Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D. joined our board of directors as Chairman in October 2015. Dr. Wierenga brings to our board over four decades of experience in research, drug discovery and drug development, including clinical research, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, safety, and medical affairs. He has an extensive background serving as a public company executive and board member in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development, at Santarus, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company, from June 2011 until its acquisition by Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2014. Prior to Santarus, he was Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Ambit Biosciences Corporation from 2007 until 2011 and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. from 2003 until 2006. Additionally, Dr. Wierenga served as Chief Executive Officer of Syrrx, Inc. (now part of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company), Senior Vice President of Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences, Technologies and Development at Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert Company LLC (now Pfizer, Inc.), and he spent 16 years at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals in research and drug discovery roles.
Dr. Wierenga serves as a member of the board of directors of Patara Pharma LLC and Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, both private companies. He also serves on the board of the following publicly-traded companies: Apricus Biosciences, Inc., Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Cytokinetics Inc. He was previously on the board of directors of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc., XenoPort, Inc., and Ocera Therapeutics Inc.
He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University and a B.A. in Chemistry from Hope College.