Leadership Team

Image of Jeffrey Stafford, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Stafford, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Jeffrey Stafford is the CEO and cofounder of 858 Therapeutics. Jeff started his drug discovery career at Glaxo Research Institute in 1991 and has held research and executive management roles in both large pharma and privately held biotech. Prior to his role with 858, Jeff was the CEO of Jecure Therapeutics, a company focused on inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome and acquired in Genentech in 2018. Prior to his role with Jecure, he was the founding CSO of Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, a company pioneering a single cell genomics platform for precision targeting of cancer stem cells. In 2015, Celgene acquired Quanticel for its portfolio of novel epigenetics drug candidates and its platform technology, consummating a successful "build-to-buy" collaboration between the parties. Jeff's discovery teams have been responsible for the discovery of three FDA-approved drugs – Votrient (pazopanib); Nesina (alogliptin); and Byfavo (remimazolam) – and several others in clinical trials. He is a co-author of numerous peer review publications in the areas of organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and drug discovery.

Jeff received a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Cornell University. He completed an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley.

Image of James Veal, Ph.D

James Veal, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. James Veal is the CSO and a cofounder of 858 Therapeutics. Jim began his drug discovery career in 1991 at Glaxo Research Institute. While at Glaxo (now GSK), he worked on a range of receptor and enzyme targets, including protein kinases, for the treatment of inflammation and cancer and established himself as an industry leader in the area of applied computational chemistry. In 2003, he joined Serenex Inc. as Senior Director of Structural Chemistry and Informatics, and in 2008, Serenex was acquired by Pfizer for its proteomics platform and drug discovery programs. In 2012, he joined Quanticel Pharmaceuticals as a VP of Drug Discovery and played an integral role in the discovery of multiple development candidates that target cancer stem cells through distinct mechanisms. Following Celgene's acquisition of Quanticel in 2015, Jim was the founding CSO of Jecure Therapeutics, which was acquired by Genentech in 2018 for its NLRP3 discovery program. Jim has contributed to the discovery of several compounds that have advanced to clinical trials including Votrient (pazopanib), Tykerb (lapatinib), SNX-5422, CC-90010, and CC-90011. He has co-authored numerous scientific publications and is an inventor on multiple issued patents.

Jim received a B.A. in Chemistry from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University.

Image of Gretchen Bain, Ph.D.

Gretchen Bain, Ph.D.

VP of Biology

Dr. Gretchen Bain is the VP of Biology and a cofounder of 858 Therapeutics with 20 years of drug discovery research experience leading all aspects of biology and non-clinical pharmacology. Gretchen began her career at Merck Research Labs and transitioned into biotech in 2005 as Executive Director of Biology at Amira Pharmaceuticals. At Amira, Gretchen contributed to the development of several clinical-stage small molecule therapeutics to treat inflammation and fibrosis and directed the efforts of the LPA1 receptor antagonist program that led to the acquisition of Amira by BMS. In 2012, Gretchen joined PharmAkea Therapeutics as a founding scientist where she and her team contributed to the discovery and development of anti-fibrotic therapies, including small molecule inhibitors of LOXL2 and Autotaxin that were acquired by Galecto Biosciences and Blade Therapeutics, respectively. Prior to 858 Therapeutics, Gretchen was VP of Biology at Jecure Therapeutics, a company that was acquired by Genentech in 2018 for its NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor program.

Gretchen received a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Biology from University of California, San Diego.

Image of Trinna Cuellar, Ph.D.

Trinna Cuellar, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Biology

Dr. Trinna Cuellar is the Senior Director of Biology and NYC Site Head. She brings 20 years of drug discovery research and leadership experience to 858. Throughout her career she has contributed to the understanding of RNA biology and the advancement of drugs aimed at treating cancer and neurodegeneration. Prior to 858, Trinna was Senior Director of Biology at Gotham Therapeutics, where she established the epitranscriptomics biology program. Prior to Gotham, Trinna worked at Genentech, where she led scientific teams that pioneered antibody-siRNA conjugates, developed a CRISPR-based screening platform that led to the discovery of novel drug targets involved in cancer and immune-evasion, and characterized a muscular dystrophy drug target. She received numerous awards for these efforts, including the prestigious Genentech Key Researcher Award. Previously, at GlaxoSmithKline, Trinna worked on early-stage drug discovery and target identification programs, including building some of the world's first RNAi libraries. She is a coauthor on numerous publications in leading journals.

Trinna holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, San Francisco and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.