Dr. Leen Kawas: A Trailblazing Journey in Biotechnology Leadership

Dr. Leen Kawas, the Managing General Partner of Propel Bio Partners, has navigated an inspiring career path in the biotechnology industry. Initially aspiring to cure cancer at a young age, Dr. Kawas began her journey as a pharmacist before earning her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and venturing into biotech entrepreneurship.

In a recent appearance on the Recruitomics Consulting Podcast, Dr. Kawas shared valuable insights on building effective teams, emphasizing the importance of diversity in clinical trials, and advocating for patient involvement throughout the drug development process.

As Propel Bio Partners grows, Dr. Kawas is focused on recruiting team members with a growth mindset and a fresh perspective. She values innovation and a willingness to learn from others, regardless of an individual’s career stage. Dr. Kawas also recognizes the importance of a creative and friendly workplace that fosters collaboration and encourages fun among team members.

Diversity plays a crucial role in Dr. Kawas’ vision for the future of clinical trials. Believes having a diverse management team, particularly with more female and minority representation, can lead to more successful clinical trials and better patient function. Dr. Kawas argues that clinical trials can provide a more accurate representation of how a drug will impact a significant portion of society by ensuring diversity in patient selection.

Dr. Strong strongly advocates patient involvement throughout the drug development cycle. She believes incorporating patient feedback and voices early in the process can improve outcomes and help identify potential reasons for drug failures. This commitment to patient involvement stems from her experience conducting patient feedback sessions to better understand why certain drugs fail.

Looking ahead, Dr. Kawas has ambitious goals for the next decade. She aims to invest in companies developing technologies to improve the human global scale. Additionally, she is passionate about providing internship opportunities for students and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds, recognizing the importance of fostering the next generation of biotech leaders.

Dr. Kawas also emphasizes the significance of giving back to future entrepreneurs, acknowledging the support she received from her caShed; she hopes to inspire and guide aspiring biotech professionals by paying it forward.

Before co-founding Propel Bio Partners in 2022, Dr. Kawas made significant contributions to the biotechnology industry. In 2014, she co-founded Athira Pharma Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer, helping to advance multiple drug development programs. Under her leadership, Athira raised over $400 million in its initial public offering in September 2020.

Dr. Leen Kawas’ remarkable career journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring biotech professionals. Her dedication to diversity, patient involvement, and fostering the next generation of leaders showcases her commitment to driving positive change in the industry. As she continues to lead Propel Bio Partners and invest in groundbreaking technologies, Dr. Kawas is poised to impact human health and the future of biotechnology.

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