Innovation Grand Rounds: Genetics, Signaling, and Academic Discovery as Gateways to Drug Development

Blog Innovation Grand Rounds Yu image

Innovation Grand Rounds is a monthly live series with talks by innovators and executives from across the Mass General Brigham system. Paul Yu, MD, PhD, recently spoke about his ALK2 small molecule innovations spanning from discovery through IPO.


On Sept 14, 2022, Paul Yu, MD, PhD, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital, gave an Innovation Grand Rounds lecture titled “Genetics, Signaling, and Academic Discovery as Gateways to Drug Development.”

You may be surprised to learn that roughly 15% of recent FDA approved drugs were discovered in academic labs[1]. Although academics do not receive specific training in drug development and often lack the large resources that pharmaceutical and biotech companies have, they do have access to distinct resources specific to the clinical environment. Academics have a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of disease, access to patients, clinical data, tissue and biomarkers, and a unique appreciation of unmet clinical need.

Dr. Yu established his laboratory at Mass General Hospital in 2007, and after joining a collaborative basic and translational research effort in pulmonary arterial hypertension at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2011, he returned to Mass General Hospital in 2022 as Director of the CVRC. Dr. Yu’s laboratory studies the role of cytokine growth factor signaling in cardiovascular homeostasis, injury repair, and regeneration.

In his Grand Rounds, Dr. Yu speaks about his experience navigating the drug development process from discovery and proof of concept to licensing to a start-up company through Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. He also speaks candidly about the decision-making and efforts that impacted the development of IP, value, and inflection points in his successful venture.    

Watch the video of the talk here.


[1] Kneller R, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. 2010

Mass General Brigham Innovation Grand Rounds is a monthly live series from Mass General Brigham Innovation that features educational and experiential talks by innovators and executives from across the healthcare system. The catalogue of past Mass General Brigham Innovation Grand Rounds is viewable on the Innovation MESH Network, the official healthcare innovator development and learning platform of Mass General Brigham.


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