Leadership

  • Jonathan Violin, Ph.D., M.B.A.

    Jonathan Violin has deep experience aligning clinical and scientific evidence with strategies to efficiently finance discovery and development of novel therapeutics. He was the co-founder of privately-held Viridian Therapeutics and led the firm’s operations prior to its acquisition by miRagen Therapeutics (now Viridian Therapeutics, Inc., Nasdaq: VRDN). He previously served as founding CEO of two virtual drug discovery companies, Quellis Biosciences and Dianthus Therapeutics. Prior to that, Jonathan co-founded and helped lead Trevena Inc. from discovery research through clinical development and NDA submission, including multiple rounds of venture and public financing. Jonathan holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, an M.B.A. with a concentration in Health Sector Management from the Fuqua School of Business, and a B.S. in Chemical Pharmacology from Duke University.

  • Barrett Katz, M.D., M.B.A.

    Dr. Katz is an internationally recognized neuro-ophthalmologist with deep experience in clinical development of therapeutics to treat eye diseases. He came to Viridian Therapeutics from BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. where he developed therapeutics to treat orphan eye diseases as President and CMO of Retinagenix Therapeutics and Fortify Therapeutics. Prior to BridgeBio, Dr. Katz served as CMO at GenSight Biologics, S.A. in Paris, where he oversaw early- and late-stage clinical programs. He held the Francis DeJur Chair of Ophthalmology at the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, serving as Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology and Neurosurgery as well as Executive Director of the Office of Clinical Trials. He previously served as CEO of Danube Pharmaceuticals, CMO of Fovea Pharmaceuticals and VP for Medical Affairs and Strategy at Eyetech. Dr. Katz received an M.D. from Case-Western Reserve University School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business, and an A.B. from Colgate University.

  • Jason A. Leverone, C.P.A.

    Jason A. Leverone, C.P.A., is Viridian’s Chief Financial Officer. In this capacity, he oversees the company’s financial, accounting, and operations functions. Prior to joining Viridian, Mr. Leverone was Senior Director of Finance and Controller for Replidyne, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company. At Replidyne, he played an important role in completing the company’s initial public offering and executing its strategic sale to Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. Prior to joining Replidyne, Mr. Leverone was the Corporate Controller for CreekPath System, Inc., an international software development company. He commenced his professional career with the accounting firm of Ernst and Young LLP and served as an Audit Manager for Arthur Andersen LLP.

    Mr. Leverone is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

  • Vahe Bedian, Ph.D.

    Vahe has expertise in ensuring that drug discovery platforms, screening strategies, and testing cascades match the pathophysiological characteristics of therapeutic targets and deliver new molecular entities that address patients’ needs. He was the co-founder privately-held Viridian Therapeutics and led the firm’s scientific efforts prior to its acquisition by miRagen Therapeutics (now Viridian Therapeutics, Inc., Nasdaq: VRDN). He previously served as founding CSO of two virtual drug discovery companies, Quellis Biosciences and Dianthus Therapeutics. Prior to that, Vahe served for 10 years at AstraZeneca focused on antibody therapeutics and immuno-oncology as Director, Search and Evaluation, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy; other roles. Previously, Vahe spent eight years at Pfizer where he helped establish the company’s biologics strategy across therapeutic areas and led discovery efforts for four INDs and a Phase 3 program. Vahe started his career in academic research, serving as Director of the hybridoma and DNA sequencing core facilities at the University of Pennsylvania. Vahe holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from SUNY Buffalo and a M.S. and B.S. in Physics from the American University of Beirut.

  • Jeffrey S. Hatfield, M.B.A.

    Jeff Hatfield is a senior life sciences executive who has led businesses in both the emerging biotechnology and global Fortune 500 pharma sectors. Mr. Hatfield is the Chief Executive Officer of Zafgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZFGN). Previously, Mr. Hatfield was President and Chief Executive Officer of Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTAE), where he led the growth of the company from start-up in 2004, until its unsolicited acquisition by Allergan Plc (NYSE: AGN) in 2016. Prior to that, Mr. Hatfield was a senior executive at Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporation (NYSE: BMY) for twenty years, where he held roles of increasing responsibility including Senior Vice President, Immunology and Virology Divisions; President, BMS-Canada; and Vice President of US Market Access. During his career at BMS, Mr. Hatfield was directly involved with several successful commercial launches, including Plavix©, Pravachol©, Glucophage© and Atripla©.

    Mr. Hatfield currently serves on the boards of aTyr Pharma (NASDAQ: LIFE), InVivo Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NVIV) and Zafgen (NASDAQ: ZFGN). He previously served on the board of Ambit (NASDAQ: AMBI), before its acquisition by Daiichi-Sankyo, and on the board and Executive Committee of BIO (the Biotechnology Innovation Organization).

    Mr. Hatfield earned an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. from the College of Pharmacy, Purdue University, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for doctoral students, and as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.

  • Peter Harwin

    Peter Harwin is currently managing member at Fairmount Funds Management LLC, a healthcare investment fund he co-founded in April 2016. Prior to Fairmount, Mr. Harwin served as a member of the investment team at Boxer Capital, LLC, part of the Tavistock Group, based in San Diego, most recently serving as a senior member of the team. In addition to his responsibilities at Fairmount, Mr. Harwin serves as strategic advisor to Quellis Biosciences Inc. and Dianthus Therapeutics, Inc. and serves as Chairman of the Board of Cogent Biosciences, Inc. Mr. Harwin served on the board of directors of Viridian Therapeutics, Inc. prior to its acquisition by miRagen Therapeutics (renamed Viridian Therapeutics). He received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Emory University.

  • Tomas Kiselak

    Tomas Kiselak is currently managing member at Fairmount Funds Management LLC, a healthcare investment fund he co-founded in April 2016. Prior to Fairmount, Mr. Kiselak served as a managing director at RA Capital Management LLC, based in Boston. In addition to his responsibilities at Fairmount, Mr. Kiselak serves as a strategic advisor to Quellis Biosciences Inc. and Dianthus Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Kiselak also serves on the board of directors of Zenas BioPharma. He received his BA in Neuroscience and Economics from Amherst College.

  • Arlene M. Morris

    Arlene M. Morris has been a director of Viridian Therapeutics since January 2018. She has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries serving in numerous management and board roles.

    Ms. Morris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer at Willow Advisors, LLC, a consultancy advising biotech companies on financing, strategy and business development. From April 2012 until May 2015 she was Chief Executive Officer of Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for treatment-resistant cancers. She also served as a member of the Syndax Pharmaceuticals board of directors from June 2011 until May 2015.

    From 2003 to January 2011, Ms. Morris served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Affymax, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company. Ms. Morris has also held various management and executive positions at Clearview Projects, Inc., a corporate advisory firm; Coulter Pharmaceutical, Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company; Scios Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company; and Johnson & Johnson, a publicly traded healthcare company. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Viveve, Inc., a public medical device company; Palatin Technologies, a public biotechnology company. She was recently a director of Biodel Inc., a public specialty pharmaceutical company, from 2015 until its merger with Albireo Limited in 2016; and Dimension Therapeutics, a public gene therapy company, until it was acquired by Ultragenyx in 2017. She is currently a director emeritus for the Foundation for Research and Development at the Medical University of South Carolina and as a trustee of Carlow University. Ms. Morris received a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Carlow College.

  • Joe Turner

    Mr. Turner has served as an independent director and audit committee chair for multiple biotech companies over the last decade. He currently serves on the board of BioClin Therapeutics. In recent years, he has served on the boards of Corcept Therapeutics, Kythera Biotherapeutics, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Nora Therapeutics, Sophiris Bio, QLT and SGX Pharmaceuticals.

    Mr. Turner has served as an independent director and audit committee chair for multiple biotech companies over the last decade. He currently serves on the board of BioClin Therapeutics. In recent years, he has served on the boards of Corcept Therapeutics, Kythera Biotherapeutics, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Nora Therapeutics, Sophiris Bio, QLT and SGX Pharmaceuticals.

    Mr. Turner previously as served as the chief financial officer of Myogen, Inc. from 1999 until it was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2006. Previously, he served as the chief financial officer of Centaur Pharmaceuticals from 1997 to 1999 and as the chief financial officer and vice president, finance and administration at Cortech, Inc. from 1992 to 1997. Prior to Cortech, he was employed by Eli Lilly from 1979 to 1991 in a variety of finance and administration roles.

    Mr. Turner holds an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from University of Colorado and a B.A. in chemistry with a minor in biology from Swarthmore College. Since 2009, he has served on the board of managers of Swarthmore College where at various times he has served on its executive committee, finance committee, audit committee, academic affairs committee and student affairs committee and property committee.

  • Jonathan Violin, Ph.D., M.B.A.

    Jonathan Violin has deep experience aligning clinical and scientific evidence with strategies to efficiently finance discovery and development of novel therapeutics. He was the co-founder of privately-held Viridian Therapeutics and led the firm’s operations prior to its acquisition by miRagen Therapeutics (now Viridian Therapeutics, Inc., Nasdaq: VRDN). He previously served as founding CEO of two virtual drug discovery companies, Quellis Biosciences and Dianthus Therapeutics. Prior to that, Jonathan co-founded and helped lead Trevena Inc. from discovery research through clinical development and NDA submission, including multiple rounds of venture and public financing. Jonathan holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, an M.B.A. with a concentration in Health Sector Management from the Fuqua School of Business, and a B.S. in Chemical Pharmacology from Duke University.