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.

        • Paul Foster, M.D.
          Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

          Paul A. Foster, M.D. joined us as Chief Medical Officer in January 2010. Dr. Foster has 27 years of experience in a career spanning academic basic research, academic medical practice, research & development, product development, clinical development, drug safety, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, and product commercialization. From June 2008 through May 2009 he served as Chief Medical Officer for Cardium Therapeutics and prior to joining Xencor provided Medical/Clinical consulting services as SVP Development and Chief Medical Officer of Development and Strategic Consulting Associates, LLC. He has held senior leadership positions in both large and small biopharmaceutical companies including Biogen Idec, IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories, Alpha Therapeutics, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Cardium Therapeutics and Dade Behring. He has experience with the development of biologics, small molecules, and in-vitro diagnostics in therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Foster received his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology, and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree from the University of Michigan.

          • 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.

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