Management Team

We are led by a best-in-class management team of industry leaders who have unrivaled experience in the clinical development of cell therapy to treat cancer.

Management Team

Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Allogene. As a visionary entrepreneur, Arie founded Kite Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies, where he served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer until the acquisition of Kite by Gilead Sciences in October 2017. He remains as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for FosunKite, a joint venture formed between Fosun Pharma and Kite, a Gilead company, for the development of cell therapy in China. Arie has had a distinguished tenure in the life sciences, having been closely involved with the founding and advancement of several successful biopharmaceutical companies including Cougar Biotechnology and Agensys. Abiraterone, developed by Cougar, is a mainstay of therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. He currently serves as Chairman of Two River Group, UroGen Pharma, Ltd. and Kronos Bio, and is a Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Vida Ventures. He previously served as a Board member of Cell Design Labs until its acquisition by Gilead in December 2017. Arie is a Professor of Urology, holds the Roy and Carol Doumani Chair in Urologic Oncology, and is Director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is currently a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Strategic Advisory Group. Prior to joining UCLA, Arie was at the National Cancer Institute/NIH as a research fellow in surgical oncology and immunotherapy under Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg. He completed his M.D. at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, his post-graduate studies in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and his residency in urologic surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has authored several books on oncology and more than 500 scientific and medical papers related to urological cancers, immunotherapy, gene therapy and cancer vaccines. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.

David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Allogene. He previously served as Executive Vice President, Research & Development, and Chief Medical Officer of Kite, a Gilead Company. He has an industry-leading track record of innovation in the field of oncology drug development, including the development of Yescarta™ (axicabtagene ciloleucel), the first CAR T therapy approved for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. From 2002 to 2014, he held senior leadership roles at Amgen, including Vice President of Global Development and Head of Hematology-Oncology. During this time, David spearheaded personalized therapy strategies underlying the success of Vectibix® (panitumumab). He also provided therapeutic area leadership to pivotal programs for Blincyto® (blinatumomab), a bispecific T cell engager antibody in acute lymphocytic leukemia and for IMLYGIC (talimogene laherparepvec), a first-of-its-kind oncolytic immunotherapy in melanoma. Prior to joining Amgen, David held dual appointments as Associate Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained a B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. David completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow. David serves as a Director at A2 Biotherapeutics and Peloton Biotherapeutics, and a Venture Partner at Vida Ventures.

Alison Moore, Ph.D., is the Chief Technical Officer for Allogene, overseeing product sciences, supply chain, manufacturing, quality and technical operations. Alison has extensive experience in all aspects of biomanufacturing and CMC product development, working in both operations and research and development. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Process Development, at Amgen. Previously, she held senior roles at Amgen in Operations Technology, Process and Product Engineering, and Corporate Manufacturing. Prior to these positions, she was Vice President, Site Operations, at Amgen’s Fremont, Calif., manufacturing facility. Before joining Amgen, Alison was a Director in Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls, Regulatory Affairs, at Genentech. She holds a Ph.D. in cell biology and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology with honors from Manchester University, England. Following her doctoral degree work there, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Medical University of Lübeck, Germany, and at Genentech.

Barbra Sasu, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer of Allogene. Barbra joined Allogene as Chief Scientific Officer in April 2018 when the company acquired the allogeneic cell therapy assets from Pfizer. Barbra received a Ph.D. from the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, UK, in the laboratory of T. Michael Dexter, FRS. She conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of T. Keith Blackwell, M.D., Ph.D.  Barbra joined Amgen in 2001 to work on normal and malignant hematology initially and later expanded her focus to include immune-oncology with an emphasis on T cell redirective therapies, specifically BiTE molecules. In 2013, she joined Pfizer to become involved with large molecule immuno-oncology including the Pfizer T cell redirection programs and led diligence to look for a CAR T collaboration partner. This collaboration search resulted in the Cellectis partnership in 2014 and the collaboration with Servier for clinical execution of UCART19 and other preclinical assets.

Christine Cassiano is the Chief Communications Officer of Allogene. She is a communications executive with wide experience in investor relations, corporate communications, media relations, brand strategy and public affairs. Christine previously served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations for Kite until its acquisition by Gilead Sciences in 2017. Christine’s career is distinguished by the development of integrated communications strategies for companies with novel therapies such as Yescarta™ (axicabtagene ciloleucel) and Botox®/Botox® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA). She has held executive management positions in international communications agencies, including roles as the Head of Healthcare for W2O and Senior Vice President and Co-Director, Healthcare, at Hill + Knowlton Strategies. Christine co-founded ARC2 Communications & Media, a boutique agency that developed groundbreaking platforms for some of the largest companies in healthcare. She has also held senior global communications roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, Allergan and Abraxis BioScience. Some of Christine’s career achievements include a SABRE Silver Anvil award for the launch of Botox® Cosmetic (Allergan), an In2 SABRE Award for the Most Innovative Brand/Agency Collaboration (Pfizer/ARC2), and PR Week’s 40 Under 40. Christine also serves as a Senior Strategic Advisor to Urogen Pharma, Kronos Bio and Vida Ventures. She holds a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and Investor Relations Certification (IRC) from the University of California, Irvine.

David M. Tillett, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President and Head of Quality for Allogene.  Dave has over 25 years of experience in the production of biological drug products, with expertise in process development, manufacturing, and quality. For the last decade, Dave has served as President of Berea Consulting, providing technical operations support to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Dave previously served in a multitude of roles at Amgen, including Vice President of Worldwide Quality, Vice President of Thousand Oaks Quality, Senior Director of Thousand Oaks Manufacturing, and Director of Colorado Manufacturing. Prior to joining Amgen, he served in both manufacturing and process development roles at Synergen and was a founder and Vice-President of Sea Ag, a marine biotechnology company. Dave has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Eric T. Schmidt, Ph.D., is Chief Financial Officer of Allogene. He was previously Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Cowen and Company. During his two decades there, he was a highly trusted industry analyst whose work was recognized in polls conducted by Alpha Magazine, Institutional Investor, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.  Prior to joining Cowen in 1998, Eric was a Vice President and Research Analyst covering the biotechnology sector for UBS Securities. Before joining UBS, he co-founded Cambridge Biological Consultants, a scientific consulting and research firm. He holds a B.A. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he serves on the Visiting Committee for the Department of Biology.

Susie Jun, M.D., Ph.D., is the Chief Development Officer for Allogene, focusing on creating an integrated translational research capability to accelerate development of Allogene’s broad allogeneic CAR-T portfolio. Susie has more than 20 years of experience in academia and the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Allogene, Susie served as Vice President, Head of Abbvie-Stemcentrx Development and Oncology Translational Medicine and led the Companion Diagnostics Development Center of Excellence. Before that, she served as Senior Director, Hem/Onc Clinical Research at Gilead, and Executive Medical Director, Hematology/Oncology at Amgen, where she led development of innovative oncology therapeutics programs such as XGEVA®, Nplate® and BLINCYTO®. Susie received her M.D. from The University of Michigan Medical School, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital, UT-Southwestern in Dallas, and fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Veer Bhavnagri is the General Counsel of Allogene. He also serves as the Company’s Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Allogene, he was Vice President, Corporate Counsel, at Kite Pharma, a leader in engineered T cell therapy. Veer advised on all aspects of Kite’s business, including corporate governance, business development, compliance, SEC reporting, human resources, clinical trials, facilities, supply chain and technical and commercial operations. Veer was also an integral member of the select deal team involved in the sale of Kite to Gilead Sciences for $11.9 billion. Prior to joining Kite, Veer was a senior associate at Cooley LLP. Previously, Veer was an associate in the New York and Sydney offices of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Veer was a member of the Australia-based transaction team recognized as 2011 International Firm of the Year by Asian Legal Business and Australian Issuer of the Year by Insto Magazine. Veer received a J.D., magna cum laude, from The University of Michigan Law School. He received an A.B. in mathematical economics and political science, with honors, from Brown University. Veer is admitted to practice law in New York and California.

Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Allogene. As a visionary entrepreneur, Arie founded Kite Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies, where he served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer until the acquisition of Kite by Gilead Sciences in October 2017. He remains as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for FosunKite, a joint venture formed between Fosun Pharma and Kite, a Gilead company, for the development of cell therapy in China. Arie has had a distinguished tenure in the life sciences, having been closely involved with the founding and advancement of several successful biopharmaceutical companies including Cougar Biotechnology and Agensys. Abiraterone, developed by Cougar, is a mainstay of therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. He currently serves as Chairman of Two River Group, UroGen Pharma, Ltd. and Kronos Bio, and is a Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Vida Ventures. He previously served as a Board member of Cell Design Labs until its acquisition by Gilead in December 2017. Arie is a Professor of Urology, holds the Roy and Carol Doumani Chair in Urologic Oncology, and is Director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is currently a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Strategic Advisory Group. Prior to joining UCLA, Arie was at the National Cancer Institute/NIH as a research fellow in surgical oncology and immunotherapy under Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg. He completed his M.D. at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, his post-graduate studies in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and his residency in urologic surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has authored several books on oncology and more than 500 scientific and medical papers related to urological cancers, immunotherapy, gene therapy and cancer vaccines. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.

David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Allogene. He previously served as Executive Vice President, Research & Development, and Chief Medical Officer of Kite, a Gilead Company. He has an industry-leading track record of innovation in the field of oncology drug development, including the development of Yescarta™ (axicabtagene ciloleucel), the first CAR T therapy approved for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. From 2002 to 2014, he held senior leadership roles at Amgen, including Vice President of Global Development and Head of Hematology-Oncology. During this time, David spearheaded personalized therapy strategies underlying the success of Vectibix® (panitumumab). He also provided therapeutic area leadership to pivotal programs for Blincyto® (blinatumomab), a bispecific T cell engager antibody in acute lymphocytic leukemia and for IMLYGIC (talimogene laherparepvec), a first-of-its-kind oncolytic immunotherapy in melanoma. Prior to joining Amgen, David held dual appointments as Associate Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained a B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. David completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow. David serves as a Director at A2 Biotherapeutics and Peloton Biotherapeutics, and a Venture Partner at Vida Ventures.

Alison Moore, Ph.D., is the Chief Technical Officer for Allogene, overseeing product sciences, supply chain, manufacturing, quality and technical operations. Alison has extensive experience in all aspects of biomanufacturing and CMC product development, working in both operations and research and development. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Process Development, at Amgen. Previously, she held senior roles at Amgen in Operations Technology, Process and Product Engineering, and Corporate Manufacturing. Prior to these positions, she was Vice President, Site Operations, at Amgen’s Fremont, Calif., manufacturing facility. Before joining Amgen, Alison was a Director in Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls, Regulatory Affairs, at Genentech. She holds a Ph.D. in cell biology and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology with honors from Manchester University, England. Following her doctoral degree work there, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Medical University of Lübeck, Germany, and at Genentech.

Barbra Sasu, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer of Allogene. Barbra joined Allogene as Chief Scientific Officer in April 2018 when the company acquired the allogeneic cell therapy assets from Pfizer. Barbra received a Ph.D. from the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, UK, in the laboratory of T. Michael Dexter, FRS. She conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of T. Keith Blackwell, M.D., Ph.D.  Barbra joined Amgen in 2001 to work on normal and malignant hematology initially and later expanded her focus to include immune-oncology with an emphasis on T cell redirective therapies, specifically BiTE molecules. In 2013, she joined Pfizer to become involved with large molecule immuno-oncology including the Pfizer T cell redirection programs and led diligence to look for a CAR T collaboration partner. This collaboration search resulted in the Cellectis partnership in 2014 and the collaboration with Servier for clinical execution of UCART19 and other preclinical assets.

Christine Cassiano is the Chief Communications Officer of Allogene. She is a communications executive with wide experience in investor relations, corporate communications, media relations, brand strategy and public affairs. Christine previously served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations for Kite until its acquisition by Gilead Sciences in 2017. Christine’s career is distinguished by the development of integrated communications strategies for companies with novel therapies such as Yescarta™ (axicabtagene ciloleucel) and Botox®/Botox® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA). She has held executive management positions in international communications agencies, including roles as the Head of Healthcare for W2O and Senior Vice President and Co-Director, Healthcare, at Hill + Knowlton Strategies. Christine co-founded ARC2 Communications & Media, a boutique agency that developed groundbreaking platforms for some of the largest companies in healthcare. She has also held senior global communications roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, Allergan and Abraxis BioScience. Some of Christine’s career achievements include a SABRE Silver Anvil award for the launch of Botox® Cosmetic (Allergan), an In2 SABRE Award for the Most Innovative Brand/Agency Collaboration (Pfizer/ARC2), and PR Week’s 40 Under 40. Christine also serves as a Senior Strategic Advisor to Urogen Pharma, Kronos Bio and Vida Ventures. She holds a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and Investor Relations Certification (IRC) from the University of California, Irvine.

David M. Tillett, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President and Head of Quality for Allogene.  Dave has over 25 years of experience in the production of biological drug products, with expertise in process development, manufacturing, and quality. For the last decade, Dave has served as President of Berea Consulting, providing technical operations support to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Dave previously served in a multitude of roles at Amgen, including Vice President of Worldwide Quality, Vice President of Thousand Oaks Quality, Senior Director of Thousand Oaks Manufacturing, and Director of Colorado Manufacturing. Prior to joining Amgen, he served in both manufacturing and process development roles at Synergen and was a founder and Vice-President of Sea Ag, a marine biotechnology company. Dave has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Eric T. Schmidt, Ph.D., is Chief Financial Officer of Allogene. He was previously Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Cowen and Company. During his two decades there, he was a highly trusted industry analyst whose work was recognized in polls conducted by Alpha Magazine, Institutional Investor, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.  Prior to joining Cowen in 1998, Eric was a Vice President and Research Analyst covering the biotechnology sector for UBS Securities. Before joining UBS, he co-founded Cambridge Biological Consultants, a scientific consulting and research firm. He holds a B.A. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he serves on the Visiting Committee for the Department of Biology.

Susie Jun, M.D., Ph.D., is the Chief Development Officer for Allogene, focusing on creating an integrated translational research capability to accelerate development of Allogene’s broad allogeneic CAR-T portfolio. Susie has more than 20 years of experience in academia and the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Allogene, Susie served as Vice President, Head of Abbvie-Stemcentrx Development and Oncology Translational Medicine and led the Companion Diagnostics Development Center of Excellence. Before that, she served as Senior Director, Hem/Onc Clinical Research at Gilead, and Executive Medical Director, Hematology/Oncology at Amgen, where she led development of innovative oncology therapeutics programs such as XGEVA®, Nplate® and BLINCYTO®. Susie received her M.D. from The University of Michigan Medical School, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital, UT-Southwestern in Dallas, and fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Veer Bhavnagri is the General Counsel of Allogene. He also serves as the Company’s Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Allogene, he was Vice President, Corporate Counsel, at Kite Pharma, a leader in engineered T cell therapy. Veer advised on all aspects of Kite’s business, including corporate governance, business development, compliance, SEC reporting, human resources, clinical trials, facilities, supply chain and technical and commercial operations. Veer was also an integral member of the select deal team involved in the sale of Kite to Gilead Sciences for $11.9 billion. Prior to joining Kite, Veer was a senior associate at Cooley LLP. Previously, Veer was an associate in the New York and Sydney offices of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Veer was a member of the Australia-based transaction team recognized as 2011 International Firm of the Year by Asian Legal Business and Australian Issuer of the Year by Insto Magazine. Veer received a J.D., magna cum laude, from The University of Michigan Law School. He received an A.B. in mathematical economics and political science, with honors, from Brown University. Veer is admitted to practice law in New York and California.