Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Karen Bernstein
Co-Founder and Chairman, BioCentury, Inc.

Dr. Bernstein has served on Achaogen’s board of directors since July 2017. From 1992 to 2015, Dr. Bernstein was the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of BioCentury where she wrote and published on biotechnology developments. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards for her contributions to the biotechnology industry including being named one of The WorldVIEW 100 most influential people in biotech today by Scientific American (2015) and receiving a Special Recognition award at the American Liver Foundation's Salute to Excellence, honoring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to biotechnology and medical innovation (2007). Dr. Bernstein served for many years as a member of the Brandeis University Science Advisory Council. She is on the board of trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of the Applied Life Sciences and is a member of the board of advisors of KGI's School of Pharmacy. Dr. Bernstein is also a director at Ovid Therapeutics Inc., which is focused on developing drugs for orphan diseases of the brain. From September 2015 to October 2016, she served on the board of directors of Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was acquired by Allergan plc.

Dr. Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and a B.A. in politics and history from Brandeis University.

John C. Doyle
Chief Executive Officer, Castlight Health

Mr. Doyle has served on our board of directors since November 2012. Mr. Doyle is the Chief Executive Officer at Castlight Health. During 2016, Mr. Doyle served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Castlight. He joined the company in 2012 as its Chief Financial Officer.  Mr. Doyle served as Achaogen’s Chief Operating Officer from August 2009 to November 2009 and from February 2011 to November 2012, and as its Chief Financial Officer from November 2009 to February 2011. Prior to joining Achaogen, Mr. Doyle was Vice President of Finance and Corporate Planning at Genentech, from 2007 to 2009.

Mr. Doyle is a member of the 2012 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Kent Lieginger Pharm.D.

Dr. Lieginger has served on Achaogen’s board of directors since March 2015.  Dr. Lieginger has most recently served as Senior Vice President, Managed Care and Customer Operations at Genentech from 2004 to July 2014, as well as Director of the Genentech Foundation from 2010 to 2012. He joined Genentech as Vice President, Managed Care and Customer Operations in 2004 and served as a member of Genentech’s Commercial Leadership Committee. Prior to joining Genentech, Dr. Lieginger was Vice President, National Insurer and Employer Segment (Managed Markets Division) at GlaxoSmithKline plc, where he also led teams in U.S. and global business development, finance, strategic contracting, manufacturing, marketing, and sales.

Dr. Lieginger completed his residency in clinical pharmacy at the University of California in San Francisco, served for four years as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Lieginger served on the Board of Trustees at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2017.


Bryan E. Roberts Ph.D.
Partner, Venrock

Dr. Roberts has served on Achaogen’s board of directors since August 2004, and he has served as our Chairman since December 2009. Dr. Roberts joined Venrock, a venture capital investment firm, in 1997, where he serves as Partner. From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Roberts worked in the corporate finance department of Kidder, Peabody & Co., a brokerage company. Dr. Roberts is currently on the board of directors of three publicly traded companies: Zeltiq Aesthetics, Castlight Health, and Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He also serves on the board of directors of several private companies and previously served on the board of directors of publicly traded Athenahealth, Inc., XenoPort, Inc., and Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. He has a B.A. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University.

John W. Smither
Chief Financial Officer, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

Mr. Smither has served on Achaogen’s board of directors since December 2013. Mr. Smither has served as Chief Financial Officer of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals since April 2018. From November 2017 to April 2018, Mr. Smither served as Interim CFO for Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences. From January 2016 to July 2017, Mr. Smither served as Chief Financial Officer of Unity Biotechnology. From January 2016 to March 2017, Mr. Smither also served as Chief Financial Officer of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals a biotechnology company. Prior to that, Mr. Smither was the Chief Financial Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals from November 2007 until it was acquired by Allergan in October 2015 for $2.1 billion. As CFO of Kythera, he was responsible for finance during multiple private and public capital raising rounds including the Company’s IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings, licensing and repurchasing of the international rights of its lead product to Bayer, and placement of several venture debt facilities. From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Smither held various positions at Amgen. Including Vice President of Finance and Administration of Amgen’s European Division, Head of Internal Audit, and Executive Director of Corporate Accounting. Prior to joining Amgen, Mr. Smither served as Audit Partner at Ernst & Young LLP, a public accounting firm, and following his time at Ernst & Young had served as the Chief Financial Officer of several early stage companies. 

Mr. Smither received a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. Mr. Smither is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executives International.

Gregory Stea

Mr. Stea has served on our board of directors since June 2015. From September 2016 to January 2018, Mr. Stea held a consulting role to assist La Jolla Pharmaceuticals in preparing for the commercialization of their first drug, Angiotensin II.  Prior to this, Mr. Stea served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Cubist from 2009 to February 2015, leading all commercial operations, including the launch and sales of Cubicin, Zerbaxa and Sivextro. Prior to this, Mr. Stea served as Cubist’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing from 2007 to 2009. Having joined Cubist as an original member of the commercial organization, Mr. Stea served as Cubist’s Vice President of Sales from 2005 to 2007 and Executive Director of Sales from 2002 to 2005. Mr. Stea also served as a member of the Cubist Operating Committee from 2009 to February 2015, which was responsible for resource allocation, company strategy, risk management and compliance, among other responsibilities. Mr. Stea previously held leadership positions at Amgen from 1988 to 1997, where he was the first employee of its sales organization, responsible for the launch of Epogen and Neupogen.

Mr. Stea holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Temple University and completed the University of Michigan’s Executive Education program as well as Harvard Business School’s program in leadership and strategy in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.


Blake Wise
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Wise became Chief Executive Officer, and joined the Company’s Board of Directors, in January 2018. Mr. Wise joined Achaogen as Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and, in February 2017 he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Achaogen, Mr. Wise spent 13 years at Genentech, where he established and led the Cross BioOncology franchise as Vice President, Cross BioOncology. In this role, Mr. Wise spearheaded cross-portfolio initiatives designed to drive the $10B US BioOncology business and the company’s long-term oncology strategy. During his time at Genentech, Mr. Wise also held several other leadership positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Director, Franchise Head and Life Cycle Leader of the Lytics franchise, with overall commercial responsibility for Genentech’s hospital-based Lytics business. He previously served as a Sales Director in BioOncology, Marketing Director in Cystic Fibrosis and Immunology, and Interactive Marketing Director where he built Genentech’s digital marketing capabilities. Prior to joining Genentech in 2002, Mr. Wise worked in consumer marketing, e-commerce and online marketing outside of the healthcare industry in leadership positions at Gap, Inc. and Webvan.
Mr. Wise currently serves on the board of directors of Calithera Biosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Wise received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.