Our Team

Dara Djafarian

President

Dr. Hennie Van Vuuren

Chief Scientific Officer

Noel Hall

Executive Chair

Dr. Ali Tehrani

Board Member

Haig Farris

Board Member

Ken Hallat

Board Member

Phil Christopher

Board Member

Ian Gregory

Corporate Accountant

Neil Klompas

Corporate Secretary

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Dara Djafarian

President

Dara Djafarian has served as President of Creatus Biosciences Inc. and member of the board of directors since December 2016. Prior to this, Mr. Djafarian served as the Director of Business Operations since April 2015. He is responsible for the company's corporate growth and outreach initiatives, financing and overseeing day-to-day operations. Prior to joining Creatus, Mr. Djafarian worked at Vanedge Capital Partners, a $140M venture fund speciliazing in technology in the fields of AI, cyber security and cloud computing. Mr. Djafarian holds a Bachelors of Arts & Sciences Degree in Biomedical Sciences from McGill Unversity and a Masters of Science Degree in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London.

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Dr. Hennie Van Vuuren

Chief Scientific Officer

Hennie J.J. van Vuuren is currently a Professor in Food Science and holds the Blythe and Violet Eagles Chair in Food Biotechnology. He is the Founding Director of the Wine Research Centre at UBC. He was Associate Dean Research for LFS from 2003-2011. His research focuses on wine yeast genomics and the genetic construction of novel wine yeasts that will benefit the consumer. During the past 15 years he has obtained more than $14 million in research funding. He has trained 24 M.Sc. and 12 Ph.D. students. He has published 89 scientific and holds five patents. He has recently been honoured by the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation in Ottawa for major scientific breakthroughs in his laboratory that will prevent the formation of neurotoxins and carcinogens in wine. He served as a member of the Executive Committee and Policy and Finance Committee of the International Society for Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology and was President of the 18th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Van Vuuren has served as a member of the board of directors since January 2014.

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Noel Hall

Executive Chair

Noel Hall is a consultant to the life sciences industry with over 25 years of experience in the biotechnology sector. He was the Co-founder, President, and Director of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by the Galenica Group in January 2008. Prior to Aspreva, Mr. Hall co-founded the life sciences practice of consulting firm Hill and Knowlton and served as Head of Global Strategic Planning for the firm’s worldwide pharmaceutical consulting practice. Mr. Hall was the Director of Corporate Affairs for the United Kingdom and Northern Europe for The Wellcome Foundation Ltd., which is now part of GlaxoSmithKline PLC. Additionally, Mr. Hall worked in market development with Abbott Laboratories Ltd. and was the regional sales manager with Leo Laboratories Ltd. Mr. Hall holds a B.Sc. degree in Medical Laboratory Science from London University, and currently serves on the board of directors of iCo Therapeutics Inc.

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Dr. Ali Tehrani

Board Member

Dr. Tehrani is one of Zymeworks' co-founders and currently serves as President and CEO of the company. He has been an integral part of many of the Company's corporate achievements including raising seed and angel financing and overseeing the Company's technical operations and patent filings. Dr. Tehrani holds both Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, and has a Doctoral degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia. While completing his PhD degree he co-founded the Student Biotechnology Network, for which he received the UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2002.
Dr. Tehrani has served on the MITACS Industrial Advisory Board, and BIOTECanada's Industrial and Environmental Committee. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of LifeSciences British Columbia and the Student Biotechnology Network.

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Haig Farris

Board Member

In 1972, Mr. Farris was one of the co-founding members and partners of the Ventures West Management group of venture capital funds, the largest venture capital pool in western Canada. Venture management experience includes finding, financing and developing high-technology startups and corporate turn-around opportunities. Since 1990, he has been President of Fractal Capital Corp., a private venture capital company financing high technology start-ups and resource service technology companies. As a co-founding investor in Zymeworks, Mr. Farris has been a key part of the growth, expansion and success of the company from inception.
Mr. Farris holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics & English) from the University of British Columbia, a Law Degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from UBC.

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Ken Hallat

Board Member

Mr. Kenneth B. Hallat is the founder of M-chem Technologies and serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Hallat also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Novas Capital Corporation. In 1967 Mr. Hallat co-founded Savolite Soap Co. and developed a strategy of accumulating smaller firms in the cleaning products industry. In addition, he is Chairman of the Maxim Group of Companies as well as Ecotex Linen Systems. Mr. Hallat has been a Director of Sleeman Breweries, Sun Rype Products Ltd. as well as several other public companies and non-profit organizations such as the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, the Olympic Trust of Canada, St. Georges School, Young President Organization, World Presidents, Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community, and Shaughnessy Golf Club. In addition Mr. Hallat serves on the Advisory Boards of several family-owned businesses in the technology sector, specialty wood manufacturing, and cleaning products industries in North America. Mr. Hallat graduated from the University of British Columbia with an Honours B. Comm degree in 1969 and an Honours MBA degree in 1970.

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Phil Christopher

Board Member

Phil Christopher has over thirty years' experience in Institution Fixed Income based mainly in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Christopher is now a V.P. and Director of Montrose Development Ltd. a family-owned company involved in commercial real estate and public & private equities. Mr. Christopher sits on two boards, Creatus Biosciences Inc. and TBF Environmental Technology Inc. and is Chair of the Gordon and Mary Christopher Foundation.

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Ian Gregory

Corporate Accountant

Ian Gregory is a seasoned financial and venture executive. Mr Gregory is responsible for the overall management and development of investment capital for both Advanced Biotechnologies Venture (VCC) Inc. and Advanced Biotechnologies Venture (VCC) II Inc. Since 1983 Mr. Gregory has also served as CFO, Director and Corporate Secretary for Fractal Capital Corp., a successful privately held venture capital firm located in Vancouver, Canada, in addition, he has co-invested in over 10 of Fractal’s portfolio companies. At the same time, Mr. Gregory has served for over 35 years as CFO of the International Land group of companies. Mr. Gregory brings a wealth of experience from the high-tech sector, including serving as an advisor to both GaleForce Solutions and Rewardstream, two Vancouver-based software companies. Further, he has served on the boards of directors of 3 not for profits – KidSport Canada, Sport BC, and Volleyball BC for a combined total of 27 years. Mr. Gregory received his BComm in Finance and Accounting from the University of British Columbia and became a Chartered Accountant while articling with KPMG.

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Neil Klompas

Corporate Secretary

Neil Klompas serves as Chief Financial Officer of Zymeworks Inc. Mr. Klompas brings over 20 years of healthcare and biotechnology experience to our management team. Prior to joining Zymeworks Inc., he worked with KPMG LLP in Canada and the United States, most recently (from 2005 to 2007) with KPMG’s Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Medical Device M&A Transaction Services practice in Princeton, New Jersey, where he advised on numerous transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and strategic alliances. Prior to that, from 2000 to 2005 Mr. Klompas worked with KPMG’s Canadian Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals practice in the fields of assurance, valuations and taxation. Mr. Klompas is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is a member of Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia. Mr. Klompas also holds a degree in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of British Columbia and serves on the faculty advisory board for Biotechnology and Chemistry for Camosun College and as a Director for the Canadian Gene Cure Foundation and Ovensa Inc., a private biotechnology company.