Rahul D. Ballal, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Ballal is CEO of Imara and has more than 15 years of life sciences experience in business development, strategic partnerships, venture capital, and company financing. He joined from Northern Biologics and Versant Ventures where he was Chief Business Officer and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, respectively. At Northern, he built a first-in-class immuno-oncology portfolio, led a broad strategic partnership with Celgene, and managed several key functional roles at the executive level. At Versant, he negotiated foundational assets for existing portfolio and new companies, sourced several new deals, and participated in investment team activities. Previously, Dr. Ballal was Vice President, Business Development at Flexion Therapeutics, where he led several business development transactions, supported multiple functions during the initial public offering, and completed a key $175MM strategic partnership with Patheon UK, for dedicated commercial manufacturing. Prior to Flexion, he held business development and leadership positions at Novartis Venture Fund; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; and Redmind Inc. Dr. Ballal earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brown University, a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Georgetown University. He is also a Kauffman Fellow.
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ShiYin Foo, MD, PhD, MMSC
Acting Chief Medical Officer
ShiYin Foo brings 20 years of experience as a practicing physician and a catalyst in advancing innovative new programs through the various stages of drug development. She has expertise in a breadth of disease areas, including cardiorenal, immunology/inflammation and rare diseases, as well as an interest in novel and adaptive clinical trial designs.
Prior to joining Cydan, ShiYin was the Chief Medical Officer of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals and a translational medicine expert at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where she was responsible for the establishment and development of multiple novel programs in heart failure and the cardiorenal space, including rare disease indications. ShiYin is the founder of Orchard Biomedical Consulting, which serves a variety of biotech and pharma partners in broad disease indications.
ShiYin received her MD and PhD in Immunology from Stanford University, and a MMSc in Clinical Science from the Clinical Investigator Training Program at Harvard Medical School. She was clinical faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a dual Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and in Cardiology.
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Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D., MBA
Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Quality
Dr. Johnson has more than 20 years of experience in developing and implementing regulatory and product development strategies for a variety of drugs, biologics, combination products, and cell/gene therapies. He has led international project teams in early, mid and late-stage development programs across a variety of therapeutic areas, directed the preparation and maintenance of INDs, BLAs, NDAs, and MAAs, and led a variety of meetings and communications with regulatory authorities around the world.
Prior to joining Imara, Kevin held several positions of increasing responsibility for regulatory and product development activities. Most recently, Kevin served as Vice President, Global Head of Regulatory and Quality at Sucampo Pharmaceutical and Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs at Vtesse. In these roles, Kevin has led global regulatory strategy and implementation for rare disease development programs targeting Niemann Pick Type C disease (NPC). He also served as Director, Global Regulatory Affairs for Rare Diseases and Gene Therapies at GlaxoSmithKline working on the international team for the European approval of the gene therapy Strimvelis® for ADA-SCID.
Kevin earned a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, also at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a BS in Chemistry from the University of South Florida.
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Global Head of Clinical Operations
With more than a decade of drug development experience across multiple therapeutic areas, Mr. Siddharth Parulkar joins Imara from FujiFilm Pharmaceuticals, where he held the role of Global Program Manager. There he was responsible for the strategy, management and execution of early stage clinical development programs. Previously, he was Senior Clinical Project Manager at Leap Therapeutics, where he managed an early-stage clinical program for the treatment of cancer. Prior to Leap, he was Clinical Trial Manager at Tesaro, Inc. supporting multiple early- and late-stage clinical studies in oncology and immuno-oncology. Mr. Parulkar also held a number of clinical development and research positions at UCB Biosciences, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and Quintiles. Mr. Parulkar earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Pharmacy from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in India.
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