Management Team

Management Team

Girish Aakalu, Ph.D.
Chief Business Officer

Girish joined Genocea in December 2018 as Chief Business Officer. In this role, he leads Genocea’s business development efforts. His broad skill set spans business development, corporate and R&D strategy, product portfolio management, commercial planning, and alliance management - experience he gained at previous positions at the Ipsen Group, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, which included Vice President: Global Head of External Innovation, and positions at Pfizer, Inc., which included Executive Director: Head of Strategy, Innovation & Operations for Pfizer’s External R&D Innovation team. His previous roles also include business development and oncology pipeline market planning positions at Genentech, Inc. and life science consulting experience at L.E.K Consulting. He received a B.A. in Biophysics with General and Departmental Honors from Johns Hopkins University, a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology following an M.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology, and has completed executive education in Corporate Governance at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.

Chip Clark
President and Chief Executive Officer

Chip has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since February 2011 after serving as our Chief Business Officer from August 2010 to February 2011. Chip has also served on our board of directors since February 2011. Prior to joining Genocea, he served as Chief Business Officer at Vanda Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2004. While at Vanda, he led the company’s strategic and business development activities and played a central role in raising more than $400 million through business development deals and equity financings. Prior to Vanda, Chip was a principal at Care Capital, a venture capital firm investing in biopharmaceutical companies, after serving in a variety of commercial and strategic roles at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). Chip holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Diantha Duvall
Chief Financial Officer

Diantha joined Genocea in March 2019, bringing broad life science financial leadership experience to the company. Most recently, Diantha served as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at Bioverativ, Inc. Prior to Bioverativ, she served as U.S. and Global Commercial Controller at Biogen and held a number of positions as an Executive Director at Merck and Co.  While at Merck, her experiences spanned roles in venture investment, business development, joint ventures, and alliances, as well as operational controls and technical accounting.  In addition, she gained extensive experience in SEC reporting, Sarbanes Oxley compliance, transaction support and risk management while at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Colby College and masters’ degrees in both Accounting and Business Administration from Northeastern University. Diantha is also a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Massachusetts.

Tom Davis, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Tom joined Genocea in October 2018 as Chief Medical Officer with 20+ years of academic and industry experience in immuno-oncology and cancer drug development. Most recently, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Gadeta B.V., a Dutch cell therapy company pursuing novel cancer targets, where he steered a novel cell therapy technology into first-in human clinical studies. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer of Celldex from 2006 to 2017, where he led all aspects of clinical and regulatory development including strategy, tactics, and execution. While at Celldex, Tom actively built and oversaw Clinical Science, Medical Affairs, Safety, Clinical Operations, Statistics, Regulatory Affairs, and Project Management, managed collaborations with large global pharmaceutical partners, and participated in investor relations activities. He also served as Chief Medical Officer at GenVec and as Senior Director of Clinical Science at Medarex.

Prior to joining the industry, Tom supervised clinical efforts at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and worked on the development of rituximab and idiotype vaccines at Stanford University. Dr. Davis received his B.A. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins, his M.S. in Physiology and his M.D. from Georgetown University, and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Stanford University.

Jessica Baker Flechtner, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Jess joined Genocea in 2007, soon after the company was founded, and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer. She is widely recognized as a pioneer in the development of novel vaccines directed toward T cell immunity and has more than 20 years of experience in immunology, cancer, infectious disease, and vaccine development. She leads Genocea’s efforts to develop T cell-directed vaccines and immunotherapies against cancer using the company’s proprietary ATLAS platform to identify and characterize both common and personalized antigens. Prior to joining Genocea, Jess served in a variety of roles developing vaccines and immunotherapies for cancer, infectious disease, autoimmunity, and allergy at companies including Mojave Therapeutics and Antigenics (now Agenus). Jess received a B.S. in Animal Science and a Ph.D. in Cellular Immunology from Cornell University, and performed her post-doctoral work at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. She is a member of Women in Bio, the American Association of Immunologists, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and the American Society for Microbiology. She is also an inventor on numerous pending and issued patents and is the author of multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications.