Leadership Team

A vision for growth, shaped by experience.

It takes a village to bring an asset to market. At Arbutus, our village includes professionals with deep scientific, clinical, operational, and financial expertise. Our leadership team knows the path to market well, having played pivotal roles in the discovery, development, and commercialization of multiple approved antivirals. Here are their stories.

Experienced Leadership Team

William H. Collier

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Collier joined Arbutus in June 2019 and serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Collier has more than 30 years of senior executive management, commercial and operational leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, predominantly with companies focused in anti-virals and vaccines. Prior to Arbutus, Mr. Collier served as President and General Manager, North America at ViiV Healthcare where he led the industry-leading launches of several new treatments for HIV. Prior to that, Mr. Collier held multiple senior leadership roles during his fifteen-year tenure at GlaxoSmithKline. Earlier in his career, he led the launches of new treatments for herpes and bacterial infections. Mr. Collier received his BSc in Mathematics and Management Sciences from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, UK, and served on The President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2014 to 2017.

William Collier Headshot Meet Bill

William H. Collier

President and Chief Executive Officer

Pharma senior executive with global operational leadership, strategic management and commercial experience with antiviral and anti-infective companies.

 

Michael J. Sofia PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Sofia joined Arbutus in 2015 and serves as the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Sofia has over 30 years of research and development experience with several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Pharmasset, Inc. where he was responsible for the discovery of sofobuvir, an approved drug which cures hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) and which ultimately resulted in the acquisition of Pharmasset by Gilead for $11 billion. Dr. Sofia has won numerous awards for his work in the field of antiviral therapy including the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research Award for his outstanding discovery, contribution, and achievement in the field of medicine, the prestigious Cameron Prize for Therapeutics from the University of Edinburg in recognition for his discovery of sofosbuvir and the Economist’s 2015 Innovation Award in the Bioscience category for developing a rapid cure for HCV. Prior to joining Arbutus, Dr. Sofia was one of OnCore’s co-founders and served as its Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development. He previously held the positions of Senior Vice-President, Chemistry at Gilead Sciences, Inc., Senior Vice-President, Chemistry at Pharmasset, Inc., Group Director, New Leads Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Vice President of Research at Transcell Technologies where he established and directed the research programs. Dr. Sofia received his B.A. degree from Cornell University, his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.

Michael Sofia Headshot Meet Michael

Michael J. Sofia PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Co-founder, globally recognized antiviral drug discovery and development scientist and inventor of sofosbuvir, an approved drug which is the backbone curative therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

 

Gaston Picchio, PhD

Chief Development Officer

Dr. Picchio joined Arbutus in October 2018 and serves as our Chief Development Officer. Dr. Picchio has over thirty five years of basic and clinical experience in the field of human virology, and nineteen years of industry experience dedicated to the development of antiviral drugs including drug approvals for the treatment of HIV (etravirine and rilpivirine) and HCV (telaprevir and simeprevir). In 2015, Dr. Picchio was a recipient of the Johnson Medal for the development of telaprevir and simeprevir and combinations thereof. Prior to joining Arbutus, Dr. Picchio served in various senior management positions at Janssen R&D, including Vice President—Scientific Innovation Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Vice President—Hepatitis Disease Area Leader and Vice President—Clinical Virology Infectious Diseases & Vaccines. Dr. Picchio received a Masters in Molecular Biology from University Centro de Altos Estudios en Ciencias Exactas, Buenos Aires, and a PhD degree from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Gaston Picchio Headshot Meet Gaston

Gaston Picchio, PhD

Chief Development Officer

Clinical virologist with significant experience developing approved antiviral drugs for the treatment of HIV (etravirine and rilpivirine) and HCV (telaprevir and simeprevir).

 

David C. Hastings

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Hastings joined Arbutus in June 2018 and serves as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Hastings has more than 25 years of executive finance and operational experience with biotech and pharma companies in various stages of development, including commercial. Mr. Hastings spent the majority of his career at Incyte Corporation where he served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. During his tenure, Mr. Hastings oversaw all financial aspects as Incyte transitioned from research and development to commercialization, following the launch of Jakafi® (ruxolitinib). Mr. Hastings also previously served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ArQule Inc., where he played an important role in ArQule’s transition into a drug discovery and development organization, and its two strategic acquisitions, including the purchase of Cyclis Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mr. Hastings held prior executive and senior level financial positions at Sepracor, Inc. and Unilife Corporation (a medical device company). Mr. Hastings is a Board member and Chair of the Audit Committees of Scynexis, Inc., VBL Therapeutics and Entasis, Inc. Mr. Hastings received his BA from the University of Vermont.

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David C. Hastings

Chief Financial Officer

Financially savvy life-sciences senior executive with companies spanning various stages of research, development, and commercialization.

 

Michael J. McElhaugh

Chief Business Officer

Mr. McElhaugh joined Arbutus in July 2014 and since 2018 has served as our Chief Business Officer. Mr. McElhaugh has more than 20 years of scientific, strategic, transactional and commercial experience spanning various operating roles within the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. McElhaugh joined Arbutus when it merged with OnCore Biopharma where he was a co-founder and served as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to OnCore, Mr. McElhaugh was the Director, Hepatitis C Worldwide Commercialization at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mr. McElhaugh was the Director, Business Development and Market Analytics at Pharmasset, Inc. and remained in that role following the acquisition by Gilead Sciences Inc. Mr. McElhaugh also previously held various positions at Viropharma, Inc. and at Merck and Co., Inc. Mr. McElhaugh received his B.S. degree from St. Joseph’s University, his M.S. degree from Thomas Jefferson University and his M.B.A. degree from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Michael Mcelhaugh Headshot Meet Michael

Michael J. McElhaugh

Chief Business Officer

Co-founder with extensive scientific, strategic, transactional, and commercial experience with antiviral and infectious disease companies.

 

Elizabeth Howard PhD, JD

EVP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

Dr. Elizabeth Howard joined Arbutus in March 2016 and serves as our EVP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Dr. Howard has been practicing law for more than 20 years with a focus on intellectual property, trade secrets disputes and handling anti-counterfeiting matters in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Howard has been listed as a “leading lawyer” in “PLC Which Lawyer” for her litigation successes in life sciences, and named to the Daily Journal’s list of “Top 75 IP Litigators in California” in 2013. Prior to joining Arbutus, she was an intellectual property partner at Orrick, where she co-chaired Orrick’s life sciences practice focusing on patent infringement litigation. In addition to litigating in numerous federal district courts and California state courts, Dr. Howard has appeared before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in interference proceedings, arbitrated before numerous tribunals, and litigated before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). Before law school, Dr. Howard was an NSF Plant Molecular Biology Postdoctoral Fellow at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry in Canberra, Australia, and a Research Geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Howard obtained her doctorate with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn (2009 Nobel Laureate, Physiology or Medicine). Dr. Howard holds a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and is a member of the United States Patent Bar.

Elizabeth Howard Headshot Meet Liz

Elizabeth Howard PhD, JD

EVP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

Lawyer (and former molecular biologist) with extensive experience handling intellectual property disputes, trade secrets disputes, licensing disputes and anti-counterfeiting matters in the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Lisa Caperelli

Vice President, Investor Relations

Ms. Caperelli joined Arbutus in September 2021 as Vice President Investor Relations.  Ms. Caperelli has more than 20 years of demonstrated experience in leading investor communications strategies for publicly traded biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Arbutus, Lisa oversaw investor relations at Harmony, where she assisted the company in its IPO, increased analyst coverage and generated investor education and awareness around the company’s first year of sales for its FDA approved product. Throughout her career, Ms. Caperelli held roles of increased responsibility in investor relations and corporate communications with several public biotech companies at various stages of development including Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Advaxis, Inc., PolyMedix and Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Discovery Labs).  In these roles, Lisa clearly and concisely communicated the company’s strategy, growth opportunities and business initiatives to the buy- and sell-side and secured in excess of $500m in capital through various financings.  Ms. Caperelli holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Delaware Valley University.  She is a member of the National Investors Relations Institute (NIRI) and currently serves as President of the Philadelphia Chapter.  

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Lisa Caperelli

Vice President, Investor Relations

Tenured communications leader with a strong track record guiding investor communications strategy for publicly traded biotechnology companies.

 

Shannon Briscoe, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Executive Director of Human Resources

Ms. Briscoe joined Arbutus in July 2021 and serves as Executive Director, Human Resources.  Ms. Briscoe has more than 15 years of Human Resources generalist experience with the last 6 years spent in the life sciences industry. Throughout her career, she has focused on compensation & benefits, performance management, employee relations, training and development, recruitment, workers compensation, human resources information systems, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and ESG initiatives.  Prior to Arbutus, Ms. Briscoe was a member of the Human Resources team at Lannett Company, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, where she implemented and oversaw employee benefits and compensation for more than 1000 employees.  Additionally, her career has included HR roles of increasing responsibility with privately owned manufacturing and wholesale companies, and one of the largest school districts in Pennsylvania.  Ms. Briscoe holds a B.A. from University of Delaware, a Senior Professional in Human Resources Certificate, as well as a SHRM (Society for Human Resources) Senior Certified Professional Certificate.

Shannon Headshot Meet Shannon

Shannon Briscoe, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Executive Director of Human Resources

Experienced human resources professional with a strong history in the pharmaceutical industry.

 
Meet Our Board

Board

Get to know the impressive members of our Board of Directors.

Meet our Board of Directors

Meet Our Scientific Advisors

Scientific Advisors

Discover the scientists providing us their guidance and advisory.

Meet our Advisory board