Executive Committee

Susanne Schaffert, Ph.D., was appointed Chairperson and President of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company in 2018. Prior to this, Susanne was the Head of Region Europe at Novartis Oncology, where she was responsible for leading Novartis’ Oncology Business Unit in the European Region, marketing key products in lung, breast and renal cancer as well as hematology and coordinating the entire Oncology operations for EU countries. Susanne is a member of the Novartis Oncology Executive Committee and R&D Portfolio management board, as well as a member of the Board of Novartis AG Germany and the GSK JV OTC Board. From 2010 to 2012, Susanne served as the Head of Investor Relations for Novartis Group, reporting to the Chief Financial Officer. Before this, she served as Novartis Global Franchise Head for Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Susanne first joined Novartis Germany in 1995, as a sales representative, and she has held a series of positions in Sales & Marketing with increasing responsibilities in both National and Global functions. Her roles have included Global Brand Director, Basel; Head of Marketing Oncology, Germany; Business Unit Head Oncology, Germany and Head of Northern & Central Europe for Novartis Oncology, managing a $1 billion business with more than 500 associates. Susanne holds a Ph.D. with honors in Organic Chemistry from University of Erlangen (Germany).

Barak Palatchi was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company in 2018. Barak was Oncology General Manager, UK & Ireland for Novartis from 2016 to February 2018, and a member of the Novartis Oncology Leadership Team, Region Europe. Prior to this, Barak was Oncology General Manager Israel for Novartis from 2012 to June 2016. Before this, he was Head of Marketing for Samsung Israel from 2011 to 2012. Prior to joining Samsung, Barak spent seven years with Pfizer Israel in roles of increasing responsibility including Public Affairs Director, Marketing Director and then Business Unit Director. Barak started his career in the U.S. working as a legislative assistant for New York Congressman Eliot Engel. Barak was a scholar at the Institute for Advance Strategic and Political Studies in Washington D.C., and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

Germo Gericke, M.D., was appointed Head of Research and Development of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company in 2018. Germo continues his role as a member of the Oncology Development Leadership Team at Novartis. Prior to joining AAA, Germo served as Franchise Global Program Head in the Oncology Global Development Unit of Novartis, where he led cross-functional development activities for compounds in full development and life cycle management. Prior to moving to Oncology Global Drug Development in 2008, Germo served in strategic, commercial and general management roles with increasing responsibility across a range of therapeutic and geographic areas. Germo joined Novartis in 2001 from McKinsey & Company where he was a member of the Global Healthcare Practice. Germo holds a Medical Doctorate from the University of Heidelberg. He studied medicine at Charité University Hospital, Berlin.


Caio Kugelmas is Chief Financial Officer for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. Prior to joining AAA, Caio held positions with various Novartis businesses over the past 12 years. Most recently, he was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Navigate Biopharma in San Diego, California, a Novartis-owned business established in 2017, following the Genoptix divestment. Caio has held various senior finance roles at Novartis, including Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Genoptix; Country and Pharma Chief Financial Officer for Novartis Mexico; and Regional Chief Financial Officer for Novartis Animal Health. Before joining Novartis, Caio worked for Medtronic and GE Healthcare in financial positions of increasing responsibility. Caio holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universidad Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina in the U.S.

Philippe Dasse is Head of Technical Operations for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. From 2015 until August 2018, he also held the position of General Manager of AAA France. Philippe joined AAA shortly after the company was founded in 2002, as Responsible Qualified Person. One of his first mandates was to establish pharmaceutical production. Over the past 16 years, he has held multiple roles of increasing responsibility across various functions, including production, regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, and quality assurance. Prior to AAA, Philippe worked at Tours Hospital for three years as Hospital Pharmacist and one year in an industrial pharmaceutical company as Quality Assurance Manager. Philippe holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Reims, an academic diploma in Radiopharmacy and Quality Assurance from University of Pharmacy Tours, and a Master’s of Science in bio-kinetics of markers from the University of Pharmacy Paris V.

Mujgan Ates, M.D., is Head of Medical Affairs for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years in both medical and commercial positions, focusing on oncology, hematology and rare diseases. Prior to joining AAA in September 2018, Mujgan worked at Celgene, where she was the Country Medical Director for Turkey since October of 2016. Before this, she spent 10 years with AstraZeneca as Vice President of Medical in Japan, and then as Vice President Medical, International Regions based in the UK. Mujgan also previously held positions at Johnson and Johnson, Janssen, Cilag, and at several domestic pharmaceutical companies in Turkey. Throughout her career, she has driven medical strategy and managed teams in multiple markets including Japan, China, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East and Africa for both portfolio and pipeline products. She has also worked closely with global regulatory and health economics teams to support regulatory affairs and market access efforts. Mujgan holds a Medical degree from Gazi University Medical School and studied Pharmacology in Istanbul University Istanbul Medical School.


Katherine Betz-Doherty is Head of Human Resources for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. Prior to joining AAA in 2018, Katherine served as Head of Human Resources for three Novartis Group global functions (Human Resources, Communications & Advocacy and Global Health and Corporate Responsibility). In this position she partnered with leadership teams across the organizational matrix to embed talent, capabilities and a culture agenda. Since joining Novartis in 1999, Katherine has worked on multiple transformational efforts in the areas of acquisitions, innovative business models, and capability development while building people and patient centric cultures. From 2013 to 2016, she was Head of Human Resources for Genoptix, a molecular diagnostics lab and a start-up business acquired by Novartis. Before this she spent several years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in compensation, talent management, organization development and lastly leading HR Business Partner teams in the Specialty Medicine and Business functions groups for the US General Medicine unit. Katherine started her career in Human Resources working with several well-known global leaders in high tech and consulting, including Dell Computers, Cap Gemini and Anderson Consulting. Katherine holds a Bachelor degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Pennsylvania State University and a Master degree in Management and Organization Development from College of St. Elizabeth in New Jersey.

Leo Bronfman is Head of Legal and Compliance for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. Prior to joining AAA in September 2018, Leo spent three years at Novartis Oncology, where he was Director, Pharmaceutical Counsel and then Executive Director, Senior Pharmaceutical Counsel where he supported business development and licensing, alliance management and compliance functions. Before Novartis Oncology, Leo held the position of Senior Corporate Counsel for Sandoz U.S., where his responsibilities included legal support for business development and licensing transactions, product-related mergers and acquisitions and technical operations. After graduating from law school and prior to joining Sandoz U.S., Leo practiced law as a mergers and acquisitions corporate associate at various top law firms in New York, where he advised public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, complex licensing and collaboration transactions, as well as general commercial and finance transactions Leo holds a Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Jordi Vall-llossera is Head of Quality Assurance for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. Prior to joining AAA in 2018, Jordi served as Global Head of Supply Chain Quality Assurance for Novartis. Before this he was Head of Pharma Supply Chain Quality Assurance and Responsible Person for the Distribution licenses for Novartis Pharma AG and Novartis Pharma Services AG. From 2014 to 2015, Jordi held the position of Global Quality Process Lead for within the Novartis Pharma Quality organization and from 2010 to 2014, he was Global Quality Operations Manager for Products. Jordi first started his tenure at Novartis in 2005, as a Quality IT Manager at a manufacturing site in Spain and moved to Basel in 2009, to oversee the implementation of a Laboratory Information Management System at all Novartis Pharma manufacturing sites. He spent the first five years of his professional career as a Quality Management and Business Consultant specialized in operations and information technology at Accenture (Anderson Consulting) and in private practice. Jordi holds a degree in Technical Agricultural Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and a degree in Agronomical Engineering from the University of Lleida, both in Spain. He has also completed a special Quality Management Program at the Escuela Organizacion Industrial in Barcelona, Spain.


Rachel Levine is Director of Communications for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. Prior to joining AAA in 2016, Rachel spent eight years at Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, as Director of Corporate Development and Communications and then as Vice President of Investor Relations. During her tenure, she led financing activities, investor and media relations, and internal communications, and supported business development and government relations activites. Rachel has specialized in the healthcare sector (including biotechnology, specialty pharmaceuticals, managed care, healthcare services, and medical device and delivery) since 2000. From 2005 to 2007, Rachel served as Managing Director for Grayling, a global integrated communications firm and division of Huntsworth PLC. Before this, she was Managing Director at The Anne McBride Company, a global investor and public relations advisory. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, with honors from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA).

Thomas Travis was appointed Head of Strategy and Operational Planning of Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company in 2018. Prior to joining AAA, Thomas worked as part of Novartis Oncology’s Global Strategy team, where he focused on commercial excellence. Thomas joined Novartis from McKinsey & Company, where he was a member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products Practice from 2013 to 2017. Thomas started his career as a chemical process engineer at Fluor Corporation, an engineering and construction company, before returning to school to study business. Thomas holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Engineering Management, and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Niva Almaula is Director of Business Development for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), a Novartis company. Prior to joining AAA in 2015, Niva was Managing Partner at Octane BioVentures, a strategic partnering services company for early stage life science ventures that she founded in 2013. Before this, Niva was Associate Director of Alliance Management at Dr Reddy’s Labs. From 2008 to 2010, she was Associate Director, Pipeline Sourcing, at Nycomed, which was later acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuiticals. Niva’s business development experience includes working in healthcare investment banking at BIO IB, and in academic technology transfer at Rockefeller University. She began her career as an equity research analyst at Mehta Partners, where she covered biotechnology companies spanning various therapeutic areas. Niva holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Rutgers University in New Jersey.