Board of Directors

Roderick Wong, MD
Chairman of the Board

Dr. Wong founded and serves as Managing Partner of RTW Investments. Rod has more than a dozen years of experience as a life sciences fund manager. Prior to RTW, he founded and served as a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for the Davidson Kempner Healthcare Funds. Dr. Wong started his career in investment research, first as a Biotechnology Research Associate at Cowen & Company and then as a Healthcare Analyst at Sigma Capital. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Economics from Duke University.  Rod regularly serves on a variety of corporate boards, and has a keen interest in educating the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. He serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance at NYU Stern, and as an Advisor to the University of Pennsylvania Medical School’s HealthX program.

Carsten Boess
Independent Director

Mr. Boess has served as a director of Inotek / Rocket Pharmaceuticals since January 2016. His most recent role has been EVP Corporate Affairs at Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded biotechnology company. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Synageva Biopharma Corporation from 2011 until the company’s acquisition by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2015. Prior to his role at Synageva, Mr. Boess served in multiple roles with increasing responsibility with Insulet Corporation, including Chief Financial Officer from 2006 to 2009 and Vice President of International Operations from 2009 to 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Boess served as Executive Vice President of Finance for Serono, Inc., from 2005 to 2006. In addition, he was a member of the Geneva-based World Wide Executive Finance Management Team. Mr. Boess was also Chief Financial Officer at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and was a finance executive at Novozymes of North America and Novo Nordisk in France, Switzerland and China. Mr. Boess received a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Economics and Finance, specializing in Accounting and Finance from the University of Odense, Denmark.

Pedro Granadillo
Independent Director

Pedro is a highly-respected pharmaceutical business leader with more than 40 years of experience in the industry, primarily at Eli Lilly and Company, with a proven track record in human resources, manufacturing, quality and corporate governance. As a member of Lilly’s Executive Committee and as Lilly’s head of human resources, manufacturing and quality, he was responsible for policies affecting a global workforce of more than 45,000 employees, as well as a broad network of manufacturing facilities for its extensive line of products.  He also oversaw more than 20 sites and 13,000 employees involved in the manufacturing of Lilly’s conventional “small-molecule” pharmaceuticals and “large-molecule” biotech therapies. Pedro currently serves on the Board of Directors of Haemonetics Corporation, Braintree, MA and Neumentum Corporation, a privately held company that he co-founded.  He previously served on the Boards of Directors of Dendreon Corporation, Noven Pharmaceuticals, First Indiana Bank and most recently on the Board of Directors of NPS Pharmaceuticals, which sold to Shire for $5.2 Billion in 2015. Pedro earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.

Gotham Makker, MD
Independent Director

Dr. Makker has more than 17 years of healthcare industry experience. Since 2005, he has served as CEO of Simran Investment Group, LLC, a closely held equity investment fund. Prior to Simran, Dr. Makker was a healthcare portfolio manager and principal at Citadel Investment Group LLC, a position he held from 2002 to 2005. Prior to joining Citadel, Dr. Makker served as an analyst at Oracle Partners LP covering biotechnology and medical device sectors from 2000 to 2001. From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Makker was a senior analyst on the life sciences investment banking team at Hambrecht & Quist. Dr. Makker received an M.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical School and he completed the Sarnoff cardiovascular research fellowship at Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons and at Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Gaurav Shah, MD
Chief Executive Officer & President

Dr. Shah was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Rocket in September 2015. Prior to joining Rocket, from 2011-2015, Dr. Shah held various leadership positions at Novartis including Global Program Head for CART-19, Global Clinical Program Head for CTL-019 and Biosimilars, and Global Clinical Leader for Afinitor. Prior to Novartis, he spent three years at Eli Lilly and Company as Medical Director overseeing clinical development of numerous programs including olaratumab. During his industry tenure, Dr. Shah has participated in several drug development programs resulting in successful regulatory approvals, such as CTL-019 in pediatric ALL, the first cell and gene therapy approved in the U.S., and successful commercial launches. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Shah was Assistant Professor of Medicine/Oncology at Columbia University. He holds a B.A. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Harvard University and an MD from Columbia University. Dr. Shah completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and completed his hematology/oncology fellowship training at the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Shah currently serves as Venture Partner at RTW Funds, a healthcare-focused investment firm

David Southwell

Mr. Southwell served as President and Chief Executive Officer, and member of the Board of Directors of Inotek Pharmaceuticals from July 2014 until Inotek merged with Rocket in January 2018. From March 2010 to October 2012, Mr. Southwell served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. until its merger with GlaxoSmithKline plc. Previously, Mr. Southwell served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sepracor Inc. from July 1994 to July 2008, and as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers from 1984-1986 and 1988-1994. Mr. Southwell has served on the Board of Directors of PTC Therapeutics, Inc., since December 2005, and has served on the Boards of Directors of Human Genome Sciences Inc. (2008-2010), THL Credit Inc. (2007-2016), Inventiv Health (2016), and Biosphere Medical (1998-2010).  Mr. Southwell received a B.A. from Rice University and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, where he has served as head of the MBA Advisory Board and currently serves on the Board of Overseers.

Naveen Yalamanchi, MD
Independent Director

Dr. Yalamanchi has over 15 years of healthcare investment and research experience. Since 2015, He has served as Partner and Portfolio Manager at RTW Investments, a healthcare-centered investment firm. Prior to RTW, Dr. Yalamanchi was Vice-President and co-portfolio manager at Calamos Arista Partners, a subsidiary of Calamos Investments, a position he held from 2012-2015. Prior to joining to Calamos Arista Partners, Dr. Yalamanchi held various healthcare investment roles at Millennium Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management. Dr. Yalamanchi holds a B.S. in Biology from MIT and an M.D. from Stanford University. He completed his orthopedic surgery internship at UCLA medical center.