23andMe Therapeutics is powered in part by genetic and phenotypic information from research-consented members of the 23andMe community, who we consider to be part of our team in our discovery and development efforts. With their participation, our researchers are able to identify and pursue novel targets that are central mediators of biological processes relevant to the immune system.
Anne is CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe. Since co-founding 23andMe in 2006, Anne has pioneered the direct-to-consumer DNA testing space and the large-scale application of human genetic data to therapeutic development. As CEO, she has led the development of the only personal genetic test with FDA authorization to deliver health information directly to consumers, and the development of therapeutic programs and capabilities to address serious unmet medical needs.
Prior to founding 23andMe, Anne spent a decade on Wall Street investing in healthcare before pivoting to building a business that helps people prevent illness rather than profit from it. She received a B.S. in Biology from Yale University.
Head of Therapeutics Development
Jennifer is the Head of Therapeutics Development at 23andMe. She oversees the transition of potential therapeutics from 23andMe's research laboratories into clinical development studies, and leads a group that includes preclinical and clinical development and drug manufacturing.
Jennifer has thirty years of drug development experience spanning academia, government, large pharma and small biotech. She has been the Chief Medical Officer at Loxo Oncology and has led early- and late-stage clinical development at Genentech/Roche that led to multiple drug approvals worldwide. She has degrees from Caltech, Georgetown, and Duke and has held academic positions at the National Cancer Institute and the National Naval Medical Center, where she was an attending physician for breast cancer patients. She has co-authored papers appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Cancer Discovery, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Nature Reviews Cancer.
Head of Therapeutics Discovery
Bill is the Head of Therapeutics Discovery at 23andMe. Bill leads a team focused on translating findings from 23andMe’s genetic database to the identification of therapeutic targets and advancement of therapeutic programs in immunology and inflammation.
In roles prior to joining 23andMe, Bill was Chief Scientific Officer at ProNeurotech (now Nura Bio). From 1996 to 2019, Bill held various positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen culminating as Executive Director Research. At Amgen Bill and his teams contributed to the pre-clinical development of numerous molecules, including Sensipar®, Parsibiv®, Evenity®, Olpasiran®, AMG 594 and AMG 609. Also at Amgen, Bill worked closely with the team at deCODE genetics in Iceland to identify and advance genetically validated therapeutic targets.
Bill received his Ph.D. in Genetics from SUNY-Stony Brook and conducted postdoctoral research at the Oak Ridge National Labs. Bill has co-authored numerous publications and is a co-inventor on many patents.
*Sensipar®, Parsibiv®, Evenity® and Olpasiran® are registered trademarks of Amgen Inc.
Vice President, Human Genetics
Adam joined 23andMe in 2015 and is the Vice President of Human Genetics. Adam is responsible for computational approaches to target discovery via statistical genetics and machine learning approaches.
Prior to joining 23andMe, Adam pursued an academic career at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, with a focus on large-scale genomic analyses and statistical algorithm development. He received a MSci in Physics from the University of Bristol (UK), and a DPhil in Statistical and Population Genetics from the University of Oxford.
Chief Corporate Development Officer
Reza Afkhami joined 23andMe as Chief Corporate Development Officer in May 2023 to oversee the company’s corporate development efforts across its therapeutics, research services and consumer groups. Afkhami is responsible for spearheading and driving a wide range of industry collaborations.
Before joining 23andMe, Afkhami was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Global Blood Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative therapies for the treatment of sickle cell disease. He led business development, licensing, and strategy for the company. He also played a key role in Pfizer’s acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics in late 2022.
Afkhami brings over 20 years of corporate strategy and business development experience across the therapeutics industry. Prior to Global Blood Therapeutics, Afkhami served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Surrozen, a biotechnology company focused on developing tissue-specific antibodies to create therapies for a range of diseases. He has held numerous positions, overseeing global commercial strategy and planning, leading teams handling business development and market intelligence, and having managed and supported partnerships to help to grow a company from early-stage drug discovery to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company.
Afkhami holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Georgetown University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Joseph previously served as 23andMe’s Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, he prioritized 23andMe’s therapeutic programs and indications, including drug discovery and target validation efforts, with the goal of building a pipeline to yield clinical stage programs.
Joseph previously served as Vice President and Senior Fellow, Immunology Research at Genentech. He joined Genentech in 2006, where his laboratory discovered pathogenic mechanisms and molecular bases for heterogeneity in respiratory disorders, enabling target and biomarker discovery for numerous investigational molecular therapies that resulted in over 75 publications.
In addition to supervising translational research in his laboratory, he assumed increasing responsibilities, ultimately overseeing 21 laboratories responsible for target and biomarker discovery, translational research, and preclinical therapeutic development in inflammatory, autoimmune, fibrotic, and ophthalmic diseases.
Joseph earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, completed a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree at Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University, and conducted postdoctoral studies at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Richard joined 23andMe in 2015 as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Therapeutics. Under his leadership, 23andMe built a dedicated research and therapeutic development team that uses human genetic data as the starting point for identifying novel therapies for common and rare diseases. Richard currently serves on our Board of Directors.
Prior to joining 23andMe, Richard was Executive Vice President and Head of Genentech Research and Early Development, and member of both the Genentech and Roche executive committees. Prior to joining Genentech, he was a professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University. Richard has been an adjunct professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UC San Francisco since 2004, and is a member of the board of trustees at the California Institute of Technology. He received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 2013.
Richard holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
Kenneth Hillan served as Head of Therapeutics of 23andMe from 2019 - 2023 leading a dedicated discovery research and therapeutic development team that uses human genetic data to identify and pursue novel therapies for common and rare diseases.
Previously, Dr. Hillan held leadership roles in the biotechnology industry. He served at Genentech from 1994 to 2011, where he led the medical and scientific strategies for its Immunology, Tissue Growth and Repair drug portfolio, and held a number of key leadership positions in research and development, including Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, Inflammation; Vice President of Immunology, Tissue Growth and Repair (ITGR); Vice President of Development Sciences; and Vice President of Research Operations and Pathology. He also served as Genentech’s Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development and Product Development Strategy in Asia-Pacific for Roche in Shanghai, China.
From 2011 to 2017, he was Chief Executive Officer of Achaogen, Inc., where he was also a member of the Board of Directors. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Zymeworks since February 2017, and has served as a member of Sangamo's Board of Directors since September 2020. In addition, Kenneth was a member of the Board of Directors of Relypsa from 2014 until 2016, when it was acquired by Galenica AG. Dr. Hillan has an M.B. Ch.B. (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Glasgow, U.K.