Our Leadership Team

René Russo, Pharm.D. has served as our chief executive officer and as a member of our board of directors since May 2019 and as our president since May 2021. Dr. Russo served as entrepreneur-in-residence at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm, from November 2018 to November 2019. Prior to that, she served as president and chief executive officer of Arsanis, Inc., or Arsanis, a biopharmaceutical company, from April 2016 to November 2018, and as its chief development officer from July 2015 until April 2016. Prior to joining Arsanis, Dr. Russo served in various roles of increasing responsibility over an 11-year period at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical development company, focused on the development and commercialization of infectious disease therapeutics, from 2003 until its acquisition by Merck Research Laboratories, or Merck, a healthcare company, in May 2015, most recently as its vice president, global medical affairs. Dr. Russo served as a member of the board of directors of Arsanis, Inc. since April 2016 and continues to serve as a member of X4 Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, following its merger with Arsanis in March 2019. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Russo held clinical positions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Hospital. Dr. Russo received her Pharm.D. and B.S. from Rutgers University.

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Martin Huber, M.D. has served as our President of R&D since August 2021 and as our Chief Medical Officer since April 2020. From August 2015 to April 2020, Dr. Huber served as senior vice president and chief medical officer from at Tesaro, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, before its acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline plc, a biopharmaceutical company. Prior to that, he was vice president, oncology clinical research at Merck where he was instrumental in the advancement of Merck’s oncology programs, serving as program lead for pembrolizumab in non-small cell lung cancer. Prior to Merck, Dr. Huber served in roles of increasing responsibility at Schering-Plough, Hoffmann-La Roche and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, a pharmaceutical company, from 1994 to 2015. Dr. Huber received a B.S. in Biology from Texas Lutheran College and an M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his medical oncology training at U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

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Salvatore Giovine has served as our chief financial officer since March 2021. Prior to joining us, Mr. Giovine held roles of increasing responsibility at Johnson & Johnson, Inc., a diversified healthcare company, from May 2006 to March 2021, and most recently served as senior finance director. Prior to that, he served as associate in the private equity group at Deloitte LLP, an audit and accounting firm, from May 2004 to May 2006. Mr. Giovine received a B.S. and MBA from Fordham Gabelli School of Business.

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Timothy D. Hunt has served as our chief culture and corporate affairs officer since October 2021. Mr. Hunt most recently served as chief corporate affairs officer at Editas Medicine, where he oversaw the human resources, market development and early-stage commercial planning, policy and government affairs, and corporate communications functions. Prior to Editas Medicine, Mr. Hunt was senior vice president of public affairs for Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of infectious disease therapeutics, where he oversaw global policy, government affairs, and communications, until the company was acquired by Merck Research Laboratories. Before joining Cubist, Mr. Hunt was vice president of public affairs at Biogen. Mr. Hunt currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the non-profit organization Life Sciences Cares and as chair of the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). Mr. Hunt received a B.A. in history and philosophy from Boston College and a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.

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Dr. Bialucha is senior vice president of research at Xilio. He is a passionate life science leader with broad experience in oncology/immuno-oncology drug discovery and preclinical development. Prior to joining Xilio, Dr. Bialucha served as vice president of drug discovery at Immunitas Therapeutics, developing a single cell genomics-based discovery platform and immuno-oncology focused therapeutic pipeline. Prior to joining Immunitas Therapeutics, Dr. Bialucha held positions of increasing responsibility at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, most recently leading the oncology biotherapeutics group, and directed multiple programs towards successful entry into clinical development across a variety of modalities. Dr. Bialucha received his B.S. in Molecular Genetics from University of Sussex and his Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology from the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. He completed his postdoctoral training in Professor Scott Lowe’s laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, studying tumor suppressor gene networks using genetic mouse models of cancer.

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Dr. Malmberg is an accomplished leader with more than 25 years of product development and manufacturing experience. Prior to joining Xilio, Dr. Malmberg was the senior vice president of CMC at Magenta Therapeutics and established the CMC technical operations and drove the strategy for product development. Prior to joining Magenta, Dr. Malmberg served as vice president of biologics development and manufacturing at Celgene where she built an organization of over 150 scientists and engineers and was responsible for developing and supporting manufacturing of clinical and commercial biologics products globally. During her tenure at Celgene, she led the CMC development for 15 biologics clinical programs and launched one commercial product. Previously, Dr. Malmberg was director, head of process sciences at AbbVie, Inc. where she built and led an organization of more than 80 scientists and engineers responsible for biologics drug development from preclinical to commercial launch. Previous roles include various leadership roles in R&D at Abbott Laboratories. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

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Mr. Frankenfield is an accomplished biotechnology professional with approximately 15 years of experience supporting and counselling companies on complex legal issues, transactions, and corporate matters. Prior to Xilio, Mr. Frankenfield served as vice president of corporate legal affairs at Blueprint Medicines Corporation. At Blueprint Medicines, he served on the company’s management team and led public company reporting activities, advised on capital markets strategies, supported multiple successful equity offerings, and executed collaborations and partnerships with Roche, CStone Pharmaceuticals, and Clementia Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ipsen. Prior to Blueprint Medicines, Mr. Frankenfield was a senior associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, with a focus on strategic transactions, securities regulations and compliance, and corporate governance. Mr. Frankenfield began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he advised clients on complex commercial disputes and investigations. He received his B.A. in Economics from The College of William & Mary and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Board of Directors

Daniel S. Lynch has served as a member of our board of directors and as chairman of our board of directors since June 2020. Mr. Lynch has served as executive venture partner at GV, a venture capital firm, since March 2021. Mr. Lynch previously served as the interim chief executive officer of Surface Oncology, Inc. (Surface Oncology), a pharmaceutical company, from September 2017 until January 2018. He served as an advisor to Third Rock Ventures, a venture capital firm, from December 2016 to March 2021, as a venture partner from May 2013 to December 2016 and as an entrepreneur-in-residence from May 2011 to May 2013. Mr. Lynch serves as a member of the boards of directors of bluebird bio, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, SpringWorks Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and Omega Alpha SPAC. Within the past five years, he served as a member of the boards of directors of the following biotechnology companies: Surface Oncology; Blueprint Medicines Corporation; Translate Bio, Inc.; and Sesen Bio, Inc. Mr. Lynch received a B.A. in mathematics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

Sara Bonstein has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2021. Ms. Bonstein has approximately 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry and has served as chief financial officer of Insmed since January 2020. Prior to joining Insmed, she served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of OncoSec Medical Incorporated from May 2018 to January 2020 and as the chief financial officer, treasurer and executive vice president at Advaxis, Inc. (Advaxis) from February 2014 to April 2018. In these roles, she led multiple capital markets and licensing transactions, established strong financial controls, streamlined business operations, and was responsible for the overall leadership and management of operations, including corporate finance, investor relations and business development. Prior to Advaxis, Ms. Bonstein served in various finance roles of increasing responsibility at Eli Lilly & Company (Eli Lilly), ImClone Systems and Johnson & Johnson, including as a Six Sigma Champion and Black Belt, a program implemented at Eli Lilly to enable more efficient financial growth while increasing customer satisfaction. Ms. Bonstein has served as a member of the board of directors of scPharmaceuticals Inc. since July 2020. She holds a B.S. in finance from The College of New Jersey and an M.B.A. from Rider University.

Paul J. Clancy has served on our board of directors since July 2020. Mr. Clancy has more than 35 years of experience in financial management and strategic business planning. Mr. Clancy served as executive vice president, senior advisor of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Alexion, a biopharmaceutical company, from November 2019 to July 2020, and as chief financial officer of Alexion from July 2017 to October 2019. Prior to Alexion, Mr. Clancy served as the executive vice president and chief financial officer at Biogen Inc. (formerly known as Biogen Idec), a biopharmaceutical company, or Biogen, since 2007. He also served as senior vice president of finance of Biogen Idec, with responsibilities for leading the treasury, tax, investor relations and business planning groups. Prior to the merger of Biogen and Idec Pharmaceutical Corporation, Mr. Clancy was the vice president of portfolio management at Biogen. He joined Biogen in 2001 as vice president of U.S. marketing. Before Biogen, Mr. Clancy spent 13 years at PepsiCo Inc., a food and beverage company, serving in a variety of finance, strategy, and general management positions. Mr. Clancy serves as a member of the board of directors of Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Incyte Corporation, each a pharmaceutical company, and serves on the board of Exact Sciences Corporation, a cancer diagnostics company. Mr. Clancy is a Senior Visiting Lecturer of Finance at Cornell University’s Graduate School of Business. Mr. Clancy received his B.S. in business administration from Babson College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Daniel Curran, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2020. He has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience in strategy, business development, project leadership and development roles. Since October 2012, Dr. Curran has held roles of increasing responsibility at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., or Takeda, a pharmaceutical company, and most recently serves as a senior vice president and the head of the rare genetics and hematology therapeutic area unit. Prior to Takeda, he served as vice president, corporate development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Millennium, a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda, from June 1999 to October 2012. Prior to Millennium, Dr. Curran held a business development role in the product planning and acquisition group at DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company. Dr. Curran received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in chemistry from King’s College.

Rachel Humphrey, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2019.Dr. Humphrey has served as chief medical officer at Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc., or Black Diamond, a biotechnology company, since September 2020. Prior to joining Black Diamond, she served as chief medical officer at Treadwell Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company, and head of research and development at TIO Bioventures, a venture capital firm, from January 2020 to May 2020. Prior to that, Dr. Humphrey served as SVP, chief medical officer at CytomX Therapeutics, Inc., or CytomX, a biopharmaceutical company, from August 2015 to September 2019. Prior to joining CytomX, Dr. Humphrey served as SVP, head of immuno-oncology at AstraZeneca plc, a pharmaceutical company, from November 2013 to December 2014, chief medical officer at Mirati Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from January 2012 to September 2013, and roles of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb, a pharmaceutical company, from May 2003 to January 2012. She also served as director, global clinical leader of research and development at Bayer AG, a pharmaceutical company, from January 1997 to May 2003. Dr. Humphrey received an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Michael Ross, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2020. Since 2002, Dr. Ross has served as managing partner at SV Health Investors LLC, or SV Health, an investment firm focused on healthcare investing. Prior to joining SV Health, Mike held various positions including serving as Vice President, Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry at Genentech, Inc., a biotechnology company, from1978 to 1990. Dr. Ross received a Ph.D. from Caltech.

Christina Rossi has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2021. Since October 2018, Ms. Rossi has served as chief commercial officer of Blueprint. From January 2015 to October 2018, Ms. Rossi served as the Multiple Sclerosis business unit head, North America, at Sanofi Genzyme, or Sanofi, a biotechnology company. Previously, Ms. Rossi served as vice president, Multiple Sclerosis Sales at Sanofiform May 2014 to December 2015 and vice president, Multiple Sclerosis Patient and Provider Services at Sanofi from June 2012 to May 2014. Prior to joining Sanofi, Ms. Rossi served in various roles at Biogen, including head, commercial strategy for Eidetica Biopharma GmbH, Biogen’s biosimilar-focused venture, and U.S. brand leader for TYSABRI®(natalizumab). In addition, Ms. Rossi consulted in the healthcare practice at the Boston Consulting Group. Ms. Rossi holds a B.S. in biology, cum laude, from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

René Russo, Pharm.D. has served as our chief executive officer and as a member of our board of directors since May 2019 and as our president since May 2021. Dr. Russo served as entrepreneur-in-residence at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm, from November 2018 to November 2019. Prior to that, she served as president and chief executive officer of Arsanis, Inc., or Arsanis, a biopharmaceutical company, from April 2016 to November 2018, and as its chief development officer from July 2015 until April 2016. Prior to joining Arsanis, Dr. Russo served in various roles of increasing responsibility over an 11-year period at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical development company, focused on the development and commercialization of infectious disease therapeutics, from 2003 until its acquisition by Merck Research Laboratories, or Merck, a healthcare company, in May 2015, most recently as its vice president, global medical affairs. Dr. Russo served as a member of the board of directors of Arsanis, Inc. since April 2016 and continues to serve as a member of X4 Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, following its merger with Arsanis in March 2019. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Russo held clinical positions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Hospital. Dr. Russo received her Pharm.D. and B.S. from Rutgers University.

Scientific Advisors

Deborah Charych, Ph.D. is a founder and the chief technology officer of RayzeBio, Inc, an oncology company focused on targeted delivery of radionuclides. Dr. Charych led the scientific strategy for RayzeBio leading to successful Series A financing and launch in August 2020 and Series B round in October 2020. Prior to launching RayzeBio, Dr. Charych held a number of scientific leadership positions in biotech, focused on translational drug development. At Nektar Therapeutics, she conceived and led the preclinical and early clinical development of an immuno-oncology pipeline, starting with NKTR-214, a next-generation IL-2 receptor agonist, currently in several pivotal Phase 3 oncology trials and later an IL-15 receptor agonist and TLR 7/8 agonist. At FivePrime Therapeutics, she led a team that contributed to the clinical development of novel biologics for pan-FGF and CSF1 inhibition for oncology. While at Chiron Corporation she initiated and led a large proteomics effort to guide oncology target discovery, including the discovery of peptide-mimetic binders (‘peptoids’). At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, she assumed an academic leadership role as a tenured Principal Investigator, focusing on new biomaterials. Dr. Charych’s formal education is in chemistry, and she holds a Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, where she also learned to fly small airplanes.
Chris Hunter, Ph.D., is recognized as an international leader in the role of cytokines in the induction of innate and adaptive immunity to infection, as well as their role in the resolution of inflammatory processes. He is currently the Mindy Halikman Heyer President’s Distinguished Chair and chair of the Department of Pathobiology, and was previously, Chair of the Department of Pathobiology and Director of the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hunter obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Glasgow, Britain and a post-doctoral fellowship at Glasgow developed his interest in the role of cytokines in immunity to African Trypanosomes in the CNS. He subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University working on toxoplasma, where his research group continues to study the cytokines that influence innate and adaptive immunity to toxoplasma and cryptosporidium. Dr. Hunter has served as a journal editor and on the editorial boards of several peer reviewed journals and was a reviewer for the NIH.
Jason J. Luke, M.D. is director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center (HCC) – Cancer Immunotherapeutics Center and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Luke specializes in early phase drug development for solid tumors, particularly novel immunotherapeutics and biomarkers of immunotherapy activity, as well as the management of cutaneous oncology and melanoma. Dr. Luke directs the Translational Immuno-Informatics Laboratory which investigates large scale informatic approaches to advance cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Luke is an active internationally recognized translational investigator leveraging work from his laboratory into more than 10 investigator-initiated, NCI CTEP and/or cooperative group clinical trials and acting as the international PI on registration intent industry studies. Some of these studies have changed the standard of care and are cited in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines. Dr. Luke has received numerous awards including the Melanoma Research Foundation Humanitarian Award, Crain’s 40 under 40, Department of Defense Career Development Award, Paul Calabresi Career Development in Clinical Oncology Award (K12), ASCO Merit Award as well as Young Investigator Awards from the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Cancer Research Foundation and the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO. Dr Luke has been a review panel member for the NIH R21 and DOD immunotherapy/melanoma grant review panels and has been the ASCO Scientific Committee chair for melanoma. Dr. Luke is currently a senior editor at Clinical Cancer Research, melanoma and skin cancer editor at Cancer as well as the social media (@jasonlukemd) and an associate section editor at the Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Dr. Luke received his M.D. from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago and trained at Boston University Medical Center (Medicine) as well as Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (Medical Oncology). Dr. Luke has held prior tenure-track faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as the University of Chicago.
Andy Minn, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and an investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also director of the Mark Foundation Center for Immunotherapy, Immune Signaling and Radiation, and a project member in the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. His research seeks to understand key mechanisms of cancer immunotherapy resistance. Specifically, his work focuses on the role of pattern recognition receptors and interferon signaling pathways, which are pathways that are typically activated when normal cells become infected with a virus. Surprisingly, cancers and many cancer therapies can also activate these pathways, prompting an interest in understanding how this happens, the impact on anti-tumor immunity and its clinical significance. An overarching goal is to translate this understanding to better inform the design of clinical trials. Dr. Minn’s work has been published in prestigious scientific journals such as Cell and Nature. He is also a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigators (ASCI). He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and finished his residency in radiation oncology along with his post-doctoral training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Anthony J. O’Donoghue, Ph.D. is an associate professor at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego. He has two decades of experience studying proteases and has focused his academic research on understanding the functional role of these enzymes in cancer and infectious disease. He received the Bioanalysis Young Investigator Award in 2013 for development of a global and unbiased protease substrate profiling method and has utilized this technology to develop diagnostic assays for pancreatic cancer and peptide inhibitors that target pathogen proteases. Dr. O’Donoghue earned a B.Sc and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Jamie Spangler, Ph.D. is an esteemed researcher whose work has focused on engineering immune molecules such as cytokines, growth factors, and antibodies for targeted treatment of diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Spangler launched her independent research group at Johns Hopkins University in July 2017, jointly between the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Her lab, located in the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at the School of Medicine, applies structural and mechanistic insights to re-engineer existing proteins and design new proteins that therapeutically modulate the immune response. She holds a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in biological engineering from MIT.
Kwok-Kin Wong, M.D., Ph.D.’s research, teaching and clinical activities focus on understanding the genetic alterations driving lung tumor formation and the testing of new targeted and immune lung cancer therapies. His laboratory integrates human cancer genomic studies, the generation of new mouse models of cancers, and novel drug treatment studies. The unique models used in Dr. Wong’s laboratory allow scientists to investigate the efficacy of new targeted therapeutics and immunotherapeutics. Furthermore, these “mouse clinical trials” will help uncover the molecular mechanisms and genetic underpinnings of sensitivity and resistance to targeted therapies and immunotherapy. Insights into these processes gained by Dr. Wong and his team continue to lead us closer to curative treatments for patients with advanced lung cancer. Dr. Wong is currently a professor of medicine and director of medical hematology and oncology at the Laura & Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York Langone Health. He has authored more than 300 peer reviewed publications and is a member of The American Society for Clinical Investigation/The American Association of Physicians (ASCI/AAP).