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.


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.

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.

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.

Chief Medical Officer

Steve Gourlay photoPrior 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.

Roy Hardiman


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.

Stefani Wolff


Stefani Wolff photoPrior to joining Principia, Ms. Wolff was Vice President in Development and a member of the Leadership Team at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She has held a multitude of leadership positions, including within commercial, project team leadership, portfolio management, development and operations. In addition, she has experience in a number of therapeutic areas, including Oncology and Immunology. Ms. Wolff started her career at Eli Lilly and Company and after nine years went to work at Genentech, Inc. to help them launch their Oncology business. She was there for 14 years and built their B-cell franchise, including the launch of Rituxan. Ms. Wolff received degrees in Chemistry and Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina.