Breakthrough ideas start at the top
Our Board brings a wealth of experience that adds up to clear direction—and a strong sense of purpose.
Board of Directors
Mark C. McKenna
Chairman & CEO
Mr. McKenna serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Prometheus Biosciences. Since joining in 2019, he has executed multiple value-generating business development deals, and raised more than $350M+ in capital including an initial public offering in 2021. Prior to joining Prometheus Biosciences, Mr. McKenna was a corporate officer of Bausch Health Companies, serving as President of the wholly owned subsidiary, Salix Pharmaceuticals. Responsible for successfully turning around the gastrointestinal business, Mr. McKenna led the team through a series of key strategic acquisitions and new product launches, and delivered strong operating performance, with revenue increasing from $950M to over $2B during his tenure. Prior to joining Salix, Mr. McKenna spent more than a decade with Bausch + Lomb, most recently as Senior Vice President/General Manager of its U.S. Vision Care business. Prior to Bausch + Lomb, he held several roles of increasing responsibility at Johnson & Johnson. Mr. McKenna serves as the Chairman of the Board of Prometheus Labs, and holds a B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University and an MBA from Azusa Pacific University.
Helen C. Adams
Helen C. Adams, CPA, has been a member of our Board of Directors since February 2021. From January 2013 to March 2018, Ms. Adams was the San Diego Area Managing Partner for Haskell & White LLP, a regional certified public accounting firm. Previously, Ms. Adams was a certified public accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP from 1982 to 2009, serving most recently as a Partner in the Life Sciences and Technology Group. From 2010 to 2013, Ms. Adams was a member of the Board of Directors of Genasys Inc. (formerly known as LRAD Corporation), serving as the Audit Committee Chair and member of the Compensation Committee. In addition to her public company board service, Ms. Adams has served on the Boards of Directors of several organizations, including Athena San Diego, the Athena Foundation, Make A Wish San Diego and the California State University at San Marcos Foundation.
Mr. Fred Hassan has served as a member of our Board of Directors since May 2021. Mr. Hassan joined Warburg Pincus LLC, a global private equity investment institution, in 2009 and currently serves as Director. Previously, Mr. Hassan served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schering-Plough from 2003 to 2009. Before assuming these roles, from 2001 to 2003 Mr. Hassan was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacia Corporation, a company formed through the merger of Monsanto Company and Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. He joined Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. as Chief Executive Officer in 1997. Since July 2015 and June 2016, Mr. Hassan has served as a director of Amgen, Inc. and Precigen, Inc., respectively. Previously, Mr. Hassan served as a director of Time Warner Inc. (now Warner Media, LLC) from October 2009 to June 2018. Mr. Hassan received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology at the University of London and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Martin Hendrix, Ph.D.
Martin Hendrix, Ph.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since October 2020. He joined Nestlé Health Science US in April 2012, and currently serves as its Head of Global Business Development and M&A. In this position, Dr. Hendrix oversees all deal flow of Nestlé Health Science and is also responsible for its venture capital partnerships and direct equity investments. Dr. Hendrix has represented Nestlé on the boards of Enterome, Microbiome Diagnostic Partners, Procise Dx, Bodymed AG, as well as board observer roles for Evelo, Kaleido, and Senda. Prior to joining Nestlé, from January 1998 to March 2012 Dr. Hendrix was a research chemist and subsequently a member of the Strategic Planning Group, as well as a Senior Director of Business Strategy at Bayer AG. Dr. Hendrix currently serves on the Board of Directors of Procise Dx, Bodymed AG, and Senda (observer). Dr. Hendrix holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute and an M.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
James Laur has served on our Board of Directors since April 2020, and through his work leading Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Technology Transfer Office, Mr. Laur played a role in our founding. Mr. Laur currently serves as Vice President, Intellectual Property for Cedars-Sinai, and, in addition to his role with Cedars-Sinai’s Technology Transfer Office, Mr. Laur helps lead the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program and Cedars-Sinai Health Ventures, Cedars-Sinai’s venture fund. Mr. Laur has served in a variety of business roles at Cedars-Sinai since originally joining its Legal Affairs Department in 1991. Mr. Laur is a member of the California State Bar and holds a dual degree B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
Joseph C. Papa
Joseph C. Papa has served on our Board of Directors since August 2020 and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Bausch Health Companies Inc. since May 2016. Mr. Papa has more than 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and specialty pharmaceutical industries, including 20 years of branded prescription drug experience. He served as the CEO of Perrigo Company plc from 2006 to April 2016, where he also served as Chairman from 2007 to April 2016. Prior to joining Perrigo, Mr. Papa served from 2004 to 2006 as Chairman and CEO of the Pharmaceutical and Technologies Services segment of Cardinal Health, Inc. From 2001 to 2004, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to joining Watson, Mr. Papa held management positions at DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacia/Searle, and Novartis AG. Mr. Papa served as a director of Smith & Nephew plc, a developer of advanced medical devices, from 2008 to April 2018.
Judith L. Swain, M.D.
Judith L. Swain, M.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2021, and is the Chief Medical Officer of Physiowave, Inc., a medical device company, a role she has held since July 2016. She has also served as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Medicine at the National University of Singapore since July 2017. Prior to these roles, Dr. Swain was Executive Director of the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, a research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, and Professor, National University of Singapore, from 2006 to 2017. Dr. Swain served as Dean for Translational Medicine at the University of California San Diego from 2005 to 2006 and as Chair and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University from 1996 to 2005. Dr. Swain is a co-founder of Synecor, LLC and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Upstream Medical Technologies, Ltd, and the Institute for Life Changing Medicines. She previously served on the Boards of Directors of the National Healthcare Group (Singapore) and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine of Nanyang Technological University. Dr. Swain earned an M.D. from the University of California San Diego, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California Los Angeles.
Mary Szela has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2021. Ms. Szela also currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of TriSalus Life Sciences, Inc. (formerly Surefire Medical, Inc.), a privately held medical device company. From January 2016 to November 2016, Ms. Szela served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In November 2016, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. merged with QLT Inc. to form Novelion Therapeutics Inc. where Ms. Szela served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors until November 2017. Ms. Szela served as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Melinta Therapeutics, Inc., an antibiotic development company, from April 2013 to August 2015. Ms. Szela held ascending management positions at Abbott Laboratories from 1987 to 2012, including President of the company’s U.S. pharmaceutical business from January 2008 to December 2010. Ms. Szela has served as a member of the Boards of Directors of Kura Oncology, Inc. since November 2018, Alimera Sciences Inc. since June 2018, and TriSalus Life Sciences, Inc. since January 2018. She also previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of Receptos, Inc. from June 2014 to July 2015, Novo Nordisk from March 2014 to March 2017, and Macrolide Pharmaceuticals, from March 2018 to July 2019. She earned an M.B.A. in Business and a B.S. in nursing, both from the University of Illinois.
Tadataka Yamada, M.D., KBE
Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada, M.D., KBE, served as the Chairman of our Board of Directors from June 2018 until his untimely passing in August 2021. Our Prometheus Biosciences team will always remember the immeasurable contributions that Dr. Yamada has made to our organization—and to our lives. We carry on the important work of bringing precision medicine to immune-mediated diseases as a tribute to his memory.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Yamada left an impact on many lives as a physician scientist who became a pillar of the healthcare community and a luminary leader and mentor for many companies. He had served as Prometheus Biosciences’ Board Chair since June 2018 and as a Venture Partner at Frazier Life Sciences since June 2015. He was a co-founder of and served as Chair of the Board of Directors for Phathom Pharmaceuticals, Passage Bio, and Icosavax. He also served as member of the Board of Directors of Agilent Technologies, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline Inc., and CSL Limited.
Before joining Frazier, Dr. Yamada was Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Tokyo, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, where he was responsible for all of Takeda’s research and development activities. Prior to Takeda, Dr. Yamada was President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program in Seattle, where he oversaw over $9 billion in grants for applying technologies to address major health challenges of the developing world.
“As I reflect on my time with Tachi, one word in the forefront of my mind is impact. His passion for identifying and solving big problems in healthcare and biotech, as well as his penchant for impacting humanity, is evident in his legacy of professional and academic achievements. There are few others whose work has touched so many lives,” said Mark McKenna, President and CEO of Prometheus Biosciences. “Although we are saddened by the loss of our dear friend, mentor, and colleague, we persist in building on the legacy Tachi set in motion.”