Karen J. Chandross, Ph.D., Senior Director at Sanofi, is responsible for scientific relations in North America and, in particular, fostering access to external innovation and strategic initiatives. Dr. Chandross is a neurobiologist by training with extensive expertise in drug discovery and early clinical development across multiple neurodegenerative disorders. She has specialized experience in stem/progenitor cell biology and mechanisms underlying nervous system dysfunction, with an emphasis on neuroprotective and reparative therapeutic strategies. Dr. Chandross received her PhD in Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and did her postdoctoral training and a senior fellowship at the NIH-NINDS. In 2000, she joined the CNS Division at Aventis (Sanofi Legacy Company) as a group leader responsible for overseeing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) discovery efforts focused on developing drugs that protect and restore neuronal function, including those that drive endogenous remyelination. Her efforts led to the identification of new drug targets, novel intellectual property, and preclinical proof of principle in relevant disease models, thereby progressing new novel agents through the discovery value chain and delivering development candidates aimed at overcoming barriers to natural tissue repair. In 2010, Dr. Chandross joined the Leadership team of Sanofi’s Early to Candidate (E2C) Unit; a group of 225 associates with a global presence in France, China and the US focused on developing higher risk innovative therapeutic strategies across multiple therapeutic indications. She was responsible for partnering projects across Sanofi R&D, providing leadership around the Neurology strategy and portfolio of projects, and establishing high value external collaborations. She contributed to portfolio prioritization, provided scientific and strategic input to project teams, and managed partnered projects towards maximizing the value of the E2C portfolio and ensuring the further development of first-in-class drugs; efforts that culminated in more than 40 new partnerships across R&D and 4 new drugs entering into development within 3 years. In 2013, Dr. Chandross joined the Sanofi-Genzyme MS/Neurology Clinical team where she brought her discovery experience to develop early clinical projects and translational medicine efforts that address patient unmet medical needs. She established key external partnerships to study novel disease targets, brain delivery technologies, and biomarkers and explored new clinical entry points for drugs with reparative potential. Dr. Chandross has achieved national recognition for her efforts outside of Sanofi, including as past program committee and Council member, and Treasurer for the American Society for Neurochemistry, member of the Rutgers Brain Health Institute Advisory Board, Pharmaceutical advisor to the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine public-private initiatives, and children’s book author.