Veteran leaders bring deep scientific and clinical expertise as Jnana advances its pipeline toward the clinic

Boston, Mass. January 6, 2021 – Jnana Therapeutics, a biotechnology company targeting the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters to treat underserved diseases, today announced the appointment of two experienced scientific and clinical leaders to the company’s boards. Annie C. Chen, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Nimbus Therapeutics, joins the company’s Board of Directors. Katalin Susztak, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, joins the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.

“We are delighted to welcome Annie to our Board. Her experience leading the clinical development of drug candidates at biotech and pharmaceutical companies will be tremendously valuable as we move our pipeline of novel SLC therapeutics toward the clinic,” said Joanne Kotz, PhD, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and President of Jnana.

“Jnana’s small molecule approach to targeting SLC transporters represents a promising avenue for discovering new medicines for patients across a range of diseases,” said Dr. Annie Chen. “I look forward to serving on the Board as the company evolves to its next stage of growth and builds an early clinical pipeline.”

Dr. Annie Chen is an expert in clinical development strategy with an extensive background in immunology, where she has brought multiple therapies forward to regulatory approval. In addition to her role as CMO at Nimbus, she is President of the company’s Tyk2 subsidiary, Nimbus Lakshmi, Inc. Prior to joining Nimbus, she was Executive Director of Clinical Research, Section Head of Vaccines for Merck, where she oversaw clinical research activities for a broad portfolio of vaccines from discovery through registration and life cycle management. Dr. Chen also held the role of Section Head of Immunology, where she oversaw clinical research for small molecule and protein therapeutics. Prior to Merck, she held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech and began her industry career at Celera Genomics. She was formerly Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, where she completed her fellowship training in rheumatology. She received her MD from Cornell University, her MPH in epidemiology from the University of California Berkeley and her AB in biological sciences from Harvard University.

“It is a pleasure to have Katalin serve on Jnana’s scientific advisory board. Her deep expertise in renal diseases will be instrumental as we pursue therapeutic opportunities targeting SLC transporters in the kidney,” said Joel Barrish, PhD, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Jnana.

“There is substantial untapped potential to target SLC transporters in important disease areas, including renal diseases, where I am keenly aware of the need for new therapeutic approaches,” said Dr. Katalin Susztak. “I welcome the opportunity to work with Jnana’s scientific leaders and SAB to bring new treatments to patients.”

Dr. Katalin Susztak is an accomplished physician-scientist, and her laboratory is focused on understanding the pathological mechanisms of chronic kidney disease. Dr. Susztak is a Professor of Nephrology / Medicine and Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Complications Unit at the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.  Dr. Susztak has made fundamental discoveries towards defining critical genes, cell types and mechanisms of chronic kidney disease. She was instrumental in defining genetic, epigenetic and transcriptional changes in diseased human kidneys, has identified novel kidney disease genes, and has demonstrated the contribution of Notch signaling and metabolic dysregulation to kidney disease development. She is Principal Investigator of the Transformative Research in Diabetic Nephropathy (TRIDENT), a public-private observational clinical study to identify novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for kidney disease development. Dr. Susztak was the recipient of the 2011 Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Nephrology and American Heart Association. She is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians.

About Jnana Therapeutics

Jnana Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on opening the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters as a target class to develop transformational therapeutics. Jnana uses its RAPID platform, a proprietary, cell-based drug discovery approach, to systematically target SLC transporters and develop best-in-class therapies to treat a wide range of diseases, including immune-mediated, neurological and metabolite-dependent diseases. Headquartered in Boston, Jnana is founded by world-renowned scientists and backed by leading life science investors. For more information, please visit  and follow us on Twitter and on LinkedIn.


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