Maria Kounnas, PhD

Senior Vice President, Research of NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Maria Kounnas has 20 years of experience in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD), protease, and receptor fields, concentrating on drug discovery and preclinical development of novel compounds to modify the onset of AD.

Dr. Kounnas joined NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals in 2009. Prior to NGP, she was a Director at TorreyPines Therapeutics, where she had a key role in the discovery of NGP’s current gamma-secretase modulator series of compounds. From 1995-2000, Dr. Kounnas was part of the SIBIA Neurosciences collaboration with Bristol Myers-Squibb which discovered a small molecule gamma-secretase inhibitor, (BMS-299895). This compound was one of the first gamma-secretase inhibitors to be tested in the clinic and was the precursor to the current BMS compound in the clinic (BMS-708,163).

She has led teams in the development of novel Abeta biomarker assays, Notch assays and other secondary screens, and has managed both in vivo and in vitro studies at NGP.

Dr. Kounnas has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia.

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