Mark Namchuk, PhD, joined Harvard Medical School in January 2020 as the executive director of therapeutics translation. In this role, Namchuk works with HMS scientists to identify and harness basic insights into clinical therapies, creating an infrastructure that advances the School’s scientific discoveries along a translational trajectory while training the next generation of therapeutics investigators.
Namchuk joined HMS after a 24-year research and development career in the biotech industry, working in a number of areas, including drug discovery, translational science and pharmaceutical development. In 2015, he joined Alkermes as senior vice president of research and nonclinical and pharmaceutical development. Previously, Namchuk held a number of senior research positions at Vertex Pharmaceuticals over 17 years, including senior vice president of North American research and interim global head of research.
Namchuk began his drug discovery career at Cubist Pharmaceuticals as head of the enzymology group. Over more than two decades he has directed drug discovery efforts in numerous therapeutic areas, including infectious disease, oncology, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, immune-mediated inflammatory disease, inflammatory bowel disease and orphan diseases, including cystic fibrosis. These responsibilities encompassed scientific oversight of the various disciplines in discovery science, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, preclinical and clinical biomarker development, nonclinical safety and pharmaceutical development.
Namchuk received his BSc in chemistry with honors from the University of Alberta, his PhD in bioorganic chemistry at the University of British Columbia and was a Human Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.
Industry Expertise (1)
Areas of Expertise (8)
The University of British Columbia: Ph.D., Bio, Organic Chemistry 1993
University of Alberta: B.A., Chemistry 1988
Selected Media Appearances (4)
New Therapeutics Leadership
Harvard Medical School online
Harvard Medical School has named Mark Namchuk, PhD, a former pharmaceutical R&D executive with a background in immunology and bioorganic chemistry, as executive director of therapeutics translation. Namchuk, who joins Harvard Medical School from Alkermes, will assume his role on Jan. 2...
Research projects receive BTCA grants to develop novel drugs for various diseases
News - Medical Life Sciences online
BTCA investigators will work closely with Mark Namchuk, executive director of therapeutics translation at HMS, and his team at the HMS Translator program, which aims to advance early-stage drug discovery at HMS through expert stewardship of internal therapeutics development platforms...
Alkermes' head of early R&D jumps ship to newly created Harvard role
EndPoints News online
Mark Namchuk leaves after 5 years as Alkermes’ senior vice president of pharmaceutical and non-clinical development. His departure comes as Alkermes reorients their R&D program after high-profile struggles...
Massachusetts Consortium Tests Thousands Of Existing Drugs Against Coronavirus
CBS Boston online
“One of the things, in order to set priorities that has taken off is the use of things like artificial intelligence, machine learning to take better guesses at the smaller pool of molecules we should test first,” Dr. Mark Namchuk said...
Selected Articles (2)
Samidorphan mitigates olanzapine-induced weight gain and metabolic dysfunction in rats and non-human primatesJournal of Psychopharmacology
Olanzapine, regarded as one of the most efficacious antipsychotic medications for the treatment of schizophrenia, is associated with a high risk of weight gain and metabolic dysfunction. ALKS 3831, a clinical candidate for treatment of schizophrenia, is a combination of olanzapine and samidorphan, an opioid receptor antagonist. The addition of samidorphan is intended to mitigate weight gain and the metabolic dysregulation associated with the use of olanzapine.
184 Insulin Sensitivity and Glucose Metabolism of Olanzapine and Combination Olanzapine and Samidorphan: A Phase 1 Exploratory Study in Healthy VolunteersCNS Spectrums
2020 A combination of olanzapine and samidorphan (OLZ/SAM) is in development for schizophrenia to provide the efficacy of olanzapine while mitigating olanzapine-associated weight gain. The objective of this phase 1 exploratory study was to assess metabolic treatment effects of OLZ/SAM.