Management Team

Daniel de Boer is our founding Chief Executive Officer since our incorporation in 2012. Daniel is a passionate and driven entrepreneur and advocate for CF patients, and has assembled an experienced team of successful biotech executives as co-founders and early investors. As a serial entrepreneur in IT, he founded and led a number of tech companies through phases of growth, initiating development and launch of several IT related products in several European countries. Prior to founding ProQR, Daniel served as a founder and Chief Executive Officer of RNA Systems, founder and Chief Executive Officer of PC Basic, and founder and Chief Executive Officer of Running IT. Daniel is responsible for the overall strategy and general business in the company.

René Beukema is our Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel. René joined us in September 2013 and is a seasoned in-house corporate lawyer in the Dutch biotechnology arena. Prior to joining us, René served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Crucell N.V. for twelve years, following his experience as a Senior Legal Counsel at GE Capital / TIP Europe and Legal Counsel at TNT Express Worldwide. René was also a venture partner of Aescap Venture, a life sciences venture capital firm. René is co-founder and advisor of Mytomorrows N.V., a Dutch life sciences company, and a member of the VU Medical Cancer Center children in Amsterdam. He holds a post-doctoral degree in corporate law from the University of Nijmegen in co-operation with the Dutch Association of In-house Counsel (Nederlands Genootschap van Bedrijfsjuristen) and a Master’s degree in Dutch law from the University of Amsterdam.

Gerard Platenburg has served as our Chief Innovation Officer since February 2014. Gerard is a co-founder of our company and also served as the sole member of our supervisory board between August 2012 and December 2013. Gerard has an extensive background in RNA modulation and orphan drug discovery and development and is in charge of our innovation unit. Gerard has more than twenty years of senior managerial experience, which he gained during his different operational and leadership roles in growing biotech companies. Prior to joining our company, Gerard worked at Isa Pharmaceuticals B.V. from June 2009 to January 2014. Gerard co-founded Prosensa Holding N.V., growing it to become a well-known RNA modulation clinical stage company, and held various positions between April 2002 and May 2009, including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Development Officer. Gerard also worked at Pharming B.V. from April 1990 to March 2002. He is a passionate and driven pioneer of early stage technologies. Gerard has a master’s degree in chemistry and molecular biology from Leiden University in 1987 and pursued PhD work at Leiden University.

Smital Shah has served as our Chief Financial Officer since October 2014. Smital has a 12-year track record of management and leadership in biopharma companies and investment banking, with particular experience in financial strategy and capital markets. Prior to joining us Smital was at Gilead Sciences, where she managed their multi-billion dollar debt, cash and investment portfolios. Prior to Gilead, Smital spent several years in investment banking at Leerink Partners and JP Morgan focused on capital raising and strategic transactions in the biotech space. During this time, Smital has helped raise over $1 billion in equity capital and over $7 billion in debt capital for emerging and established biotech companies as well advised on a variety of strategic transactions such as mergers, divestitures, asset sales, dividends, and royalty monetizations. Previously, she held various R&D focused roles at Johnson & Johnson. Smital has a Bachelors and Masters in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.

David Rodman, M.D. is our Chief Development Strategy Officer. David joined ProQR in 2017 having previously served in leadership roles with Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), Vertex Pharmaceuticals, miRagen Therapeutics and Nivalis Therapeutics. Prior to moving to industry in 2005, David had a distinguished academic career, leading the Center for Genetic Lung Diseases at the University of Colorado and directing the Cystic Fibrosis Care, Teaching and Research efforts at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado. During 12 years in industry, David has had global responsibility for driving innovation in the translation of cutting-edge science into transformational new therapies for rare diseases including CF, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary artery hypertension and severe immunologic and inflammatory diseases. At Vertex Pharmaceuticals he directed early- and late-stage CF clinical development programs including Kalydeco®, Orkambi® and VX-661. David received a BA in Economics from Haverford College in 1976, an MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and completed training in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado. He has served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association.

Robert Cornelisse is our Chief People and Organization. Robert joined us in May 2014. Robert is an experienced and driven entrepreneur, a skilled people manager and used to develop and structure young organizations. Prior to joining us, Robert founded Flinndal, a marketing and sales organization for health products in several European countries, where his role within the company was COO. Prior to Flinndal Robert invested in several other marketing and sales companies and always contributed to those companies in a role as COO. Robert is responsible for our organizational structure and the well-being of our people.

Supervisory Board

Dinko Valerio is one of our founders and currently serves as the chairman of our supervisory board. Mr. Valerio has served on our supervisory board since January 2014. Mr. Valerio is a scientist and an experienced biotech entrepreneur with experience in both public and private companies as CEO and board member. Mr. Valerio is founder and former CEO of Crucell N.V., a Dutch biotech company, and founder and general partner of Aescap Venture, a life sciences venture capital firm. In 1999, Mr. Valerio was one of the founders of Galapagos Genomics N.V., a spinout from Crucell N.V. which develops novel mode of action medicines. Adding to his corporate experience, Mr. Valerio is a professor in the field of gene therapy of the hematopoietic system at the University of Leiden. He received his Master of Science degree in Biology from the University of Amsterdam in 1982 and completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics with Honors at the University of Leiden in 1986. Mr. Valerio also was a visiting scientific specialist at Genentech Inc., San Francisco in 1985 and a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego from 1986 to 1987. He is an author on more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and an inventor on 11 patent-families.

Antoine Papiernik has served on our supervisory board since January 2014. Mr. Papiernik is managing partner at Sofinnova Partners, which he joined in 1997. Mr. Papiernik has been an initial investor and active board member in public companies like Actelion, Addex, Auris Medical, Orexo, NovusPharma (then sold to CTI), Movetis (then sold to Shire), Mainstay, Pixium and Stentys, which went public respectively on the Zürich Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ Global Market, the Stockholm Stock Exchange, the Milan Nuovo Mercato, the Belgium Stock Exchange, the Dublin Stock Exchange and EuroNext Paris, in Cotherix (initially NASDAQ listed, then sold to Actelion), CoreValve (sold to Medtronic), Fovea (sold to Sanofi Aventis) and Ethical Oncology Science (EOS, sold to Clovis Oncology). Mr. Papiernik has also invested in and is a board member of private companies MD Start, ReCor, Shockwave Medical and Reflexion Medical. Mr. Papiernik has an MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Alison Lawton has served on our supervisory board since September 2014. Ms Lawton is currently the Chief Operating officer of Aura Biosciences Inc. From January 2013 to January 2014, Ms. Lawton served as Chief Operating Officer of OvaScience, Inc., a public life sciences company. From 1991 to 2013, Ms. Lawton worked at various positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corporation, or Genzyme, and subsequently at Sanofi-Aventis, following its 2011 acquisition of Genzyme, each a global biopharmaceutical company. Ms. Lawton served as head of Genzyme Biosurgery, where she was responsible for Genzyme’s global orthopedics, surgical and cell therapy and regenerative medicine businesses. Prior to that, Ms. Lawton oversaw Global Market Access at Genzyme, which included Regulatory Affairs, Global Health Outcomes and Strategic Pricing, Global Public Policy, and Global Product Safety & Risk Management. Before joining Genzyme, Ms. Lawton worked for seven years in the United Kingdom at Parke-Davis, a pharmaceutical company. Ms. Lawton serves on the board of directors of Verastem, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company. She also served on the board of directors of Cubist Pharmaceuticals for three years until its acquisition by Merck &Co., Inc. in 2015. She currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Life Science Center. She is past President and Chair of the Board of Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and past FDA Advisory Committee member for Cell and Gene Therapy Committee. She earned her BSc in Pharmacology, with honors, from King’s College London.

Paul Baart has served on our supervisory board since June 2015. Mr Baart made his career in public accounting in both the Netherlands and the USA. At PwC the Netherlands he served on the management board and the supervisory board. He was also a member of the global board of PwC International. He has served many large (listed) and international clients in various industries. He held professional qualifications both in the Netherlands and in the USA. He was chairman of Royal NIVRA, the Dutch Institute of Registered Accountants (now NBA), member of the Dutch Council on Annual Reporting (RJ) and supervisory board member of Nyenrode Business University. Present roles include outside member Enterprise Chamber Amsterdam Court of Appeal (Ondernemingskamer), member of the board Central Housing Fund (CFV) and chairman public interest committee Grant Thornton the Netherlands. He studied business economics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where he also passed the Registeraccountantsexam.

James Shannon, MD has served on our Supervisory Board since June 2016. James has had an extensive career in drug development and pharma. From 2012 until his retirement in 2015, James was Chief Medical Officer at GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to that he was Global Head of Pharma Development at Novartis and Senior Vice-President, Clinical Development at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals. He held board positions at companies including Biotie, Circassia, Crucell, Endocyte, MannKind and Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen's University of Belfast and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK).

Former Supervisory Board Members

Henri Termeer
28 February 1946 – 12 May 2017

Henri was our co-founder in 2012 and vice chairman of our supervisory board from January 2014 until he passed away on May 12th 2017. From October 1983 to June 2011, Henri served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Genzyme Corporation. For ten years prior to joining Genzyme, Henri worked for Baxter International Laboratories, Inc., a manufacturer of human health care products. Henri resigned from Genzyme in June 2011 following the acquisition of Genzyme by Sanofi. Widely acknowledged for his contributions to the biotechnology industry and health care field, Henri was active in the areas of humanitarian assistance, policy issues, and innovation in providing access to health care. He was a member of the board of each of Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare and a member of the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School. Henri was also a member of the board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves on its Executive Committee and a board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He was chairman emeritus of the New England Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit, applied research health policy organization he was instrumental in founding. Henri was a board member of ProQR Therapeutics N.V., Abiomed Inc., Aveo Pharmaceuticals, Verastem, Inc., Moderna Therapeutics and Medical Simulation, and was a board member of Allergan, Inc. from 2014 through its acquisition by Actavis in March 2015. In 2008, he was appointed to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Council of Economic Advisors. Henri was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s board of directors from 2010-2011. Henri studied economics at the Economische Hogeschool (Erasmus University, the Netherlands) and earned an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

Scientific Advisory Board

Art Levin, PhD has more than two decades of experience in RNA drug development from discovery through drug registration, both in large pharma and biotech companies. He has been key to the development of numerous of oligonucleotides, including the first approved antisense medicines, and the first microRNA-targeted therapeutic in clinical trials. He is currently the Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Avidity Biosciences, Dr. Levin has published over 60 scientific articles and served as a director of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

Phillip D. Zamore, PhD is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Gretchen Stone Cook Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Chair of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also a co-founder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Voyager Therapeutics. Dr. Zamore and his coworkers have played a role in nearly all of the major breakthroughs in the study of RNA silencing.

Cy Stein, MD is a Professor of Medical Oncology and Molecular and Cellular Biology and the former chair of the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope, overseeing the department’s clinical and research programs. He was co-editor-in-chief of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics for over 20 years and the series editor for Perspectives in Antisense Science. Dr. Stein has been named a top physician in his field by New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine, he has been awarded 11 patents, and he has published widely in prominent journals, including Science, Nature Biotechnology and Annals of Internal Medicine.

Scott A. Armstrong, MD, PhD is an internationally renowned pediatric clinician and scientist. He is the Chair of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is also Associate Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Armstrong previously held a variety of roles at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY including in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program and the Department of Pediatrics. His research has been recognized with many awards and he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP).

Annemieke Aartsma Rus, PhD, professor of Translational Genetics at the Leiden University Medical Center, has played an important role in the development of the antisense mediated exon skipping therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In 2015 and 2016 she was selected as the most influential scientist in DMD in the past 10 years by Expertscape. Dr. Aartsma-Rus has coordinated stakeholder meetings involving academics, industry, regulators and patient representatives, including two hosted by the European Medicine Agencies in April 2015 and November 2016. Amongst others, she is chair of the COST Action “Networking towards clinical application of antisense-mediated exon skipping for rare diseases”, past chair of the executive board of the TREAT-NMD alliance, and President-Elect of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

Thaddeus (Ted) Dryja, MD is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and faculty member at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He previously served as the Global Head of Ophthalmology Research at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. In 1983, he joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School where he led a research team studying the molecular genetics of hereditary diseases of the retina, as well as practicing general ophthalmology and ophthalmic pathology. Dr. Dryja’s research discoveries include finding compelling evidence for the recessive nature of oncogenic mutations at tumor suppressor genes like the retinoblastoma gene, the identification and cloning of the retinoblastoma gene, and the identification of 16 different genes responsible for forms of retinal degeneration and retinal dysfunction. In 1996, he became a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

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