Lavigne has been Managing Director of Lavrite, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in corporate finance, accounting, growth strategy, and management since 2005 and since 2019, Laman Partners, LLC. He has served on the board of directors of several public and private companies and institutions, including Zynga, Accuray, Rodan + Fields, Allergan, DocuSign, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, among others. He also served in various executive capacities at Genentech, Inc. for over 20 years, including as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. In 2005, Mr. Lavigne was named the Best CFO in Biotech in the Institutional Investor Survey, and in June 2006, he received the Bay Area CFO of the Year Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Lavigne holds a B.S. in finance from Babson College and an M.B.A. from Temple University.

Terry McGuire

Polaris

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Terry McGuire

Polaris

A founding partner of Polaris Partners, Terry brings more than 25 years of successful early-stage investing experience in medical and information technology companies. Terry has invested in more than 50 companies and co-founded three companies: Inspire Pharmaceuticals (public and sold to Merck), AIR (sold to Alkermes), and MicroCHIPS (private). Terry has won numerous awards, including the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research Award and the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences, awarded by Harvard and the City of Jerusalem. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University and Canisius College for his work in translational science. Terry chairs the board of the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, and sits on the boards of MIT’s The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, and The Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board (HBS). Terry holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.S. in engineering from The Thayer School at Dartmouth College, and a B.S. in physics and economics from Hobart College.

Richard H. Scheller, Ph.D.

BridgeBio

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Richard H. Scheller, Ph.D.

BridgeBio

Dr. Scheller has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2018. Dr. Scheller has been Chairman of Research and Development at BridgeBio since January 2019. Previously, Dr. Scheller was Chief Scientific Officer at 23andMe, a personal genetics company, as well as the Executive Vice President of Research and Early Development and a member of the Executive Committee at Genentech. Dr. Scheller currently serves as a member of the board of directors for ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Xenon Pharmaceuticals, and BridgeBio. Dr. Scheller’s research on elucidating the molecular machinery and regulatory mechanism that underlie the release of neurotransmitters earned him the 2013 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Scheller holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his post-doctorate in Molecular Neurobiology at Columbia University.

David Wehner

Facebook

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David Wehner

Facebook

Dave Wehner is chief financial officer of Facebook, where he leads the finance, facilities, and enterprise engineering teams. Prior to becoming CFO in June 2014, Dave served as Facebook’s vice president, corporate finance and business planning, since he joined the company in 2012. From 2010 through 2012, Dave served as chief financial officer of Zynga. Before Zynga, Dave was a managing director at Allen & Company, an investment bank focused on media and technology, which he joined in 2001. In addition to his role at Facebook, Dave serves on the board of directors of Alector, Inc. He also serves as the co-chair of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization established to provide analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and way of life. Dave holds a B.S. in chemistry from Georgetown University and an M.S. in applied physics from Stanford University.

 

Kristine Yaffe, M.D.

UCSF

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Kristine Yaffe, M.D.

UCSF

Dr. Kristine Yaffe has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2019. She is the Scola Endowed Chair and Vice Chair, professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology and the director of the Center for Population Brain Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Yaffe has received numerous awards for her groundbreaking contributions to the field, including the American Academy of Neurology Potamkin Prize, a prestigious honor considered to be the Nobel Prize of Alzheimer’s disease research, and in 2019, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Yaffe holds a B.S. in biology-psychology from Yale University, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and has completed residencies in neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Scientific Advisory Board

Adam Boxer, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of UCSF Neuroscience Clinical Research Unit

Aaron D. Gitler, Ph.D.

Professor of Genetics, Stanford University

Stephen Hauser, M.D.

Chair of the Department of Neurology at UCSF

Michael Heneka, M.D.

Chair of the Department of Neurology at University of Bonn

Martin Kampmann, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

Lewis Lanier, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UCSF

Liqun Luo, Ph.D.

Member of National Academy of Sciences, Stanford University

Richard Scheller, Ph.D.

Member of National Academy of Sciences, BridgeBio

Thomas Christian Südhof, M.D., Ph.D.

Nobel Laureate, Stanford University

Robert Vassar, Ph.D.

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Physiology & Neuroscience at USC

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