Michael York

Chief Business Officer

Mr. York has served as our Senior Vice President, Business Development & Commercial Strategy since December 2021. He joins Metacrine from PhaseBio, where he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Alliance Management. At PhaseBio, Mr. York led a number of licensing and development deals and was the architect for bentracimab’s commercial strategy. Prior to PhaseBio, he served as Vice President, Global Business Development and Alliance Management at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., where he led global business development activities to license Orexigen assets and manage alliance partners. Before Orexigen, Michael was President and Chief Executive Officer of Senté Labs, Inc., a privately held company recognized as a leader in medical skincare products based on glycoproteins. Earlier in his career, Mr. York held roles of increasing responsibility at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Santarus, Inc., Amgen, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc. He received an MBA from the University of Redlands and a B.A. in public administration and economics from San Diego State University.

Theresa Lowry

Vice President, Human Resources

Ms. Lowry joins Metacrine from Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she served as head of global HR operations & total rewards. Prior to Arena, she was head of global HR operations & total rewards at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, and before that, head of global rewards & HR operations at Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. From 2014 to 2017 she took a sabbatical to train full-time to qualify for the Olympic trials in the marathon and obtain her M.S. in business and corporate law from the University of San Diego School of Law. Prior to that, Ms. Lowry was senior director, global total rewards & HR operations at ResMed Inc., and before that, director, human resources, global total rewards, talent acquisition & HRIS at Encore Capital Group, Inc. She began her career in HR as a consultant with Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. Ms. Lowry received her B.A. in Spanish language and literature from the University of Virginia.

Brandee Wagner, Ph.D.

Vice President of Biology

Dr. Wagner is the Vice President of Biology and has served as the head of biology since our inception in 2015.  She has more than 20 years of drug discovery experience focused exclusively on metabolic disease targets.  Previously, Dr. Wagner served as a Research Fellow at Regulus Therapeutics leading the development of an anti-miR targeting microRNA-103/107 for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in patients with type 2 diabetes under a strategic alliance with AstraZeneca.  From 2000 to 2013, Dr. Wagner was a research scientist at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Exelixis and X-Ceptor therapeutics, focusing on GPCRs and nuclear receptors in metabolic disease.  Dr. Wagner received her Ph.D. at Duke University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute and the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Preston Klassen, M.D., MHS

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Klassen has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors since June 2020. From March 2017 to June 2020, Dr. Klassen served as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. From June 2016 to March 2017, he was Chief Medical Officer of Laboratoris Sanifit S.L., a biotechnology company, and prior to that, from November 2009 to May 2016, was Executive Vice President, Head of Global Development at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Klassen also held several positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen Inc., including Therapeutic Area Head for Nephrology. Before joining Amgen, he was a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Klassen holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Central University of Iowa. Dr. Klassen received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine, fellowship in nephrology, and Master of Health Sciences degree at Duke University.