Management

Expertise and dedication

Expertise and dedication

Our team is focused on developing the next generation of immuno-oncology gene and cell therapies with our two distinct, clinically advanced paths to stimulate, tune, and control the body’s immune response to fight blood cancers and solid tumors.

Heidi Hagen

Chief Executive Officer

Heidi Hagen

Ms. Hagen was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer of Ziopharm in February 2021. She has served on the Board since June 2019 and is a 30-year veteran of the biotechnology industry, the last 20 in cell and gene therapy. Ms. Hagen is co-founder and board member of Vineti, a cloud-based software platform company that addresses challenges in data management from order through cell collection, manufacturing, and delivery of personalized treatments such as cell and gene therapies and cancer vaccines. She has extensive experience in operations management and commercializing innovative technologies. She is also the former Global COO for SOTIO a.s. and the Senior Vice President of Operations for Dendreon. Ms. Hagen has a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, an MS in Bioengineering, and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Raffaele Baffa, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Raffaele Baffa, M.D., Ph.D.

Raffaele Baffa, M.D., Ph.D., joined Ziopharm as Chief Medical Officer in November 2020. Most recently, he was Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer for Medisix, an immune engineering company developing novel cellular therapies to address T cell malignancies. Previously, Dr. Baffa was Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head of Oncology, Global Clinical Development for Shire, and, subsequent to the acquisition of the oncology division by Servier, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Servier Pharmaceuticals. Raffaele has also held industry leadership positions as Executive Director, Early Oncology Development and Clinical Research at Pfizer and at Sanofi, where he was Head of Translational Sciences – External Science & Innovation, Global Biotherapeutics. Dr. Baffa earned an M.D. from University of Padova, School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. from University of Parma, both in Italy. As an associate professor at the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, he also served as Director of Urology Research and as Co-Director of the Genito-Urinary Cancer Program. Dr. Baffa has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, invited articles and book chapters.

Jill Buck

EVP, GM Gene Therapy

Jill Buck

Jill serves as EVP, GM Gene Therapy at Ziopharm. She brings over 20 years of clinical research experience overseeing Phase 1-IV clinical programs in drugs, devices and biologics. Prior to joining Ziopharm, Jill was Group Vice President of Global Clinical Operations at Synageva Biopharm Corp, where she oversaw the teams responsible for the clinical trials resulting in US, EU and Japanese approvals of sebelipase alfa for LAL Deficiency. Prior to Synageva, Jill held roles of increasing responsibility in Clinical Operations at Ziopharm, Averion International, Control Delivery Systems and The TIMI Study Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Jill holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from Boston College.

Lynn M. Ferrucci

EVP, Human Resources, Facilities, Administration AND IT

Lynn M. Ferrucci

Lynn oversees human resources, facilities and administration here at Ziopharm, where she has served on the senior leadership team since 2012. She has more than 20 years of experience in strategic and tactical human resource leadership, including extensive knowledge in mergers and acquisitions, organizational development and compensation and benefits. She has developed and implemented company-wide initiatives to motivate and retain employees, as well as directed human resource efforts to attract key talent. Prior to joining Ziopharm, Lynn was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Clinical Data, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, which completed more than ten mergers/acquisitions during her tenure and was acquired by Forest Laboratories, Inc. Earlier in her career, she worked in human resources within the manufacturing, service and consulting environments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Rhode Island College.

Eleanor (Ellee) de Groot, Ph.D.

EVP, GM Cell Therapy

Eleanor (Ellee) de Groot, Ph.D.

As EVP, GM Cell Therapy, Eleanor (Ellee) oversees Ziopharm’s cell therapy platform which is being developed in collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining the company in 2015, Ellee was Vice President of Technical Operations and Project Planning and Management at Helsinn Therapeutics US, Inc. She has over 20 years of diverse experience in all phases of drug development, particularly in the area of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC). Prior to Helsinn, Ellee held process development roles in Guilford Pharmaceuticals (now Eisai) and Shell Chemical Company. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University, a B.S. in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an M.B.A. from Rice University.

Robert Hadfield

EVP, General Counsel, Secretary AND Chief Compliance Officer

Robert Hadfield

Robert has served as our General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since April 2018. Prior to joining Ziopharm, Rob served as Partner and General Counsel of Longwood Fund, a health care venture capital firm, from November 2017 to April 2018. He also served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Flex Pharma, Inc. from April 2014 until November 2017, and was an attorney in the business department of Cooley LLP from August 2007 to August 2011 and then from April 2012 to April 2014. From August 2011 to April 2012, Rob served as Corporate Counsel at Kiva Systems, Inc., prior to its acquisition by Amazon.com, Inc. Rob began his career as a financial analyst in the health care investment banking group of SG Cowen Securities Corporation (now Cowen Inc.). He has extensive experience in the areas of corporate governance, securities law, mergers & acquisitions, intellectual property protection and compliance. Mr. Hadfield holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Providence College and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Adam Levy, Ph.D., M.B.A.

EVP, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Adam Levy, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Adam Levy, Ph.D., M.B.A., joined Ziopharm as EVP, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications in November 2020. Most recently, Dr. Levy was Executive Director and Head, Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations for Gilead Sciences. Previously, Dr. Levy was VP, Corporate Strategy for Alexion and Executive Director, Corporate Strategy for Bristol-Myers Squibb. He had prior leadership positions with Novartis and McKinsey & Company. Adam holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management