People

We envision a future in which FORMA revolutionizes the drug discovery paradigm so that groundbreaking medicines reach patients faster and with more meaningful impact.

We work hard together, laugh together, listen to each other, and challenge each other to accelerate our scientific discoveries in order to deliver on this vision.

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Sequential
Founders

Each person who joins FORMA is a Sequential Founder that brings with them the entrepreneurial drive and authentic passion for working in a boundless realm of “What If?”

Our Sequential Founders bring the right skills and expertise, at the right time, to achieve our bold Mission to create life-changing medicines for people with cancer and other serious diseases.

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LEADERSHIP

At FORMA, leading means listening, collaborating, empowering, and pushing the boundaries around the thought process of "What If?" in order to conduct groundbreaking research that delivers life-changing medicines.

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The FORMA Executive and Senior Leadership Team drives our R & D Mission by building multidisciplinary research networks, cultivating long-term partnerships, and inspiring an "All-In" approach to our everyday work in order to deliver on our longer-term vision.

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Rob Sarisky

Executive Vice President, FORMA Ventures

Dr. Sarisky brings to FORMA over 25 years of business and scientific expertise. For the past 5 years, Rob served as Chief Business Officer, FORMA Therapeutics. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Oncology Business Development and Licensing within Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, and throughout his career held various positions of Vice President of External Research and Early Development within Johnson & Johnson, Sr. Director of Immunology Research at Centocor, and Director of Virology at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. Rob received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Scranton, a Ph.D. in Genetics from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, completed his postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Lehigh University. He has authored more than 120 publications and patents and served on the Editorial Board for two scientific journals. He has been active in the scientific community by serving on the University of Pennsylvania Executive Advisory Committee for the HHMI Graduate Training in Medical Sciences, Cancer Prevention Research Institute Product Development Review Committee, the University of North Carolina Innovation Transfer and Development Initiative, RiboNova Board of Directors, and an Advisory Board member for Indiana University’s Biotechnology Program.

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Mary Wadlinger

Chief Human Resources Officer

Mary Wadlinger brings over 25 years of experience as a strategic human resources leader in biotechnology and global biopharmaceuticals as well as consumer and nonprofit organizations. For the past 11 years, Mary has served at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, in Cambridge, Mass., most recently as Vice President Human Resources. Prior to joining FORMA, Mary Wadlinger held numerous human resource leadership positions at Millennium, where she oversaw the HR business partners group, employee engagement, learning & development, talent and performance management, succession planning, compensation, and benefits. Millennium is known for its strong culture and has been recognized in Fortune and The Boston Globe as a “Great Place to Work.” Before entering the biotech sector, Mary served as Vice President, Human Resources and Customer Relations for a consumer goods internet retailer and led process improvement and auditing for a retail holding company. Mary has served as a member of WOMEN Unlimited’s President Counsel, Executive Development Roundtable at Boston University, HR Leadership Forum, and other not-for-profit and HR organizations.

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John Hohneker, MD

President, Research & Development

Dr. Hohneker joined FORMA in 2015 and serves as President of Research and Development.  He has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, dermatology, rheumatology, and organ transplantation. He has played a critical role in advancing therapeutics from preclinical testing through health authority approval, including 17 drug launches. Dr. Hohneker held various leadership positions at Novartis from 2001 to 2015. Most recently, as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Development, Immunology and Dermatology, where he was responsible for the global development of the immunology, rheumatology, and dermatology product pipelines including the approvals and launches of Cosentyx®, Xolair® and Ilaris®. Previously he also served as Senior Vice President of U.S. Oncology Clinical Development and Medical Affairs where he played a key role in the development, approval, and/or commercialization of several important oncology products such as Gleevec®, Tasigna®, Zometa®, Afinitor®, and Exjade®. Prior to joining Novartis, he held various positions with increasing responsibility at Glaxo Wellcome and its legacy companies.   He also currently serves on the Board of Dimension Therapeutics, a publicly traded gene therapy company.  He has previously served on the research committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Institute of Medicine’s Cancer Policy Forum.

Dr. Hohneker received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA., and M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Rutgers Medical School (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Piscataway, N.J. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in medical oncology  at the University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill, N.C.

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Steven Tregay

Founder, President and CEO

Prior to founding FORMA, Steven Tregay was a Managing Director for the $200M Novartis Option Fund. He led the fund’s investments in and served on the Board of Directors of FORMA Therapeutics, Adenosine Therapeutics (acquired by Clinical Data: FRX) and Cequent Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Marina Biotech: MRNA). Prior to joining the venture group, he was the Executive Director and Head of Strategic Alliances-Oncology, Ophthalmology and Technologies at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He managed a team who were responsible for identification, negotiation and management of collaborations for the oncology and ophthalmology disease areas and all the technology areas. Prior to Novartis, he had roles in business development at Array BioPharma and research.

Dr. Tregay is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Compass Therapeutics and serves as a Board Member of LabCentral. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in organic chemistry from Harvard University and a B.S. from Davidson College.

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Suresh Babu

Vice President, Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls

Dr. Babu brings over 25 years of small biotech and large multinational pharmaceutical company experience to his role as Vice President of CMC at FORMA. With his technical expertise in pre-formulation and first in human dosage formulations, bio-enhancement technologies and life-cycle product development, Dr. Babu’s commitment to a new drug discovery paradigm is derived from this expansive background combined with the buildout of high functioning scientific teams. Throughout his career he has provided leadership to manage internal and external sourcing strategies as well as responsibility for CMC sections of regulatory submissions. Prior to FORMA, Dr. Babu most recently served as the Vice President of CMC at Synta Pharmaceuticals, and previous to that post, held various scientific leadership roles in Pfizer Global R&D, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, and Johnson and Johnson’s CMC organizations. Dr. Babu received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy along with a Certification of Pharmacy Manufacturing from the University of Bangalore, India. He then received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Connecticut, CT, where he also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Pharmacy.

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Christopher Dinsmore

Vice President, Head of Chemistry

Chris is responsible for leading chemistry contributions to the creation of new transformative medicines, applying FORMA’s structure-based and technology-enabled approaches across broad families of targets and helping to integrate FORMA’s research efforts with those of a world-class network of collaborating partners. His experiences across all phases of discovery research have been devoted to the identification of therapeutics to treat cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegeneration diseases, and his efforts have led to the advancement of numerous development compounds evaluated in human clinical trials. Prior to joining FORMA in 2013, Chris was at Merck for 19 years, where he held various positions of increasing scientific and managerial leadership at the MRL West Point site and then as a founding member of the MRL Boston site.

To date, Chris has co-authored over 60 publications in chemistry and drug discovery, and is a co-inventor on over 70 issued or pending patents and patent applications. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and art, Chris earned his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and then carried out postdoctoral research in chemical synthesis at Harvard University.

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Mary Kachinsky

Vice President, Strategic Sourcing

Joining FORMA in 2015, Mary brings over 25 years’ experience as a strategic partner and business leader in the research, development and manufacturing procurement functions spanning across the pharmaceutical, biotech and consumer electronics industries. Prior to her current role at FORMA, Mary worked at Cubist Pharmaceuticals where she launched the Strategic Sourcing organization in 2011, with a robust change management strategy requiring engagement and participation across the enterprise. Under Mary’s leadership, the Sourcing organization successfully supported Cubist’s growing portfolio and clinical trials pipeline through cost savings initiatives and efforts to build a sustainable supply network. Previous to Cubist, Mary held various leadership positions for 8 years at Pfizer, where she most recently led the Global Scientific Materials organization and supported the outsourcing of clinical trials at Pfizer Global R&D. She also held senior leadership positions at Genzyme, Waters, and Bose Corporation.

Mary is an Executive Member of Linking Leaders Clinical Outsourcing Roundtable and is a member of the Bio-Supply Management Alliance Board of Advisors. She received the 2013 NESCON Supply Chain Hall of Fame Award and the 2009 Harry J. Graham Award from the Purchasing Management Association of Boston (PMAB), affiliate of ISM, for her generous volunteer work. In addition, Mary is an Advisor on the PMAB Board of Directors, where she has also served as President. She is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) and a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.). Mary earned her Master of Science in Management from the Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from the Carroll School of Management, Boston College.

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Lee Merrill

Vice President, Human Resources

Lee brings over 20 years of diverse experience in Human Resources with core competencies in the areas of employment, employee relations, organizational development, business partnering, and compensation. His skills include the ability to engage the business environment with a strong strategic and tactical approach while maintaining a high degree of concern for people and results. He has an extensive recruitment background both internally to companies and as the head of his own recruitment firm. Lee has served on several panel discussions with senior HR practitioners and is well thought of in the industry. Over the most recent years, he has successfully led HR departments at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Targanta Therapeutics and Acambis. He has established start-up HR departments supporting multiple sites in both the private and public sectors internationally. Lee has significant experience in leadership training and is an active co-chair for a successful HR Biotech networking group with active participation from over 50 local biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He obtained his MBA from Babson College and his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont.

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Duncan Walker

Vice President, Pharmacology and Early Development

Prior to joining FORMA, Duncan led the Oncology, Cellular and Translational Medicine team at Array BioPharma and notably was responsible for advancing its ARRY-520 clinical program in multiple myeloma. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Discovery Biology at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and Vice President, Oncology Research at Roche, and he also held various scientific and managerial leadership positions at Glaxo Wellcome. Duncan has co-authored 30 publications and patents and has served as a member of various scientific advisory boards. Duncan received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and was an HHMI Research Fellow at University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver.

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Jim Winkler

Vice President, Discovery and Translational Biology

Prior to joining FORMA, Jim has held various leadership positions at McNeil Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Array Biopharma and Arvinas. Most recently at Arvinas, Jim was responsible for platform advancement and the discovery of therapeutic compounds targeting specific proteins for degradation. From 2002 through 2013, at Array Biopharma, Jim provided leadership for teams working in drug discovery, translational research and clinical development, as well as having managed several collaborations with multinational pharmaceutical firms. His contributions included building a pipeline of development drugs with over twelve having advanced toward Phase II or III studies to date.

Jim received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular pharmacology with Stanley Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., at Smith Kline and French Laboratories. To date, he has authored more than 120 patents, peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews and book chapters, and serves as Secretary and Board Member of the Cancer Molecular Therapeutics Research Association.

  • EXECUTIVE TEAM
  • Steven Tregay
  • John Hohneker, MD
  • Rob Sarisky
  • Mary Wadlinger
  • SENIOR LEADERSHIP
  • Suresh Babu
  • Christopher Dinsmore
  • Mary Kachinsky
  • Lee Merrill
  • Duncan Walker
  • Jim Winkler
  • BOARD OF DIRECTORS

    Industry-leading business expertise in drug discovery and development

    Peter Wirth, J.D.

    Chairman of FORMA Therapeutics, Board of Directors

    Peter Wirth served Genzyme Corporation as Secretary to the Board of Directors and outside general counsel from 1982 until its acquisition by Sanofi. From January 1996 through May 2011 , he was a senior executive at Genzyme, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Development, Chief Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary. During this time, Mr. Peter Wirth had senior management responsibility for Genzyme’s legal function, its corporate development function, its molecular oncology tracking stock division (Nasdaq: GZMO), its non-absorbed polymer drug discovery and development division and its enterprise risk management function.

    From 1975 through 1995, Mr. Peter Wirth practiced law at Palmer & Dodge, a Boston law firm, where he was head of the firm’ biotechnology practice group. Mr. Peter Wirth acted as outside general counsel for a number of public and private biotechnology companies, including companies working in the areas of neuroscience, immunology, non-absorbable pharmaceuticals, gene therapy, structure-based drug design, NMR imaging agents, and bioseparations. Mr. Peter Wirth also acted as special outside counsel to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the area of corporate collaborations and joint ventures. His areas of legal expertise include venture capital financings, institutional private placements, public offerings, off-balance sheet R&D financings such as RDLPs and SWORDS, corporate collaborations, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.

    Mr. Wirth was a 2012 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1972 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1975. He currently serves as a Director of Synageva BioPharma Corp. (Nasdaq: GEVA).

    Henry Skinner, Ph.D.

    Managing Director - Novartis Venture Funds

    Dr. Henry Skinner is a Managing Director at Novartis Venture Fund (NVF) in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he worked as Executive Director & Global Head Strategic Alliances at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where he led a team responsible for identification, negotiation and management of collaborations and licenses for Novartis’ therapeutic technology areas. Prior to joining Novartis he was CEO of SelectX Pharmaceuticals and President and CEO of NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Schering-Plough. He was Director of Technology Acquisitions for Pharmacia & Upjohn and managed business development and licensing for research platforms and therapeutic areas worldwide. Prior to Pharmacia, he was Director of Business Development at Lexicon Genetics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine and earned his PhD in Microbiology and MS in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois. Henry serves on the boards of Cavion, Galera, NeuroVia, Macrolide Pharmaceuticals and Quartet Medicine.

    Marsha Fanucci

    Board of Director (FORMA Therapeutics; Alnylym Pharmaceuticals; Ironwood Pharmaceuticals; Momenta Pharmaceuticals)

    From 2000 to 2009, Ms. Fanucci served at Millennium Pharmaceuticals in a number of executive leadership positions, including Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Strategy, Vice President of Finance and Strategy, and Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy. During her tenure, Ms. Fanucci directly contributed to a series of strategic processes, advanced investment-stage Millennium to profitability and was instrumental in the acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in 2008 for $8.8 billion. Previously, Ms. Fanucci was Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Genzyme Corporation and Vice President and Director at Arthur D. Little. Ms. Fanucci serves on the boards of directors of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Momenta Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Fanucci received a B.S. in pharmacy from West Virginia University Medical School and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University

    Michael Foley, Ph.D.

    Academic Founder, FORMA Therapeutics; Sanders Director, Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute; Director, Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative

    Michael A. Foley, Ph.D., has been selected to lead the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, Inc. (Tri-I TDI), a pioneering collaboration of Weill Cornell Medical College, The Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that is designed to expedite early-stage drug discovery into novel treatments for patients.

    Dr. Foley’s title is the Sanders Director of Tri-I TDI and Director of the Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative, in recognition of the $15 million gift from Lewis and Ali Sanders to help establish the Institute. An accomplished chemist and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of industry and academic experience, Dr. Foley is scientific co-founder of four companies and one academic institute and has placed 12 single-agent or combination drugs into clinical development. He was most recently the Director of the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

    Dr. Foley previously worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline, and obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry at Harvard.

    Steven E. Hall, Ph.D.

    Venture Partner at Lilly Venture

    Steve brings more than 25 years of pharmaceutical experience from both multinational pharmaceutical companies and biotech organizations to Lilly Ventures. Prior to joining Lilly Ventures, Steve was co-founder and Senior Vice President, R&D of Serenex, Inc. In this role, he recruited and led a team in developing a novel discovery technology that advanced the target program from a novel screen to first patient dosed in just over three years. This novel orally-active Hsp90 inhibitor was the subject of strong interest across the industry and led to the acquisition of Serenex by Pfizer in April 2008. Before joining Serenex, Steve was Site Director, Sphinx Labs, Eli Lilly where he oversaw lead generation efforts in the areas of combinatorial chemistry, automation, high-throughput screening, biomolecular research, and information technology. He was a key member of a small team that developed and executed a strategy to partner Lilly’s expertise in high-throughput chemistry with three Japanese pharmaceutical companies with an aggregate value of more than $75MM. Steve received his BS in chemistry from Central Michigan University and his PhD in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is the author of more than 40 papers and an inventor on greater than 60 patents. Steve currently sits on the board of Hydra Biosciences, and serves as a board observer at Avid Radiopharmaceuticals and Viamet Pharmaceuticals.

    Paolo Paoletti, MD

    Board of Director

    Dr. Paoletti is currently the Chief Executive Officer of GammaDelta Therapeutics, a UK-based biotechnology company pioneering research into gamma delta (γδ) T cells. He recently held several executive leadership roles in oncology at GSK, including Head of Oncology Research and Discovery Unit, Member of the Executive Board for Portfolio Investment and Chairman of the Oncology Portfolio Board. In his global leadership roles, he maintained the accountability for GSK’s entire oncology business and was responsible for drug discovery from target identification through registration, including product life cycle management and commercial strategy. Throughout his pharmaceutical tenure at GSK, he led the global approval of seven new medicines to treat different cancers, originated a global oncology business integrating regional plans and responsibilities, and led the development of the first novel–novel combination of agents to registration with the FDA. Prior to joining GSK Oncology in 2004, Dr. Paoletti served in roles of increasing leadership responsibility at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, where he was most recently Vice President, Oncology. He received his M.D. from University of Pisa, Italy, and he was a NIH Fogarty fellow at the University of Arizona. Dr. Paoletti has authored over 350 scientific publications.

    Steven Tregay, Ph.D.

    Founder, President and CEO, FORMA Therapeutics

    Prior to founding FORMA, Steven Tregay was a Managing Director for the $200M Novartis Option Fund. He led the fund’s investments in and served on the Board of Directors of FORMA Therapeutics, Adenosine Therapeutics (acquired by Clinical Data: FRX) and Cequent Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Marina Biotech: MRNA). Prior to joining the venture group, he was the Executive Director and Head of Strategic Alliances-Oncology, Ophthalmology and Technologies at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He managed a team who were responsible for identification, negotiation and management of collaborations for the oncology and ophthalmology disease areas and all the technology areas. Prior to Novartis, he had roles in business development at Array BioPharma and research. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in organic chemistry from Harvard University and a B.S. from Davidson College.