Marquis Top Business Owners

Leen Kawas, PhD

Title: Managing General Partner and Co-founder
Company: Propel Bio Partners LLC
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Leen Kawas, PhD, managing general partner and co-founder at Propel Bio Partners LLC, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Business Owners for dedication, achievements, and leadership in drug development.

With 15 years of experience to her credit, Dr. Kawas has excelled as managing general partner and co-founder at Propel Bio Partners LLC since 2021. She began her career as a clinical pharmacist at The University of Jordan Hospital from 2007 to 2008. She worked as a staff pharmacist at Pharmacy1 in 2008 and immigrated to the United States that same year. She garnered a stellar reputation as a vice co-founder and president of research at Athira Pharma from 2011 to 2014 before advancing to the role of chief executive officer and president from 2014 to 2021. Concurrently, she contributed to Washington State University as a research associate from 2013 to 2015.

Before embarking on her professional path, Dr. Kawas pursued an education at The University of Jordan where she earned a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy in 2008. She continued her academic efforts at Washington State University, graduating with a PhD in molecular pharmacology and toxicology in 2011. She acquired a certification in executive education from the University of Washington Foster School of Business in 2015.

Beyond her responsibilities within the field, Dr. Kawas has participated in numerous endeavors outside of her professional circles. She sits on the board of directors at Inherent Biosciences and Persephone Biosciences and is an advisor at Nucleate. She is a member of the Forbes Business Council and volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association Business Consortium and the Washington Association. She co-invented ATH-1017 and several other innovative drugs at Athira Pharma. She has been invited to speak on several podcasts and featured in several publications including the Wall Street Journal, BioSpace, and CIO Views.

In light of her impressive undertakings, Dr. Kawas has accrued several accolades throughout her career. She was a finalist for the Health Innovation of the Year, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and the GeekWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She was presented with the Life Science Entrepreneurial Achievement Award, the Alzheimer’s Cure Coin Award, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Association of Washington Business, and the 40 Under 40 Award from Puget Sound Business Journal. She was named to ten lists of exemplary business leaders, influential women, and scientific executives, and selected for the Young Investigator Scholarship from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the Dorothy Otto Kennedy Scholarship from Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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