- 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
- Mitchall Clark, B.Pharm, MRPharmS. – Chief Regulatory and Quality 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 August 2012. Previously, he was a partner in the life sciences practice at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Earlier as Celgene’s Executive Director for 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. from Stanford University, an M.Phil. in Epidemiology from Cambridge University, an M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College and an M.B.A. 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 September 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 Johnson & Johnston’s 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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory agencies–filing IND 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 Adjunct 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. at Harvard Medical School and his B.S. at Stanford University. 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 January 2013. 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 C.P.A. (inactive) in California and earned a B.S. from the University of Wyoming and an M.B.A. from the Stanford 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 March 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 M.B.A. at Harvard Business School, an M.S. at Columbia University and an A.B.from Harvard University. In his free time, Gad enjoys geology, fly-fishing, canoeing and snowshoeing. In 2001, he was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Mitchall G. Clark
Chief Regulatory and Quality Assurance Officer
Mitch Clark is the Chief Regulatory and Quality Assurance Officer at Atara Biotherapeutics with responsibility global regulatory strategy and quality assurance. Mitch has over 30 years of global Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, and Drug Development experience in the pharmaceutical industry. His professional experience includes senior management roles at a number of organizations such as Schering AG (based in its UK and Berlin offices), American Pharmaceutical Partners (APP), Abraxis Bioscience, Celgene Corporation, and NantPharma, LLC.
Among his significant previous positions, Mitch served as the Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at NantPharma, LLC where he established the Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance functions. He was Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs at Abraxis where he created and managed the regulatory team responsible for filing the initial IND and obtaining the global regulatory approvals of Abraxane®, the first albumin-bound nanoparticle product for the treatment of solid tumors.
Earlier in his career, he worked for large and small organizations. Most notably, he gained valuable international experience in positions of increasing responsibility with Schering AG, working in the Berlin head office and UK subsidiary where he played a key role in the global approvals of the first-in-class gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent, Magnevist®.
Mitch holds a B.Pharm from The University of Nottingham, England. He enjoys a wide range of outdoor pursuits including canoeing, sailing and motorcycling.