About

Tourmaline is a late-stage clinical biotechnology company driven by our mission to develop transformative medicines that dramatically improve the lives of patients with life-altering immune and inflammatory diseases. In doing so, we seek to develop medicines that have the potential to establish new standards-of-care in areas of high unmet medical need.

Leadership

Sandeep Kulkarni, MD

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Sandeep has nearly two decades of experience within the healthcare world, as an entrepreneur, life sciences investor, management consultant, and medical doctor. Prior to founding Tourmaline, Sandeep was a Managing Director at KVP Capital responsible for investments into public and private biotech companies as well as leading KVP’s company formation activities. Before joining KVP, Sandeep was Chief Operating Officer at Immunovant, where he was heavily involved in accelerating Immunovant from an internally incubated project into an integrated biotech company, culminating in a go-public transaction completed at the end of 2019 through a SPAC. Concurrent with his time at Immunovant, Sandeep was also Vice President, Special Projects, at Roivant Sciences and was involved in various internal and external initiatives. Before Immunovant, Sandeep was a biotech investor with most of his time on the buyside spent on the life sciences team at QVT Financial. He started his career at the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised leading biopharma companies on strategic and operational projects. He serves on the board of Zura Bio.

Sandeep received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco.

Yung Chyung, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Yung has over two decades of experience in health care, spanning clinical medicine, scientific research, and drug development. Previously, he served as Chief Medical Officer at Scholar Rock for 6 years where he led the development organization, including its efforts with the apitegromab and SRK-181 programs. During his tenure there, apitegromab was advanced into a Phase 3 trial for spinal muscular atrophy, and SRK-181 was advanced to the proof-of-concept portion of a Phase 1 trial in immuno-oncology. Prior to that time, Yung served in positions of increasing responsibility at Dyax Corp, most recently Vice President of Medical Research, and led the medical aspects of the clinical trial program for lanadelumab into a Phase 3 trial in hereditary angioedema. Lanadelumab later was approved by the FDA and EMA and is currently marketed as TAKHZYRO®. Earlier in his career, Yung was the global medical affairs lead at Genzyme for multiple rare disease programs, including in mucopolysaccharidosis type 1, mucopolysaccharidosis type 2, and Pompe disease.

Yung received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his internal medicine residency training and allergy & immunology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Brad Middlekauff, JD

Chief Business Officer and General Counsel

An accomplished life sciences executive with more than 25 years of experience across multiple legal and business aspects of the biotechnology industry, Brad previously served as the Chief Legal Officer of Castle Creek Biosciences. Before that, he was General Counsel of Immunovant, which he took public through a SPAC in 2019. Prior to joining Immunovant, Brad was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of PDS Biotechnology Corporation (formerly known as Edge Therapeutics), a publicly traded life sciences company. Before Edge, Brad served as Executive-in-Residence at Princeton University. Previously, he was Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary at Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he also ran the business development function; Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Medarex, Inc.; and Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel at Algos Pharmaceuticals. Following law school and a clerkship in the Southern District of New York, Brad started his legal career at Cooley Godward, where he advised life science companies on a broad range of business and legal matters.

Brad received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a law degree from Yale Law School.

Susan Dana Jones, PhD

Chief Technology Officer

A biotechnology industry veteran and recognized leader in bioprocessing, Susan has over 30 years’ experience in managing complex biopharmaceutical development programs from discovery through late-stage clinical trials and commercialization. She has extensive experience managing Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) for multiple products as they progress through clinical development, as well as several years of biopharmaceutical program management expertise. Susan is a co-founder of two successful biotechnology companies and she has participated in private and public financings. Prior to joining Tourmaline, Susan served as SVP Product Development for Harpoon Therapeutics where she and her team advanced four products into first-in-human clinical studies within 3 years. She previously served as VP and Principal Consultant with BioProcess Technology Consultants where she was the program manager and development lead for multiple biopharmaceutical discovery and development programs. Susan is well versed in integration of discovery and development, design of effective manufacturing strategies, preparing regulatory submissions, and managing complex supply chains.

Susan received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and received her Ph.D. from University of California, San Francisco. She performed post-doctoral research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA.

Kevin Johnson, PhD, MBA

Chief Regulatory Officer

Kevin has 30 years of experience in the implementation of global regulatory and development strategies for a variety of drugs, biologics, combination products, and cell/gene therapies. He has directed the preparation of numerous INDs, CTAs, BLAs, NDAs, and MAAs and orchestrated a variety of meetings and communications with regulatory authorities on a global basis. Before joining Tourmaline, Kevin served as Chief Regulatory Officer for Ring Therapeutics developing novel gene therapy modalities. Prior to Ring, Kevin held several positions of increasing responsibility for regulatory, quality, pharmacovigilance and product development activities at Inozyme, Imara, Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, and Vtesse. He also served as Director, Global Regulatory Affairs for Rare Diseases and Gene Therapies at GSK, working on the regulatory team for the European approval of the gene therapy Strimvelis®. Additional past accomplishments include successful negotiations for the US regulatory approval of TachoSil® Fibrin Sealant Patch and Daliresp® (roflumilast).

Kevin earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, also at UNC. He completed a BS in Chemistry from the University of South Florida, holds the Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) designation by the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, and is a Registered Member of The Organization for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (TOPRA) in Europe.

Ryan Iarrobino

Senior Vice President, Product Development

With over 20 years of experience as a drug developer, Ryan has guided multiple products from early through late-stage development, including two approvals in Hereditary Angioedema, as well as numerous programs in rare disease and significant unmet need. Ryan previously served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Operations for Scholar Rock, where he built multiple functions within the Development organization, and oversaw clinical programs dedicated to Spinal Muscular Atrophy and CPI-resistant solid tumors. Prior to joining Scholar Rock, Ryan served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations and Data Management at Syntimmune, initiating early-phase programs in pemphigus and warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Previously, he was Vice President, Clinical Development at Dyax, where he oversaw the accelerated clinical program for lanadelumab, which received Breakthrough Therapy designation, and subsequent approval, from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Early in his career Ryan focused on serving sponsor company needs in data operations and project management, holding management and leadership positions at leading contract research organizations in the Greater Boston area.

Ryan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine.

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Gerhard Hagn

Senior Vice President, Head of Commercial and Business Development

Gerhard has over two decades of experience as a biopharma executive with commercial expertise in drug development, launches, access and business development. Previously, he was building Gilead’s Inflammation business unit, leading a $3 billion liver franchise and creating new competencies as Head of Global Commercial Strategy – Inflammation, Liver & Portfolio. Before joining Gilead Sciences, Gerhard was the Head of Pfizer’s Inflammation & Immunology business unit, responsible for reimbursement, pricing and evidence generation of launches and in-line business in Rheumatology, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, and numerous assets advancing into Phase 3 clinical trials. He has held leadership roles of increasing complexities across every stage of an asset’s lifecycle including 11 launches, in core markets such as the U.S. and Germany as well as regional and global roles. Gerhard started his career in sales at Pharmacia in Germany, worked in the U.S. for the last two decades of which he focused the recent 10 years on Inflammation & Immunology after approximately 10 years in Oncology at Pfizer. Gerhard received his degree as “Apotheker” (PharmD) from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany.

Dora Rau

Senior Vice President, Head of Quality

Dora has championed quality initiatives in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries for over 25 years. She has experience leading organizations through product life cycle milestones in both development and commercial environments. Before joining Tourmaline, Dora designed and implemented fit-for-purpose quality systems most recently as Senior Vice President, Quality at Revolo Biotherapeutics and previously as VP, Quality at Imara, Inc. In her prior role as Vice President, Global Quality at Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, she directed quality assurance and quality control teams on continuous improvement activities for a variety of products across global operations. Dora was previously employed by Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Prometheus Laboratories, Forest Laboratories, and Schering-Plough in positions of increasing responsibility in corporate and site-level Quality roles, with emphasis on GxP quality system development, IT quality support, auditing and supply chain oversight. She has extensive experience leading teams to attain successful regulatory authority inspection outcomes and product approvals.

Dora received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. She earned a regulatory affairs certificate for medical device and pharmaceutics from the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS). 

Emil deGoma, MD

Senior Vice President, Medical Research

Emil has over two decades of experience in health care across clinical medicine, medical research, and drug development. Prior to Tourmaline Bio, Emil served as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Data Science at ChemoCentryx where he led medical aspects of the development program of avacopan (TAVNEOS®), a complement C5a receptor inhibitor approved for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, and advanced an early-stage pipeline including an oral immune checkpoint inhibitor for advanced solid tumors. Previously, Emil served in positions of increasing responsibility at Akebia Therapeutics, most recently as Vice President of Clinical Development. He led Phase 2 studies in Japan and global Phase 3 cardiovascular outcome trials of vadadustat for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease. Vadadustat later received approval by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency and is currently marketed as VAFSEO® in Japan. Earlier in his academic career, Emil served as medical director of a multidisciplinary preventive cardiology program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he led clinical studies to advance novel therapies and precision medicine for the treatment of patients with or at high risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Emil received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internal medicine residency training, chief residency, and cardiology fellowship at Stanford University and his vascular medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ryan Robinson, CPA

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Ryan has over a decade of finance and operations experience within the biotechnology industry. Before joining Tourmaline, Ryan served as Vice President of Finance and Treasurer at Korro Bio, a biotechnology company focused on RNA editing. Prior to Korro, Ryan served as the Corporate Controller for Jounce Therapeutics, a publicly-traded immunotherapy company. Ryan also worked at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded biopharmaceuticals company, where he oversaw the financial and operational aspects of the commercial launch of ONIVYDE® for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Ryan began his career in the audit practice of Ernst & Young, where he served a variety of public and private life sciences companies at all stages of clinical development.

Ryan earned a B.S. in Management and an M.S in Accounting from Boston College, and he is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.

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Kristine Erickson, OD, PhD

Vice President and TA Head, Ophthalmology, Medical Research

Kristine has had a diverse career in the medical field, spanning various aspects of research, clinical practice, and drug development. She began her journey in basic laboratory research, where she conducted studies on the pathogenesis of glaucoma. Her work in this field earned her the Alcon Award for research excellence.

Transitioning to clinical practice and mentorship, Kristine provided guidance and oversaw the development of interns and residents. She also served as an investigator in clinical trials, contributing to advancements in the medical treatment of dry eye and ocular allergy. Her clinical research and drug development accomplishments continued as she had increasing responsibility at Unigene Laboratories, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Aerie Pharmaceuticals.

At Regeneron, Kristine played a role in successfully launching EYLEA, a groundbreaking treatment for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion. She was the clinical lead for post-marketing studies, instrumental in further characterizing the drug’s efficacy and safety. Additionally, she led the clinical development of sarilumab, an innovative IL-6 receptor inhibitor under study for treating noninfectious uveitis.

Throughout her career, Kristine has actively contributed to the field through her published research papers and book chapters. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the School of Pharmacy at the same university, and an OD from the New England College of Optometry.

Joining Tourmaline, Kristine brings her expertise and passion for advancing therapies in areas of unmet medical need.

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Famina Hemani, PharmD

Vice President, Head of Pharmacovigilance

Famina brings over two decades of healthcare experience including pharmacy practice and as a drug safety and pharmacovigilance professional in the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining Tourmaline, she served as the Head of Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance leading clinical safety monitoring activities for musculoskeletal and oncology products across phases 1 through 3 of development. Famina has been recognized for her expertise in establishing robust safety surveillance and risk management functions within the Pharmacovigilance department, instituting a Center of Excellence for Aggregate Safety Reporting, implementing safety databases, and introducing advanced signal detection and management systems for global pharmaceutical companies with diverse portfolios of developmental and commercially available products. Famina’s leadership journey includes pivotal roles in both small and large pharma companies, where she led integration activities during mergers and acquisitions, managed data migrations, served as a subject matter expert during regulatory inspections, and selected, qualified and oversaw vendors for critical functions like case processing, safety surveillance, medical writing, publishing, and submissions.

Famina earned her Doctorate in Pharmacy degree from Midwestern University, Chicago College of Pharmacy. 

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John Walsh, MD

Vice President, Head of Medical Affairs

John brings over 25 years of medical and biopharmaceutical experience to Tourmaline Bio. After many years of full-time clinical practice in family medicine and prehospital emergency medicine, John joined Sepracor (now Sunovion) in 2008 as a Medical Director and has served multiple roles of increasing responsibility since that time. In addition to his tenure at Sepracor/Sunovion, John has worked at multiple other biopharmaceutical organizations of varying sizes including Biogen, EMD Serono, and Ardelyx. John most recently served as the Vice President of North America Medical Affairs for Egetis Therapeutics where he focused on the development of a rare thyroid disease treatment. He is proud to have worked on the launches of nine products including Brovana (arformoterol), Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), Mavenclad (cladribine) and Spinraza (neusinersen). His industry experience spans Medical Affairs, Clinical Development and Program Leadership. In addition to his current role at Tourmaline Bio, John also serves as a Physician / Medical Officer for the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System where he provides medical expertise and care to patients impacted by natural or man-made disaster or public health emergencies.

John earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College and a medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine.

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Kimberly Piorkowski

Vice President, People, Culture and Compliance

Kim has spent her career working in the life sciences industry, having held both management consulting and in-house roles focused on driving ethics and integrity in corporate cultures, and building robust risk management and healthcare compliance programs and operations. Most recently, Kim held roles at Arena Pharmaceuticals and Incyte Corporation, where she was responsible for leading global compliance teams, programs, and operations. Prior to that, Kim spent twelve years at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) providing risk and compliance advisory services in the life sciences industry, where she advised her clients in navigating complex risk and compliance challenges across all areas of the business. Her experience includes working with Chief Compliance Officers, compliance teams and business leaders to set compliance program strategy, evaluate risk, and build the various elements of an effective compliance program. She has led projects and teams to assess both global and US compliance programs, design compliance policies and procedures, build compliance monitoring programs, and advise on leading practices in compliance across Commercial, Medical and Clinical functions.  

In her role at Tourmaline, Kim integrates her passions for people management, cultivating positive team and corporate cultures, and supporting the business to work with integrity and compliance.

Kim earned a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree from New York University.

Board of Directors

Clay Siegall, PhD

Chairman of the Board

Caley Castelein, MD


Aaron Kantoff


Mark McDade


Sapna Srivastava, PhD


Parvinder Thiara


Sandeep Kulkarni, MD