Experienced leaders dedicated to excellence

Our purposefully selected leadership brings deep experience in developing and commercializing ophthalmic therapeutics, as well as founding and leading several companies in the eye care industry.

Bobak Azamian, MD, PhD
Bobak Azamian, MD, PhD
Co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Bobby has served as President and CEO of Tarsus Pharmaceuticals since co-founding the company in 2017. In that time, Tarsus has established a leading team and culture, and completed successful fundraising efforts through an IPO and global partnerships. Tarsus continues to advance its pipeline into clinical studies, including its lead product, TP-03, which is now in Phase 3 clinical trials and commercial planning.

Bobby also serves on the board and is Co-Chairman of Vibrato Medical, a medical device company developing a wearable treatment for peripheral arterial diseases, which has received NIH grant awards and generated first-in-human proof of concept clinical data. Previously, he was President and CMO of Metavention, a medical device company developing an interventional treatment for metabolic diseases, from inception through proof of concept clinical trials as well as Series A through Series C fundraising.

Bobby began his biotechnology career at Versant Ventures and Third Rock Ventures, where he was an investor and board observer in numerous life sciences companies. He also served on the board of the nonprofit organization Octane.

He trained as a physician scientist, completing his residency in internal medicine and serving as an attending hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received an MD from Harvard Medical School (Harvard-MIT Heath Sciences and Technology), a PhD in chemistry from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and a BA in physics from Rice University. He is also an author of numerous patents and peer-reviewed publications.

Michael Ackermann, PhD
Michael Ackermann, PhD
Co-founder and Chairman

Michael is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Tarsus. He is also co-founder, former CEO, and serves on the board of Presidio Medical. Previously, he served as Chairman of Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: OYST). Prior to this, he was Vice President, Neurostimulation for Allergan (an AbbVie company), after serving as CEO of Oculeve, Inc., which was acquired by Allergan.

Michael received a BE degree in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University and MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He is a graduate of Stanford University’s Biodesign Fellowship and Vision Research Fellowship. He has numerous patents and peer-reviewed publications.

Leo Greenstein
Leo Greenstein
Chief Financial Officer

Leo has more than 20 years of business experience within the life sciences and technology sectors. Prior to joining Tarsus, he was Senior Vice President of Finance & Corporate Controller at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI). He has played significant roles in the assessment and completion of numerous capital raises, as well as investor relations and business development activities. He has recruited and developed high-performing accounting and finance teams in the US and Europe; designed efficient, scalable, and SOX-compliant business processes; and implemented a variety of IT systems that have enhanced finance and accounting capabilities.

Prior to that, Leo served as VP of Finance & Corporate Controller with Endologix, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELGX); Sr. Director of Finance at Clarient, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRT); and Assistant Controller at Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE). He earned his BA in accounting from Arcadia University and his JD from Temple University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (license active in California) and a member of the State Bar of California.

Aziz Mottiwala
Aziz Mottiwala
Chief Commercial Officer

Aziz has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry leadership experience in several therapeutic areas, including over 10 years in the eye care space. Prior to joining Tarsus, Aziz was Chief Commercial Officer at Opiant Pharmaceuticals, overseeing all aspects of commercial strategy for the company’s addiction medicine portfolio. Before that, he was Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial at Avanir Pharmaceuticals. He also spent over 10 years at Allergan (an AbbVie company), most recently as Vice President of Marketing for the company’s eye care franchise, where he helped grow the business to over $2 billion in revenue across a diverse portfolio including Restasis® and Lumigan®, as well as several other devices and OTC product lines.

Previously, Aziz held commercial leadership roles at Valeant, IMS Health (now IQVIA), and Aventis Pharmaceuticals (now Sanofi). He received a BS in biochemistry from the University of California San Diego and an MBA in marketing and finance from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He is also heavily active in the community and serves on the boards of the Orange County nonprofit OneOC and Octane.

Sesha Neervannan, PhD
Sesha Neervannan, PhD
Chief Operating Officer

Sesha has over 25 years of experience in the global development of novel therapeutics. Prior to joining Tarsus, he was a Senior Vice President of Global Pharmaceutical Development at Allergan (an AbbVie company), where he built strong and nimble early development functions to rapidly enable proofs of concept as well as a robust late-stage development organization for product approval and commercialization of small molecules and biologics. He also established industry-leading expertise in drug delivery technologies in multiple ocular, oral, and dermal product development programs; regulatory filings; and approvals, including novel intraocular, sustained-release injectables (Ozurdex®, Durysta®), a multidose non-preserved drug product in a first-ever container-closure delivery system (Restasis MultiDose®), topical dermal products (Rhofade® Cream, Aczone® Gel 7.5%), and several Rx and OTC topical ophthalmic products.

Prior to joining Allergan in 2007, Sesha was Director, Pharmaceutics R&D at Amgen Inc., where he oversaw CMC functions and assisted in building pharmaceutics functions, primarily focusing on a discovery-development interface to enable pipeline advancement. Earlier in his career, he was Senior Research Investigator, Pharmaceutics R&D at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute.

Bryan Wahl, MD, JD
Bryan Wahl, MD, JD
General Counsel

Bryan brings 15 years of legal experience and 20 years of medical experience, as both a legal counselor and medical practitioner. Prior to joining Tarsus, Bryan was a Partner at Knobbe Martens LLP, where he focused on intellectual property protection, infringement studies, and due diligence for financings and strategic transactions, specifically with respect to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Bryan counseled clients from the pre-Series A stage through exit, including Tarsus, which has been one of his clients since shortly after it was founded. In addition to his law practice, Bryan has practiced inpatient internal medicine since 2002, most recently as a per diem hospitalist with Kaiser Permanente, caring for patients both on hospital wards and in the ICU.

Prior to joining Knobbe Martens, Bryan entered medical school after one undergraduate year, and received his medical degree with honors from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in 1999. He completed an internal medicine residency in the UCLA-affiliated Cedars-Sinai Medical Center program in Los Angeles in 2002, and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Bryan earned his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2005. In law school, he received three American Jurisprudence Awards, two Prosser Awards, and the Barbee Fellowship, researching conflicts of interest of hospital institutional review boards, and was also a summer extern for the Honorable Ronald T.Y. Moon, Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Dianne Whitfield
Dianne Whitfield
Chief Human Resources Officer

Dianne brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources, including over a decade of life sciences industry management and leadership. Prior to joining Tarsus, Dianne served as Vice President and Head of Human Resources for Evolus, Inc. (NASDAQ: EOLS), where she led efforts to support the commercialization of the start-up company’s first approved product. While at Evolus, she focused on recruiting top talent, building a positive culture, and fostering an effective employee experience in order to drive engagement and business results.

Prior to Evolus, Dianne held positions of increasing responsibility at Allergan (an AbbVie company), progressing to Director of Global Human Resources. Her experience there spanned a variety of human resources business partnership and leadership roles, where she supported both the Commercial and Research & Development organizations and led enterprise-wide initiatives in Global Talent Management. She has broad experience building organizations and supporting product launches in multiple therapeutic areas, including eye care, as well as expertise in developing culture and talent programs. Dianne holds a BA in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine and a Masters in social work from California State University, Long Beach.

Elizabeth Yeu, MD
Elizabeth Yeu, MD
Chief Medical Advisor

Elizabeth is Chief Medical Advisor at Tarsus and a partner at Virginia Eye Consultants. She has authored hundreds of articles and is a frequent lecturer on refractive cataract surgery, anterior segment reconstruction, and external disease management. She provides guidance and governance across several national medical boards and committees, including as an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology and as the Chair of the Cataract Section of Ophthalmic News & Education (ONE) Network for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). She is an Executive Committee member and the current Secretary for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). In 2023, she will become President of the ASCRS.

Elizabeth earned her MD through an accelerated and combined undergraduate/medical school program at the University of Florida College of Medicine. She completed her ophthalmology residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where she served as Chief Resident (2006-2007). She then accepted a fellowship in cornea, anterior segment, and refractive surgery at the Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine (2007-2008), where she also served as an Assistant Professor. She continues to train residents as an Assistant Professor at the Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Arthur Chan, PhD
Arthur Chan, PhD
VP, Medical Affairs

Arthur has more than 18 years of pharmaceutical and medical device experience. Prior to joining Tarsus, he was Lead Medical Director at Novartis, leading the anterior segment medical affairs team and overseeing their dry eye and refractive products, including Xiidra®. Prior to this role, he was the Executive Director of Medical Science Liaison (MSL) capabilities, managing MSL training and medical/legal/regulatory review across all of Novartis’ franchises. Previously, as Head of Medical Science at Alcon, he built and led the company’s first surgical MSL team, supporting Alcon’s surgical suite, intraocular lenses, and the entire cataract, refractive, glaucoma and retina portfolio. Arthur began his career at Insightec, a start-up company where he was part of a team that managed the clinical trials, physician training, and PMA process that led to the world’s first FDA-approved, image-guided focused ultrasound surgery device. He transitioned into eye care when he joined Bausch and Lomb as a Medical Liaison, launching Lotemax Gel and Prolensa.

Arthur received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Alberta, a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Washington, and an executive MBA with a specialty in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing from St. Joseph’s University. He holds multiple patents, is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Technology Entrepreneurship Program, and was a WRF Capital Gates Foundation fellow involved with turning UW technology into start-up companies. He is currently an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business and is on the advisory boards of the MSL Society and Fierce Pharma’s Medical Affairs Summit.

Neera Clase
Neera Clase
VP, Market Access

Neera has more than 20 years of biopharmaceutical leadership experience across multiple therapeutic areas spanning access and reimbursement, business development, and sales & marketing. Her experience includes successfully launching 10+ products in the areas of cardiovascular, renal, immunology, and CNS. Prior to joining Tarsus, Neera was most recently the Vice President of Access and Reimbursement at Acadia Pharmaceuticals. Before that, Neera was the Executive Director of Managed Markets at Relypsa Inc. (now Vifor Pharma). She has been involved with multiple first-in-class product launches and responsible for building out and leading the commercial access and reimbursement functions to successfully support these launches. Neera has broad access and reimbursement experience in the areas of payers, distribution, patient support services, lifecycle management, as well as pricing and contracting.

Before working at the biopharmaceutical start-ups, Neera had a 15-year career at Abbott Laboratories, where she held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility, progressing to the General Manager of Market Access for Abbott Diabetes Care. Neera received her BA in life sciences/psychology from Indiana State University and her MSW from the Indiana University School of Social Work.

Mark Holdbrook
Mark Holdbrook
VP, Clinical Affairs

Mark has over 40 years of experience in the design, execution, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. He has experience in epidemiology as well as in the medical device, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. His therapeutic areas of expertise include ophthalmology, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, gynecology, and dermatology. Most recently, he was the Senior Director of Clinical Affairs and Biostatistics at Oculeve, Inc., where he led the successful clinical development of the TrueTear® device. Prior to Oculeve, he was the Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Data Management, and Biostatistics for Experien Group, LLC, a medical device consulting firm. He also spent 10 years at Santen, Inc. in various positions developing ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

Mark holds a BA from the University of California at San Diego

Benir Ruano
Benir Ruano
VP, Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Benir has more than 35 years of pharmaceutical and biotech/device experience developing, manufacturing, and commercializing novel therapeutics and delivery systems. Previously, Benir was Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Technical Operations at Xeris Pharmaceuticals where he developed early through late clinical phase drug products, including a pipeline of small molecules, biologics, and combination products. He oversaw global networks of contract manufacturers, packagers, and service providers, as well as gained FDA, EMA/EC, and other approvals for new products.

Prior to Xeris, Benir was Vice President, Manufacturing Operations, Supply Chain, and Technical Development at Cell Therapeutics (CTI BioPharma) where he developed and commercialized oncology products in the United States and Europe. He was also Senior Director at OSI Pharmaceuticals (Eyetech Pharma) where he oversaw CMOs, as well as launched and commercialized Macugen (a novel anti-VEGF oligonucleotide for AMD, diabetic macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy).

Benir earned his bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego, his MBA from National University, and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

David Nakasone
David Nakasone
Senior Director, Investor Relations

David has more than 10 years of investor relations experience and has an extensive background in developing and implementing strategic programs within the life sciences space. Before joining Tarsus, David spent 3 years at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a leader in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development, where he led investor targeting and outreach. Prior to Ionis, David worked at Allergan (now an AbbVie company), where he worked closely with executive management to communicate key corporate messages in a consistent and strategic manner. His responsibility, interfacing between Allergan and the investment community, was instrumental in creating one of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies.

A Certified Public Accountant (license inactive in California), David holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from San Diego State University.

Michael Ackermann, PhD
Co-founder and Chairman

Michael is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Tarsus. He is also co-founder, former CEO, and serves on the board of Presidio Medical. Previously, he served as Chairman of Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: OYST). Prior to this, he was Vice President, Neurostimulation for Allergan (an AbbVie company), after serving as CEO of Oculeve, Inc., which was acquired by Allergan.

Michael received a BE degree in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University and MS and PhD degrees in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He is a graduate of Stanford University’s Biodesign Fellowship and Vision Research Fellowship. He has numerous patents and peer-reviewed publications.

Bobak Azamian, MD, PhD
Co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Bobby has served as President and CEO of Tarsus Pharmaceuticals since co-founding the company in 2017. In that time, Tarsus has established a leading team and culture, and completed successful fundraising efforts through an IPO and global partnerships. Tarsus continues to advance its pipeline into clinical studies, including its lead product, TP-03, which is now in Phase 3 clinical trials and commercial planning.

Bobby also serves on the board and is Co-Chairman of Vibrato Medical, a medical device company developing a wearable treatment for peripheral arterial diseases, which has received NIH grant awards and generated first-in-human proof of concept clinical data. Previously, he was President and CMO of Metavention, a medical device company developing an interventional treatment for metabolic diseases, from inception through proof of concept clinical trials as well as Series A through Series C fundraising.

Bobby began his biotechnology career at Versant Ventures and Third Rock Ventures, where he was an investor and board observer in numerous life sciences companies. He also served on the board of the nonprofit organization Octane.

He trained as a physician scientist, completing his residency in internal medicine and serving as an attending hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received an MD from Harvard Medical School (Harvard-MIT Heath Sciences and Technology), a PhD in chemistry from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and a BA in physics from Rice University. He is also an author of numerous patents and peer-reviewed publications.

Bhaskar Chaudhuri, PhD
Director

Bhaskar has been Operating Partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners since 2011. He brings significant operational experience in drug research, development, and commercialization in the United States, Europe, and emerging markets to the Life Science team. He also leads investments in later-stage companies as well as in international opportunities and is a co-founder of Arcutis (NASDAQ: ARQT), where he currently serves on the board. Bhaskar also serves on the board of Teligent (NASDAQ: TLGT) and is an advisor to the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He formerly served on the boards of directors of Silvergate Pharmaceuticals (acquired by CutisPharma, now known as Azurity), Corium International (acquired by Gurnet Point Capital), and Thesan Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to joining Frazier, Bhaskar was President of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, where he led the company’s international operations and business development activities. He joined Valeant through its acquisition of Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences, where he had been President and CEO. Before Dow, Bhaskar worked at Mylan Pharmaceuticals in several capacities, including EVP of Scientific Affairs at Bertek Pharmaceuticals, a Mylan subsidiary, and as General Manager of the Dermatology Division. Earlier, he worked at Penederm, a skincare and drug-delivery company, as VP of R&D. Bhaskar holds a PhD in pharmaceutics, an MS in industrial pharmacy, and a BS in pharmacy.

Rosemary Crane
Director

Rose has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including executive leadership, board service, innovation, business development, and global commercialization. She brings significant executive leadership and operating expertise to the Tarsus board, having previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of both MELA Sciences, Inc. (now Strata Skin Sciences) and epocrates, as well as Partner and Head of Commercialization at Appletree Partners. Prior to that, Rose held several senior executive positions at Johnson & Johnson, including Group Chairman, OTC & Nutritional Group, leading the largest worldwide OTC company. Earlier in her career, she spent 20 years at Bristol Myers Squibb, completing her tenure as President, US Primary Care.

Rose currently sits on the boards of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. and Catalent, Inc., as well as acts as a director of the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation. Previously, she served on the boards of several pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, including Edge Therapeutics, Inc., Unilife Corporation, Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc., Targanta Therapeutics Corp., and Zealand Pharma A/S. Rose received a BA in both communications and English from the State University of New York at Oswego and an MBA from Kent State University.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Director

Andrew is a Managing Director at Marshall Wace and helps lead the XO Healthcare Innovation fund, which focuses on late-stage private investments. Before this he was a Partner on the private innovation team at Palo Alto-based Vivo Capital, where he focused on private pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Prior to Vivo, he worked at McKinsey & Company in their Silicon Valley office in their pharmaceutical and medical products practice. He has served on the boards of several healthcare companies, including Swift Health Systems Inc (Chairman), Ossium Health (Director), Arcutis Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: ARQT) (Observer), Instil Bio (NASDAQ: TIL) (Observer), Harmony Biosciences (NASDAQ: HRMY) (Observer), Neocis (Observer) and Impel Neuropharma (NASDAQ: IMPL) (Observer). Other representative investments include River Vision (acquired by Horizon).

Andrew is a US board-certified physician in both Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He received his MD from The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and has held academic and clinical appointments at the Mayo Clinic, Stanford VA Palo Alto Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Arizona, and the Washington Township Medical Foundation.

 

William J. Link, PhD
Director

Bill is Founder and Managing Partner of Flying L Partners and a Founder and Managing Director of Versant Ventures. He has over two decades of operations experience in the healthcare industry and specializes in early-stage investing in medical devices. Prior to co-founding Versant Ventures, Bill was a general partner at Brentwood Venture Capital. He was previously Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chiron Vision, which was sold to Bausch and Lomb in 1997. Prior to Chiron Vision, Bill founded and served as President of American Medical Optics, a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation, which was sold to Allergan in 1986. Later, he served on the board of their successor company, Advanced Medical Optics, which was acquired by Abbott in 2009 and then by Johnson and Johnson in 2016.

Before entering the healthcare industry, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Bill currently serves on the boards of several private companies as well as of Glaukos (NYSE: GKOS) and Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: OYST). He previously served on the board of Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW). He received his BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University.

Wendy Yarno
Director

Wendy has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, as a public company director and product commercialization leader, including 26 years at Merck & Co. Inc. While at Merck, she held positions of increasing seniority, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer. In that position, she led a global organization charged with all aspects of commercialization of pharmaceuticals in more than 20 therapeutic areas. She also served as General Manager, Cardiovascular/Metabolic US Business Unit, and as Merck’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Earlier in her career, she was Vice President of the Women’s Healthcare franchise for Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical subsidiary.

She has served on the boards of several public and private biotechnology and medical device companies, including St. Jude Medical, Medivation, Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Aratana Therapeutics, and Myokardia. She currently serves on the boards of Global Blood Therapeutics, Ideaya Biosciences, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals. She received a BS in business administration from Portland State University and an MBA from Temple University, Fox School of Business.

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