Management Team

Management Team

Daniel A. de Boer - Founding CEO

Daniel is our Founder and Chief Executive Officer since our incorporation in 2012. Daniel is a serial entrepreneur and passionate advocate for rare disease patients. After one of his children was diagnosed with a rare disease, he started ProQR to develop RNA therapies for rare diseases. Under Daniel’s leadership, ProQR developed a platform that yielded a diversified pipeline of potential treatments for rare diseases and raised over $500M in funding, including an IPO on Nasdaq. Before founding ProQR, Daniel was founder and Chief Executive Officer of several technology companies. Daniel is also strategic advisor at Hybridize Therapeutics, Frame Therapeutics, Meatable, Algramo, Xinvento and a member of the advisory board at the Termeer Foundation. In 2018 Daniel was named "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" by EY. In 2019 Daniel was selected for the Young Global Leader program at the World Economic Forum.

Daniel de Boer

Gerard Platenburg - Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder

Gerard is a co-founder and has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since 2022, following his tenure as Chief Innovation Officer from 2014 to 2022. Gerard has an extensive background in RNA modulation and orphan drug discovery and development and is currently in charge of our Innovation unit. Gerard has more than twenty-five years of senior managerial experience in growing biotech companies. Prior to joining our company, Gerard worked at Isa Pharmaceuticals B.V. as its Chief Executive Officer. Gerard co-founded Prosensa Holding N.V., growing it to become a well-known clinical stage RNA modulation company, and held various positions including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Development Officer. Gerard also worked at Pharming B.V.. 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. Gerard is currently a board member at Yarrow Biotechnology and a scientific advisory board member at Hybridize Therapeutics. 

Gerard Platenburg

René Beukema, Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel

René rejoined ProQR in 2022 having previously served served as the Company's Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel from 2013 to 2018. René is a seasoned M&A and equity capital markets executive and an experienced corporate lawyer. Most recently, he has been General Counsel & Chief Corporate Development at Frame Cancer Therapeutics. Prior to his initial tenure at the Company, he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Crucell N.V. for twelve years, following his positions as 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 from 2011 to 2012 and is co-founder and advisor of Mytomorrows N.V., a Dutch life sciences company. 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.

Rene Beukema

Jurriaan Dekkers, Chief Financial Officer

Jurriaan joined ProQR in 2022 as Chief Financial Officer where he leads the finance function. He brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in finance, management and leadership roles in biopharma and healthcare companies, as well as in audit and consulting services. Prior to joining ProQR he most recently served as CFO of AstraZeneca in the Netherlands and CEO of Acerta Pharma (part of the AstraZeneca Group). Previously Jurriaan held various global and European finance roles at amongst others DaVita Medical Group, a US-listed international healthcare provider, and started his career at PwC.  He is a Supervisory Board member at ‘Stichting Kinderpostzegels’ in the Netherlands. Jurriaan holds a MSc. in Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2001) and is a Certified Public Auditor (Register Accountant, RA) graduate from the Erasmus University Rotterdam (2004).

Jurriaan Dekkers

Sheila Sponselee, Vice President, Head of People and Operations

Sheila became VP, Head of People and Operations in 2022.  In this role she leads Human Resources, Recruitment, Information Technology, and Facilities. Sheila joined ProQR in 2020 as VP of Human Resources and has more than 15 years of experience in human resources, recruitment, and operations across varied industries, including information technology and biopharma. Prior to joining ProQR, she most recently led Human Resources at MyTomorrows in the Netherlands. She studied human resource management at the University of Applied Science (BSc) and completed leadership programs at IMD Business School for Management and Leadership.

Sheila Sponselee

Aniz Girach, MD - CMO

Aniz is our Chief Medical Officer. After having spent 11 years in academia/clinical practice, he joined the pharmaceutical industry with Eli Lilly, focusing on retinal diseases. He has more than twenty years industry experience in roles with Merck, as their Global Head of Ophthalmology, and Alcon, where he was Vice President of Clinical Development, and ThromboGenics (now Oxurion), where he was the Global Head of Ophthalmology/Chief Medical Officer overseeing the development and approval of Ocriplasmin (Jetrea)—a biologic therapy for retinal disease. In addition to an Honorary Professorship at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, USA, he was recently the Chief Medical Officer at Nightstar Therapeutics, overseeing the development of gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases. He is a member of 3 Scientific Advisory Boards for international ophthalmic organizations currently, and reviewer for 5 peer-reviewed journals, including Eye and IOVS. He has edited 4 books and published over 100 abstracts/manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

Aniz Girach
Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Andrew Morris

Andrew is our Vice President, Business Development. Andrew joined ProQR in 2019, after previously holding a variety of regional and global Business Development roles in biopharma and global pharmaceutical companies, culminating in over 25 years of pharma industry experience. During his most recent 10 year tenure at Takeda, serving as Vice President Business Development, Andrew led and executed numerous M&A transactions, negotiated numerous licensing deals across a variety of therapeutic areas and crafted strategic development initiatives at both regional and global levels. Prior to Takeda, Andrew held numerous commercial and business development leadership positions at SmithKline Beechams, Boehringer-Ingelhiem and Invida pharmaceuticals, spanning Europe, Emerging and Global Markets. Andrew received his undergraduate degree in Physiology from Manchester University.

Andrew Morris

Sarah Kiely

Sarah is Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications and has 20 years of healthcare-related and communications experience. She joined ProQR in 2019 from ImmunoGen, Inc. where she was most recently Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Prior to ImmunoGen, Sarah developed marketing strategies and managed communications at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. There she was responsible for internal and external communications related to the hematologic oncology treatment center and stem cell transplant programs, spanning referring physician outreach, donor communications, community outreach, and patient education. Earlier in her career Sarah also spent a number of years working with an agency that focused on pharmaceutical sales training.  Sarah received an MBA from Boston University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

Sarah Kiely

Strategic Advisor

John Maraganore

John served as the founding CEO and a Director of Alnylam from 2002 to 2021, where he built and led the company from early platform research on RNA interference through global approval and commercialization of the first four RNAi therapeutic medicines, ONPATTRO®, GIVLAARI®, OXLUMO®, and Leqvio®. At Alnylam, he also led the company’s value creation strategy, building $25B in market capitalization, and also forming over 20 major pharmaceutical alliances. He continues to serve on the Alnylam Scientific Advisory Board. Prior to Alnylam, he served as an officer and a member of the management team for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, and cardiovascular, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, in addition to leadership of M&A, strategy, and biotherapeutics functions. Before Millennium, he served as Director of Molecular Biology and Director of Market and Business Development at Biogen, Inc. where he invented and led the discovery and development of ANGIOMAX® (bivalirudin) for injection. Previously, he was a scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc. and the Upjohn Company. Dr. Maraganore received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. He is currently a Venture Partner at ARCH Venture Partners, a Venture Advisor at Atlas Ventures, and an Executive Partner at RTW Investments. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Hemab Therapeutics and a member of the Board of Directors of Agios Pharmaceuticals, Beam Therapeutics, Kymera Therapeutics, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, where he was Chair from 2017-2019. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Termeer Foundation, as Chair of the n-Lorem Foundation Advisory Council, on the Advisory Board of Ariadne Labs, and as a strategic advisor to a number of innovative companies.

A headshot of John Maraganore
Supervisory Board

Supervisory Board

Dinko Valerio

Dinko is one of our founders and currently serves as the chairman of our supervisory board which he joined in 2014. As a scientist and an experienced biotech entrepreneur Mr. Valerio is founder and former CEO of Crucell, and one of the founders of its spinout, Galapagos Genomics. He was founder and former general partner of Aescap Venture, a life sciences venture capital firm, co-founder and current board member of Leyden Laboratories and board member of Amylon Therapeutics. He served as professor of gene therapy at the University of Leiden, received his Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Amsterdam and completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics with Honors at the University of Leiden. Mr. Valerio was a visiting scientific specialist at Genentech, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute. He is an author on more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and an inventor on 11 patent-families.

Dinko Valerio

James Shannon, MD

James has served on our Supervisory Board since June 2016 and has been Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board since 2020. James has had an extensive career in drug development and pharma. From 2012 until his retirement in 2015, he 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 has previously held board positions at companies including Biotie, Circassia, Crucell, Endocyte and Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Shannon currently is Chairman of the Board at Mannkind Corp, myTomorrows and Kyowa Kirin NA and holds board positions at Horizon Pharma and Leyden Labs. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen’s University of Belfast and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians.

James Shannon

Alison Lawton

Alison has served on our supervisory board since 2014. Ms. Lawton is an executive leader with more than 30 years of experience in biopharma. Most recently, she served as President and CEO of Kaleido Biosciences Inc. Ms. Lawton previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Aura Biosciences, OvaScience and X4 Pharmaceuticals. She worked at various positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme, and subsequently at Sanofi-Aventis, including as head of Genzyme Biosurgery and Global Market Access. Ms. Lawton currently serves on the board of directors of Aeglea Biotherapeutics, X4 Pharmaceuticals, Magenta Therapeutics, AgBiome and SwanBio and previously of Verastem, CoLucid until its acquisition by Eli Lilly and Cubist Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Merck & Co. 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.

Alison Lawton

Bart Filius

Bart has served on our Supervisory Board since 2019. He joined Galapagos in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and added the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2017, he was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in 2021. Prior to joining Galapagos, Mr. Filius held a variety of executive positions at Sanofi, where he was Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Europe, Country manager for The Netherlands and Vice President for Mergers & Acquisitions. Prior to joining Sanofi, Mr. Filius was a strategy consultant at Arthur D. Little. Mr. Filius has an MBA degree from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in business from Nyenrode University.

Bart Filius

Antoine Papiernik

Antoine has served on our supervisory board since 2014. He is Chairman and Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners, which he joined in 1997. Antoine has been an initial investor and active board member in public companies, including Actelion, Shockwave Medical, NovusPharma (sold to CTI), Movetis (sold to Shire), and Pixium Vision. Trade sale success stories include CoreValve (sold to Medtronic), Fovea (sold to Sanofi Aventis), Ethical Oncology Science (sold to Clovis Oncology) and Recor Medical (sold to Otsuka). He has also invested in and is a board member of private companies Reflexion Medical, Tissium, Pi-Cardia, SafeHeal, Noema Therapeutics, Ablacare, Highlife and Inspirna (formerly Rgenix). Antoine has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. He has been selected twice for the Forbes Midas List, an annual ranking recognizing the world’s top venture capital investors. Antoine is one of the few European and life science investors to have appeared on the prestigious list.

Antoine Papiernik

Henri Termeer - In Memoriam

Henri was our co-founder and vice chairman of our supervisory board until he passed away in 2017. Henri served as chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer of Genzyme Corporation until the acquisition by Sanofi. Prior to Genzyme, Henri worked for Baxter International Laboratories. He was a member of the board for  each of Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners HealthCare, fellows of Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. He was chairman emeritus of the New England Healthcare Institute. Henri further served as board member of Abiomed, Aveo Pharmaceuticals, Verastem, Moderna Therapeutics, Medical Simulation and Allergan. He was appointed to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Council of Economic Advisors and was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s board of directors. Henri studied economics at the Economische Hogeschool at the Erasmus University and earned an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
Henri was a visionary rare disease leader that pioneered rare disease drug development. In 2017 Henri unexpectedly passed away. ProQR will continue to honor his legacy through completing the mission we set out together. Learn more on termeertribute.org

Henri Termeer
Scientific Advisory Board

Scientific Advisory Board

James Shannon, MD 

James has served on our Supervisory Board since June 2016 and has been Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board since 2020. James has had an extensive career in drug development and pharma. From 2012 until his retirement in 2015, he 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 has previously held board positions at companies including Biotie, Circassia, Crucell, Endocyte and Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Shannon currently is Chairman of the Board at Mannkind Corp, myTomorrows and Kyowa Kirin NA and holds board positions at Horizon Pharma and Leyden Labs. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen’s University of Belfast and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians.

James Shannon

Art Levin, PhD

Art has more than two decades of experience in RNA drug development from discovery through drug registration, including the development and registration of the first and only oligonucleotide medicine in ophthalmology, Vitravene. 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 Chief Scientific Officer at Avidity Biosciences, Dr. Levin has published over 60 scientific articles and served as a director of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

Art Levin

Phillip D. Zamore, PhD

Phillip 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.

Phillip D. Zamore

Martin Maier, PhD 

Martin is Vice President, Research heading the RNAi Discovery group at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and co-leading an interdisciplinary research team focused on RNAi platform technology. In these roles, Dr. Maier has contributed to the development of lipid nanoparticles and GalNAc conjugates, two clinically validated platforms for siRNA delivery, and the advancement of multiple therapeutic programs to development, which culminated in the approval of ONPATTRO™, the first-ever RNAi therapeutic and GIVLAARI™, the first GalNAc conjugate. Martin received his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1997 from University of Tübingen, Germany with Professor Ernst Bayer. After his postdoctoral research at Isis (now Ionis) Pharmaceuticals, he assumed a permanent position working on novel chemistries and delivery systems for antisense oligonucleotides. Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics in both, ASO and RNAi platforms and authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications, reviews and book chapters and is the inventor on more than 30 issued patents.

Martin Maier

Peter Beal, PhD

Peter is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Davis and Director of the NIH-funded UC Davis Chemical Biology Graduate Program. For over 25 years, work in the Beal laboratory has advanced understanding of the structures and mechanism of action for the ADAR enzymes responsible for adenosine to inosine RNA editing in humans. In addition, his group has led in the development of structure-guided methods for optimizing chemically modified oligonucleotides for recruitment of RNA-binding proteins including ADARs. Beal teaches organic chemistry at the undergraduate level and several classes in nucleic acids chemistry and chemical biology at the graduate level. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in the field of RNA chemical biology and mentored over 50 Ph.D. and M.S. degree students.

A headshot of Peter Beal

Yi-Tao Yu, PhD

Yi-Tao is a Dean’s Professor at the Center for RNA Biology and in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He has been working on pre-mRNA splicing and RNA modification for more than 20 years. One of the projects currently being carried out in his lab focuses on nonsense suppression. Specifically, his lab is developing a novel approach, namely targeted RNA pseudouridylation, to precisely modify the pre-mature translation termination codons (PTCs, resulting from nonsense mutations) present in mRNAs, thus suppressing nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) and promoting PTC read-through to restore full-length proteins. His work has made significant contributions to this field of research.

A headshot of Yi-Tao Yu