Northwestern Events Calendar


FoundHer Series | Pam Silver: A Serial Entrepreneur's Path from Lab to Launch

When: Monday, March 6, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Sonia Kim   (847) 467-0446

Group: Innovation and New Ventures Office

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Northwestern University's Querrey InQbation Lab is hosting the FoundHer Series to amplify women academic innovators & entrepreneurs.

Learn about Prof. Pam Silver's transition from basic academic research to founding several companies in different spaces while maintaining a research lab. Prof. Silver will share her story co-founding her first company, Karyopharm Therapeutics, which is based on cancer therapeutics and is now publicly-traded with several FDA-approved drugs. Prof. Silver will also discuss more recent commercial endeavors in the health, commodity and agriculture spaces, including her experiences founding Kula Bio and 64x Bio. Prof. Silver will highlight key learnings from her entrepreneurial journey and share her advice to aspiring academic founders. 

While the FoundHer Series is focused on supporting women innovators, all are welcome to register.

Please register in advance.


Pamela Silver, Ph.D., is the Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and a founder of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.

After receiving her PhD at the University of California, she did Postdoctoral work at Harvard University where she was an American Cancer Society Fellow. During this time, she combined molecular with cell biology and discovered one of the first nuclear localization sequences. She was an Assistant Professor at Princeton and was awarded an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award and was a Research Scholar of the March of Dimes and an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association. Her work continued on protein and mRNA movement in cells. She moved to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute where she was a Claudia Adams Barr Investigator and rose to Full Professor in the Dept of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. She discovered small molecule disruptors of nuclear export that resulted in reverting lost activity of tumor suppressors. These molecules became the basis for successful cancer therapies developed by Karyopharm Therapeutics (KPTI;NASDAQ). Her work was recognized with an NIH MERIT award.

In 2004, she became one of the first members of the Dept of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School where her laboratory now resides. She pivoted her research program to the new area of Synthetic Biology. Her contributions include therapeutic proteins, synthetic genetic circuits, engineered theranostic gut bacteria, and the Bionic Leaf. She has served as the lead on DARPA, IARPA and ARPA-E projects. She founded and served as the first Director of Graduate Program in Systems Biology at Harvard University. She is the recently appointed Director of the new Synthetic Biology Venture at Harvard Medical School.

She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the past Daniel’s Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from UCSC, the Innovative Technology Prize (BIO), the FastCompany Innovation Award and the Joseph Henry Lecture of the Philosophical Society. She has been recognized as one of the top Global Synthetic Biology Influencers and her work named as one of the top 10 Breakthroughs by the World Economic Forum. She is the founder of several companies including Kula Bio, 64x Bio, General Biologics and Cerces. She serves on numerous private and public boards including the MITRE Corporation. She is a voting member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB).

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