Described by some as a fearless, passionate leader, Dr. Stagliano has always been fascinated by how the brain works. “Of all parts of the body, to me it is the most interesting and the most complex,” she explains. “I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I think the brain is the final frontier.”
As Westlake’s Entrepreneur in Residence, Stagliano is driven by her love of science and medicine, receiving a PhD in neuroscience, and degrees in both biomedical and electrical engineering, followed by a postdoc at Harvard Medical School. She has numerous patents and publications in respected journals to her name.
Rather than pursuing an academic career, Stagliano has always been open to new experiences, which have taken her outside of academia to a variety of leadership positions in industry that she otherwise would not have had. “While some people have a clear sense of what they want to do, most don’t,” she says. “I certainly didn’t. When opportunity knocks, open your mind to new experiences. As the saying goes, not all those who wander are lost.”
During her career, Stagliano has been CEO of several successful companies—Neuron23, True North Therapeutics, iPierian, and CytomX Therapeutics—and is very clear on what she looks for in her teams. “Grit, passion, energy and a sense of undying commitment to what we are doing,” she says. “I look for flexibility, intelligence, a scrappy personality and drive.”
Under her leadership, True North discovered and developed a first-in-class monoclonal antibody in the classical complement pathway TNT009, which received breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the orphan indication, Cold Agglutinin Disease.
Previously, Stagliano was chief executive officer of iPierian, Inc., which applied human iPSCs to model neurodegenerative diseases. Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired the company and its lead antibody program against Tau for the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy and Alzheimer’s disease in April 2014.
From 2008 to 2010, Stagliano was the chief executive officer and co-founder of CytomX Therapeutics and a lead inventor on the CytomX Probody platform. Before moving to California, she worked in Cambridge, Mass., where she had an eight-year tenure at Millennium Pharmaceuticals.
Stagliano is passionate about building high performing teams dedicated to finding new therapies that make a difference for patients. “Success to me is defined by getting a therapeutic to patients,” she says. “That’s why I think my crowning career achievement to-date is the work I did with True North.”
Stagliano serves on the boards of a number of biotechnology companies, including Neuron23, Pandion Therapeutics and Latigo Biotherapeutics as well as on the board of PanCAN, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She obtained her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, in Miami.