Jeanne Magram, Ph.D., Appointed to Chief Scientific Officer & René Russo, Pharm.D., Joins Board of Directors

Cambridge, MA – May 12, 2020 – Celsius Therapeutics, a company focused on bringing precision medicine to patients with cancer, autoimmunity and other complex diseases, today announced the appointment of Jeanne Magram, Ph.D., to chief scientific officer. Christoph Lengauer, Ph.D., a partner at Third Rock Ventures and co-founder and former interim chief scientific officer of Celsius, will continue to serve as a scientific advisor and board member. In addition, René Russo, Pharm.D., joined the company’s board of directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jeanne and René to the Celsius team,” said Tariq Kassum, M.D., CEO of Celsius. “Jeanne’s experience will be a tremendous asset as we build a deep pipeline of precision therapeutics across autoimmune disease and cancer. Her insights into target discovery, patient stratification and drug development will help us maximize the potential of our integrated single cell genomics-based platform. René is a proven company-builder whose insights span the full spectrum of drug development. She will be instrumental as we advance our programs and move closer to the clinic. We are excited to have such strong leaders join our team at this point in our evolution as we develop precision therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune disease.”

“Jeanne brings deep drug discovery expertise across multiple therapeutic areas and modalities,” said Dr. Lengauer. “Her scientific leadership will be invaluable as Celsius leverages its single cell and machine learning platform to discover the next generation of precision medicines for patients with autoimmune disease and cancer.”

Dr. Magram brings to Celsius more than 25 years of drug discovery and development experience. Prior to Celsius, she was chief scientific officer of Quentis Therapeutics, a company focused on addressing the impact of cellular stress on immune suppression within the tumor microenvironment. Previously, Dr. Magram was the founding chief scientific officer of Northern Biologics, a company focused on first-in-class biologics for solid tumors. Prior to Northern Biologics, she served as the site head for Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, a partnership between Pfizer and academic medical centers designed to accelerate the translation of innovative discoveries into differentiated new medicines. Before that, Dr. Magram was vice president, immunology & inflammation research at Boehringer Ingelheim, where she oversaw a department committed to drug discovery in autoimmune disease. In this role, she delivered several candidates into preclinical and clinical testing, including the recently approved therapy SKYRIZI. Earlier in her career, Dr. Magram was an associate director of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) drug discovery at OSI Pharmaceuticals and held roles at Hoffmann-La Roche focused on using model systems to understand the pathophysiology of disease and to identify new therapies. Dr. Magram completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate J. Michael Bishop and obtained her Ph.D. in the laboratory of Franklin Costantini, Ph.D., in the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Dr. Russo has more than 20 years of experience leading all aspects of R&D and commercialization in the biopharmaceutical industry. She is currently the CEO of Xilio Therapeutics, a privately held immuno-oncology company focused on tumor-selective activation of potent IO therapeutics. Prior to Xilio, Dr. Russo was the president and CEO of Arsanis, a company developing monoclonal antibodies to prevent and treat serious infectious diseases, which merged with X4 Pharmaceuticals in 2018. Prior to Arsanis, she spent 12 years at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a leading global anti-infective company acquired by Merck for $9.6 billion. Dr. Russo also held R&D roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she contributed to the development and global commercialization of several successful products, including REYATAZ and BARACLUDE. Dr. Russo serves on the boards of Xilio Therapeutics, X4 Pharmaceuticals and Life Science Cares. She holds a B.S. in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Rutgers University.

About Celsius Therapeutics

Celsius Therapeutics is charting a new course of target and drug discovery by applying a systematic approach to single-cell sequencing of patient tissue, combining massive datasets, complex algorithms, and machine learning to discover first-in-class precision therapies with a transformative impact on the lives of patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer. Celsius was launched in 2018, is backed by Third Rock Ventures and GV (formerly Google Ventures), and is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit


Katie Engleman, 1AB

More Press Releases