Management Team

Ali Tehrani Ph.D.
President & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Tehrani is one of our co-founders and currently serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer. He has been an integral part of many of our corporate achievements including raising seed and angel financing and overseeing our 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 as a Board Director for the Student Biotechnology Network, on the MITACS Industrial Advisory Board, and BIOTE Canada’s Industrial and Environmental Committee. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of LifeSciences British Columbia, Creatus Biosciences Inc and CQDM. 

Dr. Tehrani also serves as a member of the British Columbia Premier's Technology Council.

Neil Klompas CA
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Klompas is our Chief Financial Officer, and brings over 20 years of healthcare and biotechnology experience to our management team. In addition to finance responsibilities, and in conjunction with our President and Chief Executive Officer, he manages our corporate growth initiatives. Prior to joining Zymeworks Inc. in March 2007, 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. 

Diana Hausman, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Hausman is a board certified medical oncologist and brings more than 15 years of clinical drug development experience to our management team. Prior to joining Zymeworks Inc. in June 2016, she was Chief Medical Officer at Oncothyreon Inc. (now Cascadian Therapeutics, Inc.) from 2012 to 2016, where she oversaw the clinical program for their lead Phase 2 targeted anti-HER2 cancer therapy. While there, Dr. Hausman also led planning for the clinical development of a therapeutic vaccine, and earlier served as the company’s vice president of clinical development from 2009 to 2011. She has also held positions at ZymoGenetics, Inc., Berlex, Inc. and Immunex Corporation working across multiple indications, including oncology, hematology, hepatitis C and autoimmune disease. Dr. Hausman received her internal medicine training and specialty training in hematology and medical oncology at the University of Washington. She holds an M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. in biology from Princeton University.

Surjit Dixit Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Dixit is our Chief Technology Officer, responsible for the implementation of novel algorithms and advancement of our proprietary ZymeCAD approach. Prior to joining Zymeworks in July 2007, Dr. Dixit was the coordinator of Computational Molecular Biophysics at Weselyan University, Connecticut, where he was instrumental in the development of novel methods for management and mining of high throughput molecular dynamics simulation data. Dr. Dixit obtained his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi researching methods for computing the binding and interaction energies in protein DNA complexes. Subsequently, from 1999 to 2001 he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Université Henri Poincaré, Nancy, France, working on the development and implementation of highly accurate methods for the prediction of binding energies in drug discovery research.

John Babcook
Senior Vice President, Discovery Research

Mr. John Babcook is our Senior Vice President, Discovery Research responsible for target, antibody and drug conjugate discovery and associated partnerships. For over 20 years, Mr. Babcook has made significant contributions to the international biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Zymeworks Inc. in March 2016, based on a novel antibody generation platform, he co-founded ImmGenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 1998 which was acquired by Abgenix Inc. in 2000 and subsequently by Amgen, Inc. in 2006 where he led its Canadian research team. Mr. Babcook also established the Biologics Division at the Centre for Drug Research and Development where he served as Vice President, Biologics in addition to becoming the founding President and Chief Scientific Officer of Kairos. While at Kairos, he was responsible for the development of its ADC therapeutics pipeline and formed multiple collaborations, including the strategic partnership and the merger with Zymeworks Inc. Mr. Babcook has participated in the development of more than 100 therapeutic antibody-based programs, 11 of which are now in the clinic, including three antibody-drug conjugates.

Mr. Babcook is an Adjunct Professor in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University, an Honorary Doctorate recipient from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the recipient of the LifeSciences British Columbia’s “Innovation and Achievement” Award.

Jennifer Kaufman-Shaw Ph.D., LL.B
Vice President, Intellectual Property & Legal Affairs

Dr. Kaufman-Shaw is our Vice President, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs, and brings with her over 20 years of intellectual property management, strategy and execution experience to the management team. Dr. Kaufman-Shaw is responsible for our intellectual property portfolio and global patent strategy, as well as supporting our therapeutics and platform licensing activities and general legal matters. Prior to joining Zymeworks Inc. in August 2014, Dr. Kaufman-Shaw was a Co-Founder of ImStar Therapeutics Inc. a biotechnology company, and also served as its Vice President, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs from its founding in 2012 to 2014. She also served as a Vice President at the biotechnology companies Sirius Genomics Inc. (from 2007 to 2012) and QLT Inc. (from 1997 to 2007), where she was responsible for developing and executing intellectual property strategies. Dr. Kaufman-Shaw is admitted to both the Alberta and British Columbia Bars and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta. She is currently serving as a member of the board of directors of MRM Proteomics Inc., a proteomics services and kit provider.

Wajida Leclerc B.A., CHRP, CCP
Vice President, Human Resources

Ms. Leclerc joined Zymeworks Inc. in April 2015 and currently serves as our Vice President, Human Resources. Ms. Leclerc is responsible for managing all aspects of Human Resources, including our growing demand for highly skilled science and technology professionals. Prior to joining Zymeworks Inc., Ms. Leclerc served as Director, Human Resources at BC Lottery Corporation, a crown corporation of the Province of British Columbia, from September 2010 to July 2014. Ms. Leclerc also brings with her a wealth of experience in human resource management within the biotech/pharmaceuticals industry, having served from 2008 to 2010 as Senior Director, Human Resources at Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceuticals company, and from 1998 to 2008 as Senior Director, Human Resources at QLT, Inc., a biotechnology company. Ms. Leclerc holds a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts and Business from Simon Fraser University.