Our Leadership

Principia’s leadership team includes biotechnology executives and veteran drug developers who are passionate about creating a new way to develop better small molecule drugs.

Martin Babler

Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining Principia, Mr. Babler was President and Chief Executive Officer of Talima Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Inc., most recently as Vice President, Immunology Sales and Marketing. He began his pharmaceutical industry career at Eli Lilly and Company focused on sales, sales management, global marketing and business development. Mr. Babler is a Guest Lecturer for the BioExec Institute at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He also serves on the BIO Emerging Companies Section Governing Board. He holds a Swiss Federal Diploma in Pharmacy from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Mr. Babler also graduated from the Executive Development Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Christopher Y. Chai

Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining Principia, Mr. Chai served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he played an integral role in its growth, including an IPO and its eventual sale in 2013 to Allergan, Inc. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Chai was employed by CV Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he held various management positions, including Vice President, Treasury and Investor Relations. Mr. Chai also worked at J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated  in various capacities, including as a healthcare investment banker. Mr. Chai received a B.S. in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University.

Jens Oliver Funk, M.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Prior to joining Principia, Dr. Funk served as Senior Vice President of R&D and Global Head of the Therapeutic Area Oncology at Merck Serono, Merck KGaA. While at Merck Serono he led the advancement of its oncology portfolio, focusing on small molecule and biologics discovery. Before joining Merck KGaA, Dr. Funk focused on cancer and immune/inflammatory diseases in research and clinical positions at UCSF, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Universities of Erlangen and Munich. Dr. Funk received his medical and scientific training at Stanford University, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Lübeck, where he graduated with an M.D. Dr. Funk has brought more than 10 novel drug candidates into clinical development and has co-authored numerous scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals. He is board certified in dermatology.

Steve Gourlay, MBBS, FRACP, Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Prior to joining Principia, Dr. Gourlay was a partner at GBS Venture Partners, a specialist life sciences investment firm, where he served as both investment manager and consultant clinical development advisor across the portfolio. Previously, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Inc., most recently as Senior Director, Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology. Dr. Gourlay holds a medical degree from the University of Melbourne, a Ph.D. in medicine from Monash University and an M.B.A. from Macquarie University.

David Goldstein, Ph.D.

SENIOR Vice President, Drug Discovery

Prior to joining Principia, Dr. Goldstein held positions of increasing responsibility at Roche, most recently serving as Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry and Head of Inflammation Chemistry. Dr. Goldstein also was previously a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford University. He received a B.A. in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Virginia.

Ken A. Brameld, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Research Technologies

Prior to joining Principia, Dr. Brameld held the positions of Computational Chemistry Group Leader and Principal Research Scientist at Roche. His previous experience  includes senior scientific positions at leading biopharmaceutical companies, including Celera Genomics, Array Biopharma and Scios, Inc. Dr. Brameld received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.