The Exciting Career of Dr. Leen Kawas: Bioscience and Progress Working Together

Dr. Leen Kawas has long been one of the most recognizable names in the field of biosciences. As the Co-Founder of Athira Pharma as well as the mind behind its leading drug candidate known as ATH-1017, Kawas has spent a non-insignificant amount of time under the public’s spotlight.

Now taking an opportunity to catch her breath and share her story, Dr. Kawas has taken to interviews to discuss the path that she took to get where she is today. Hoping to supply followers with guidance and inspiration, Dr. Kawas had this to say about her role in the bioscience field.

From the Ground Up

Dr. Leen Kawas found herself immersed in the concept of biosciences from a relatively young age, driven by her own familial experience with a degenerative disease known as Alzheimer’s. After seeing the impact that it could have on her grandmother firsthand, Dr. Kawas committed herself to a future in science, earning her Doctorate in Molecular Pharmacology from Washington State University.

Upon graduating from college, Dr. Kawas was offered an academic position at the school that she would turn down in order to pursue her work with Athira. As the co-founder of Athira and one of its leading researchers, Dr. Kawas would help engineer growth in the research of Gosgonimoton (ATH-1017).

After finding success at Athira, Dr. Kawas would raise nearly $400 million for the company while guiding it through its IPO into September 2020. Her efforts would make Kawas one of the most well-recognized female CEOs in the sphere.

The Next Steps

Despite her successes at Athira, Dr. Kawas would face some scrutiny for a mishap she experienced as a student. Despite being cleared, Kawas decided that she would maneuver into a position with investor Richard Kayne at Propel Bio Partners upon leaving Athira.

At Propel Bio Partners, Dr. Kawas and Richard Kayne made it a point to target others following in their footsteps. Propel Bio Partners uniquely focuses on providing entrepreneurs with the resources and financials that they need in order to make progress in their field. Dr. Kawas said of her decision to join Propel Bio Partners, “It’s very exciting for me to have the opportunity to start Propel.”

As a figurehead in one of the newest upstarts in the industry, Dr. Kawas is keenly aware of her placement and possible impact on those following in her footsteps. Dr. Kawas hopes that her work provides her with the opportunity to provide expert leadership alongside other recognized experts to potential entrepreneurs.

Separating her work with Propel from her work with Athira, Dr. Kawas suggests that this time things are going to be significantly different. Kawas said that during her initial phone call with investor Richard Kayne, he made it clear that she was not just taking on a new job, but she was also taking on a role as a partner.

Comments are closed.