Board of Directors
With more than 30 years of global biopharmaceutical leadership experience, Pascal Touchon joined Atara Biotherapeutics as President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors in June 2019. Pascal has committed his career to transforming the lives of patients with serious medical conditions through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.
Previously Global Head, Cell & Gene and member of the Oncology Executive Committee at Novartis Oncology, he oversaw the Oncology Cell & Gene unit and had responsibility for the unit’s financial performance and its activities, including the global launch of KYMRIAH® (tisagenlecleucel), securing regulatory approval and reimbursement in major markets, expanding global CAR T manufacturing and technical operations, overseeing multiple new clinical studies, and building a strong leadership team.
Prior to that, he served as Global Head, Strategy, Business Development, Oncology at Novartis, where he was responsible for early commercial strategy, portfolio management, therapeutic integrity and established medicines, disruptive technologies, diagnostics, business development and external collaborations, and served as a member of the Oncology Executive Committee. Pascal has also held key leadership roles in research, marketing, general management, and business development at companies including Servier, Glaxo-Wellcome and Glaxo, Sanofi. He has also been a board member of Genoptix and Navigate Biopharma Services (Novartis companies) and Cogen Therapeutics (a Flagship Pioneering company).
Pascal holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse, France), a Diplôme d’Etudes Superieures Specialisees (DESS) in management from Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (Toulouse, France) and an MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France).
Beyond his passion for science and business, Pascal enjoys traveling with his family around the world, wine tasting with friends, watching rugby, and reading.
Dr. Dupont is a renowned expert in the fields of cell therapy and oncology, with long-standing and deep experience in developing therapies and programs dedicated to addressing high unmet medical needs. Dr. Dupont serves as Global Head of Research & Development (R&D) including Medical and Regulatory Affairs. Prior to joining Atara, he served as the Chief Medical Officer at Gossamer Bio, overseeing global development, regulatory, and quality activities for the company, and advancing therapeutics in the disease areas of immunology, inflammation, and oncology. Dr. Dupont is committed to bringing transformative therapies to patients.
Prior to his role at Gossamer Bio, he served as Vice President and Global Head of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Development for Genentech/Roche, where he was responsible for the global development of Herceptin® (trastuzumab), Perjeta® (pertuzumab), Kadcyla® (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), and Tecentriq® (atezolizumab), among others. Prior to that, Dr. Dupont was Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he oversaw the successful submissions of eight investigational new drug applications (INDs) and 26 clinical trial initiations.
Dr. Dupont has been involved in tumor immunology research and clinical investigations for more than 25 years, ranging from cellular therapy to tumor vaccine therapy and immune checkpoints. Dr. Dupont has received numerous grants and awards, and has co-authored 47 peer-reviewed publications, has 30 patents, and has also served as a faculty member and laboratory researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and adjunct clinical faculty in medical oncology at Stanford University.
Dr. Dupont received his M.D. from the Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, his M.A. in philosophy from New York University, and his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Vassar College. He also served as Assistant Chief Resident and completed his Medical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), his Internal Medicine Residency at the New-York Presbyterian Hospital — Cornell Campus, and his Internal Medicine Internship at The University of Michigan Medical Center.
Jakob and his family live in the Bay Area and enjoy outdoor activities including skiing, tennis, and canoe camping. Jakob is also an avid cook, gardener, and soccer fan.
Utpal Koppikar is the Chief Financial Officer of Atara Biotherapeutics, a position he has held since joining the company in June 2018. In this role, Utpal oversees Finance, Information Technology, and Investor Relations. Through a commitment to Atara’s mission of transforming the lives of patients with serious medical conditions, Utpal’s organization helps enable the advancement of our investigational medicines to commercialization.
Prior to his tenure with Atara, Utpal held several senior financial leadership positions at Gilead Sciences, including Vice President of Corporate and Operations Finance, in which he was responsible for R&D, corporate, G&A, process development and manufacturing, and strategic sourcing. During his time there, he led the three-year financial planning process and financial integration of Kite Pharma, upon that company’s acquisition by Gilead in October 2017. Before that, Utpal played a key role as Gilead’s Vice President of Finance Europe, Middle East and Australia, in partnering with the commercial division for multiple product launches in the HIV and HCV franchises.
Prior to Gilead, Utpal served in multiple finance roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen. He began his career at Honeywell Aerospace (formerly AlliedSignal).
Utpal earned his B.S. in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland and received a M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Stanford University. He also holds an MBA in finance and marketing from The Anderson School at UCLA.
Away from work, Utpal enjoys spending time with his wife and two teenagers, traveling, and mentoring aspiring young aviators.
Charlene Banard serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer at Atara Biotherapeutics. With diverse expertise in manufacturing, quality and technical operations across multiple technologies and advanced therapies, including CAR T, Charlene leads Atara’s talented Technical Operations team to advance our robust pipeline of T-cell immunotherapies.
Most recently, at Novartis, Charlene served as Global Head, Technical Operations, Cell & Gene Therapy (C>) Platform, where she led C> lifecycle management strategy and execution and established a Technical Operations strategy for the company’s cell therapy oncology pipeline. Prior to that, she served in multiple leadership roles at Shire across Technical Operations and Global Quality. In these roles, Charlene led the Global Quality function with a broad scope of 12 internal manufacturing sites and more than 70 contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) for 40 commercial and 40 pipeline rare disease and specialty products. While at Shire, Charlene advanced its pipeline by enabling internally developed products and integrating acquired products and teams, while securing multi-national product and facility approvals.
Earlier in her career, she held numerous roles of increasing responsibility at Gilead Sciences, Cell Genesys, and Chiron across Manufacturing and Development, Compliance, Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Quality Systems, and Validation.
Charlene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis and a Masters in Trans-global Business from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Charlene was inducted into the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Fellows Program in 2018, a multinational organization featuring academic partnerships with Harvard Business School and INSEAD, and actively mentors and develops talent across the biopharmaceutical industry. She currently serves as independent board director at Applied Molecular Transport (AMT), a position she has held since 2022.
In her free time, Charlene enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Amie Krause is the Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Atara Biotherapeutics. In her role, Amie strives to foster an environment where all Atarians feel motivated to work together to realize the organization’s overall mission and build a company culture that rewards our values through actions and results. Since joining Atara, Amie has overseen nearly every function within the human people department.
Amie is a strategic and agile HR executive with 25 years of experience bringing expertise in talent acquisition, employee relations, compensation, benefits, leadership development, coaching and operations. Prior to her tenure with Atara, Amie held several HR leadership positions at Amgen, including her role as Global HR Lead, Organizational Effectiveness during which she served as the human resources lead for Amgen’s global commercial operations covering the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Additionally, she served the Commercial HR lead standing up Amgen’s cardiovascular franchise launching two products.
Amie is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and was a founding leader of the Atara Women’s Alliance (AWA). She has been a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community at Atara and is an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA).
Amie holds both a B.S. in business management and an MBA from California Lutheran University. She has also completed the UC Berkeley Extension program for Human Resources Officers.
Away from the office, Amie doubles as a professor at the California Lutheran University School of Management and guest lecturer at the USC School of Healthcare Decision Analysis. Outside of work, Amie enjoys movies, reading, Dodgers baseball, weight lifting, and spending time with her husband, Mike and two kids, Natalie and Nick.
Manher (AJ) Joshi was appointed to the role of Atara Biotherapeutics’ Chief Medical Officer in September 2018. He joined Atara in August 2016, initially serving as Senior Vice President, Global Medical Affairs. He brings more than 15 years of clinical, drug development, and commercialization experience in orphan and large markets to his role at Atara.
AJ has built and led medical organizations through several launches across a broad range of therapeutics areas, including neuromuscular disease, neurosciences, genetics, metabolic diseases, urology, and dermatology. His previous organizational leadership roles include U.S. Medical Affairs Therapeutic Area Head at Allergan, SVP Strategic Development and Medical Operations at Synageva, and Vice President Medical Affairs and Operations at Genzyme.
AJ received his M.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine, his B.A. from Boston University, and completed his internship and residency in medicine at Yale.
In his free time, AJ enjoys photography, traveling, and playing the guitar.
Dr. Cokey Nguyen is a leader in the fields of cell therapy and oncology with significant experience in research and development of cell therapies as well as oncology drug discovery and development in biotech. Dr. Nguyen serves as Chief Scientific Officer at Atara, where he is focused on leading the development of next-generation allogeneic cell therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases. With his passion for delivering transformative therapies to patients, Dr. Nguyen is eager to both advance Atara’s existing programs and further expand the pipeline through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence.
Prior to joining Atara, Dr. Nguyen was at Fate Therapeutics, where, as Vice President, Innovation, Research and Development, he directed strategy for discovery and innovation efforts, and spearheaded the corporate collaboration program with ONO Pharma. Prior to that, he was leader of the targeted immunotherapy group on the Oncology R&D team at Pfizer, producing bispecific antibodies for solid tumors and hematological malignancies and bringing them into the clinic.
Dr. Nguyen’s bench science experience includes work in tumor metabolism, gene expression and molecular biology. He holds numerous patents for iPSC and immune effector cells and has been published in various peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Nguyen has also been active in successful business development activities, including, while at Janssen, evaluating Legend’s BCMA-directed CAR T program and supporting the Janssen/Legend partnership.
Dr. Nguyen received his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis. He was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he focused on the identification and characterization of BRCT domains as novel phospho-binding domains in DNA damage pathways.
In his free time, Cokey is an avid reader, is a fan of motorsports and enjoys cycling.
Dan Maziasz is the Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Atara Biotherapeutics. In his role, Dan is responsible for leading Atara’s corporate strategy, business development and alliance management activities including strategic partnerships, licensing transactions, research collaborations and academic partnerships.
Prior to joining Atara in 2018, Dan served as Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Gilead Sciences following its acquisition of Kite Pharma. In his role at Kite/Gilead, Dan led various strategy and business development initiatives focused on new product opportunities, enabling technologies, and was responsible for Kite’s Joint Venture in China and strategic partnership in Japan. Prior to joining Kite, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen in the U.S., Europe, Asia and emerging market regions across Business Development, Corporate Strategy, Finance and Commercial. Dan began his career as a management consultant by advising large and small companies across healthcare, financial services and other industries.
Dan received a B.S. in Business Administration and Economics from Saint Mary’s College of California and a M.B.A. degree from Loyola Marymount University.
In his personal time, Dan enjoys international travel, music, basketball, skiing and spending time with his wife and three children.
Hyonelle Youngson is the Senior Vice President and Head of Business Excellence & Transformation at Atara Biotherapeutics, leading strategic delivery of results through performance excellence across Atara’s enterprise portfolio, programs, and practices. In her role, Hyonelle oversees Cultural Transformation, Global Portfolio & Program Management, Patient Advocacy, and additionally serves as Chief of Staff to the Office of the CEO.
Hyonelle is a proven strategic and values-driven leader with more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare and biotech industry that spans Clinical Research, Medical Affairs, Healthcare Compliance, and Corporate Transformation initiatives.
Prior to joining Atara, Hyonelle held progressive key leadership roles at Amgen across Nephrology, Oncology, Immunology, and Cardiovascular Therapeutic Areas involving numerous launch teams, peri-approval studies, global medical, publications, and value communications. Prior to Amgen, Hyonelle held roles at Johns Hopkins Hospital Children’s Center and Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals.
Hyonelle holds a doctorate in pharmacy from Purdue University, and served as a radiopharmaceutical intern and member of Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (COSTEP) at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Hyonelle enjoys mentoring graduate students and serving as a guest speaker, where she advocates for women’s leadership, as well as healthcare industry career development, to encourage inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration among future leaders.
Outside of work, Hyonelle enjoys traveling, giving back to the community, and spending time with her husband and two children.
Jill Henrich is the Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs at Atara Biotherapeutics. She is excited to utilize her more than 20 years of experience in regulatory affairs, as well as her background in research to deliver transformative medicines to patients through her role at Atara.
Jill came to Atara from OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mereo BioPharma where she served as U.S. Site Head and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. Before the merger in 2019, she was Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality, providing oversight on all aspects of global Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance strategy, implementation and execution. In her most recent time at OncoMed, Jill successfully negotiated an accelerated approval pathway for a DLL4/VegF bispecific antibody for the treatment of ovarian cancer at an FDA EOP1 meeting and gained agreement from FDA at an EOP2 meeting on the design of a single pivotal pediatric Phase 3 study for patients with osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare disease affecting children. She has led numerous meetings with the EMA and other European regulatory bodies for the setrusumab program through PRIME Designation and Adaptive Pathways. In addition, she was responsible for successfully filing and executing 14 Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for 9 novel programs in oncology.
Prior to joining OncoMed, she served as Executive Director, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at PDL BioPharma, Inc. providing strategic management and oversight for all regulatory interactions, Regulatory Operations/Corporate Document Control, Medical Writing and QA/Compliance activities. Jill also held a similar role at Corixa Corporation (formerly Coulter Pharmaceutical, Inc.) where she was instrumental in the filing and approval of an iodine-131 radiolabeled anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition, she has held various positions in Research (Cell Genetics/Molecular Biology) and Regulatory Affairs at Genentech, where she maintained global regulatory responsibility for two approved marketed products and multiple products in various phases of development.
Jill holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences/Microbiology from the University of Connecticut.
In her free time, Jill enjoys the outdoors and is an avid mountain and road biker and hiker. She has also recently taken up bread baking.
Amar Murugan joined Atara as Senior Vice President, General Counsel in April 2020. With more than 20 years of legal expertise, Amar is excited to employ his significant experience to deliver on Atara’s mission of transforming the lives of patients with serious medical conditions.
Prior to Atara, Amar served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Assertio Therapeutics, a commercial stage pharmaceutical company. During his time at Assertio, he managed all legal aspects of more than $1.5 billion of acquisitions and divestitures, nearly $1.0 billion of capital raising transactions and all SEC disclosure and governance matters. Amar also managed a broad array of litigation, including patent, securities, and antitrust litigation; handled numerous government inquiries and investigations; and had oversight of the compliance function. Amar has a track record of achieving outstanding legal outcomes, including the successful defense of a hostile takeover attempt, securing a multi-million-dollar settlement of an offensive patent litigation, and defeating a securities class action matter at the motion to dismiss stage.
Prior to Assertio, Amar was a partner in the global law firm of Baker Botts LLP, and prior to that, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where he served as outside general counsel for public and private life science and technology companies and executed on numerous M&A transactions, venture capital financings, IPOs, public offerings, private placements, collaborations, and commercial arrangements. Amar began his legal career at Heller Ehrman LLP.
Amar holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from UCLA. Away from work, Amar enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, traveling abroad, visiting his native Wisconsin, and exploring the great outdoors.