Switch Therapeutics

Our Team

Management Team

Dee Datta headshot

Dee Datta, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO

Charles Allerson, PhD


Michael Wolfe

Senior Vice President,
Finance & Operations

Dee is Co-Founder and CEO for Switch Therapeutics. She received her PhD from Caltech and MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Before Switch, Dee was the Chief Business Officer at XOMA. Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Corporate Development at Forty Seven, Inc., where she managed business development, strategy and company financings. Earlier in her career, she was a venture capitalist at The Column Group and Longitude Capital. As an investor, she has experience in alternative financing strategies, such as royalty monetization, in addition to formation and management of portfolio companies. When not at work, Dee enjoys traveling and exploring the world with her daughter and husband.

Charles joins Switch Therapeutics after dedicating more than 20 years of his career building nucleic acid chemical tools and applying them to the development of RNA-based therapeutics. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Chemistry at DTx Pharma from 2019 until its acquisition by Novartis in 2023. Charles led efforts to develop the FALCON platform for the extrahepatic delivery of RNA therapeutics and to translate this platform into a portfolio of preclinical assets. Charles began his career as a chemist at Variagenics, and subsequently joined the Medicinal Chemistry team at Isis (now Ionis) Pharmaceuticals. Following his role at Ionis, he led early-stage and development stage chemistry at Regulus Therapeutics, and subsequently joined Stoke Therapeutics as Vice President of Chemistry where he helped prepare the company’s TANGO platform for the clinic. Charles earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Lafayette College, his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University, and spent several years as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health prior to his move into industry.

Mike brings twenty years of corporate finance and life science expertise to Switch. Most recently, he was the Senior Vice President of Finance & Operations at Kezar Life Sciences, where he played at integral role in building the company from its inception to a multiple clinical program, development-stage company. Prior to Kezar’s launch in 2015, Mike served as the Head of R&D Finance at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its’ acquisition by Amgen, Inc. in 2013. Previously, he served in commercial finance at Mentor Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, pre-and post-acquisition. Mike’s career in the life sciences sector began at Amgen, Inc. where he held a number of positions of increasing responsibility within the finance organization. He began his finance career at 3Com Corporation, Inc., a leader in the manufacturing and sale of computer networking products, acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2010. Mike earned a Bachelor of Science, in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Mike loves the outdoors and is an avid fisherman, regularly visiting Alaska to fish for halibut.

Craig Blanchette, PhD

Senior Vice President, Research

Robert Duff headshot

Robert Duff, PhD

Vice President,
Medicinal Chemistry


Don Button, PhD

Vice President,

Craig is an experienced scientist and leader in the field of drug discovery, with expertise across multiple drug modalities including RNA and protein therapies. Craig led a drug discovery department at Genentech and played a leading role developing the RNA
therapeutic and delivery strategy. In addition to his experience in onboarding new modalities, he also has expertise in drug development of protein-based therapeutics across a broad range of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Genentech, Craig was a staff
scientist in the Biological Sciences Department at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and led a team to build multiple vaccine programs using novel nanoparticle technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California, Davis and a B.S. in Biology and Physics from Vassar College. Craig enjoys all types of adventures with his two kids and wife and is an enthusiastic football fan.

Don is Vice President, Biology at Switch Therapeutics and works closely with the technology platform development team to utilize Switch’s unique RNAi therapeutics for making new drugs to address unmet medical needs. He trained as a molecular pharmacologist and has 20+ years of industry experience in drug discovery and development, focused on orally available small molecules, protein therapeutics and oligonucleotide drugs for indications in the central nervous system, cardiovascular and immune systems. As an avid cyclist living in Northern California, Don tries to ride in and around his happy places as often as possible in the many beautiful hills and valleys of the Bay Area.

Bob joined Switch Therapeutics in 2020 and is currently the Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry. Bob completed postdoctoral research on mechanistic studies of Drug-DNA interactions at Johns Hopkins University. He received a Bachelor & Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Virginia. He is a seasoned leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, with global experience in various chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) functions across R&D and technical operations. He brings a strong scientific and industry background, breadth and depth in many different aspects of research, experience in leading technical operation groups in the strategic development, production, and distribution of diverse and complex biological products on a worldwide basis with a strong quality and regulatory background. Bob is a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the LA Dodgers.

Our Team

Lisa Scherer

Co-founder & Director Discovery Research

Raymond Kwan


Raquel Hernandez

Research Associate

Kelly Strickland

Lab Technician

Joaquin Taylor

Lab Technician

Marina Kovaliov

Principal Scientist

Tony Ortega

Manager of Facilities Operations

Abhinav Kumar

Director, Bioinformatics

Guillermo Flores-Campuzano

Research Associate, Chemistry

Jane Li

Associate Director, Project Management

Joel Burrill

Senior Director, Business Development

Natalya Kotova

Senior Research Associate, Biology

Shilpi Mahajan

Associate Director, Bioanalytics

Alexandra Moniz

Research Associate II, Biology

Board of Directors

Kevin-Zhang headshot

Kevin Zhang

Partner at Upfront Ventures

Dylan Morris

Managing Director
at Insight Partners

Dee Datta headshot

Dee Datta, PhD​

Co-Founder & CEO
at Switch Therapeutics

Kevin is a Partner at Upfront Ventures and leads the healthcare and life sciences practice. Founded in 1996 in Los Angeles with investing professionals based in LA and San Francisco, Upfront has backed teams across all technology sectors, with about half in the fast-growing Southern California ecosystem, and the rest across the US and Europe. Kevin looks for interdisciplinary entrepreneurs solving big problems in healthcare and the life sciences. He’s also a passionate gamer and invests in interactive media platforms, tools and content. Prior to joining Upfront in 2012, Kevin was at The Boston Consulting Group, where he advised on strategy, M&A and operations for technology, healthcare, and industrial goods clients in the US and Asia. Previously, Kevin worked at Verisk Health (Cotiviti), a healthcare software company in Boston, focusing on data analytics product development selling into payers and providers. Kevin received his AB in Biology and minor in Psychology from Harvard in 2009.

Dylan is a managing director at Insight Partners, and board member for several therapeutic companies, including Switch therapeutics. He received an A.B. in computer science from Harvard University and has experience in biochemistry and molecular biophysics with graduate research at Caltech.

Dee is Co-Founder and CEO for Switch Therapeutics. She received her PhD from Caltech and MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Before Switch, Dee was the Chief Business Officer at XOMA. Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Corporate Development at Forty Seven, Inc., where she managed business development, strategy and company financings. Earlier in her career, she was a venture capitalist at The Column Group and Longitude Capital. As an investor, she has experience in alternative financing strategies, such as royalty monetization, in addition to formation and management of portfolio companies. When not at work, Dee enjoys traveling and exploring the world with her daughter and husband.

Alicia Irurzun-Lafitte

Partner at UCB Ventures

Douglas Fambrough, PhD

Founder, Former President & CEO at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Alicia joined UCB Ventures in 2019 as Partner. Alicia joined from M Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA where she was instrumental in the closing of multiple investments in Oncology, Immunology and Women’s Health in the US and Europe. She was also closely involved with the built-up of spin-offs. Prior to ventures, Alicia held roles in global business development at Merck Serono in Geneva and EMD Serono in Boston. During her time in business development, she closed several transactions and was involved in strategic corporate development initiatives. Alicia holds a MSc from Leiden University in Biopharmaceutical Sciences and a MBA from Babson College.

Doug is the managing partner of the KCap Biotechnology Fund.  Prior to the fund’s launch in 2023, Doug was Founder, President & CEO of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, a pioneer in RNA Interference-based medicines that was acquired by Novo Nordisk for $3.3 billion in late 2021. Under more than a decade of Doug’s leadership the company optimized and perfected its GalXC RNAi technology, which was the foundation of nearly 20 drug development programs and six major corporate collaborations. Along the way the company completed a highly successful IPO in 2014, trading on Nasdaq as DRNA. Prior to Dicerna, Doug was a General Partner with the venture capital firm Oxford Bioscience Partners where he specialized in financing innovative life science companies with transformative technologies, twice appearing on Forbes Midas list as the second highest ranked life science investor. Doug originally trained as a scientist, obtaining his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1996 before working as a genomic scientist at the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research (now known as the Broad Institute).

Academic Co-Founders


John Rossi, PhD

City of Hope

William-Goddard headshot

William Goddard, PhD

Caltech, NAS member

Saumya Das headshot

Saumya Das, MD, PhD

Harvard Medical School

John Rossi is the Lidow Family Research Professor and Chair of the Center for RNA Biology and Therapeutics, and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope. He has worked to develop treatments for AIDS-related lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer. He obtained his BA from the University of New Hampshire and later, he received both his MS and his PhD in Microbial Genetics from the University of Connecticut. The Rossi Lab primarily focuses on the functions and therapeutic applications of small RNAs. He was the first researcher to use RNA ribozymes to block the progress of the virus that causes HIV/AIDs. The lab continues to study the mechanisms of RNAi at the biochemical level to understand the active components of this process in order to apply transcriptional gene silencing for therapeutic use.
William Andrew Goddard III is the Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Applied Physics and Director of the Materials and Process Simulation Center at the California Institute of Technology. He obtained his BS from the University of California, Los Angeles and his PhD from the California Institute of Technology. William continued with the California Institute of Technology as an Arthur Amos Noyes Research Fellow for two years. After that, he continued to grow his career as a Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and is currently a Professor of Chemistry & Applied Physics. The long-term objective of Professor Goddard’s research has been to predict new chemical, biological and materials systems with dramatically improved properties. To accomplish this, the group has been developing new theories, new methods and new software and applying them to new chemical, biological and materials systems. To accomplish this the group has been developing new theories, new methods, and new software.

Saumya Das is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, senior scientific consultant, and medical advisor. He received a MD and PhD. in Neurobiology and Neuroscience from Harvard Medical School. The Das lab focuses on discovering biomarkers for disease phenotypes and characterizing processes associated with heart failure and left ventricular remodeling. As part of the NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium, they have developed new bioinformatics tools and techniques to measure extracellular RNAs and work to understand their functional role in animal and cell culture model.

David Bredt headshot

David Bredt, MD, PhD

Society of Scholars at
Johns Hopkins University

James-Treanor headshot

James Treanor, PhD

Board Member at ADRx, Inc.

David Bredt is an experienced molecular neuroscientist. After earning an MD and PhD. at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he worked there as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neuroscience until 1994. He later became a Searle scholar and received a Beckman Young Investigators Award while at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School as a professor. In 2004 he joined Eli Lilly and Company as the Vice President of Integrative Biology and was elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2005. He also worked with Johnson & Johnson as the Global Head Discovery Neuroscience from 2011 to 2021.

James Treanor started his career as a postdoctoral researcher at Genentech. Since then, he has over 18 years of experience as a research scientist and director of neuroscience with Amgen and has served as CEO and board member for ADRx, Inc since 2014. He received a B.S. in applied biology (pharmacology, biochemistry, & toxicology) in 1988 and his PhD. in molecular Neurobiology from the University of Bristol in 1992. With his experience, he can provide a ‘big picture’ understanding of drug development from discovery to regulatory filing and has given him many connections in his field.


With additional funding provided by Eli Lilly and Company.