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About Us /
Management Team

Doug Treco, PhD, Co-Founder, President and CEO

Doug has been the CEO of Ra Pharma™ since its inception and serves on the Company’s Board of Directors. In 1988, he co-founded Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. (TKT, acquired in 2005 by Shire plc),a multi-platform biopharmaceutical company developing protein and gene therapy products. In his position as Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Doug established and directed TKT’s gene activation and protein production efforts, which led to the approval of the biopharmaceutical products Dynepo™, Replagal®, Elaprase®, and Vpriv™. Previously, he was a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Lecturer in Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and holds over 35 U.S. and European patents in the areas of protein production, gene mapping, and gene therapy. Doug is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Morgenthaler Ventures. Doug received his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from SUNY at Stony Brook and performed postdoctoral studies at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Jeffrey M Johnston, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Jeff joined Ra in the beginning of 2016 and brings over 27 years of experience as a leader of new drug development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. He was previously Chief Medical Officer and Senior Principal Clinical Scientist at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals from 2005 until 2016, where he built a strong and fully integrated clinical development function and successfully led the clinical development of linaclotide from Phase 1 through NDA approval and launch. Dr. Johnston was also a member of the company’s joint development committees with its international partners, leading clinical development in Europe and Asia. Prior to Ironwood, Dr. Johnston served as Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Critical Therapeutics in Lexington, MA and was previously Vice President of Clinical Research at Triangle Pharmaceuticals in Durham, NC Prior to that he held roles of increasing responsibility in clinical development at Burroughs Wellcome/GlaxoWellcome/GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, NC. Jeff graduated summa cum laude from Davidson College in North Carolina and received his MD degree at Duke University.

David Lubner, Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer

David Lubner joins Ra from Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As a member of the senior management team since the company’s inception, Mr. Lubner played a key leadership role in helping Tetraphase raise approximately $500 million in private and public financing, including their IPO in March 2013, as well as build a strong finance and operations team. Prior to Tetraphase, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of PharMetrics Inc., Watertown, MA (acquired by IMS Health). Prior to joining PharMetrics, Mr. Lubner served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ProScript. Mr. Lubner is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and is a certified public accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Lubner received a B.S. in business administration from Northeastern University and an M.S. in Taxation from Bentley University.

Simon Read, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Simon brings to Ra Pharmaceuticals more than 20 years of drug discovery and development experience including, leadership roles of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Roche/Genentech and Grunenthal GmbH. During this period, Dr. Read has worked on the clinical development of some of the most well-known, breakthrough drugs in the immunology area, including Rituxan® (ritxumab) and Actemra® (tocilizumab). Most recently, he served as Vice President and Head of the Innovative Medicines Unit (IMU) at Grunenthal, a mid-sized pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. Prior to joining Grunenthal, Simon was the Director, Experimental Medicine and Biomarkers, Immunology with Roche/Genentech; responsibilities included the biomarker aspects of the C5a project. During his time with AstraZeneca, he was the project leader of a small molecule program directed at C5a; more broadly, he was involved in monoclonal projects that used complement fixation. Dr. Read has authored over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals in Immunology and Neuroinflammation. In the UK, he is a member of Medical Research Council and Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry Steering Committee for the UK’s foremost Immunology Consortium. In the US, Dr. Read is a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Technology Development Fund steering group. Dr. Read received his BSc from Manchester University and PhD from the University of Hertfordshire, England.

Richard Fahrner PhD, Vice President Pharmaceutical Development

Rick joined Ra Pharma™ in 2015 and brings more than 16 years of experience leading product development and preclinical development teams. Rick has a diverse product development background as he has been responsible for several protein, oligonucleotide and small molecule development programs as well as for developing drug delivery technologies. Most recently Rick was at Catabasis Pharmaceuticals where he led the CMC efforts. Prior to this he held roles of increasing responsibilities in product development at Pfizer, Shire HGT (Transkaryotic Therapies), CuraGen and Gilead Sciences. Rick received his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from UCLA and his BS in biochemistry from CSU Fullerton.

Debra Winslow, Vice President of Project Management and Quality Assurance

Debra Winslow joins Ra Pharma™ after working at LFB USA (previously GTC Biotherapeutics) for 15 years as the company’s Vice President of Project Management and Quality Assurance. Ms. Winslow was involved with all aspects of the company's lead product from initial market applications to in the EU and USA, through commercialization. As head of the project management group, she managed product manufacture, internal early and development stage teams and external partnership programs. She headed up the Quality Assurance department, responsible for several successful agency inspections and critical product releases. Previously Debra served as a consultant for 8 years to the biotechnology industry, specializing in project management, quality and regulatory for local start-up companies. Previous work experience includes project and quality roles at Centocor, Seragen, Charm Engineering and Genzyme. Ms. Winslow has been a certified Project Management Professional since 2002 and Regulatory Affairs certified since 1995. She holds a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire, and an MBA from Bentley University, Waltham, MA.

Kerry Black, MS, MBA, Executive Director, Operations

Kerry joined Ra Pharma™ in March of 2010 as the Senior Director of Operations. She has over 20 years experience in the biotechnology industry working both as a Research Scientist and Operations Director. She has spent the last 16 years specializing in early stage companies, building business and operational infrastructure, including as an early employee at Critical Therapeutics, TetraPhase Pharmaceuticals and SetPoint Medical Corporation. Kerry received dual Bachelor of Science Degrees in molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry from the University of Maine. She received a Master of Chemistry Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and an MBA from the F.W. Olin School of Management at Babson College.

Alonso Ricardo, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research & Development

Alonso Ricardo joined Ra in 2010 and has held a variety of roles with increasing responsibility. Alonso received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Florida working under the supervision of Professor Steven A. Benner. Following graduation, he joined the faculty of the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia where he performed research in peptide macrocyclization and Bioorganic Chemistry. In 2006 he became an HHMI Research Associate with Professor Jack W. Szostak, working in Synthetic Biology at Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital.