Leadership

Management Team
Daniel de Boer 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 $300M in funding, including an IPO on Nasdaq. Before founding ProQR, Daniel was founder and Chief Executive Officer of several technology companies. Daniel is also co-founder and strategic advisor to Amylon Therapeutics and Wings therapeutics, strategic advisor at Frame Therapeutics, Meatable, Algramo and a member of the 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.

Gerard Platenburg is a co-founder and has served as our Chief Innovation Officer since 2014. 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.

Smital Shah has served as our Chief Financial Officer since 2014 and was promoted to Chief Business and Financial Officer in 2018, where she is responsible for finance, investor relations and communications, business development and commercial. She has 20 years of experience in management and leadership roles in biopharma companies and investment banking. Prior to joining ProQR Smital managed Gilead Sciences’ multi-billion dollar debt, cash and investment portfolios. Prior to Gilead, Smital spent several years in investment banking at Leerink Partners and JP Morgan in the biotech space and helped raise over $1 billion in equity capital and over $7 billion in debt capital as well advised on a variety of strategic transactions. 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. Smital is currently a board member at Pliant Therapeutics.

Aniz Girach, MD 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 in total 22 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.

David Rodman, MD is our Executive Vice President of Research & Development. 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 and held leadership roles at the University of Colorado and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado. During 15+ 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. David received a BA in Economics from Haverford College, an MD from the University of Pennsylvania 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.


Leadership Team
Tiffany Burt is our Vice president, Head of Commercial and has more than 20 years of global commercial experience across all phases of pre-launch market development and global biopharmaceutical commercialization including multiple rare therapeutic areas. She has been involved with the launch of 8 different products. Prior to joining ProQR, she served as Vice President, Marketing at Verastem Oncology where she built the marketing organization including key platforms and programs across the commercial organization launching Duvelisib in 2018. Before joining Verastem, Tiffany held numerous commercial leadership positions at EMD Serono, ARIAD and Novartis. Tiffany received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Webster University.

Supervisory Board

Dinko Valerio is one of our founders and currently serves as the chairman of our supervisory board which he joined in 2014. As a 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. Adding to his corporate experience, Mr. Valerio was also a professor of gene therapy at the University of Leiden. He received his Masters 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 Inc., San Francisco and a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego. 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 2014. Mr. Papiernik is a Managing Partner and Chairman of Sofinnova Partners, which he joined in 1997. Antoine has been an initial investor and active board member in public companies like Actelion, ProQR, Shockwave Medical, NovusPharma, Movetis, Mainstay, Pixium Vision, Stentys, Cotherix, CoreValve, Fovea, Ethical Oncology Science and Recor Medical. He has also invested in and is a board member of private companies Reflexion Medical, Medday, Tissium, SafeHeal, Mnemo Therapeutics, Ablacare, Noema Pharma, Highlife and Rgenix. Antoine has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. In 2012 and 2011, Antoine was selected by Forbes for its “Midas List” of the world’s top venture capital investors. Antoine is one of the only Europeans on the list, and one of the few life science investors as well.

Alison Lawton has served on our supervisory board since 2014. Ms Lawton is currently President and CEO of Kaleido Biosciences Inc. Ms. Lawton previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Aura Biosciences and OvaScience and worked at various positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme, and subsequently at Sanofi-Aventis, following its acquisition of Genzyme including as head of Genzyme Biosurgery and prior Global Market Access. Before joining Genzyme, Ms. Lawton was based in UK with Parke-Davis, a pharmaceutical company. Ms. Lawton has served on the board of directors of Verastem, previously 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.

James Shannon, MD has served on our Supervisory Board since 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 and Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. He currently is Chairman of myTomorrows and Kyowa Kirin (NA) and sits on the Board of Horizon Therapeutics, Mannkind and Immodulon. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen's University of Belfast and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK).

Bart Filius 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. 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.

Theresa Heggie has served on our Supervisory Board since 2019. She currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Freeline Therapeutics. She previously served in 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 and led the Global Commercial Operations for rare diseases and, following Shire’s acquisition of Jerini served as its Chief Executive Officer. Earlier in her career, Ms. Heggie held increasingly senior positions in the commercial organizations at Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Baxter Healthcare. Ms. Heggie has also been a board member at SOBI (Swedish Orphan Biovitrum) and currently serves on the board of BioCryst. She received a BSc from Cornell University.

Honorary Supervisory Board Member

Henri Termeer
28 February 1946 – 12 May 2017

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 member of the board of 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 HenriTermeer.org

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.

Pete Adamson, PhD is VP, Disease Area Stronghold Head, Ophthalmology at Johnson & Johnson. He is our former Senior Vice President of Ophthalmology. Pete previously served as the Vice President and Head of Discovery Ophthalmology GlaxoSmithKline. During his time with GSK Pete was responsible for the scientific aspects of a number of high profile external alliances and the development of a number of internal assets. Pete obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research and Vascular Biology Research Centre before becoming Professor at University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. Pete has authored over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications in the domains of inflammation, ophthalmology and neurology. Pete retains an honorary appointment at UCL, Institute of Ophthalmology where he is Professor of Molecular Pathology.

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.

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 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 inherited retinal diseases, 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.

Peter A. Beal, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Davis. His research focuses on RNA editing and RNA interference including ADAR enzymes and chemically modified oligonucleotides. Beal received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of North Dakota and his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and joined the University of Utah where he rose to the rank of Full Professor. His awards and service to the research community include: NIH First Award (1998), Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (2002), Robert Parry Teaching Award, University of Utah (2005); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012) Charter member of Synthesis and Biological Chemistry A NIH study section (2008-2012). He is Director of the NIH-funded UC Davis Chemical Biology Graduate Program. Beal has mentored over 40 Ph.D. and Master students.

Yi-Tao Yu, PhD is a Professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he started his own research laboratory in 1999. His research is focused on understanding the role of posttranscriptional RNA editing in regulating cellular processes, such as telomere regeneration, pre-mRNA splicing, and protein coding capacity of mRNAs. He is also known as a pioneer of targeted RNA editing for correcting protein translation defects caused by premature termination codons. Professor Yu is the author of over 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has served as a member or reviewer in a number of scientific, government, and patient organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Gilbert Family Foundation and the RNA Society. He received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1994, and initiated his research into RNA editing during his postdoctoral studies at Yale University School of Medicine 1995-1999.

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