Rob Chess is a serial entrepreneur in the life sciences field. He currently is Chairman of Nektar Therapeutics, (NASDAQ:NKTR), a health care biotechnology company, and Biota Technologies, a company he co-founded which has pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for optimizing oil and gas production. He also serves as lead director of Twist Biosciences (NASDAQ:TWST), which produces synthetic genes using an innovative high-throughput silicon-based manufacturing process. Rob joined Nektar as its first non-founder employee in 1991 and led the company as CEO through 1999 and as Chairman since then. Rob co-founded and was President of Penederm, a dermatology company that went public and was acquired by Mylan Laboratories, and was the start-up CEO and later Chairman of OPX Biotechnologies, a renewable chemicals company which was sold to Cargill. He started his career in the technology field and held management positions at Intel and Metaphor Computer Systems (later acquired by IBM). Rob served on the White House Staff in the first Bush Administration as a White House Fellow and Associate Director of the White House Office of Economic and Domestic Policy.
In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors and activities at Stanford GSB, Rob is a trustee of Caltech and Chairman of the Caltech Board Technology Transfer Committee. He also was the initial Chairman and is now a Board member of Bio Ventures for Global Health, and was a long-time Board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization where he was chairman of the Emerging Companies Section and co-chairman of the Intellectual Property Committee. Rob received a BS in engineering with honors from Caltech and an MBA from Harvard.
Rob is an out-of-practice but avid golfer, a reformed political junkie, and father of 22 year old triplets.