Dominique Verhelle, PhD, MBA


Cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer, NextRNA therapeutics, Inc.

Dominique Verhelle is a Cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer at NextRNA therapeutics. She is responsible for developing and driving the scientific strategy. She manages the scientific team, consultants, SAB and Founders. She is also responsible for an important part of the operation activities required for launching a new company such as identifying lab space, designing website and logo.

Before that, Dominique was a Senior Director, Head of Academic Innovation, CEI at Takeda. She held this position for 3 years. She was responsible for initiating and developing Research Alliances with Academic Institutes. With her group, she was playing a major role in identifying partnerships with investigators whose research is at the cusp of innovation. She also contributed to the creation of Coho Therapeutics, a Takeda Ventures funded Newco and was Director on the Board of Bridge Medicines.

Prior to her Takeda appointment, Dominique was a principal at Third Rock Ventures. She joined in 2015 as a strategic advisor to focus on drug discovery and development across the portfolio. She played an instrumental role in the creation of Fulcrum Therapeutics, a portfolio company launched in 2016 and Cedilla Therapeutics launched in April 2018.

Dominique has more than 20 years of R&D experience, principally in oncology. She was a Director Epigenetics at Pfizer in the Oncology Research Unit. Prior to that, she held several positions at Celgene over 9 years where she contributed to the understanding of the mechanism of action of IMiDs and later initiated the epigenetic effort with the creation and the leadership of the internal scientific group and partnership / M&A initiatives.

Dominique completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Glass at University of California, San Diego focusing on transcription regulation and chromatin remodeling. She holds a Ph.D. in Life Sciences from the University of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, France and an MBA in Entrepreneurships from the Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego.