Seema Kantak is a biopharma executive in the Bay area. Seema grew up in Mumbai, India and graduated with an MS in Biophysics from Mumbai University. Subsequently, Seema pursued her graduate education in the US with a MS and PhD in Cancer Biology from Wayne State University, Michigan. Seema is Vice President of Preclinical Development at Nektar Therapeutics and previously was the Managing Director of Nektar’s India subsidiary. Seema’s specialty and passion is developing therapeutics in Oncology and has extensive experience in executive leadership, research, product development, strategic and operational management and development know-how in biopharmaceutical and pharmaceuticals across broad therapeutic areas including oncology, metabolic, inflammation and cardiovascular. Seema Kantak has held positions of increasing responsibilities at XOMA (US) LLC, Celera Genomics and Axys Pharmaceuticals over the past 15 years.
Seema loved Kathak growing up and feels fortunate to have found Chhandam in the Bay area when she was looking for a Kathak school for her daughter. Seema has been associated with Chhandam for the past 6 years when her daughter, Inika started learning Kathak in the San Francisco and Berkeley branches in 2006.
Seema has supported Chhandam in fundraising and joined the board in February 2015. The engagement, commitment and dedication of the teachers and dancers is what drew me to be more involved and my goal is to support them so that they can thrive and continue to promote this rich tradition of kathak dance and carry forward and grow the legacy of Dadaji (Pandit Chitresh Das). Seema is also the founding patron and board member of the Pacifica Education Foundation, a volunteer non-profit organization, dedicated to sustaining and enhancing the educational experience of Pacifica's children. In her spare time, Seema likes singing and enjoys Indian music, jazz, and the opera. She is an ardent traveler and loves hiking. Seema and her husband Shreeraj live in the coastal town of Pacifica with their son Nishad and daughter Inika.