We launched Fulcrum Therapeutics with a bold vision: To change the course of genetically defined diseases by treating
them at their root cause.
Our approach to drug discovery generates significant insights into disease biology and allows us to think creatively
about the best way to modulate and balance gene expression. The result: FulcrumSeek, a patient-focused product
engine designed to systematically identify high-value, de-risked targets at speed and scale for rare genetic
diseases. We take great pride in being purposeful patient partners who do this work, not just for patients,
but with patients. We have a culture of trust and transparency which enables our employees to focus on our mission and
the science behind it. In addition, we are invested in our people and want to ensure they have the tools and training
they need to succeed. This allows our playful spirit to come alive, making work more enjoyable for our entire Fulcrew.
Robert J. Gould
Robert J. Gould has over 35 years of biopharmaceutical industry and management experience. He served as founding president and chief executive officer of Fulcrum Therapeutics from 2016 to 2021, after which he remained a member of the Board of Directors. Before Fulcrum, he served as president and CEO of Epizyme from 2010 to 2015. Previously, Dr. Gould served as director of novel therapeutics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard from 2006 to 2010. Before that, he spent more than 20 years at Merck in leadership positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in the role of vice president, licensing, and external research. During his time at Merck, Robert was instrumental in advancing more than 20 compounds from discovery into clinical development in multiple therapeutic areas.
Prior to joining industry, Dr. Gould completed post-doctoral studies in neuropharmacology at Johns Hopkins University. He earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and a B.S. in chemistry from Spring Arbor University. In addition to his role as a member of Fulcrum’s Board of Directors, he currently serves on the boards of HemoShear Therapeutics, Turnstone Biologics, Faeth Therapeutics, and Rubedo Life.
Esther Rajavelu joined Fulcrum in January 2022 as chief financial officer, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in the life sciences sector spanning equities research, investment banking and strategic consulting. She was previously a senior equities research analyst at UBS Securities covering small-cap and mid-cap biotechnology companies. She also covered biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as an analyst at Deutsche Bank and Oppenheimer & Co. Prior to her career in equities research, she spent several years as an investment banker focused on life sciences companies at leading financial institutions including Bank of America Merrill Lynch and EY Capital Advisors. Esther began her career as a pharmaceuticals strategy consultant. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jeff Jacobs, Ph.D.
Dr. Jacobs has more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and target identification, and has led, co-led and mentored multiple discovery programs from concept stage through development candidate nomination, and from investigational new drug enabling studies through to pivotal clinical trials. Dr. Jacobs was most recently Chief Scientific Officer at Goldfinch Bio, where he led the research and discovery program to help build its portfolio of therapeutics for rare kidney diseases. Before Goldfinch, Dr. Jacobs held roles of increasing responsibilities at Ardelyx, Inc., and was promoted to Chief Scientific Officer. During his time at Ardelyx, he led the discovery effort for IBSRELA®, an oral small molecule for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, that became its first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved product. Earlier, Dr. Jacobs held senior roles in development chemistry at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, along with similar roles leading chemistry teams at Versicor, Inc. (acquired by Pfizer), and Affymax (acquired by Glaxo Wellcome). Dr. Jacobs earned a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in chemistry from Gonzaga University.
Mel Hayes joined Fulcrum Therapeutics in September 2021 as chief commercial officer, bringing more than 25 years of experience in development and management of commercialization strategies in a range of therapeutic areas including many rare and specialty diseases. At Fulcrum he is responsible for leading the company’s commercial strategies and operations, including marketing, sales, new product planning, business analytics, and patient engagement. Prior to Fulcrum, Mr. Hayes most recently served as global head commercial, vice president, rare blood disorders at Sanofi-Genzyme, where he led the commercial organization for hemophilia and complement assets. He also served as U.S. vice president hemophilia and global head, hematology rare blood disorders at Bioverativ (acquired by Sanofi-Genzyme). He was formerly global vice president, head of global marketing and launch excellence at Shire and was global vice president hemophilia at Baxalta (acquired by Shire). He also spent 10 years at Bayer and nine years at Bristol Myers Squibb in progressive leadership roles where he was responsible for launching products in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurology, rheumatology, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees in business and communications from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Curtis Oltmans, JD
Curtis Oltmans, JD joined Fulcrum as General Counsel in November 2020 with over 25 years of experience in
corporate law including senior management positions in legal departments at several leading
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He most recently served as Vice President, Head of
Litigation at DaVita Kidney Care, Inc. where he led a 30-person team and was responsible for all
litigation, workers’ compensation and employee safety matters. Prior to DaVita, Curtis was Executive
Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Array BioPharma Inc. where he oversaw all
legal, corporate governance, patent and compliance matters. He previously served as Corporate Vice
President and General Counsel for Novo Nordisk, Inc., North America where he was responsible for
strategic support in areas including market access, government affairs, communications and product
marketing. He has also served as Assistant General Counsel for Eli Lilly and Company after beginning his
legal career supporting clients in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation matters. Curtis received a
BA in political science from the University of Nebraska and his JD from the University of Nebraska
College of Law.
Mani Sundararajan, Ph.D.
Paul Bruno, Ph.D.
Paul Bruno, Ph.D., was named Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Development in August 2022, bringing experience in business development, corporate development, strategic consulting, and R&D. He joined Fulcrum in 2019 where he has held various roles related to business and corporate development. He was previously at ClearView Healthcare Partners, a life sciences strategy firm that specializes working with biotech, pharma, and medtech companies. At ClearView, Paul worked with clients on engagements related to corporate strategy, portfolio management, pipeline prioritization, and business development. Paul completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital where he focused on identifying fetal hemoglobin inducers for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia. He also brings entrepreneurial experience, having previously co-founded and raised seed funding for an early-stage materials company. He received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a BS from Santa Clara University where he double majored in chemistry and public health.