Management

  • Bassil I. Dahiyat, Ph.D.
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Director

    Dr. Dahiyat has been Xencor’s president and chief executive officer since the Company’s incorporation in August 1997, and is the co-founder of Xencor, and co-inventor of Xencor’s breakthrough XmAb® technology. He has led the Company in raising over $700 million in public and private financing, creating a diverse portfolio of monoclonal antibody clinical programs for the treatment of life-threatening and debilitating diseases, and establishing alliances with leading biopharmaceutical companies that generated over $200 million in upfront payments. Dr. Dahiyat holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech and B.S. and M.S.E. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. He has co-authored numerous scientific papers in the fields of protein design and drug delivery, is an inventor of over 30 US and numerous foreign patents, and has received scientific awards from the American Chemical Society, the Controlled Release Society, the Protein Society and Caltech.

    • John R. Desjarlais, Ph.D.
      Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer

      Dr. Desjarlais oversees all aspects of discovery and research at the company including technology development, protein and antibody engineering and generation of drug candidates. Prior to joining Xencor, Dr. Desjarlais was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, where he developed protein engineering methods similar to Xencor’s PDA® technology platform. Dr. Desjarlais received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Desjarlais has driven the company’s technology development and engineering efforts for over 5 years and participated in the business development and intellectual property strategies.

      • Celia Eckert, J.D.
        Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

        Ms. Eckert joined Xencor as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary in September 2019. Previously she served as vice president, corporate legal at Synthetic Genomics, Inc. In this role she negotiated licensing and financial transactions and supported other corporate legal matters. Prior to Synthetic Genomics, Ms. Eckert served as associate general counsel at Sequenom, Inc., and as senior director, legal affairs at Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. At Prometheus, she structured transactions, managed substantial patent litigation and supported the growth of the company’s commercial organization. Earlier in her career, she was an associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and at Jones Day. Ms. Eckert earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

        • John J. Kuch
          Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

          Mr. Kuch has primary responsibility for financial reporting, budgeting, cash-flow management, investments, and facility issues for the company. He has extensive experience working with emerging companies through the IPO process. Previously he worked over 15 years in public accounting most recently as a Director at Price Waterhouse. Mr. Kuch is a C.P.A. and received his B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois.

          • Allen Yang, M.D., Ph.D.,
            Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
            Dr. Yang joined Xencor as senior vice president and chief medical officer in December 2019. Previously he served as senior vice president, head of clinical development and acting chief medical officer at Jazz Pharmaceuticals. Before assuming this role at Jazz, Dr. Yang was the therapeutic area head for hematology and oncology, assembling its clinical development team and overseeing several oncology products, including Erwinaze®, Defitelio® and Vyxeos®. Prior to Jazz, Dr. Yang led clinical development and clinical operations groups at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, where he was vice president of clinical research. Previously, he held several roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen, including those of global development leader for Aranesp® in oncology and clinical research medical director for Blincyto®, the first bispecific antibody approved by the FDA. Before transitioning to the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Yang practiced medicine for several years as an academic oncologist at the University of Southern California, where he led a translational cancer research laboratory. Dr. Yang earned a B.A. in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and an M.D. from the University of Southern California. He completed his medical oncology fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.