Management Team

Voyager Therapeutics’ management team has deep and relevant manufacturing, discovery, translational, research and development, clinical, regulatory, commercial and financial expertise and a track record of building exceptional life science companies.

Michael Higgins

Interim Chief Executive Officer

Michael Higgins assumed the role of interim chief executive officer in May 2021. He has served on the board of directors since July 2015 and as chair of the board since June 2019. Michael is also the chair of the board of Pulmatrix and a board member for Genocea Biosciences, Nocion Therapeutics, Camp4 Therapeutics and Sea Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he served as entrepreneur-in-residence at Polaris Partners, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and held a variety of senior business positions at Genzyme. Michael has a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

Glenn Pierce, M.D., Ph.D.

Interim Chief Scientific Officer

Glenn Pierce, M.D., Ph.D., has been interim chief scientific officer since May 2021 and a member of the board of directors since January 2017. He serves as entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures, were he co-founded Ambys Medicines and serves as interim chief medical officer. Glenn previously served in a number of roles at Biogen, most recently as chief medical officer leading the hematology, cell and gene therapies division. Prior to Biogen, he served in small and large, public and private biopharmaceutical firms, including Bayer, Inspiration, Avigen, Selective Genetics and Amgen in the areas of tissue regeneration and hematology. Glenn is the co-author of more than 150 scientific papers and has received more than 15 patents. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Global Blood Therapeutics and the World Federation of Hemophilia as the vice president, Medical. Dr. Pierce received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in immunology, both from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and completed his postgraduate training in pathology and hematology research at Washington University in St. Louis.

Allison Dorval

Chief Financial Officer

Allison Dorval is our chief financial officer and serves as Voyager’s principal finance and accounting officer. She has over twenty years of corporate finance and accounting experience, including nine years of life sciences executive finance experience. Prior to Voyager, Ms. Dorval served most recently at Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Insulet Corporation, where she led financial planning, reporting and accounting. Previously, Ms. Dorval held corporate finance positions with iBasis, Inc. and Digitas Inc. Ms. Dorval is a certified public accountant and began her career in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, where she held positions of increasing responsibility and scope.

Ms. Dorval obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (accounting concentration) from the University of Vermont.

Allen Nunnally

Chief Business Officer

Allen Nunnally is our chief business officer. His life sciences career spans two decades, focusing on genetically- and genomically-driven technologies and medicines for organizations ranging from early-stage biotechs to Fortune 500 pharma companies. Prior to joining Voyager, Mr. Nunnally served as vice president of corporate and business development and associate general counsel at Foundation Medicine, where he led transactions relating to its biopharmaceutical business in comprehensive genomic profiling, companion diagnostics, and data products and directed the company’s intellectual property strategy. Mr. Nunnally represented Foundation Medicine from its Series B financing through IPO and co-led the R&D collaboration component of a broad strategic transaction through which Roche acquired a majority interest in Foundation Medicine. Mr. Nunnally previously spent 10 years as an attorney at the law firm Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP, where he represented a wide array of leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients.

Mr. Nunnally received a B.A. with double majors in biology and law, jurisprudence and social thought from Amherst College and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law with a concentration in intellectual property law.

Robert Hesslein

General Counsel

Robert Hesslein is our general counsel, and his experience includes more than 25 years as an in-house attorney leading and building legal organizations within the biotechnology industry, with specific expertise in domestic and international commercial law, securities and public company reporting, medical data privacy, as well as licensing and business development collaborations. Mr. Hesslein joins Voyager from Foundation Medicine (acquired by Roche in July 2018), where he served as senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer since 2012, responsible for managing corporate governance and all legal matters related to Foundation Medicine’s business including commercial, corporate and business development, compliance, and research and development functions. Prior to Foundation Medicine, Mr. Hesslein was a senior vice president and deputy general counsel at Genzyme Corporation (acquired by Sanofi in April 2011), serving in increasingly senior roles for 16 years, managing the legal support for many of Genzyme’s most significant transactions and establishing and leading Genzyme’s legal support outside of the U.S. Mr. Hesslein began his legal career at Csaplar & Bok (acquired by Gaston & Snow in 1990), a Boston-based law firm where he spent eight years as an associate and four years as a partner.

Mr. Hesslein earned a B.A. from Yale University and received his J.D. from The Cornell Law School.

Michelle Quinn Smith

Chief Human Resources Officer

Michelle Quinn Smith brings over 30 years of experience in human resources to Voyager. Ms. Smith served most recently as Senior Director of Human Resources at Flagship Pioneering as part of Flagship’s Human Resources Leadership team, advising portfolio companies. Before joining Flagship, Michelle was the Global Human Resources Business Leader for Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for the creation and execution of HR strategy for therapeutic development in R&D. During her tenure, she led the due diligence and integration of the ARIAD acquisition in 2017. Ms. Smith was the Global Head of Human Resources for Development (R&D) at Sanofi, in addition to holding other positions at Sanofi (and previously Genzyme).  Prior to joining the biotech/pharma industry, she held HR positions with Goldman Sachs and Young & Rubicam Advertising in New York City.

Ms. Smith received a B.A. in History from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Horse Hugs for Heroes, a therapeutic animal non-profit organization based in Maryland.

Juliana Muscat

Vice President of Quality

Juliana Muscat brings to Voyager Therapeutics over 20 years of extensive experience in Quality ranging from R&D to commercial manufacturing, working both in Europe and the US. Prior to joining Voyager, Dr. Muscat served as the Global Head of Quality for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) covering all early development programs including cell and gene therapy.  During her 4 years at NIBR, she was responsible for building and executing the quality strategy for NIBR across research, pre-clinical to early clinical translational medicine across Europe, US and China. Before joining NIBR, Dr. Muscat held various positions in Novartis and Alcon both in Europe and the US, leading organizations in Pharmaceutical & Medical Device development, managing various aspects of Engineering and Quality Assurance. Dr. Muscat has also spent time in academia in Malta and the UK as a visiting Scientist.

Dr. Muscat holds a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Materials Science which she obtained from the University of Malta, Europe. 

Robin Swartz

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management and Patient Engagement

Robin Swartz brings more than 20 years of experience across the industry; most recently, as Vice President, Patient and Product Services for Rare Diseases at Genzyme. She was responsible for the U.S. strategy and implementation of patient support and education, customer service and commercial operations for seven brands and two launch programs. During her time at Sanofi Genzyme, Robin also held leadership positions as Vice President, Head of Global and US Business Operations, Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President, and Senior Director, Finance. She served on the Sanofi Aventis Board of Directors, providing oversight to the US compliance program and was a member of the Executive Community Relations Committee.  

Ms. Swartz received a B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College.