Joe serves as CSO and Head of Discovery at Denali Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on novel therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and genetically defined rare disorders. In this role, he serves as a member of the Denali Management team and coordinates the preclinical stage portfolio, which has resulted in the progression of 8+ molecules ranging from small molecules to biotherapeutics advancing to clinical trials. His group defines therapeutic strategies based on genetically defined pathways that contribute to neurodegeneration including Lysosomal Function, Glial Biology, and Cellular Homeostasis. As delivery to the brain represents a major challenge, Joe’s discovery team has developed Denali’s proprietary Transport Vehicle (TV) platform to shuttle biologics across the Blood-Brain Barrier. This highly modular technology enables effective brain delivery and broad biodistribution of a range of cargos including enzymes, antibodies, and oligonucleotides.
Prior to joining Denali in early 2016, Joe spent 9 years at Genentech, where he helped to build the neuroscience research team and portfolio. In his role as Director of the Department of Neuroscience, he was responsible for generating the disease area strategy and management of the neuroscience portfolio, which included both large and small molecule programs. During his time at Genentech, Joe also served as a project team leader where he led a program for neurodegenerative disease from target discovery to IND filing and led a discovery lab focused on identification of new therapeutic drug targets for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s Disease. He received his BS from University of California, San Diego, a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and did a Postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute.