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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

Martin Babler photoPrior 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. He also serves on the Emerging Companies Section and Health Section Governing Board boards of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and was a board member of ZS Pharma until its sale to AstraZeneca Inc. He holds a Swiss Federal Diploma in Pharmacy from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Mr. Babler completed the Executive Development Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Ken A. Brameld, Ph.D.

VICE PRESIDENT OF DRUG DISCOVERY

Ken A. Brameld photoPrior to his current role, Dr. Brameld was Principia’s Executive Director of Research Technologies. 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.

Christopher Y. Chai

Chief Financial Officer

Christopher Y. Chai photoPrior 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.

David Goldstein, Ph.D.

chief scientific officer

David Goldstein photoPrior to his current role, Dr. Goldstein was Senior Vice President and Head of Research at Principia Biopharma where he focused the company’s Tailored Covalency® technology on the discovery of “Best in Class” small molecule drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer.  Dr. Goldstein held positions of increasing responsibility at Roche, most recently serving as Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry and Head of Inflammation Chemistry. Dr. Goldstein was also 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.

Steve Gourlay, MBBS, FRACP, Ph.D.

Senior Medical Advisor

Steve Gourlay photoPrior to his current role, Dr. Gourlay was Chief Medical Officer at Principia Biopharma from 2014. Dr. Gourlay previously 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.

Roy Hardiman

CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER

Roy Hardiman photoIn joining Principia, Mr. Hardiman brings nearly 20 years of experience at Genentech, Inc. where he held various senior level positions including Vice President – Alliance Management, Vice President – Corporate Law and Assistant Secretary, and Director – Business and Corporate Development. Prior to Genentech, Mr. Hardiman was an attorney at Morrison & Foerster. Mr. Hardiman received his B.A. in Pharmacology and Masters in Biology from UCSB and his J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law where he was on the UCLA Law Review. Mr. Hardiman is on the Board of Trustees for the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Foundation.

Ann Neale

Senior Vice President, Development Operations

Ann Neale photoIn joining Principia, Ms. Neale brings more than 28 years of clinical development experience where she has held multiple senior leadership positions in small and large pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies. Ms. Neale began her career in the industry at Syntex (acquired by Roche), focused on the Phase 3 approval and line extension programs for Cellcept, Synarel and Cardene. She has experience leading global development and clinical operations strategies in all phases of development in multiple therapeutic areas, including dermatology, immunology, oncology, cardiology, neurology, and endocrinology (which included studies in rare and orphan diseases). In her VP roles, she has headed up the departments responsible for clinical operations, biostatics, data management and drug safety for the company’s clinical trials. Ms. Neale holds a B.S. degree in Nursing from the University of Minnesota.

Betsy Santos

Vice President, Human Resources

Betsy Santos photoAs Vice President of Human Resources for Principia, Ms. Santos leads the company’s efforts in the areas of training, development, culture, employee relations, performance management and benefits. Prior to joining Principia, Ms. Santos was Vice President Human Resources at Switchfly, Inc., a SaaS platform for the travel and loyalty industries. Her previous experience includes various HR roles at CV Therapeutics (acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc. in 2009), Cepheid and Genentech, Inc. Ms. Santos received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis.

Dolca Thomas, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Dolca Thomas photoPrior to joining Principia, Dr. Thomas was Vice President and Global Head of Translational Medicine for Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease at Roche, where she was responsible for advancing multiple product candidates through clinical development. Prior to Roche, Dr. Thomas held roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, including Vice President of Clinical Development and Clinical Immunophenotyping, and Vice President and Chief Development Officer of the Biosimilars Research and Development Unit where she was responsible for all stages of development of multiple assets. Dr. Thomas began her industry career at Bristol-Myers Squibb as Director of Global Clinical Development in Immunology, where she was involved in the development and approval of belatacept. Dr. Thomas received her B.A. in sociology and her M.D. from Cornell University.

Stefani Wolff

CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Stefani Wolff photoPreviously Ms. Wolff was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations at Principia. Prior to Principia, Ms. Wolff was Vice President in Development and Leadership Team member at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Her proven leadership spans commercial, portfolio and team management, development and operations. She is well regarded in both the fields of Oncology and Immunology. Ms.  Wolff’s esteemed career includes building Genentech, Inc.’s Bio-Oncology franchise, launching Rituxan and expanding into immunology to develop Genentech’s successful B-cell portfolio. Ms. Wolff received degrees in Chemistry and Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina.

Liana Wu

Senior Vice President, Commercial and Project Team Leader

Liana Wu photoPrior to joining Principia, Ms. Wu was the SVP of Commercial and Corporate Strategy at Aduro Biotech. While at Aduro, she led the corporate development, alliance management, and commercial strategy functions. Previously, she held senior commercial positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where she worked on the product launches of Kyprolis, Stivarga, and Nexavar. Earlier in her career, Liana held positions at Genentech in marketing, sales, and market planning. She received her B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University.

In Memoriam - Jens Oliver Funk, M.D.

Jens Oliver Funk photoDr. Funk was Principia’s Chief Scientific Officer during the build-up of the company’s portfolio and a key member of the leadership team. Prior to 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.