Dominique Verhelle is a co-founder of NextRNA, who has led the scientific and corporate strategy of the company since its launch in January 2021. She currently manages the scientific team, consultants, SAB, and oversees the broader business, finance, and operations of the company.
Dominique was formerly the Senior Director, Head of Academic Innovation, CEI at Takeda, where she was responsible for initiating and developing research alliances with Academic Institutes. She played a significant role accelerating innovation by building partnerships with investigators. She also contributed to creating Coho Therapeutics, a Takeda Ventures funded Newco, and was Director on the Board of Bridge Medicines.
Before 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 of incubated companies. She played an instrumental role in building and launching Fulcrum Therapeutics and Cedilla Therapeutics.
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. Before that, she held several positions at Celgene for over nine years. She contributed to the understanding of the mechanism of action of IMiDs. She later initiated the internal epigenetic effort, led the group, and participated in partnership / M&A initiatives.
Dominique completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Glass at the 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 Entrepreneurship from the Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego.