About Us

Leadership Team

Gamida Cell has assembled a leadership team with deep expertise in stem cell therapy and drug development, and a commitment to bringing life-changing therapies to patients in need.

  • Julian Adams, Ph.D.

    Chief Executive Officer

    Dr. Adams has more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development with a strong focus on cancer research. Dr. Adams joined Gamida Cell’s board of directors in 2016. Prior to being appointed CEO in November 2017, Dr. Adams served as chief scientific officer and president of Clal Biotechnology Industries. He was previously president of research and development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Infinity in 2003, Dr. Adams was the senior vice president of drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he headed multiple global drug discovery and development programs, including the successful Velcade® (bortezomib) program. Dr. Adams also held senior positions in research and development at LeukoSite (acquired by Millennium) and at ProScript, as well as in medicinal chemistry at Boehringer Ingelheim, where he is credited with discovering Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV. Dr. Adams has won several awards for his drug development efforts throughout his career, holds more than 40 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and has authored more than 100 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Adams received a B.S. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also earned a Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from McGill University in 2012.

  • Shai Lankry, CPA, MBA

    Chief Financial Officer

    Mr. Lankry joined Gamida Cell in 2018 as chief financial officer, bringing with him more than a decade of senior management experience in finance. Prior to joining Gamida Cell, Mr. Lankry served as a finance director at West Pharmaceutical Services, where he led R&D and operation financials for the company’s Israeli subsidiary. Previously, he served as CFO and Israeli site manager of Macrocure, Ltd., where he played an integral role in the company’s NASDAQ Initial Public Offering process, raising a total capital of approximately $54 million. Before joining Macrocure, Mr. Lankry was the finance director at Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd., a division of Ethicon Biosurgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, where in his most recent role, he managed the finance biologics organization at multiple sites worldwide. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lankry was a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in Tel Aviv.

    Mr. Lankry is a licensed Israeli CPA and holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University.

  • Josh Hamermesh, MBA

    Chief Business Officer

    Mr. Hamermesh brings more than two decades of experience in corporate strategy and commercialization for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to his role at Gamida Cell. Most recently, Mr. Hamermesh was senior vice president at Locust Walk Partners, Inc., a strategic partnering and financing transaction advisory firm, where he played an instrumental role in leading numerous transactions across an array of therapeutic areas and technologies. Prior to Locust Walk, Mr. Hamermesh served as vice president, business and corporate development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for the company’s in-licensing, out-licensing and alliance management activities. Prior to Infinity, he served as senior vice president, strategy and corporate development at Pervasis Therapeutics, where he led strategic partnering initiatives for the company’s product development portfolio. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hamermesh held positions at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme Corporation and MG Biotherapeutics.

    Mr. Hamermesh is currently a member of the board of directors at Neurohealing Pharmaceuticals. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Amherst College.

  • Tzvi Palash

    Chief Operating Officer

    Mr. Palash joined Gamida Cell’s leadership team as chief operating officer in July 2018, bringing more than 30 years of expertise in commercial operations in the healthcare industry to his role. Mr. Palash joins Gamida Cell from Protalix Biotherapeutics, Inc., where, as COO, he led all operational activities through the company’s FDA approval of plant cell culture produced protein product, Elelyso®. Prior to joining Protalix, Mr. Palash served as a general manager at ColBar LifeScience Ltd, a biomaterial company acquired by Johnson & Johnson, where he led the planning, construction, scale-up and regulatory oversight of its Israel-based manufacturing facility. He also successfully led FDA audits for Evolence® and Ossix®, and was a member of the Global Aesthetic Management Team within the Consumer Group of Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in his career, Mr. Palash held operational roles at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Interpham Laboratories.

    Mr. Palash holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tel Aviv University and an M.Sc. in biochemistry from Jerusalem University.

  • Tony Peled

    Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Research & Development

    Tony Peled is the co-founder of the company and the researcher whose discoveries have led to Gamida Cell’s key clinical achievements, which are supported by many patents.  Until today, Dr. Peled continues to lead the development of Gamida Cell’s next generation novel technologies and pipeline of products. Prior to founding Gamida Cell, she was a scientist at the Hematology Department, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel and has more than 15 years of experience in hematopoiesis and stem cell research.

  • Ronit Simantov, M.D.

    Chief Medical Officer

    Dr. Simantov has more than 20 years of experience in research, development, registration, and launch of hematology and oncology drugs. She is the former VP and Head of Global Medical Affairs at Pfizer Oncology. Dr. Simantov earned a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. She is based in New York.

  • Naftali Brikashvili

    Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations

    Naftali Brikashvili has more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of accounting and finance. Prior to joining the company in April 2000, Mr. Brikashvili served as the finance manager at Donna Engineering Construction and Mertens Hoffman Software & Logistics. He has a B.A. in accounting & economics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and an LLM degree from Bar Ilan University. Mr. Brikashvili earned his CPA license in 1996.

  • Dorit Harati

    Vice President, Quality Assurance, Manufacturing & Logistics

    Ms. Harati has 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Ms. Harati is responsible for quality assurance as well as technology transfer and manufacturing at Gamida Cell and at the different CMOs. She is also credited with building a logistics system, especially built for Gamida Cell’s requirements. Prior to joining Gamida Cell, Ms. Harati served as the director of the quality control laboratories at Perio Products Ltd., a pharmaceutical company specialized in manufacturing innovative drugs. While at Perio Products she implemented quality systems in accordance with FDA requirements and European regulations. Her primary expertise is in building and developing quality from the first steps of product development to marketing.

  • Jaren Madden, MBA

    Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

    Ms. Madden joined Gamida Cell’s leadership team as vice president, investor relations and corporate communications in July 2018, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in strategic communications and investor relations in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Ms. Madden joined Gamida Cell from Shire plc, where, as the global head of research and development (R&D) communications, she set strategy and execution of R&D communications plans for approximately 20 preclinical and clinical programs. Prior to joining Shire, Ms. Madden served in roles of increasing responsibility at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., most recently as senior director, investor relations and corporate communications, where she developed the strategy for and oversaw the execution of corporate communications initiatives and served as the primary company interface to investors and media. While at Infinity, Ms. Madden worked with the management team on multiple equity offerings, raising total net proceeds over $240 million. Before joining Infinity, Ms. Madden held roles of increasing responsibility at Feinstein Kean Healthcare, Alkermes plc and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    Ms. Madden holds a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology and an M.S. in botany from UConn, and an MBA from Boston University.

  • Paul Nee

    Vice President, Marketing

    Mr. Nee joins Gamida Cell with more than 15 years of experience in marketing, analytics and corporate strategy in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, he served as senior director of forecasting at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for commercial forecasting initiatives across various corporate functions. Prior to joining Sunovion, Mr. Nee served as senior director of commercial strategy at Inotek Pharmaceuticals, where he directed and executed the company’s strategic business development programs. He previously served as a forecasting director at Biogen.

    Earlier in his career, Mr. Nee held various roles at GSK/HGS, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Amgen and Novartis. He holds an MSc in health economics from the London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree in economics from Northeastern University.

  • John Schick

    Vice President, Market Access

    Mr. Schick joined Gamida Cell’s leadership team as vice president, market access, in July 2018, bringing more than 25 years of experience in developing and implementing U.S. market access strategies to his role. He joins Gamida Cell from Kite Pharma, where he served as senior director, payer relations, and was responsible for the development and implementation of tactical strategies to ensure appropriate access to cancer immunotherapy YESCARTA®. Prior to joining Kite, Mr. Schick served as a director at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, where he led the design, implementation and management of trade, distribution and physician network functions to support potential launch of the company’s hematology/oncology candidate. Mr. Schick has also held various roles at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical and Allergan.

    Mr. Schick holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture science from Auburn University.