Expansion Therapeutics Strengthens Scientific Advisory Board with High-Profile Appointments and Updates

Expansion Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to developing life-changing oral medicines for severe RNA-mediated diseases, is proud to announce the addition of three distinguished experts to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D., Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., and Melissa A. Starovasnik, Ph.D. have joined Expansion’s team to help advance the company’s small molecule ribonucleic acid (RNA) platform, SMIRNA™, and develop innovative treatments for neurodegenerative and neurological disorders. With the addition of these esteemed researchers, Expansion is poised to make great strides in its mission to improve the lives of those impacted by severe RNA-mediated diseases.

“We are delighted to welcome a team of distinguished scientists and clinicians to Expansion Therapeutics as we strive to make a positive impact on the lives of those afflicted with diseases with limited treatment options. With their years of expertise in their respective fields, we are privileged to benefit from their insights and advice as we fast-track the preclinical and clinical development of our unique RNA modulating medicines. Together, we are driven to make a meaningful difference for patients in need.”

Expansion is proud to welcome a new set of members to its Scientific Advisory Board, a diverse and highly qualified group of experts from different fields. This new group of researchers, innovators and thought leaders will bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and insight to the table, helping to drive Expansion’s mission of scientific advancement and discovery. We look forward to the contributions that this new and exciting team will make to the organization’s future.

Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik is a renowned neuroscientist and professor of neuroscience research at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With previous appointments at Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Kosik has made important contributions to the field of brain physiology, cell fate, synaptic plasticity and neurodegenerative disease. His expertise in tau biology and its effect on neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disease has led to groundbreaking discoveries, and his research on the regulation of tau splicing, translation, aggregation and interactions with RNA has been highly influential. He has also made important advances in understanding RNA biology, including microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs and RNA-protein complexes. Dr. Kosik holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Case Western Reserve University and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Leonard Petrucelli is an expert in neurodegenerative diseases, holding the prestigious Ralph B. and Ruth K. Abrams Professorship of Neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Jacksonville, Florida. His research focuses on investigating the pathological mechanisms in patients with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with particular emphasis on translating his findings to the clinic to develop novel therapeutic approaches and clinically relevant biomarkers. Dr. Petrucelli was one of the first researchers to describe the Repeat Associated Non-AUG (RAN) translation and antisense pathology in the C9orf72 gene subtype of ALS, and to develop a mouse model that accurately reflected the behavioral and neuropathological features of the disease. He also has extensive knowledge in TDP43 disorders and tau spread in dementia. Dr. Petrucelli holds a B.S. in Biology from Barry University and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Loyola University & the Stritch School of Medicine.

Melissa A. Starovasnik, Ph.D. is a highly accomplished and renowned scientist in the fields of protein sciences and drug discovery. With nearly three decades of experience at Genentech, she held roles of increasing responsibility, culminating in Vice President, Protein Sciences, and head of large-molecule drug discovery from 2011-2017. During this time, she was responsible for the discovery and optimization of more than 20 protein therapeutic candidates that progressed to clinical trials. Currently, Dr. Starovasnik serves on the Board of Directors for Twist Bioscience and the Scientific Advisory Boards for multiple therapeutics companies. She earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington and has co-authored over 70 scientific publications and patent applications. Her impressive career is a testament to her expertise and leadership in the protein sciences and drug discovery fields.

Lynne E. Maquat, Ph.D., Awarded 2023 Gruber Genetics


Expansion Therapeutics is delighted to congratulate Lynne E. Maquat, Ph.D., a member of its Scientific Advisory Board, for being awarded the 2023 Gruber Genetics Prize by Yale University. This esteemed award honors the most outstanding scientists from around the world who have made groundbreaking contributions to the field of genetics and have benefited mankind. Dr. Maquat has been recognized for her innovative work and her unwavering dedication to research in the field of RNA biology.

About Expansion Therapeutics

Expansion Therapeutics is a biotechnology company on a mission to transform the treatment of severe RNA-mediated diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. With exclusive worldwide rights to groundbreaking research from the laboratory of Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D., at Scripps Research, Expansion has assembled the necessary tools and technologies to develop potent and specific small molecule RNA modulators. Our unique platform enables us to build a portfolio of novel drug candidates with the potential to treat a wide variety of indications. Expansion is proudly based in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Jupiter, Florida.

Leave a Comment