Defying convention.

As leaders in the life sciences, our Directors share our vision for the potential of Synthetic Biotics and challenge us daily to achieve more to advance our mission. Having served at the helm of biotechnology companies and investment firms, our Directors serve as strategic partners and advisors guiding us to achieve progress for patients and the field



















Aoife Brennan, MB, BCh, BAO, MRCPI

Dr. Aoife Brennan is an experienced physician scientist and drug developer responsible for the successful clinical development and registration of multiple transformative medicines. Aoife has served as Synlogic’s president and chief executive officer since May 2018. She joined Synlogic in September 2016 as chief medical officer. Prior to Synlogic, Aoife spent six years at Biogen, most recently as vice president and head of the Rare Disease Innovation Unit, developing programs from pre-clinical to commercial. She has led programs across multiple therapeutic areas including the successful late phase development & registration of SPINRAZA® (nusinersen) for spinal muscular atrophy and ALPROLIX® and ELOCTATE® for Hemophilia B and Hemophilia A, respectively.

Aoife serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Cerevance and Fibrogen, Inc, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Ra Pharmaceuticals until it’s acquisition by UCB. Earlier in her career, Aoife led clinical development at Tolerx, a start-up biotech company focusing on immunotherapy for Type 1 diabetes.

Aoife holds a medical degree from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and has completed post-graduate training in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism. She has completed post-doctoral training in clinical research and metabolism at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Scholars in Clinical Science Program.

Peter Barrett, PhD

Peter Barrett is a partner at Atlas Venture and has been involved in the creation of several novel therapeutic and drug discovery platform companies. He is also a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, where he teaches Commercializing Science to second year MBA students and is the faculty chair of the key advisory board of the Blavatnik Fellowship Program.

Peter is currently chairman of Synlogic (NASDAQ:SYBX) and Obsidian Therapeutics, and also serves on the board of Larimar (NASDAQ:LRMR). He previously served on the boards of past Atlas companies Vitae Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VTAE; acquired by Allergan), Stromedix (acquired by Biogen), Novamed (acquired by Sciclone), Alnylam (NASDAQ:ALNY), Harbour Antibodies (acquired by Harbour Biomed), Momenta (NASDAQ:MNTA), Sirion Therapeutics (acquired by Alcon and Bausch & Lomb), Infacare (acquired by Mallinckrodt), Archemix (acquired by Baxter) and a number of other ventures.

Prior to joining Atlas Peter was co-founder, executive vice president, and chief business officer of Celera Genomics, which announced the first successful sequencing of the human genome in 2001. While at Celera, Peter led strategic alliances, acquisitions, and business strategy and helped launch it as a public company in 1999.

Prior to founding Celera, Peter held senior management positions at Applera, most recently serving as vice president of corporate planning and business development. During his tenure, he ran several businesses and expanded the life science business through a series of licensing agreements, partnerships, and acquisitions.

Peter also serves on the board of Perkin Elmer (NYSE:PKI).

Peter received a BS in chemistry from Lowell Technological Institute (now known as the University of Massachusetts, Lowell), and a PhD in analytical chemistry from Northeastern University. He also completed Harvard Business School’s Management Development Program.

Mike Burgess, MB, ChB, PhD

Dr. Michael Burgess retired as Head of Research and Development at SpringWorks Therapeutics in September 2022. Mike previously served as President of Research and Development at Turnstone Biologics from October 2017 to May 2021 and is currently the Executive Director of its Board. Mike is a recognized senior leader in the pharmaceutical industry with over 20 years of drug research and development experience. Prior to joining Turnstone, he led strategy and execution of translational medicine, early-stage clinical trials and clinical pharmacology across all therapeutic areas, including oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to this at Roche Pharmaceuticals, Mike held several senior leadership positions, including acting global head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) and Senior Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Research and Early Development. Before joining Roche, Mike spent 7 years at Lilly working on early stage oncology trials. Mike received his medical degree (M.B., Ch.B.) and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Bristol, UK and spent 10 years as a practicing physician in pediatrics and pediatric oncology.

Michael Heffernan

Michael Heffernan is a seasoned entrepreneur and biopharmaceutical leader with over 25 years of experience building and leading development stage and commercial companies. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Collegium Pharmaceutical where he served as President and CEO until June 2018. He co-founded and is CEO of Avenge Bio, an Immuno-Oncology company that he is actively managing, and was previously CEO of Onset Dermatologics, a dermatology company that he founded and spun out of Collegium to create PreCision Dermatology, which was later sold to Valeant. Mr. Heffernan held previous positions as co-founder and CEO of Clinical Studies Ltd. and later served as CEO and Chairman of PhyMatrix Corp. He earned his B.S. degree in Pharmacy from the University of Connecticut and began his career at Eli Lilly and Company.

Mr. Heffernan serves on the board of directors of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (AKBA), Trevi Therapeutics, Inc. (TRVI) and Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. (BHVN). He previously served on the board of directors of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Ocata Therapeutics, Inc., Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., and Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S.

Patricia N. Hurter, PhD

Dr. Patricia Hurter served as Chief Executive Officer of Lyndra Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of oral, ultra-long-acting, sustained-release therapies, from September 2019 to July 2023. From 2011 to 2019 she served as Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Preclinical Sciences at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) during which time her responsibilities grew to include all CMC and preclinical development activities of Vertex’s R&D portfolio, as well as the internal GMP manufacturing facility that provides drug substance and product for clinical development and commercial supply. While serving as Interim Head of Global Regulatory Affairs from 2013-2014, she oversaw several label expansions for Kalydeco® and the submission of the new drug application for Orkambi®. She has played a leadership role in the development and commercialization of 4 transformative therapies for Vertex: Incivek®, Kalydeco®, Orkambi® and Symdeko®. Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Hurter was Director, Formulation Design and Characterization for Merck where she was a key member of the early development team for Januvia®, a treatment for Type II diabetes.

A respected thought leader in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Hurter is a frequent contributor to many scientific publications. She serves on the Vertex Research & Development and Operating Committees and is the founder and executive sponsor of “IWILL,” a Vertex employee network devoted to the advancement of women leaders. Dr. Hurter also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Conservation Trust. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and earned a B.Sc. in chemical engineering, cum laude, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

Lisa Kelly-Croswell

Lisa Kelly-Croswell is a global Human Resources executive with over 30 years of experience in assignments commonly involving rapid business growth, performance turnarounds and innovation. Lisa currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Boston Medical Center Health System (BMCHS)—an academic medical center including a health plan as well as biomedical and clinical research portfolios. Prior to BMCHS, Ms. Kelly-Croswell was Senior Vice President, HR and Corporate Services at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where for seven years she was part of the executive team evolving the company from an early stage biotech, to a fully commercialized pharmaceutical company. Prior to Vertex, she also served as Vice President, HR for Nitromed, a biotech with an approved personalized medicine.

Previously, Ms. Kelly-Croswell served as SVP, HR for Healthcare and Service Operations at CIGNA. She also held multiple leadership roles at the Monsanto Company in global Finance, R&D, and as an expatriate based in Singapore. She began her career in a series of progressive HR positions at Frito-Lay, Inc. with a deeper focus in manufacturing, and received a B.S., Finance and M.A., Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a current and past Board Member for multiple non-profit organizations.

Nick Leschly

Nick Leschly is chief executive officer at 2seventy bio. Previously, Nick served as chief bluebird at bluebird bio for 11 years. Prior to bluebird, he was a partner and founding member of Third Rock Ventures in 2007. Nick played an integral role in the overall formation, development, and business strategy of several of Third Rock’s portfolio companies, including Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Edimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to joining Third Rock, Nick worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., leading several early-stage drug development programs and served as the product leader for VELCADE. Nick received his B.S. in molecular biology from Princeton University and his MBA from Wharton Business School. He currently serves as a board member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Ed Mathers

Ed Mathers joined NEA as a Partner in August 2008 after spending 26 years working within the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry in a variety of senior roles. Ed is focused on biotechnology and specialty pharmaceuticals investments, and is a director of Akouos, Ampylx Pharmaceuticals, Envisia Therapeutics, Inozyme, Liquidia Technologies, Lumos Pharmaceuticals, ObEva, Ra Pharmaceuticals, Reneo Pharma, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Senti Biosciences and Trevi Therapeutics. Previously, Ed was a director of Intarcia, Lumena (sold to Shire) Motus Therapeutics (sold to Allergan), Plexxikon (sold to Daiichi Sankyo) and MedImmune,LLC.

Immediately prior to joining NEA, Ed served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Venture, at MedImmune, Inc., and was a director of MedImmune, LLC. In this role, he was a member of the leadership team that executed the sale of the company to Astra Zeneca for $15.6 billion in 2007. While at MedImmune, Ed was responsible for the company’s corporate and business development activities and led the company’s venture capital subsidiary, MedImmune Ventures, Inc. Before joining MedImmune in 2002, he served as Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Licensing and Acquisitions at Inhale Therapeutic Systems (now Nektar). Previously, Ed spent 15 years at Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. (GlaxoSmithKline), where he held sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from North Carolina State University.

Richard P. Shea

Rick Shea has previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from February 2017 to July 2020. Rick previously served as a member of the Syndax Pharmaceuticals board of directors from January 2014 to February 2017. From July 2007 through December 2016, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, and was its Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since October 2003. Prior to joining Momenta, Rick served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Variagenics Inc., a publicly traded pharmacogenomics company, that was merged with Hyseq Pharmaceuticals Inc., and as Vice President, Finance of Genetics Institute, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, which was acquired by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was then acquired by Pfizer, Inc. Rick received an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Public Management Program at Boston University.

Brendan St. Amant

Brendan joined Synlogic in 2021 as Vice President, Head of Legal. Prior to joining Synlogic, he was Vice President, Legal, and member of the leadership team at Ohana Biosciences and was senior counsel at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Brendan was previously an associate and partner at the law firm of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, in Boston where he focused on commercial controversies and government enforcement. Earlier in his legal career, Brendan served as a clerk for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and was an associate at the law firm of Goodwin Procter. He received his B.A. in History from Cornell University, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his M.P.P from the Harvard Kennedy School. Brendan has served on several practice-related bar committees and on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education corporation. 

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