Karen Chen is the Chief Executive Officer, responsible for overseeing the full range of our scientific and drug discovery programs, as well as managing the operations activities at the SMA Foundation. Dr. Chen is a senior research scientist and manager with over 30 years of experience, including 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, planning, directing, and conducting preclinical research. She has managed departments and groups working on a variety of projects for the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for neurological disorders.
Dr. Chen joined the SMA Foundation from Roche Palo Alto where she was Director of Neurosciences and Head of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Neurodegeneration Group. Prior to Roche, she was the Director of Pharmacology and Head of the In Vivo Neurodegeneration and Behavior Groups at Elan Pharmaceuticals working primarily on therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
Dr. Chen currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bluefield Project and the N-Lorem Foundation, and is an advisor to several other non-profit organizations. Dr. Chen has served on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) National Advisory Council. She is also the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Imago Pharmaceuticals, and on the Board of Directors of Nitrome Biosciences.