Management Team

Management Team

Daniel A. de Boer - Founding CEO

Daniel is our Founder and Chief Executive Officer since our incorporation in 2012 and is an executive director of our Board. Mr. de Boer 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. Before founding ProQR, Mr. de Boer was founder and Chief Executive Officer of several technology companies. He is also strategic advisor at Hybridize Therapeutics, Meatable, Algramo, Xinvento, Avanzanite, BioColl Labs and a member of the advisory board at the Termeer Foundation. In 2018 Mr. de Boer was named "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" by EY. In 2019 Mr. de Boer 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 and is an executive director of our Board. 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 Platenburg

René Beukema, Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel

René rejoined ProQR in 2022 having previously served as the Company's Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel from 2013 to 2018 and is an executive director of our Board. Mr. Beukema is a seasoned M&A and equity capital markets executive and an experienced corporate lawyer. From 2019 until June 2022 Mr. Beukema held the Position of Chief Corporate Development Officer & General Counsel at Frame Therapeutics, a neoantigen immune-oncology biotechnology company. He was instrumental in financing Frame Therapeutics and selling it to CureVac, a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company. From 2021 until 2024, Mr. Beukema was a Board Member at Fibriant BV, a biotechnology company focused on the development of technology and products based on recombinant human fibrinogen and thrombin. Prior to his initial tenure at the Company, he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Crucell for twelve years, following his positions as Senior Legal Counsel at GE Capital / TIP Europe and Legal Counsel at TNT Express Worldwide. Mr. Beukema was also a venture partner of Aescap Venture, a life sciences venture capital firm from 2011 to 2012 and is co-founder of myTomorrows, 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 headshot

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 headshot

Sheila Sponselee, Chief People and Operations Officer

Sheila became Chief People and Operations Officer in 2023.  In this role she leads Human Resources, Recruitment, Information Technology, Facilities, and the Project Management Office. Sheila joined ProQR in 2020 as VP of Human Resources and was then promoted to VP, Head of People and Operations in 2022. She 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 head shot
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 Affairs and has 20 years of healthcare-related and communications experience. She joined ProQR in 2019 as Vice President Investor Relations and Corporate Communications from ImmunoGen, Inc. where she was 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
Board of Directors

Board of Directors

James Shannon, MD

James is the Chairman of the ProQR Board of Directors having been elected in May 2024, he has previously served on our Board since June 2016. Mr. Shannon 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 and Kyowa Kirin NA and holds board positions at Horizon Pharma, myTomorrows 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

Dinko Valerio

Dinko is one of our founders and joined the ProQR Board of Directors in 2014. Dinko chaired our Board from its inception until May 2024. He remains an active Board member. As a scientist and an experienced biotech entrepreneur Mr. Valerio is founder and former CEO of Crucell N.V., 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

Alison Lawton

Alison has served on our Board of Directors 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 public biopharmaceutical companies X4 Pharmaceuticals and Dianthus Therapeutics, and the private companies AgBiome, SwanBio and BlueRock Therapeutics. She previously served on the boards of Verastem, CoLucid until its acquisition by Eli Lilly and Company, and Cubist Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Merck & Co. She is past President and Chair of the Board of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and a 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 Board of Directors since 2019. He is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Galapagos, a position he held from 2021 to June 2023. He joined Galapagos in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and added the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2017. 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

Theresa Heggie

Theresa Heggie was reappointed to ProQR’s Board of Directors in 2023. Previously, Ms. Heggie served as the Chief Operating Officer at ProQR, after originally joining the Management Team in 2021 as the Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to ProQR, she served as Chief Executive Officer of Freeline Therapeutics. She had senior commercial and operating roles at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals as Senior Vice President, Head of CEMEA and Shire where she built the EMEA rare disease business. Earlier in her career, Ms. Heggie held increasingly senior positions in the commercial organizations at Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Baxter Healthcare. She currently serves on the Board of BioCryst and previously served on the ProQR Board of Directors from 2019-2021. She earned her BSc from Cornell University.

Theresa Heggie

Begoña Carreño PhD

Begoña Carreño, PhD, joined the ProQR Board of Directors in 2023. Dr. Carreño is currently the Chief Business Development Officer at Vectura Fertin Pharma in Switzerland. Prior to this, she spent 18 years at Novartis Pharma AG in the Corporate Business Development & Licensing (BD&L) group, her last role being World Wide BD&L in the Ophthalmology Franchise, based in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Carreño has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical development experience. She is a seasoned and energetic BD&L professional having led the BD&L efforts at Novartis across five different therapeutic franchises in the last 15 years. She has a proven track record in licensing deals, M&A, as well as developing collaborations within cross functional, multi-cultural, matrix environment at global, regional, and country level. Before joining Novartis, she was the Head of External Pharmaceutical projects at Almirall (Barcelona, Spain). Dr. Carreño holds a PhD in Drug Delivery from the London School of Pharmacy (UK) and a BSc in Biochemistry from Keele University (UK).

Begoña Carreño, PhD

Martin Maier, PhD 

Martin has joined the Board of Directors in 2024. Maier 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

Henri Termeer - In Memoriam

Henri was our co-founder and vice chairman of our Board of Directors 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
Board - Executive Directors

Board - Executive Directors

Daniel A. de Boer

Founding CEO

ProQR_Daniel de Boer

Gerard Platenburg

Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder

Gerard Platenburg

René Beukema

Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel

Rene Beukema headshot
Scientific Advisory Board

Scientific Advisory Board

James Shannon, MD 

James is the Chairman of the ProQR Board of Directors having been elected in May 2024, he has previously served on our Board since June 2016. Mr. Shannon is also the Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, elected in 2020. He 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 and Kyowa Kirin NA and holds board positions at Horizon Pharma, myTomorrows 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

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

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

Martin Maier, PhD 

Martin has joined our Board of Directors in 2024. Mr. Maier 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

Strategic Advisor

John Maraganore

John joined as a strategic advisor to our Board of Directors in March 2022. He served as the founding CEO and a Director of Alnylam from 2002 to 2021, where he built 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 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. Mr. 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 several innovative companies. 

A headshot of John Maraganore