Management Team

Mr. Stephen S. Yoder joined Pieris as Chief Executive Officer in January 2010. Prior to joining Pieris, from July 2003 to December 2010 he led the intellectual property and legal departments at MorphoSys AG, a biotechnology company involved in the development and research of antibodies, as General Counsel. Prior to MorphoSys AG, from September 1999 to June 2003 he worked in several Washington, D.C. law firms, specializing in a life sciences intellectual property practice. Mr. Yoder holds degrees in molecular biology and Spanish from Grove City College and a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from The George Washington University Law School. As an attorney, he is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in the jurisdictions of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Louis Matis joined Pieris as the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer in August 2015, bringing more than 30 years of experience in basic and clinical biomedical research, regulatory affairs, drug development and executive leadership. Prior to joining Pieris, Dr. Matis served since June 2011 as Executive Director, Strategic Evaluation at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he also served from 1993 to 2000, during which time he advanced to the position of CSO and had a leading role in discovering the first-in-class complement inhibitor monoclonal antibody Soliris® (eculizumab). Before re-joining Alexion in 2011, Dr. Matis served as CEO of CGI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2000 to 2006, and of the Immune Tolerance Institute from 2007 to 2010. Under Dr. Matis’ leadership, CGI raised over $60 million in venture capital financing, established five partnerships with top tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and developed novel small molecule kinase inhibitors for both autoimmune disease and cancer indications. From 1977 until joining Alexion in 1993, Dr. Matis held senior research and clinical positions at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Dr. Matis holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine. He completed his clinical training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, and in Medical Oncology at the NCI. Dr. Matis is the author of over 120 publications in the fields of immunology, cell and molecular biology, and clinical medicine.

Mr. Lance Thibault joined Pieris Pharmaceuticals as Acting Chief Financial Officer in February 2017. Mr. Thibault, joins the Company from Danforth Advisors where he has served as a consulting chief financial officer since January 2014, providing operational, financial and strategic services at a number of public and private pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mr. Thibault’s previous experience includes interim chief financial officer with Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTI) where he helped lead the company in its successful U.S. initial public offering in February 2016, as interim finance director for Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRTK) bridging through the company’s 2014 reverse merger, and has provided specialized assistance to several companies, including, Dimension Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DMTX) and Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: BSLN), making advance preparations in the areas of financial reporting, operational activities, internal controls, systems and accounting functions. From 2002 to 2010, Mr. Thibault was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of deCODE genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: DCGN), a biotechnology and genetics research Company, and prior to that time was a director with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s transaction advisory services global capital markets group in London, England providing SEC reporting expertise to private foreign registrants executing primary and secondary debt and equity offerings in the U.S. Mr. Thibault is a CPA and received his B.S. in Accountancy from Bentley College.

Mr. Claude Knopf joined Pieris as Chief Business Officer in December 2016 bringing to Pieris a demonstrable track record of success in strategy, corporate development, licensing, alliance management, marketing and sales spanning more than two decades. Prior to joining Pieris, Mr. Knopf was Sr VP, Global Head Business Development & Licensing and Mergers & Acquisitions for Baxalta (spin off of formerly Baxter Bioscience) and 2 years at Baxter where he was a Sr. VP and Global Head Business Development and Licensing BioScience.  Prior to Baxter he spent over 12 years in Business Development and Alliance Management at Novartis in positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. Knopf began his career in Pharmaceuticals at Merck Sharp & Dohme where he held positions in finance, sales and marketing.  Mr. Knopf earned a DEUG in Economics from Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, a BA in Economics from Manchester College and a Master of International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.

Dr. Shane Olwill has spent over a decade in oncology focused drug discovery with a specific interest in the development of novel biologics. Prior to joining Pieris, Shane was Director of Research at Fusion Antibodies Ltd where he was responsible for the discovery and development of multiple drug candidates. He is a named inventor on 16 patents and has published his research in many international peer review journals. Shane received his PhD in Molecular Hematology / Oncology from University of Ulster, following which he worked as an industrial postdoc in conjunction with University College Cork. Shane has a PgDip in Management Practice from DIT Business School and is a state qualified Medical Scientist.

Dr. Mary Fitzgerald brings to Pieris more than thirty years of respiratory drug development experience. Prior to joining Pieris, Dr. Fitzgerald, from February 2010 was the Executive Vice President of Respiratory at Pulmagen Therapeutics and from November 2002 to February 2010, Dr. Fitzgerald held various positions at Etiologics, Ltd., formerly Argenta Discovery, most recently as Executive Vice President of Respiratory, where she was responsible for clinical development of inhaled and oral drug candidates for both COPD and asthma. Previously, from 1988 to 2002 Dr. Fitzgerald was employed by Bayer Healthcare, as a Project Leader and later as Head of Pharmacology. Dr. Fitzgerald received her PhD from Sunderland University / Wellcome Laboratories and received her BSc Pharmacology from Bath University.

Dr. Christine Rothe has more than 17 years of experience in discovery, characterization and optimization of therapeutic protein drug candidates. She currently serves as VP Discovery and Alliance Management at Pieris. In this position she oversees technology development as well as the discovery process of selecting and profiling of Anticalin® proteins for Pieris proprietary and partnered programs. In addition, she holds responsibility for the Alliance Management team. She joined Pieris in 2010 as Senior Director Alliance Management. Prior to joining Pieris, she worked for 13 years at MorphoSys AG in various positions in R&D and Alliance Management, being responsible for technology development as well as therapeutic antibody project teams. She received a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Regensburg, Germany. Before joining industry, she held a research position at the University of Regensburg.

Mr. Eckhard Niemeier is a highly-experienced deal maker in the life science sector, drawing on significant experience in corporate development, corporate strategy and financial analysis and valuation. Mr. Niemeier began his career at McKinsey & Company in their Healthcare Practice. He subsequently worked for MorphoSys AG as Director Business Development where he negotiated multiple product and technology licensing deals. Most recently, he was VP, Head of Corporate Licensing, at Grünenthal Pharma, being responsible for international licensing activities across all stages of drug development. Mr. Niemeier holds a M.Sc. in Biotechnology and completed his thesis in Molecular Biology at Human Genome Sciences, now part of GSK.

Mr. Claus Schalper has a solid background in financial management, combined with practical experience in fund raising and driving business growth. Mr. Schalper began his career with Arthur Andersen in the Audit and Corporate Finance Department. Subsequently, he joined a start-up company in the area of healthcare IT software as general partner. Following the trade-sale of the company, Mr. Schalper served as an advisor to venture capitalists specializing in seed financing, and as Head of Controlling at Wire Card AG. Mr. Schalper co-founded Pieris in 2001 and joined the company as CFO. In 2009, he also served as interim-CEO for Pieris. Mr. Schalper holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Bamberg, Germany.