Boston Mass. – Nov. 6, 2018 – Jnana Therapeutics today announced that Joanne Kotz, Ph.D., a company co-founder, has been named Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kotz has served as Jnana’s president since December 2017.

“Joanne has demonstrated exceptional leadership in guiding the company through its early stages of growth, and we believe she is the ideal person to bring Jnana through its next phase and execute on the company’s vision to unlock SLC transporters as a therapeutic class,”

said Dr. Amir Nashat, a member of Jnana’s Board of Directors and a managing partner at Polaris Partners. Dr. Nashat also served previously as the company’s interim Chief Executive Officer. “She has built a talented team and a collaborative, empowering culture, while also leading important work to validate Jnana’s proprietary drug discovery platform. Together these position Jnana for even greater success going forward.”

Dr. Kotz has broad life sciences experience in research, business, and operations. She helped formulate the initial scientific strategy for Jnana and has led the business and operations of the company since its launch in January 2017. Prior to founding Jnana, she held a leadership position in the F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative, whose mission is to advance the discovery of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease by funding early-stage research in academia and biotech companies. Prior to F-Prime, Dr. Kotz was a director at the Broad Institute, where she played a leadership role in creating and guiding partnerships to advance drug discovery efforts, including the Broad-Bayer collaboration in oncology that resulted in the identification of multiple drug candidates. She received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and conducted postdoctoral research at the Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris and at Genentech.

“I am very proud of what the Jnana team has accomplished to date,” said Dr. Kotz. “We have made significant progress in advancing our technology platform, which is the first to explicitly target the SLC family of metabolite transporters, established a strategic collaboration with Neurocrine Biosciences to discover new medicines for central nervous system disorders, and recruited a strong team committed to making a positive impact on patients and their families. I am honored to have been chosen to serve as CEO, and look forward to guiding Jnana’s efforts to transform our knowledge of SLCs into new therapeutics for patients lacking viable treatment options.”


Jnana Therapeutics is a biotechnology company creating the first drug discovery platform to unlock the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters as a therapeutic target class. Jnana is systematically targeting SLCs, the cell’s metabolic gates, to advance first-in-class therapies for diseases where patients have limited or no treatment options. Headquartered in Boston, Jnana launched in 2017 with $50 million in Series A financing from investors including Polaris Partners, Avalon Ventures, Versant Ventures, AbbVie Ventures and Pfizer R&D Innovate. For more information, please visit, and follow us on Twitter and on LinkedIn.


Marissa Picerno
Ten Bridge Communications
[email protected]