Board of Directors
Julian Adams joined Gamida Cell’s leadership team as chief executive officer in November 2017, bringing more than 30 years of drug discovery and development experience to his role. He has served on the board since September 2016. Prior to his CEO appointment, Julian served as president and chief scientific officer at Clal Biotechnology Industries (CBI), where he oversaw the Boston office, evaluating investment opportunities and supporting portfolio companies, including Gamida Cell. Before joining CBI, he served as the president of research and development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he built and led the company’s R&D efforts. Julian also served as senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he played a key role in the discovery of Velcade® (bortezomib), a therapy widely used for treatment of the blood cancer, multiple myeloma. Earlier in his career, he was credited with discovering Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV at Boehringer Ingelheim. He has also held senior leadership roles in research and development at LeukoSite, Inc. and ProScript.
Julian has won several awards for his drug development efforts throughout his career, holds more than 40 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. Julian holds a B.S. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a Sc.D., honoris causa, from McGill University.
Mr. Blum joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors as Chairman in September 2018, bringing more than 35 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Mr. Blum helped launch Cytokinetics in 1998 and served in roles of increasing responsibility before being appointed president and chief executive officer in 2007. Prior to launching Cytokinetics, Mr. Blum held senior positions in business development and marketing at COR Therapeutics and roles in sales, marketing, and other pharmaceutical business functions at Marion Laboratories and Syntex Corporation beginning in 1981. Additionally, Mr. Blum has served on the National Board of the American Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science and he established the Blum Family Venture Philanthropy Fund to help advance basic science discoveries at the Institute with potential to benefit the Israeli life sciences economy.
Mr. Blum holds bachelor’s degrees in Human Biology and Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ms. Benjamini has served as chief financial officer of TabTale Ltd. since 2013. Previously, she held a number of chief financial officer positions, including at Wix.com Ltd., Sigma Designs Israel Ltd. and Compugen Ltd. She has served as a director at RedHill BioPharma Ltd., BioLine Rx and Allot Communications.
Ms. Benjamini holds a BA in Economics and Business and an MBA in Finance from Bar Ilan University, Israel.
Mr. Gonen is the chief executive officer of Clal Biotechnology Industries (CBI), where he has managed the company’s life science investments, business development and US-based operations since 2003. Prior to joining CBI, Mr. Gonen served as the general manager of Biomedical Investments and served as a technology consultant to various Israeli venture capital funds and an Academic Aide to the Governor of the Bank of Israel. Mr. Gonen gained extensive experience in R&D and management in defense-oriented projects within the prestigious “TALPIOT” program of the Israeli Defense Forces, for which he was awarded the Israeli National Security Medal. Mr. Gonen serves as an executive chairman and board member of several companies including Gamida Cell, MediWound, CureTech, D-Pharm, Biocancell, Avraham, Campus Bio, Polyheal and CLS.
Mr. Gonen holds an M.A. in economics and finance from Tel Aviv University, and a bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics and chemistry from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Dr. Kornberg has been a professor of structural biology at Stanford Medical School since 1978. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2006 for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription, the process whereby information in DNA is read out for the direction of all activities of all organisms, including humans. Dr. Kornberg began his career as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, and went on to be an assistant professor of biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School, before moving to his current position. Dr. Kornberg is also the recipient of the 2006 Dickson Prize from the University of Pittsburgh and the 2006 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. In 2009, he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.
Dr. Kornberg holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Stanford, where he was supervised by Harden M. McConnell.
Mr. Moch has served as the president and CEO of Cognition Therapeutics, an Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics company since 2016, and has more than 30 years of experience in building private and public life science companies. Prior to joining Cognition, Mr. Moch served as a managing partner of The Salutramed Group, where he provided strategic and tactical counsel to biotechnology and medical products companies. He spent the majority of his career building and leading pioneering life science companies and has served as the president and CEO of Chimerix, Biomedical Enterprises, Alteon and Biocyte Corporation, where he pioneered the use of cord blood stem cells in transplantation therapy and launched the world’s first cord blood stem cell bank. Mr. Moch currently serves on the boards of Zynerba, M2Gen and the Biotechnology Innovation Association (BIO), and is a member of the New York University Working Group of Compassionate Use and Pre-Approval Access.
Mr. Moch holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Princeton University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Perry serves as a managing director and operating partner at Bioscience Managers, a venture capital firm, as well as adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology. He recently retired from Novartis, following a highly successful tenure where he held roles of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as senior vice president and chief scientific officer, global BD&L, and Novartis’ observer on the Gamida Cell Board of Directors. Dr. Perry serves as chair of the Translational Medicine Advisory Board of the Houston Methodist Research Institute and is on the board of directors of Avita Medical, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and AmpliPhi Biosciences.
Dr. Perry holds an honors bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He also holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine and surgery from the Ontario Veterinary College and a Ph.D. in biomedical science/pharmacology from the University of Guelph.
Ms. Tomasello joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors in June 2019, bringing extensive experience in leading successful commercial activities at several pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, she served as chief commercial officer of Kite Pharma, now part of Gilead Sciences, where she oversaw the global commercialization of Yescarta®, the first approved CAR-T therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Tomasello was chief commercial officer of commercial and medical affairs at Pharmacyclics, now part of AbbVie, where she led commercial and medical affairs activities for Imbruvica®. Ms. Tomasello currently serves on the boards of Mesoblast Limited, UroGen Pharma, Diplomat Pharmacy, Centrexion Therapeutics and Oxford BioTherapeutics.
Ms. Tomasello holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Murray State University.
Mr. Wills serves as the chief financial officer, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Palatin Technologies, a publicly-traded biotechnology company developing peptide therapeutics. Prior to joining Palatin, Mr. Wills was the executive chairman and interim principal executive officer of Derma Sciences, now part of Integra LifeSciences, a provider of advanced wound care products. He currently serves as chairman of the boards of directors of MediWound Ltd. and Caliper Corporation.
Mr. Wills is a certified public accountant. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from West Chester University and a master’s degree in taxation from Temple University.