Meet Our Team
Amy Burroughs joined Cleave as president and chief executive officer in April 2019, bringing more than 25 years of healthcare and life sciences leadership experience. She began her biotechnology career at Genentech, where she held key roles in commercial strategy and planning across the portfolio, and led the neurology commercial team. She most recently served as executive in residence at 5AM Ventures and as a strategic commercial advisor for Crinetics Pharmaceuticals (CRNX). She was previously founder and managing partner of The Ventral Group, a strategic life sciences consulting and investor advisory firm. Ms. Burroughs’ industry experience also includes consulting with Egon Zehnder in leadership development, talent and governance, and serving as chief commercial officer and head of business development for APT Pharmaceuticals. Early in her career, she worked in brand management at Procter & Gamble and led marketing for venture-funded healthcare services and technology companies. Ms. Burroughs holds a BA degree in computer science and economics from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard University, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar.
Scott Harris joined Cleave Therapeutics as chief operating officer in July 2019, bringing more than 20 years of broad cross-functional experience in advancing novel drug candidates through preclinical and clinical development. Mr. Harris most recently held multiple operating roles at BridgeBio subsidiary companies, including corporate development, operations and regulatory affairs. Previously, he was executive vice president of regulatory affairs and technical operations at Adynxx, where he directed development activities from pre-clinical through phase 2. Mr. Harris also served as head of regulatory affairs and quality assurance for Corthera until its acquisition by Novartis. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Attenuon, Angstrom Pharmaceutical and Biosite. He obtained his BS in biochemistry and cell biology from University of California, San Diego, and his MS in regulatory affairs from San Diego State University. He holds an academic appointment at San Diego State University where he teaches healthcare product regulation.
Jesse Vargas, PhD
Dr. Vargas leads the scientific research programs at Cleave Therapeutics and has more than a decade of research experience in molecular biology and cell-based assay development in immunology and oncology. Prior to joining Cleave in 2015, Dr. Vargas managed multidisciplinary microscopy core facilities for the Quantitative and Computational Biosciences Institute at UCLA and the San Diego Center for Systems Biology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Vargas received his PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, San Diego in conjunction with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He was recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship during his MS in molecular and cellular physiology from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, and graduated with dual honors with a BS in chemistry and a BS in biology from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Vargas has worked on multiple diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout his career, and brings that same leadership experience and passion to his scientific work.
Dr. Stuart is an experienced hematologist with more than 15 years in clinical drug development, including clinical strategy and clinical development plans, study design and protocol development for hematologic, solid tumor, and supportive care indications. She has helped to successfully execute an NDA, multiple INDs and breakthrough designation packages. Dr. Stuart previously served as vice president of clinical development at Geron Corporation, where she spearheaded efforts to develop a telomerase inhibitor in myeloid malignancies. Before Geron, she worked at Genentech as a senior medical director in the oncology division, where she served in leadership positions for multiple early and late stage hematology/oncology programs. Dr. Stuart was an attending physician in the division of blood and marrow transplantation at Stanford University, where she led trials in myeloid malignancies. She received her MD and BS in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her medical residency in internal medicine and fellowships in hematology and bone marrow transplantation at Stanford University. Dr. Stuart also holds a Master’s Degree from the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
Hayley Lane is a biopharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in clinical research and development with leadership roles held at both small and large pharmaceutical/biotech companies including Genentech, Geron, Pfizer and Sanofi. Ms. Lane has extensive experience conducting global clinical trials and leading clinical operations programs across a wide range of development stages and therapeutic areas. Ms. Lane received an Honors B.Sc. degree in toxicology from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Kerry Kelly is a highly experienced lawyer, serving more than 15 years in the biotechnology industry. She has worked with a variety of biopharmaceutical companies providing broad legal and business services to support research, preclinical and clinical development, intellectual property, fundraising and human resources. Ms. Kelly previously was the general counsel of Ambit Biosciences, where she was a member of the executive team and responsible for legal and G&A functions, and was involved in the company’s financings and pharma collaborations. Before Ambit, Kelly was an associate general counsel at The Scripps Research Institute, overseeing conflicts of interest, corporate compliance and advising the technology transfer group. Previously, she served as senior director and head of corporate and legal affairs for SUGEN (acquired by Pharmacia/Pfizer), where she was responsible for business development and strategic alliances, oversight of IP, and general legal matters. Earlier in her career, she was a partner in a California commercial law practice. Ms. Kelly received her JD from Santa Clara University and her BA and MA from Stanford University.
Joe Melvin is an accomplished life sciences industry executive, leader and strategist. He is an expert in portfolio management, drug development strategy, forecasting and valuation, project- and executive-team leadership, and the funding, building and managing of development-stage life sciences companies. As a consultant and in-line manager, Mr. Melvin has led high-profile teams at top global pharma companies, including Pfizer, Novartis and AbbVie, directly impacting dozens of therapeutic products used by patients worldwide. He began consulting for Cleave Therapeutics in June 2019, prior to that, Mr. Melvin was a senior member of the Pipeline and Portfolio Planning group at Genentech Research and Early Development. Previously, he helped build and lead several life science startup companies, including medical device maker PhotoThera, where he served as chief financial officer and acting president. He also has held strategy, finance and marketing roles at APT Pharmaceuticals, BD Biosciences, Chiron, and SDG Life Sciences.
Mr. Melvin holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
Greg Wilson is a consulting CFO providing financial and administrative services primarily to venture-backed, start-up companies. He currently specializes in biotechnology, medical devices and other life science companies, including Cleave Therapeutics, OncoSynergy, Aqua Medical and Aqua Heart. He has previously worked with CytomX Therapeutics, Afferent Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Merck), Ablexis (acquired by Deerfield), Primaeva Medical (acquired by Syneron), Sapphire Medical (acquired by Tornier), BARRx Medical (acquired by Covidien), Protexis (acquired by Bertelsmann AG), and Xros (acquired by Nortel). Prior to consulting, he was CFO at Micronics Computers and Dynamic Isolation Systems. Wilson’s early finance career was with Gates Corporation, the majority owner of LearJet. He has an MBA in accounting from the University of Colorado, a BS in biological science from Colorado State University and is a CPA (inactive).
Nichola Mente, known as “Cola,” joined Cleave in May 2019 as executive assistant, bringing a wide range of experience working with multiple stakeholders, including executives, board members, shareholders, investors and the venture capital community. Mente has served as an EA and office manager for blue-chip companies such as Y Combinator, Microsoft, Apple and Machine Zone, as well as founded her own virtual solutions firm.