United States of America
Karen S. Chen is the Chief Scientific Officer and the Chief Operating Officer of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, 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 25 years of experience, including 15 years in 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 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.
Her post-doctoral training was obtained at Genentech investigating neurotrophic factors therapies for neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Chen obtained her Ph. D. in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego working with Dr. Fred Gage on the behavioral and morphological effects of fetal grafts and neurotrophin administration in models of age-related degeneration. Dr. Chen holds an A. B. from Harvard University.