Team

Katherine Bowdish, Ph.D.
Vice President Global R&D and Head of Sunrise, Sanofi U.S.

Katherine Bowdish is Vice President of Global R&D and Head of Sunrise at Sanofi. Katherine joined Sanofi in February 2013 to launch the Sunrise initiative following extensive experience in co-founding and leading early-stage biotechnology companies, driving the science as well as transactions involving financings, partnering and M&A.

Katherine led Cambridge-based Permeon Biologics, developing a novel approach to intracellular delivery of biological therapies as its President and CSO. Prior to taking the helm at Permeon, Katherine co-founded and served as President and CEO of Anaphore (now RuiYi), a platform-based drug development company with a focus on trivalent biological therapies. Katherine was previously President of Alexion Antibody Technologies, Inc., and Senior Vice President of Alexion Pharmaceuticals upon leading the acquisition of Prolifaron by Alexion. She was the founder, CEO and CSO of Prolifaron, a privately held antibody discovery company. In earlier years, Katherine worked with Richard A. Lerner, M.D., at The Scripps Research Institute on catalytic antibodies and related antibody technologies, and at Monsanto in agricultural biotechnology. She received her doctorate from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary.

Katherine represents Sanofi on the Boards of Directors of three Sunrise portfolio companies, including Warp Drive Bio and MyoKardia.

Stuart Pollard, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President and Principal

Stuart Pollard joined Sunrise as Associate Vice President and Principal in spring 2014. He has worked in the biotechnology industry for almost 25 years in both scientific and business roles. Prior to joining Sunrise, Stuart was focused on early-stage technologies, and served as a consultant for both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop company strategies, as well as to identify and assess new opportunities.

Previously, Stuart worked at Alnylam, a pioneer in RNAi, where his responsibilities included scientific and business strategy development, and supporting investor relations and business development. These activities included building a group in novel applications of the RNAi platform in biologics manufacturing. Before working at Alnylam, Stuart was at Maxygen, Inc., a developer of a directed evolution platform, where he held positions of increasing responsibility across both scientific and business development initiatives, eventually becoming CSO. Earlier in his career in the 1980s, Stuart worked at Biogen Idec, during which time he held positions in both the R&D and business development organizations of the company. Stuart earned his doctorate in molecular virology from the University of Reading in the U.K. and completed his post-doctoral work with Professor Don Wiley in the department of molecular biology and biochemistry at Harvard University.

 

Frances Crofts
Director of Operations

Fran Crofts joined the Sunrise team in January 2015. Prior to Sunrise, Fran had 17 years of experience in Sanofi and its legacy companies within the Preclinical Safety group. Fran began her career at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer in 1997 and has held positions of increasing responsibility. Fran has contributed as a project toxicologist for over 20 small molecule and biologics drug development projects, as project leader for pre-Phase 1 projects, and as a Dedicated Project Expert for the Fibrosis & Wound Repair Unit. Most recently, Fran contributed as the lead toxicologist and biosafety task force leader for Praluent™. Fran earned her bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and a doctorate in basic medical sciences from New York University. Fran completed postdoctoral work at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology.

Fran’s primary responsibility is interfacing across the internal organization, bridging the science and key relationships where Sanofi capabilities and expertise within Sanofi platforms and units are applied to transformative opportunities in early stage companies within the Sunrise investment/partnership portfolio.

Bruce Baron, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President and Principal

Bruce Baron joined Sunrise as Associate Vice President and Principal in early 2016. He brings a breadth of expertise shaped by a three-decade career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Previously, Bruce has held a variety of global leadership roles at Sanofi and its legacy companies. Most recently, he was a senior scientific advisor, contributing to Sanofi research and translational medicine strategy and management of the portfolio in neurodegeneration and pain. This included cultivation of our external scientific network, working with established partners and exploring new business models. Prior to this, Bruce was the Deputy Global Head of the CNS Therapeutic Department and responsible for discovery research. Bruce has also led global initiatives spanning departments, notably building a multi-disciplinary chemical biology platform for G-protein-coupled receptors, linking the large community of scientists working on this therapeutically-important target family. Bruce earned his doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Rochester and received post-doctoral training at Tel Aviv University and Vanderbilt University before joining Merrell Dow as a pharmacologist.

Yong Mi Choi, Ph.D.
Scientific Liaison, Director

Yong Mi Choi joined the Sunrise team as Scientific Liaison in July 2016. She brings over twenty years of small molecule drug discovery experience, leading multi-disciplinary teams in early to late stage research activities. During her career at Sanofi, she and her team delivered five drug molecules into clinical development, one of which progressed to Phase III trials.

As the Head of Alternative Therapeutics biotech cluster from 2010 to 2012, Yong Mi was responsible for building a research portfolio by evaluating innovative approaches both internally and externally to explore novel therapeutics. More recently, she contributed to the out-licensing of a development candidate. She is the author of over 50 research articles, book chapters, and patents in the areas of synthesis, prodrugs, and small molecule drug discovery directed towards thrombosis, asthma, inflammation, CNS, and rare disease indications. Yong Mi earned her B.S. degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her doctorate in chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles followed by post-doctoral training at MIT prior to joining Rhône-Poulenc Rorer as a medicinal chemist.

Yong Mi’s primary responsibility is to build and maintain strong scientific and management relationships between Sunrise’s early stage companies and internal scientific units and platforms to ensure the successful outcome of collaboration programs.