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 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.
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 Business Officer
Mr. Kevin Norrett brings more than 20 years of experience to Sierra and over the course of his career has become an expert at helping clinical stage companies transition to full commercialization. Most recently, Kevin was Chief Commercial Officer at Angion Biomedica, a clinical stage company with a focus in acute organ injury and fibrosis. Prior to Angion, he served as Vice President of Marketing, Market Access & Commercial Operations at Aimmune Therapeutics, where he helped build the commercial department and launch strategy for the first product approved to treat peanut allergy. Prior to joining Aimmune, Kevin was Vice President, Market Access and Commercial Development at ZS Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca), where he was instrumental in launching Lokelma®, the company’s first therapeutic to treat hyperkalemia. Before ZS Pharma, he held commercial leadership roles at Exelixis and Genentech, where he launched multiple new products and line extensions in oncology and hematology. Kevin’s career also includes several years of corporate finance and manufacturing experience with SG Cowen’s Health Care Investment Banking Group and with SyStemix, a stem-cell therapy company acquired by Novartis. Mr. Norrett earned an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California, Los Angeles and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Christina Thomson serves as General Counsel for Sierra Oncology. Christina is a seasoned legal executive who has served as General Counsel for several public, private and non-profit life sciences companies, including Athira Pharma, Infectious Disease Research Institute, APT Pharmaceuticals and Avigen, in addition to representing clients in private practice. She began her career as a patent attorney and has been registered to practice with the USPTO for more than two decades. With a Master’s degree in Biology, Ms. Thomson worked as a scientist at Myriad Genetic Laboratories prior to law school, where she helped with troubleshooting and validation of the data analysis process for the launch of the BRACAnalysis test.
Chief Regulatory and Technical Operations Officer
Mr. William Turner has more than 25 years of drug development and drug commercialization experience, leading organizations through all phases of product development including commercial drug process, method and facility validations, all phases of clinical programs, numerous drug application filings and several global approvals. William was Senior Vice President of Technical Operations and Regulatory Science at Aimmune Therapeutics for several years. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Global Quality at Dynavax Technologies Corporation as well as several years in a leadership position at MedImmune (now AstraZeneca). He has significant experience in both small molecule and biologic development and has led teams in many therapeutic areas including vaccinology, oncology, hematology, allergy and respiratory. Mr. Turner holds a degree in Medical Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from California State University at Long Beach.