Scientific Co-founders

Scientific Co-Founders

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Dr. Vikram (Vik) Khurana is a scientific co-founder of Yumanity who spearheaded the stem-cell platforms that are core to the company’s discovery approach. He currently serves as its Senior Advisor (Discovery Biology), and from July 2015 to September 2016 was Vice President, Discovery Technologies. Dr. Khurana is also a Principal Investigator and attending neurologist within the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and an attending neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He directs the P+A+MSA clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for patients with parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia and multiple system atrophy, and sits on the Board of the MSA Coalition. In 2018 he will become the next Division Chief of Movement Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Khurana is a medical graduate of the University of Sydney, Australia, and came to Boston as a Fulbright Scholar in 2001, obtaining his Ph.D. in neurobiology from Harvard University in 2006. He completed his residency in neurology and Fellowship training in movement disorders and ataxia at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. From 2010 to 2015, he was Visiting Scientist at the Whitehead Institute in the laboratories of Susan Lindquist and Rudolf Jaenisch.

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Dr. Chung is a member of Yumanity’s core research team and is a scientific co-founder who made seminal contributions to both the company’s neuronal and yeast discovery platforms. Dr. Chung is a graduate of Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea, where she earned a bachelor of pharmacy degree. She then obtained her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining Yumanity, she was an instructor at Harvard Medical School, subsequently joining the Lindquist lab at the Whitehead Institute as a senior research scientist in 2009. She developed assays that have identified abnormalities in rat and human iPSc-based cortical neuron culture system, revealing critical mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

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Dr. Tardiff is a member of Yumanity’s core research team and is a scientific co-founder who enhanced the company’s yeast biology platform and spearheaded its use in target identification. Prior to joining Yumanity, Dr. Tardiff was a member of the Lindquist lab at the Whitehead Institute since 2007. His work there was instrumental in the analysis of the toxicity resulting from alpha-synuclein expression. His genetic and chemical screens of yeast expressing alpha-synuclein have delineated basic cellular processes disrupted by alpha-synuclein as well as compounds that alleviate alpha-synuclein toxicity. Dr. Tardiff obtained his B.S. in biochemistry from Stonehill College in Massachusetts and his Ph.D. at Brandeis University.