Senior Management Team
President & Chief Executive Officer
Stephen G. Dilly, MBBS, PhD, has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Directors since June 2020. Previously, Dr. Stephen Dilly brings three decades of executive management experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Dr. Dilly served as CEO and Board Member of Aimmune Therapeutics. Dr. Dilly has served in executive roles at Genentech, Chiron and SmithKline Beecham and has been associated with the development and launch of many marketed drugs across multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Dilly also currently serves on the Board of Directors of one public biotechnology company and several private companies. He holds an MBBS from the University of London and a PhD in Cardiac Physiology from University of London.
Chief Development Officer
Dr. Klencke is an accomplished oncology drug developer with a demonstrable track record of success, having made substantial contributions to the development and approval of numerous significant oncology products. Previously, Dr. Klencke served as the Senior Vice President, Development at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Amgen Inc., from January 2011 to June 2015, and prior to that was the Group Medical Director in Product Development, Oncology at Genentech, Inc., having joined the company in July 2003. In this period, she led a variety of oncology programs including those for Kyprolis (carfilzomib), Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), Avastin (bevacizumab), and Tarceva (erlotinib). Prior to that, Dr. Klencke served as the Medical Director at Chiron Corporation, a biotechnology company later acquired by Novartis International AG, and as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Dr. Klencke holds a BS from Indiana University and an MD from the University of California, Davis.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Mark Kowalski has extensive experience in Phase I through Phase IV drug development and clinical trial execution in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including oncology. Dr. Kowalski was most recently the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Arbutus Biopharma, a biotechnology company devoted to discovering and developing a cure for chronic Hepatitis B. Prior to that, he held the same position at Tekmira, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics based on RNA interference utilizing lipid nanoparticle delivery technology in oncology, infectious disease, metabolic and other clinical indications. Prior to joining Tekmira, Dr. Kowalski worked in the oncology and inflammation therapeutic area at Gilead Sciences, Inc. following Gilead’s $510-million acquisition of YM BioSciences Inc., at which Dr. Kowalski had been CMO and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Kowalski’s experience also encompasses being the CMO and Vice President of Medical/Regulatory Affairs at Viventia Biotechnologies Inc. and the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at AAIPharma Inc. Dr. Kowalski holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Duke University and Harvard Medical School and is Board certified in both.
Chief Financial Officer
Sukhi Jagpal joined Sierra Oncology in February 2015 as our Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Previously, Sukhi was the CFO of QLT Inc., a dual-listed biotechnology company also based in Vancouver (Nasdaq:QLTI; TSX:QLT). During his tenure, he assisted QLT in developing its finance capabilities to deal with several growth phases which included raising capital and completing several acquisitions. Prior to joining QLT in 2003, Sukhi held senior finance positions with Pivotal Corporation, 360networks Inc., and KPMG LLP. Sukhi is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Chartered Business Valuator, and holds a MBA from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University and a MBA from Queen’s University, Kingston.
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Dr. Keith Anderson, Senior Vice President, Technical Operations, leads the development of the Company’s strategic manufacturing and supply chain strategy with a broad focus on building a full-fledged, commercial-scale operation. Dr. Anderson is a seasoned pharmaceutical development executive with a proven track-record of developing and commercializing successful products. His 20-year career in pharmaceutical research included positions at Ligand Pharmaceuticals and Ocera Therapeutics, where he was Chief Operating and Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to joining Sierra Oncology, Dr. Anderson held the role of Vice President, Manufacturing at Seragon Pharmaceuticals, where he led CMC and supply chain activities until the company was acquired by Genentech/Roche. He holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Alberta.
Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations
Ms. Chapman, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations, has corporate accountability for the overall operational deployment of clinical studies. Previously, Wendy was the Senior Portfolio Director at PAREXEL International where she was the senior point of contact for all issues related to the financial and operational execution of Phase II-IV global clinical trials for one of PAREXEL’s largest Strategic Alliance Partners. Previously, Ms. Chapman was the Vice President of Clinical Operations at YM Biosciences Inc., where she was responsible for the development and management of Clinical Operations which included Project Management, Clinical Monitoring, Clinical Supply Management and Data Management of Phase I-III clinical trials in myelofibrosis and various solid tumor indications. Wendy has more than 25 years of experience in clinical drug development at several pharmaceutical and contract research organizations in Canada and the U.S., including Viventia Biotech, AAI Pharma, Bayer Inc., AstraZeneca and MDS Pharma Services.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration
Ms. Gardiner is responsible for Human Resources at Sierra Oncology. Previously, Diane served as Vice President of Human Resources for Tekmira Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Tekmira, she held the positions of Head of Human Resources for Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Vice President of Human Resources for The Centre for Drug Research and Development, and Director of Human Resources for AnorMED Inc. Earlier in her career Diane held various Human Resources leadership roles, including Director, Human Resources for MDS Metro Laboratories. Diane holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and is a member of the BC Human Resource Management Association as well as the BC HR Tech Group.
Senior Vice President, Operations & Program Management
Ms. McCann is responsible for program management at Sierra Oncology. Emma was formerly Sr. Director, Program Management at YM BioSciences Inc., where she had a critical role within the organization focused on the progression of the company’s lead drug through a myelofibrosis clinical development program. Following the acquisition of YM by Gilead Sciences, Inc., her leadership of transitional activities led to a seamless transfer of key corporate assets allowing for execution of ongoing development plans with minimal overall timeline impact. Emma holds a BSc (Hons) in Bio-Medical Science from The University of Guelph, Ontario.
Senior Vice President, Drug Development
Dr. Gregg Smith leads the company’s scientific, non-clinical and biopharmaceutical activities, with a focus on supporting the ongoing development of momelotinib. Dr. Smith also has responsibility for business development activities and played a pivotal role in Sierra’s acquisition of momelotinib. Previously, Dr. Smith served as Vice President Drug Development at Cytopia, where momelotinib was discovered, and continued in that role at YM BioSciences Inc., following its merger with Cytopia. He then served as a Research and Development Executive at Gilead Sciences Inc., after its acquisition of YM. He has also held senior drug development operations roles at several other Australian biotechnology companies. Dr. Smith holds Pharmacy (Honours) and PhD degrees from the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) and an MBA from Latrobe University in Melbourne.