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

President and Chief Executive Officer

Martin Babler photoMr. Babler has served as our Chief Executive Officer since April 2011 and as our President and Chief Executive Officer since April 2019. From December 2007 to April 2011, Mr. Babler served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Talima Therapeutics, Inc., a pharmaceutical company. From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Babler held several positions at Genentech, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, most notably as Vice President, Immunology Sales and Marketing. While at Genentech he also helped to build and lead the Commercial Development organization and led the Cardiovascular Marketing organization. From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Babler was employed at Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical company, in positions focused on sales, sa.les management, global marketing and business development. Mr. Babler presently serves on the Emerging Companies Section and Health Section Governing Boards of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, and was a board member of ZS Pharma, Inc., a biotechnology company, until its sale to AstraZeneca Inc., a pharmaceutical company. Mr. Babler holds a Swiss Federal Diploma in pharmacy from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and completed the Executive Development Program at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. We believe that Mr. Babler is qualified to serve as a member of our Board of Directors based on the perspective and experience he brings as our President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ken A. Brameld, Ph.D.


Ken A. Brameld photoDr. Brameld has served as our Vice President of Drug Discovery since July 2015. From March 2012 to July 2015, Dr. Brameld was our Executive Director of Research Technologies and from February 2011 until March 2012 was our Senior Director of Computational Chemistry. From May 2006 to April 2010, 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 Corporation, 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 photoMr. Chai has served as our Chief Financial Officer since December 2013. From 2006 until its sale to Allergan, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, in 2013, Mr. Chai served in various roles at MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, most recently as its Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. From 1998 to 2006, Mr. Chai was employed by CV Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he held various management positions, including Vice President of Treasury and Investor Relations. From 1988 to 1998, Mr. Chai 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. Mr. Chai serves on the Board of Directors of TranscripTx, Inc. 

David Goldstein, Ph.D.

chief scientific officer

David Goldstein photoDr. Goldstein has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since March 2016. From 2011 to February 2016, Dr. Goldstein was our Senior Vice President and Head of Research. From 1994 to 2011, Dr. Goldstein held positions of increasing responsibility at Roche Group, a pharmaceutical company, 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. Dr. Goldstein received a B.A. in chemistry from Franklin and Marshall College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Virginia.

Roy Hardiman


Roy Hardiman photoMr. Hardiman has served as our Chief Business Officer since January 2015. From 2009 to the present, Mr. Hardiman has been a co-owner of Woodlands Store Inc., a private, high-end grocer in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Hardiman was a director of Pharmacyclics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and chaired the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of Pharmacyclics. From 1990 to 2009, Mr. Hardiman held leadership positions at Genentech, Inc., including Vice President of Alliance Management, Vice President, Corporate Law and Assistant Secretary, and Director and Far East Representative, Business Development. In these roles, Mr. Hardiman had accountability for all Genentech alliances, including accountability for the alliance with Roche, for jointly leading the Merger Transition Team for Partnering and the Roche/Genentech Joint Business Committee and for leading all Genentech corporate law matters, including accountability for the legal relationship with Roche. Mr. Hardiman also chaired the Commercial Compliance Committee and the Environmental Sustainability and Compliance Committee at Genentech. From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Hardiman was an attorney at Morrison & Foerster LLP. Mr. Hardiman received his B.A. in pharmacology and his M.A. in biology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and his J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. Mr. Hardiman serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of California, Santa Barbara Foundation, and on the Board of Woodlands Store Inc.

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 photoDr. Thomas has served as our Chief Medical Officer since October 2018. From June 2016 to September 2018, Dr. Thomas was Vice President and Global Head of Translational Medicine for Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease at Roche Group, where she was responsible for advancing multiple product candidates through clinical development. Prior to Roche, Dr. Thomas held roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer from 2012 to May 2016, 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. From 2008 to 2012, 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


Stefani Wolff photoMs. Wolff has served as our Chief Development Officer since August 2018, and as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations since January 2017. From May 2016 to January 2017, Ms. Wolff conducted work for us as a principal at BioPharma Consultancy, a biotechnology consulting firm. From May 2013 to December 2015, Ms. Wolff was Vice President of Development and held leadership positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company. From 2011 to 2013, Ms. Wolff worked as a private consultant for Pharmacyclics and Onyx. From 1997 to 2010 she held various roles at Genentech within commercial, project team leadership, portfolio management, development and operations where she built the oncology business unit, launched Rituxan, led oncology commercial development, including Avastin and Tarceva, and oversaw Genentech’s B cell franchise portfolio. From 1989 to 1997, Ms. Wolff served in various positions at Eli Lilly, including work on Reopro, Gemzar and Evista. Ms. Wolff received a B.A. in chemistry and her Pharmacy degree 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.