- Isaac Ciechanover, M.D. – President & CEO
- Christopher Haqq, M.D., Ph.D. – Chief Medical Officer
- John F. McGrath, Jr. – Chief Financial Officer
- Gad Soffer – Chief Operating Officer
Isaac Ciechanover, M.D.
President & CEO
Dr. Isaac Ciechanover is a physician, investor and entrepreneur driven by a passion to improve the practice of medicine. Motivated by the belief that the majority of medical discoveries still lie ahead, he has dedicated the past 20 years to working with entrepreneurs and life sciences organizations to advance medicine through innovation and technology. He founded Atara Biotherapeutics in October 2012. Previously, he was a partner in the life sciences practice at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Earlier as Celgene’s Executive Director in Business Development, he spearheaded the company’s venture capital efforts and led licensing and M&A activities with an aggregate value of more than $6.7 billion. Also at Celgene, he was Global Project Leader for the company’s first clinical-stage biologic therapy. Isaac has also held business development and venture capital roles at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Pequot Ventures’ healthcare practice and Pfizer. Intellectually curious (and undeterred by student debt), Isaac holds a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, an M.Phil. in Epidemiology from Cambridge University, an M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. For fun, he enjoys cycling, scuba diving and building Lego with his two children. His all-time favorite albums are Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon,” Radiohead’s “OK Computer” and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Italian opera, Pagliacci, with Herbet Von Karajan conducting.
Christopher Haqq, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Christopher Haqq joined Atara Biotherapeutics as Chief Medical Officer in 2012. He brings 20 years of clinical, academic and drug development experience from biopharma companies large and small. He was recently Vice President for Clinical Research and Development at Cougar Biotechnology and Janssen, where he was the lead clinician for a pivotal prostate cancer study leading to market approval for Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate). Previously at Amgen, he led early development studies of the anti-insulin like growth factor type 1 receptor AMG 479 (ganitumab) antibody. He has served as medical monitor for more than 10 clinical trials and has contributed to drug development programs for a wide range of molecules. Chris has worked closely with the European Medicines Agency, the US Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory agencies–filing investigational new drug applications, new drug applications, special protocol assessments and their international equivalents. Earlier in his career, Chris practiced as a medical oncologist and led a translational science laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco. In his post-graduate training, also at UCSF, he served as an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, Fellow in Medical Oncology and Fellow in Molecular Medicine. Chris completed his M.D. and Ph.D. in Genetics at Harvard Medical School and his undergraduate training at Stanford University and the University of British Columbia. He is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine. Chris is an inventor of three patents and an author of nearly 50 medical publications. In his free time, he enjoys astronomy and photography.
John F. McGrath, Jr.
Chief Financial Officer
John F. McGrath, Jr. joined Atara Biotherapeutics as Chief Financial Officer in 2012. He was previously Executive in Residence and Operating Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. John was also Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Network Equipment Technologies, Inc., which developed and sold network equipment for real-time communications. Earlier in his career, he was Vice President of Finance for Aspect Communications, Director of Finance for TCSI Corporation and Manager in the High Technology and Manufacturing practice at Ernst & Young. John is a registered CPA in California and earned a BS in Accounting from the University of Wyoming and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. John has served on the board of the Presidio Fund, a publicly traded mutual fund, and as Audit Committee Chairman on the boards of Actel Corporation and Endwave Corporation. Away from work, John enjoys running (including three marathons), swimming and traveling.
Chief Operating Officer
Gad Soffer joined Atara Biotherapeutics in April 2013 as Chief Operating Officer. Previously at Celgene, he led product development and lifecycle management for Abraxane, a breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer treatment also in development for melanoma. He also led $6 billion in business development transactions while advising on venture investment and strategic partnerships. Earlier, Gad was a healthcare consultant with Easton Associates. He earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, a master’s degree in geochemistry at Columbia University and an undergraduate degree at Harvard. In his free time, Gad enjoys geology, fly-fishing, canoeing and snowshoeing. In 2001, he was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.