Our Team

Leadership Team

Our team has significant experience discovering, developing and commercializing therapies, particularly for metabolic diseases.

At our core, we are devoted to patients. We are tenacious, data-driven yet creative problem solvers, and we are unapologetic in our efforts to change paradigms. We take a team-based approach to advancing R&D to collectively harness our combined expertise across scientific, drug development, manufacturing and commercial capabilities.

Heather Turner, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Manu Chakravarthy, MD, PhD
Chief Medical & Scientific Officer
Michael Gray, MBA
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
David H. Schubert
SVP, Regulatory and Quality
Heidi Brumbach
VP, People & Culture
Eric Cox, MBA
VP, Commercial Strategy
Michael Elliott, MA
VP, Clinical Operations
Minako Pazdera, PhD, JD
General Counsel
Rich Silva, PhD
SVP, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Joumana Zeid, MS, MBA
VP, Portfolio Strategy

Heather Turner, JD

Chief Executive Officer

Heather Turner has served as Chief Executive Officer since January 2023. Heather brings over 20 years of leadership experience in life science companies including senior operational roles and legal expertise. Heather joined Carmot as Chief Operating Officer in 2022 and was responsible for Carmot’s operations and governance. In this role, Heather led the G&A functions as well as portfolio management. Prior to Carmot, Heather served as Chief General Counsel and Secretary at Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. serving as a member of the executive team and overseeing the legal organization. During her tenure she led and oversaw the finance, investor relations and alliance management functions. Notably, she oversaw the execution of the company’s $400 million Series C financing and the company’s IPO which raised gross proceeds of approximately $425 million, Nasdaq’s fourth largest biotech IPO. In addition, Heather significantly engaged in numerous strategic partnerships including the Company’s development and commercialization partnership with GSK which included a $200 million investment. Prior to Lyell, Heather served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. a publicly traded gene therapy and gene editing company, where she oversaw the legal and human resources organizations and led the company’s acquisition and integration of a publicly traded French company as well as its expansion into Europe. Prior to Sangamo, Heather served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Head of Portfolio Strategy at Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded allogeneic cell therapy company, where she oversaw legal, portfolio strategy, human resources and medical affairs. She also led secondary financings as well as international tax planning and implementation. Prior to Atara, Heather served as General Counsel and Secretary at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. a publicly-traded company focused on metabolic diseases. During her tenure at Orexigen, Heather oversaw the legal, human resources, government affairs and facilities functions. Heather was also actively involved in engagements with FDA and EMA related to their approvals of Orexigen’s obesity drug. Heather started her career at Cooley as a corporate securities associate. Heather received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and her B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Manu Chakravarthy, MD, PhD

Chief Medical & Scientific Officer

Dr. Manu Chakravarthy leads research & development and oversees the execution of all clinical related activities. Prior to Carmot, Manu served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Axcella Health, Inc. overseeing all phases of clinical development, regulatory affairs, quality, and scientific communications. Prior to Axcella, Manu served as the Vice President and Global Head of External R&D and Innovation Strategy in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research at Eli Lilly. Before his global leadership role at Lilly, Manu was a Distinguished Scientist at Merck and worked across the R&D spectrum from discovery, clinical pharmacology, biomarker development and late-stage drug development covering diverse disease areas. Dr. Chakravarthy received his MD from the University of Texas Houston Medical School and a PhD in Cell Biology & Physiology from the MD Anderson Cancer Center and University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences combined MD-PhD program. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is internationally recognized as a thought leader in metabolic diseases, reflected by his published work in numerous high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journals and invited speakership.

Michael Gray, MBA

Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer

Michael Gray has served as Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer since June 2023. Mike brings nearly 20 years of public-private leadership experience including broad strategic, financial and operating experience in global life science companies. Prior to Carmot, Mike served as CFO and COO of Imara, Inc., a public biotech company where he was instrumental in transitioning the private company through its initial public offering (IPO) in 2020, and in building Imara from a virtual to operating company conducting Phase 2b global clinical trials in non-malignant hematology indications. Mike was also a leader on Imara’s strategic initiative which resulted in a successful asset sale and entry into a reverse merger transaction with Enliven Therapeutics. Prior to Imara, Mike held several C Suite posts at Arsanis, Inc., a global biotech company, working with the Board of Directors and leadership team to build its U.S. operations, complete a private financing and IPO, as well as its merger with X4 Pharmaceuticals. Mike previously held a variety of leadership positions at Curis, Inc., including CFO, CBO and COO, leading multiple equity and debt financings and business development transactions and overseeing various business and strategic initiatives. Previously, Mike held positions including Controller at Reprogenesis Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of cell therapy drug candidates, and as an audit professional for the accounting and consulting firm of Ernst & Young, LLP. Mike served on the board of directors of Therapeutics Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition corporation, from May 2020 to July 2021, when it completed its merger with POINT Biopharma.

Mike received his M.B.A. in corporate finance and entrepreneurial management from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a B.S. in accounting from Bryant University.

David H. Schubert

SVP, Regulatory and Quality

David (Dave) Schubert joined Carmot Therapeutics with over 35 years of experience in regulatory, quality, drug development and process development. Most recently Dave was SVP Regulatory and Quality at Chiasma where he provided regulatory leadership and guidance to development, commercial, marketing, pharmacovigilance, corporate compliance and business development. Prior to Chiasma, Dave was VP Regulatory and Quality at Stealth Biotherapeutics Inc. a company developing novel and innovative mitochondrial targeted therapies for rare and common diseases. Dave has served as the regulatory and quality lead for several biotechs and his experience spans oral dosage forms, sterile injectables, cartridge/pen (combination products), and topicals (ophthalmic drops). In addition, Dave has wide-ranging GXP compliance experience supporting GLP, GCP, and GMP. Trained as a protein chemist, Dave started his career at the bench at Genetics Institute. It was here that he transitioned to large scale GMP process development, writing regulatory dossiers and supporting quality systems.

Heidi Brumbach

VP, People & Culture

Heidi Brumbach joined Carmot in 2023 as Vice President of People & Culture bringing over 25 years of human resources knowledge to her role. Heidi is passionate about partnering with innovative leadership teams to create great places to work, where employees feel empowered and motivated to bring their best every day. She has experience in the professional services, technology and life sciences industries, including over 15 years at Confirmit, a Norwegian-headquartered software company, where she became the company’s first global HR leader with responsibility that grew to over 900 employees in 9 countries. She was most recently a Senior Consultant with Christine Mathews Consulting and enjoyed collaborating with her early-stage life sciences clients to develop and manage People infrastructure, programs and initiatives. Heidi holds senior human resources certifications including SPHR and SHRM-SCP.

Eric Cox, MBA

VP, Commercial Strategy

Eric Cox has served as VP Commercial Strategy since June 2023. Eric brings more than 20 years of commercial experience to Carmot including deep leadership and expertise across pre-commercial planning, product and portfolio strategy, business development and market assessment. He has also led integrated commercial businesses, with P&L responsibility, including strategy and execution for multiple indications across several sales teams. Most recently, at AstraZeneca, he was the U.S. Commercial Franchise Leader for Diabetes, Heart Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease and New Products. Prior to AstraZeneca, he was the Global Franchise Leader (Marketing) for the Cardiovascular and Rare Disease Franchise at Merck where he led global and regional teams responsible for pipeline and in-line commercial strategy for commercial and pre-commercial assets. Eric also co-led a product development team to develop clinical trial designs for products in Phase 2, 3, and 4. Also while at Merck, he had marketing leadership positions for large markets including as Associate Vice President for U.S. and Global marketing for the ~$2 billion contraceptive franchise and as Marketing Director for the U.S. Cholesterol Franchise. Previously, Eric held positions including Global Marketing Director for Levitra (Men’s Health) at Bayer, Global Marketing Director of Women’s Health at Johnson & Johnson, and increasingly responsible sales-to-marketing positions at TAP Pharmaceuticals.

Eric received his M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Missouri State University and a B.A. from the University of Kansas.

Michael Elliott, MA

VP, Clinical Operations

Michael Elliott leads clinical operations. He has over two decades of experience in clinical trial management, spanning Phase 1 through pivotal Phase 3 trials, in over 20 countries. Michael has managed over 60 company-sponsored clinical trials and almost a dozen investigator-sponsored trails. Before joining Carmot, Michael was Senior Director, Clinical Development at NGM Biopharmaceuticals. In this role, he built and led the clinical operations group for NGM, which had multiple programs studying first-in-class, first-in-human product candidates. Previously, he was Director, Clinical Operations at Afferent Pharmaceuticals, a company which was acquired by Merck. Prior to Afferent, he was Director, Clinical Operations at Anthera Pharmaceuticals where he led the clinical operations department and supported the regulatory submission for a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with FDA. Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and Master of Arts from Xavier University.

Minako Pazdera, PhD, JD

General Counsel

Dr. Minako Pazdera joined Carmot in 2023 and oversees Carmot’s legal function. She brings over 20 years of experience working at a global large pharmaceutical company as well as smaller biotechnology companies. Previously, Minako was Vice President, Intellectual Property and Corporate Secretary at Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. Prior to Lyell, Minako was Vice President, Intellectual Property at Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to Sangamo, Minako was at Genentech, Inc. where she held various positions including Associate General Counsel, Director of Patents-Oncology. Prior to going in-house, Minako practiced intellectual property law at Ropes & Gray, LLP and Fish & Neave, LLP in New York City and Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP in Chicago. Dr. Pazdera received her B.A in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.

Rich Silva, PhD

SVP, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Rich Silva joined Carmot Therapeutics in April 2023 as the new Vice President of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Rich’s 25-year career includes extensive experience in the commercialization of innovative therapies, as well as collaborations with leading global pharmaceutical companies.

Prior to joining Carmot Therapeutics, Rich held the position of Head of Technical Operations at Epizyme, where he managed pharmaceutical development, including drug substance synthesis, drug product formulation, and analytical method development. During his tenure, Rich led the post-launch development and manufacturing of Epizyme’s epigenetic therapy, Tazverik (tazemetostat), ensuring a robust commercial supply chain, compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and regulatory commitments, as well as technical oversight of drug substance (API) and drug product (DP) manufacturing processes. Additionally, Rich’s group advanced several candidates for first-in-human trials by providing phase-appropriate supply of drug substance and product, utilizing Quality by Design (QbD) principles.

Before his time at Epizyme, Rich served as Senior Director of Small Molecules Process Chemistry and Analytical at ImmunoGen, where he played a crucial role in the development and commercialization of ImmunoGen’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), ELAHERE (mirvetuximab soravtansine). In this capacity, he oversaw the optimization of synthetic routes, scale-up of process chemistry, and implementation of analytical methods to ensure product quality.

Rich’s career also includes positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme, Vertex, and Bayer Chemicals, where he applied his expertise in organic chemistry, process development, and analytical techniques to advance various drug candidates. Dr. Silva earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Dartmouth College.

Joumana Zeid, MS, MBA

VP, Portfolio Strategy

Joumana Zeid joined Carmot in August 2023. She has almost two decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Most recently, as Vice President Project Team Leadership and Portfolio Strategy at Federation Bio where she led the cross-functional project teams and was accountable for overall portfolio strategy and prioritization. Joumana played a pivotal role in building the company’s infrastructure as the organization transitioned from a research-stage organization to a clinical-stage organization by establishing a cross-functional team system, implementing a rigorous decision-making framework, and developing a portfolio framework for evaluating programs. She gained additional program leadership experience through increasingly responsible roles at Aimmune Therapeutics, Achaogen and Plexxikon, where she worked with project teams to advance development candidates and meet corporate goals. She started her career at Genentech where she held a variety of roles in Bioprocess Development, Device Development, and Portfolio Management and Operations. Throughout her career, she has successfully worked across various stages of Research & Development including pre-IND through clinical development contributing to the cohesiveness of project teams and achievement of milestones. Her therapeutic area experience spans oncology, ophthalmology, neurology and infectious diseases. She received her BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from San Jose State University and an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Scientific Advisory Board

Our scientific advisory board is comprised of metabolic disease experts from around the world who have been engaged in the development of innovative therapies for decades.