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Dr. Gerritsen is an accomplished professional, with over 30 years of experience in both academia (New York Medical College, Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Stanford School of Medicine) and the pharmaceutical industry (Exelixis, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Bayer Health Care), as well as additional experience as an independent consultant to biotechnology and venture capital companies. With broad but in depth expertise in several therapeutic areas (oncology, inflammation, angiogenesis, vascular biology), she can bring her expertise to bear on pre-clinical and early clinical drug discovery problems ranging from target identification and validation, lead validation, lead optimization, cell based assays to support lead optimization, pharmacodynamic assays, clinical biomarker assay development and implementation, and expansion of therapeutic indications for lead compounds. She has a strong record of high level strategic planning, attention to detail, and the proven ability to solve unique and difficult challenges.

As Vice-President of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology at Exelixis (2004-2010), Dr. Gerritsen was responsible for oncology target identification and validation, development of cell based mechanistic and phenotypic assays to support lead validation and lead optimization, development and optimization of pharmacodynamic assays to support in vivo xenograft and pharmacokinetic assays, and the selection, optimization and implementation of clinical biomarker assays to support phase I and phase II clinical studies. Dr. Gerritsen was a member of the Research and Development Management Committee, with full budgetary responsibility for her department, and leadership roles in all preclinical and early clinical compound development projects. Her strong record of success is exemplified by the filing of 14 INDs during her 6 year tenure at Exelixis. During her tenure as Vice-President at Exelixis, Mary co-authored a book on "Targeting Kinases for Cancer Therapy", providing a thorough review of the different protein kinases involved in cancer and the drugs, in development and approved, that inhibit them


As Senior Director of Vascular Biology at Millennium (2002-2003), Dr. Gerritsen was responsible for vascular biology target identification and validation to support alliance relationships with big Pharma. In addition, her responsibilities also included the oversight of all lead validation and lead optimization programs in vascular biology and fibrosis.

While Associate Director/Senior Scientist at Genentech (1997-2001), Dr. Gerritsen ran a cutting edge laboratory in angiogenesis research, with the responsibility of identifying new biological targets and entities for both the promotion (therapeutic) and inhibition of angiogenesis. Her strong record of success at Genentech is exemplified by numerous highly cited publications in peer reviewed journals, 45 issued patents, and over 1000 patents pending.

During her years at Bayer as a Group Leader and Senior Staff Scientist (1990-1997), Dr. Gerritsen lead a number of drug discovery projects in inflammation research (rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma), focused on leukocyte adhesion, cytokine signaling, and lipid mediators. She has a number of highly cited publications from these endeavors.

As Associate Professor of Physiology at New York Medical College (1980-1990), Dr. Gerritsen taught endocrinology and various subjects in cell biology and cardiovascular physiology to medical and graduate students. She also had a very active research program focused on endothelial biology (in hypertension, diabetic retinopathy, stroke and inflammation), with research funding support from the NIH, American Heart Association (State and National), and the Foundation for Fighting Blindness.

Dr. Gerritsen holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada. She was a post-doctoral fellow in Pharmacology at University of California San Diego, and has been a visiting scholar and consulting professor at Harvard University and Stanford University respectively. In addition to her training and experience in academia and industry, Dr. Gerritsen has been an officer for professional organizations (North America Vascular Biology Organization, The Microcirculatory Society Inc), served on the editorial board of several journals (Circulation Research, Microcirculation, American Journal of Physiology), organized meetings and chaired sessions at national and international scientific conferences including Keystone Symposia, Gordon Conferences, International Vascular Biology Meetings, American Heart Association Meetings, Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Meetings. She has over 100 peer reviewed publications and has also served on local, state and national grant review committees for the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.