Board of Directors

Fate’s Board of Directors has founded and led the evolution of several of the most successful companies in the biotechnology space. The group has deep expertise in science, technology, drug development, finance, and strategy – all the tools necessary to help Fate emerge as an industry leader in the development and commercialization of programmed cellular immunotherapies.

Dr. Rastetter has served as Chairman of the Board and a director since November 2011. From February 2012 to October 2012, he also served as our interim Chief Executive Officer. He is a Co-Founder of Receptos, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2015, and he served as a director and Chairman of the board of Receptos, Inc. from 2009 to 2015, and was Acting Chief Executive Officer from May 2009 to November 2010. Dr. Rastetter also served as the Chairman of Illumina, Inc. from 2005 to 2016, and as a director of Illumina, Inc. from 1998 to 2016. Dr. Rastetter currently serves as the Chairman of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., as a director or Grail, Inc. and Regulus Therapeutics, Inc., and as Chairman of Daré Bioscience, Inc., previously known as Cerulean Pharma, Inc. He also serves as a strategic advisor to SVB Leerink, a healthcare focused investment bank, and as an advisor to Illumina Ventures, a genomics focused venture firm. Dr. Rastetter served as a Partner at the venture capital firm of Venrock from 2006 to February 2013. Prior to that, Dr. Rastetter was Executive Chairman of Biogen Idec, from the merger of the two companies (Biogen and Idec Pharmaceuticals) in 2003 through the end of 2005. He joined Idec Pharmaceuticals at its founding in 1986 and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Idec, he was Director of Corporate Ventures at Genentech, Inc. and also served in a scientific capacity at Genentech. Dr. Rastetter held various faculty positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University and was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. Dr. Rastetter holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in chemistry from Harvard University and an S.B. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

.John D. Mendlein, Ph.D., J.D. is an Executive Partner of Flagship Pioneering, a venture capital firm. Prior to joining Flagship, Dr. Mendlein served as President, Corporate and Product Strategy, of Moderna, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company. Dr. Mendlein also serves as a member of the board of aTyr Pharma, Inc., and previously served as its Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the board of directors. He also holds board positions with The BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) emerging companies board and Editas Medicine, Inc., a genome editing company. Dr. Mendlein previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Adnexus Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, which was purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) in 2008. Dr. Mendlein also served on the board of directors of Monogram Biosciences, Inc., an HIV and oncology diagnostic company that was acquired by Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings in 2009. Before that, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Affinium Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (acquired by Debiopharm Group), and board member, General Counsel and Chief Knowledge Officer at Aurora Bioscience Corporation (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.). Dr. Mendlein holds a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of California, Los Angeles, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Miami.

Dr. Shefali Agarwal is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chair of the Board of Onxeo S.A., a clinical stage biotechnology company developing drugs targeting DNA Damage Response (DDR). Prior to joining Onxeo, Dr. Agarwal was the Chief Medical Officer at Epizyme, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing novel epigenetic therapies for cancer and other serious diseases, where she lead the global clinical development and regulatory strategy for tazemetostat for the treatment of cancer. Prior to joining Epizyme in 2018, Dr. Agarwal held leadership positions across medical research, clinical development, clinical operations and medical affairs. She most recently served as chief medical officer at SQZ Biotech, where she built and led the clinical development organization, which included clinical research operations and the regulatory function. Before SQZ Biotech, Dr. Agarwal also held leadership positions at Curis and Tesaro. At Curis, she oversaw the Phase 2 study for its dual HDAC/PI3K inhibitor in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and the Phase 1 study in solid tumors for its oral checkpoint inhibitor. At Tesaro, she led the NDA and EMA submissions for ZEJULA(r) (niraparib) in ovarian cancer. Dr. Agarwal has also held positions of increasing responsibility at Covidien, AVEO Oncology and Pfizer. In addition to receiving her medical degree, Dr. Agarwal holds a master’s of public health and a master’s of science in business.

Timothy P. Coughlin is the former Chief Financial Officer of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that has received FDA approval for INGREZZA® (valbenazine) and ORILISSA® (elagolix), both of which were discovered and developed during his tenure at Neurocrine from 2002 to 2018. Mr. Coughlin serves on the board of directors of Travere Therapeutics, Inc. and aTyr Pharma, Inc., both biotechnology companies, and also served on the board of directors of Peloton Therapeutics, Inc. prior to its sale to Merck & Co. in 2019. Prior to joining Neurocrine, he was with Catholic Health Initiatives, a nationwide integrated healthcare delivery system, where he served as Vice President, Financial Services. Mr. Coughlin also served as a Senior Manager in the Health Sciences practice of Ernst & Young LLP and its predecessors from 1989 to 1999. Mr. Coughlin holds a master’s degree in international business from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Temple University. Mr. Coughlin is a certified public accountant in both California and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Epstein is an epidemiologist and strategic consultant to life sciences companies and serves on the board of directors of Illumina, Inc., Veracyte, Inc., a molecular diagnostic company, Proteus Digital Health, Inc., a healthcare technology company, and Decipher Biosciences, a urologic cancer diagnostics company. From 2010 to 2012, Dr. Epstein served as president of the Medco-UBC Division and as Chief Research and Development officer of Medco Health Solutions, Inc., a managed healthcare company. In these roles, Dr. Epstein was responsible for all of Medco’s clinical research initiatives, including the Medco Research Consortium and United BioSource Corporation. Dr. Epstein served as Medco’s Chief Medical Officer from 1997 to 2010, leading formulary development, clinical guideline development, drug information services, personalized medicine program development, and client analytics and reporting. Dr. Epstein is the former President of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), and served on the board of directors of the Drug Information Association (DIA) and the International Society of Quality of Life, and was also elected to the AHRQ CERT (Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics) Committee. Dr. Epstein holds a B.S. and an M.D. from the University of Michigan and an M.S. from the University of Maryland.

Robert Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., has served as a member of our Board since May 2020. Dr. Hershberg is the Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chair of the Board of HilleVax, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel vaccine candidates. Since 2020, he has also been a Venture Partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners. Formerly, from April 2017 to March 2020, Dr. Hershberg was the executive vice president and head of business development and global alliances at Celgene (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2019). He joined Celgene in 2014 and was employed in positions of ascending responsibility, including his role as Chief Scientific Officer from January 2016 to March 2020. Before Celgene, he served several roles at VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company which he co-founded in 2006 and was Chief Executive Officer from September 2012 until the company’s acquisition by Celgene in February 2017. Dr. Hershberg is a member of the board of directors of Adaptive Biotechnologies and Recursion Pharmaceuticals, and holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego’s Affiliated Ph.D. program with the Salk Institute and an M.D. and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Karin Jooss, Ph.D. has served as Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer of Gritstone bio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies since April 2016. Prior to Gritstone, from May 2009 to April 2016, Dr. Jooss served as head of cancer immuno-therapeutics in the vaccine immuno-therapeutics department at Pfizer, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, where she was also a member of the vaccine immuno-therapeutics leadership team and served as head of the immuno-pharmacology team. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Jooss served as vice president of research at Cell Genesys, Inc. from June 2005 to April 2009, and as senior director of research at Cell Genesys from July 2001 to June 2005. She is on the editorial board of Molecular Therapy and the Journal of Gene Medicine and is a member of the Immunology and Educational Committee of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy and the Industry Task Force of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Dr. Jooss received her diploma in theoretical medicine and a Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunology from the University of Marburg in Germany, and performed postgraduate work in gene therapy and immunology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Lee is a co-founder and portfolio manager at Redmile Group, LLC, a health care-focused investment firm based in San Francisco and New York. Prior to Redmile, he worked as a biotechnology investor at Steeple Capital, and before that at Welch Capital Partners and Prudential Equity Group. Mike holds a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Xu joined Legend Biotech Corporation in March 2018 as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director, playing a leading role in the company’s IPO, clinical development of the autologous CAR T-cell therapy cilta-cel, and partnership with Janssen until her resignation in August 2020. Prior to Legend, Dr. Xu was Senior Vice President at Merck from August 2015 to August 2017, where she led discovery, preclinical and technical development, and manufacture of the Biologics & Vaccines subdivision. Dr. Xu was Vice President at Gilead from March 2014 to August 2015, where she led biologics and vaccines development and oversaw all operational aspects of the company’s Oceanside manufacturing facility as Site Head, and was Vice President at Novartis from 2008 to 2014, where she led several functions in the U.S. and Europe including the biotherapeutics development unit focusing on innovative medicines such as engineered cell therapies, gene therapies, and antibody drug conjugates. Early in her career, Dr. Xu held positions at Amgen, Chiron, GlaxoSmithKline and Genentech. Dr. Xu received a B.S. in biochemistry from Nanjing University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, and she completed her post-doctoral training in virology and gene therapy at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Xu currently serves as an independent director on the board of directors of Akero Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKRO).

Mr. Wolchko is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Fate Therapeutics and is responsible for the company’s finance, administration and operations. Mr. Wolchko began his career as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley & Co., where he served for six years in the firm’s New York City and Menlo Park, California offices. As a member of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Health Care Group, he assisted emerging growth companies in the health care technology sector complete capital-raising and M&A transactions. Prior to joining Fate Therapeutics, Mr. Wolchko served as the Chief Financial Officer of Bocada, Inc., where he oversaw all corporate service-related operations, and previously led Corporate Development at, where he was responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing financial and business development opportunities. Mr. Wolchko holds an M.S. in biochemical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a B.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Vermont.