Our Story

At Rubius Therapeutics, we are ushering in a new era in cellular medicine—an era in which we aim to transform the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Built upon the discoveries of Professors Harvey Lodish and Hidde Ploegh of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT and the research and findings of Flagship Pioneering’s VentureLabs, our innovations in genetic engineering and cell culture processes have made it possible to use red blood cells as a foundation for an entirely new class of cellular therapies called Red Cell TherapeuticsTM.

Leadership Team

+ Dannielle Appelhans

Dannielle Appelhans

President and Chief Executive Officer

+ Laurence Turka, M.D.

Laurence Turka, M.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research & Translational Medicine

Dannielle Appelhans

Dannielle Appelhans

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dannielle Appelhans joined Rubius as Chief Operating Officer in August of 2021, and was appointed to President and Chief Executive Officer in 2022. She brings experience in gene therapy, strategy, manufacturing, supply chain and operations to Rubius. As COO, she oversees corporate strategy, communications, technical development, technical operations and quality for Rubius.

Dannielle joined from Novartis Gene Therapies, where she served as Senior Vice President of Technical Operations and Chief Technical Officer, and oversaw late-stage development, clinical and commercial manufacturing, supply chain and all supporting operational functions for the gene therapy unit and AAV portfolio. Before that role, she served as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Supply Chain Management for Novartis and was responsible for end-to-end supply chain of all Novartis divisions worldwide, across 60-plus plants in more than 120 countries to ensure $50 billion in sales. Since 2014, Dannielle held positions of increasing responsibility in global supply chain, strategy and operational excellence across several divisions within Novartis. Before joining Novartis, Dannielle was a senior engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, working in the pharmaceutical operations practice. Earlier in her career she held roles of increasing responsibility at Eli Lilly and Company.

Dannielle is a member of the Board of Directors for Generation Bio.

She has an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, a Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan in mechanical engineering.

Laurence Turka, M.D.

Laurence Turka, M.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research & Translational Medicine

Laurence Turka, M.D., joined Rubius in January 2020 and serves as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research & Translational Medicine. Larry is an internationally recognized, physician-scientist in autoimmunity and translational immunology with a distinguished career working in academia and, more recently, industry.

Larry joined Rubius from Rheos Medicines, where he was a co-founder and served as Chief Scientific Officer. During his time at Rheos, he built its portfolio of novel therapies targeting the metabolism of immune cells, made key leadership hires, and was instrumental in securing a strategic collaboration between Rheos and Roche. Prior to Rheos, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Third Rock Ventures, where he played a leading role in the creation of Rheos and provided immunology expertise in evaluating multiple company-building opportunities. Before joining venture capital, Larry spent 30 years working in academia, most recently serving as the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Among the notable discoveries of Larry’s laboratory were novel approaches to transplantation tolerance, the role of Toll-like receptors in T cells and pathways required for the maintenance of regulatory T cell function. Larry was also an early leader in the field of T cell costimulation and contributed to the development of abatacept and belatacept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and renal transplantation.

He is a former President of the American Society of Transplantation, Chair of the NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors and Editor in Chief of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is currently the Deputy Director of the Immune Tolerance Network, serves on the Scientific Steering Committee of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and is the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1995, and the Association of American Physicians in 2003.

Larry received his M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine, trained in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and in nephrology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Board of Directors

Pablo J. Cagnoni, M.D.

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Rubius Therapeutics and Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Francis Cuss, MB, MChir, FRC

Retired Executive Vice President and
Chief Scientific Officer,
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Michael Rosenblatt, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer,
Flagship Pioneering

Susanne Schaffert, Ph.D.

Former President of Novartis Oncology

Catherine Sohn, Pharm.D

Adjunct Professor, University of California San
Francisco; President,
Sohn Health Strategies

Sir Jonathan Symonds, CBE

Chairman, GlaxoSmithKline plc

Scientific Advisory Board


Christopher A. Hunter, B.Sc, Ph.D.

Mindy Halikman Heyer Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology,
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Penn Institute for Immunology

Vijay K. Kuchroo, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Samuel L. Wasserstrom Professor, Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Senior Scientist, Neurology, Brigham And Women's Hospital

John G. Monroe, Ph.D. 

Emeritus Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Gerald T. Nepom, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Immune Tolerance Network

Giving Back

Charitable Giving

We strive to improve the health and well-being of the patients whom we serve, our employees and our communities. Our giving reflects this vision and supports national and community-based organizations, patient groups and the scientific community to deliver solutions that ensure a healthier and more equitable future for everyone.
We aim to achieve this vision by addressing inequities in our society through partnerships with a wide range of organizations that our employees, called Rubies, select to support. Each year, we select two organizations to support within each of our areas of focus.
Our charitable giving strategy focuses on two areas:

Diversity, Inclusion, Social and Racial Justice

We seek to support organizations that focus on the root causes of and potential solutions for social, racial and economic injustices within our society.

For the 2021/2022 calendar year, our Rubies elected to support the following organizations:

GIRLS ON THE RUN – Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. The organization inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Visit Girls on the Run

THE NEW ENGLAND INNOCENCE PROJECT – Founded in 2000, the New England Innocence Project fights to correct and prevent wrongful convictions and ensure justice within the criminal legal system for innocent people throughout New England who are imprisoned for a crime they did not commit.

Visit The New England Innocence Project

Community Health and Wellness

To ensure the health and well-being of our communities, our Rubies elected to support organizations on the front lines of defending some of our most vulnerable populations:

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS – The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts is to partner with under-resourced families to provide their children with transformational, one-to-one professionally supported relationships with caring adult mentors, so that their children will thrive.

Visit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts

TEAM NO KID HUNGRY BY SHARE OUR STRENGTH – No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, one in six kids could face hunger. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.

Visit Team No Kid Hungry

Life Science Cares Logo  PARTNERSHIP

Life Science Cares (LSC) Boston was founded in 2016 to provide a platform for companies and their employees to make a difference. LSC makes impactful grants to community nonprofits that are implementing research-driven solutions in the areas of survival, education, and economic sustainability and supercharges these grants with volunteer hours, donated goods, strategic support, and advocacy. Rubius Therapeutics has been a Life Science Cares corporate partner since 2020, and our Chief Executive Officer Pablo Cagnoni is a member of its Board of Advisors.


Each year, we dedicate one day where all our Rubies come together in support of a volunteer project to strengthen our local communities, build bridges and address issues.


In addition to our Annual Community Service Day, our Rubies have the opportunity to donate eight hours of paid time per year to any 501(c)(3) charity of their choice across any cause.


We proudly support programs that offer support and resources to patients and their advocates in our therapeutic areas of focus. For funding opportunities in the following areas, please email corporateaffairs@rubiustx.com.

  • Patient education, awareness and advocacy
  • Charitable contributions
  • Exhibits
  • Sponsorships