Our Team

Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Mark Velleca joined StrideBio in February 2022 from Hatteras Venture Partners where he is a Venture Partner. Mark served as CEO of G1 Therapeutics (GTHX) until 2021, where he took the company public and led the development of its first therapy (COSELA®) from IND filing to FDA approval. He continues as a Senior Advisor to and board member of GTHX. Mark has served as an advisor to the StrideBio board of directors since November 2021. He also serves on the board of directors of Black Diamond Therapeutics (BDTX). Previously, Mark was Executive Vice President at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Prior to LLS, Mark was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of CGI Pharmaceuticals, where he managed the company from its inception through clinical trials of multiple drug candidates. After Gilead Sciences acquired CGI, he served as a Senior Advisor to Gilead in R&D Strategy and Corporate Development.

Earlier in his career, Mark was an attending physician at Yale New Haven Hospital and on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine. Mark earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. from Yale University.

Aravind Asokan, Ph.D.

Aravind Asokan, Ph.D., is Professor & Director of Gene Therapy at Duke University. He holds a primary appointment in the Department of Surgery and secondary appointments in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Biomedical Engineering. Originally trained as a chemist, he leads a research program in Synthetic Virology, which blends the fields of protein engineering, RNA biology and virology to enable gene therapy and gene editing platforms. His lab has pioneered several innovative platforms that are being developed into transformative new medicines. Dr. Asokan is lead inventor on multiple patents licensed to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He is also founder and director at TorqueBio LLC, was a scientific founder of Bamboo Therapeutics (a Pfizer company), sits on advisory committees for the NC Rare Disease Advisory Council and ASGCT, and serves as an advisor to UCB, AstraZeneca, and other biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Duke, he was on the faculty in the Departments of Genetics and Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also obtained his doctoral degree.

Deborah Ascheim, M.D.

Deborah D. Ascheim, M.D., joined StrideBio as Chief Medical Officer in April 2021, and in this role leads all clinical initiatives including the strategy, design and execution of clinical trials for the company’s therapeutic programs. Dr. Ascheim has spent the past 30 years as a physician, clinical investigator and director of national and international clinical trials focused on the clinical development of novel, disruptive therapeutic innovations including gene therapies that target rare and common, complex diseases. Prior roles have included, President of d2a Ltd., a strategic clinical and product development consulting firm, Chief Medical Officer of Capricor Therapeutics, Inc., and more than two decades as a heart failure cardiologist, Professor of Health Policy and Medicine (Cardiology) and Director of the International Center for Health Outcomes and Innovation Research’s Clinical Trial Unit at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, as well as 14 years on faculty in the Department of Medicine and Division of Cardiology at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University. Dr. Ascheim received her M.D. from New York University School of Medicine and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

William (Bill) Monteith

William (Bill) Monteith, joined StrideBio as Chief Operating Officer in August 2020. Mr. Monteith has nearly 40 years of experience leading clinical development and commercial scale manufacturing, quality, supply chain and facility operations in therapeutics focused companies spanning small molecules, biologics and cell & gene therapies. Prior to joining StrideBio, he was Executive Vice President of Technical Operations at Cellectis. Previous roles have included serving as Chief Operating Officer of Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapy Solutions and Executive Vice President Technical Operations at Dendreon, where Bill was part of the team that launched the first autologous dendritic immunotherapy in the US. In addition, he has held multiple site operations and quality positions with Sandoz, Shire, and Wyeth. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Saint Lawrence University in Canton NY.

Ariane Cayrol

Ariane Cayrol joined StrideBio as Vice President of Strategy and Operations in March 2021. Mrs. Cayrol previously worked at Cellectis, an immuno-oncology biotech company based out of New York. During her time there, she supported the Global Technical Operations team (Process & Analytical Development, Manufacturing, Facilities and Engineering, Supply Chain) where she piloted strategy definition, cross-functional program management and coordination of teams for timely and quality execution of plans. With a management consulting background, Mrs. Cayrol also previously worked as a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group in the United States and in Europe.  She holds a MSc in Management of Innovation from Ecole Polytechnique (France) and a MSc in Strategic Management from HEC Paris (France).

Alex Nguyen

Alex Nguyen joined StrideBio as the Vice President of Finance in March 2022. He is primarily responsible for Finance and Accounting operations for the company. Alex was previously the Senior Finance Director and Controller at Brii Biosciences, a biotech based in the US and China tackling unmet public health challenges. During his time there, he helped lead the company’s initial public offering, raising over $340 million. Prior to Brii Bio, he was the Director of Technical Accounting and External Reporting at Parexel and a Director in the Assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) focusing on life science companies and IPOs. He holds an MBA and a BS in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Mike Reeves

Mike is the Vice President of Human Resources. He provides guidance for all areas of People & Culture at StrideBio. With over 25 years of HR leadership experience, Mike has led Human Resources in public and private companies. He has been part of several start-up companies, HR transformations, IPOs and numerous acquisitions. Mike’s energy and enthusiasm for creating great cultures is infectious. His passion for people is the driving force behind creating an environment where smart and talented people want to come & stay and become evangelists for the company.

Mike provides extensive experience in HR Strategy, Transformational Change, Change Management, Compensation, Organization Incentive Plans, Total Rewards/Benefits/Payroll/HRIS, Talent Acquisition & Management, Leadership Development, Talent /Culture Assessment, Succession Planning, Employee Engagement, Organizational Development, Employee Relations, Risk Management, Training & Development and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Prior to joining StrideBio Mike spent over six years as the Head of Human Resources-North Carolina Operations for Catalent Pharma Solutions. Mike then moved to Rockville, MD to lead Human Resources for Vigene Biosciences (Gene & Cell Therapy) where he took the company through a complete HR Transformation in preparation for an acquisition by Charles River Labs.

Mike is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in Journalism.

Kevin Walton

Kevin joined StrideBio as the Vice President of Corporate Development in March 2022. He oversees and leads business development and partnering initiatives, external messaging, strategic planning, capital allocation, and competitive intelligence. Kevin previously led Business Development at Curis, a clinical-stage, public biotech company, where he oversaw business development, strategy, competitive intelligence, and commercial assessment. Prior to Curis, Kevin was Director of Corporate Development and Strategy as well as Chief of Staff at G1 Therapeutics, a commercial-stage, public biotech company. He holds a JD from Duke University School of Law, an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and a BA in Economics from Boston College.

Gunnar Wieboldt

Gunnar Wieboldt brings nearly 20 years of legal experience to StrideBio in mostly entrepreneurial and life science roles. Mr. Wieboldt served as Division Counsel at ZOLL Medical, a cardiac medical device company, and most recently as Head of Global Contracts at Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Pharma Services Group where he led a team that negotiated the commercial contracts for a $4B division of Thermo Fisher including for Brammer Bio’s gene therapy contract manufacturing business.

A former USMC officer, Mr. Wieboldt earned his law degree from Harvard Law School, his MBA from Fuqua School of Business at Duke University (Health Sector Management), and his undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Rochester.

Kristina Allikmets, MD, Ph.D.

Kristina Allikmets, M.D., Ph.D., is a Senior Vice President at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, heading the R&D organization in the Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit. Previously, Dr. Allikmets has held various leadership roles in Takeda, serving most recently as a “chief executive” of a “spin-in” company within Takeda Global R&D, to take one of Takeda’s compounds through experimental phase of development following a new working model. Prior, she was responsible for establishing the R&D Access to Medicines activities and starting up the R&D Patient Engagement team. Her roles before include the leadership of Clinical Science team in CNS Therapy Area Unit and heading Clinical Development in Immunology and Respiratory Therapy Area Unit. Before joining Takeda, Dr. Allikmets served as the Chief Medical Officer for Nycomed Pharma.

Dr. Allikmets is a member of the Advisory Board of Boston University Bioengineering Technology & Entrepreneurship Center (BTEC) and serves on the Board of Directors of Cures Within Reach, a non-profit organization that focuses on drug repurposing research.

Dr. Allikmets holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. in cardiovascular research from University of Tartu, Estonia. She’s certified in cardiology and internal medicine and practiced for almost 15 years before joining the pharmaceutical industry. She spent most of her career in several European countries. Having moved to the states in 2015, she is currently based in Boston, MA.