Catherine Mackey Ph.D.


Catherine J. Mackey, Ph.D., is an experienced leader, director and advisor serving start-up, venture-backed, and public companies. She is the former Sr. Vice President, Pfizer Global R&D, and has over thirty years of research and development and operations experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agricultural industries.

Dr. Mackey is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cour Pharmaceutical Development Corporation, a privately-held, clinical-stage company using material science and immunology to cure disease. She is a member of the Board of Directors of GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: GWPH) a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas. She is also a member of the Board of Poseida Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held, clinical stage company developing next generation cell therapies for cancer. Previously she served on the Boards of Evolve Biosystems, Sequenom, Inc. (acquired by Labcorp), Viventia Bio (acquired by Eleven Bio), YM Biosciences (acquired by Gilead), and Althea Technologies (acquired by Ajinomoto). Her current non-profit board service includes Rady Children’s Hospital and Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine. In addition, she serves as a consultant and advisor to several companies. 

From 2001 through 2010 Dr. Mackey was Sr. Vice President, Pfizer Global Research and Development, and Director, La Jolla Laboratories. She led Pfizer’s La Jolla Labs to become one of Pfizer’s most successful R&D sites. With over 1000 staff located on a one-million square-foot campus, and an annual budget of approximately $300M, Pfizer La Jolla delivered a steady–state pipeline of over two dozen development compounds. This pipeline yielded four key oncology drugs:  sunitinib (Sutent), axitinib (Inlyta), crizotinib (Xalkori), and palbociclib (Ibrance). Dr. Mackey was also a member of Pfizer’s Global Research Leadership Team, which managed the largest R&D budget, organization and portfolio in the industry. In addition, she was a member of Pfizer’s Senior Leadership Team where she acquired broad knowledge and experience across all divisions of the company.

Prior to her leadership role at Pfizer La Jolla, Dr. Mackey led Strategic Alliances at Pfizer’s R&D headquarters, where she gained extensive experience with both corporate and corporate-academic partnerships in the U.S. and global markets. Prior to that role, she led Pfizer’s US R&D efforts in Genomic and Proteomic Sciences, which included biomarker and pharmacogenomics research. Dr. Mackey began her career in agricultural biotechnology, first with Pfizer and then with DEKALB Genetics, Inc. She led the team that won the race to transform corn – a breakthrough that revolutionized the seed industry. Dr. Mackey and her team applied this technology to create several first-in-class commercial products and build a robust patent estate. She also pioneered the application of genomic analysis to commercial breeding. She moved from bench scientist to various roles of increasing responsibility and eventually to corporate Vice President and head of Research and Development for DEKALB Genetics. She was a member of DEKALB’s executive team that sold the company to Monsanto in 1999 at a $3.8 billion market capitalization. Dr. Mackey received her B.S. (‘77) and Ph.D. (‘83) degrees in microbiology from Cornell University.

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