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Lackey to head Center for Drug Discovery

Contact: Heather Woolwine

Feb. 5, 2014
CHARLESTON – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has recruited Karen Lackey as director of the MUSC Center for Drug Discovery as of February 3.  An accomplished pharmaceutical research and development executive, Lackey most recently served as Vice President, Head of Discovery Chemistry and Chair of the Global Chemical Biology Initiative at Hoffman La Roche. Prior to Roche, Karen was Vice President of Discovery Medicine Chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline and a key member of the GSK Molecular Discovery Executive Team where she played an active role in early stage research that spanned over 30 therapuetic areas. While at GSK, she contributed to the discovery of the dual erbB2/EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, lapatinib, currently marketed as Tykerb® for the treatment of breast cancer. She also is founder and chief scientific officer of Janaush, LLC, which develops life-saving medicines for targeted diseases.
“Karen will bring an immense amount of experience to our efforts for drug discovery at MUSC and will facilitate new strategic partnerships for the development of new therapeutics and diagnostics. We are tremendously excited and fortunate to have her onboard,” said Stephen M. Lanier, Ph.D., MUSC chief scientific officer and associate provost for research.
As director of the MUSC Center for Drug Discovery, Lackey plans to build a portfolio of innovative drug discovery projects aligned with MUSC research and clinical care expertise that target unmet needs for new therapies and medicines, including a focus on new medicines for cancer, fibrotic and inflammatory diseases and neurological disorders. Broader initiatives include creating strategies that support industry partnership and collaborations for the Lowcountry and beyond.
“MUSC is the ideal research environment to connect patient needs, cutting-edge drug discovery science and clinical practices to deliver highly innovative treatments for complex diseases,” Lackey said. “I am excited about applying my experience from more than 25 years in pharmaceutical R&D, and working to create meaningful partnerships to deliver medicines in as yet unmet medical needs.”
About MUSC
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 66 National Cancer Institute designated centers) and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit For more information on hospital patient services, visit



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