Sam Kongsamut is a neuropharmacologist with over 25 years industry experience in small and large biopharma companies. He is currently engaged in various aspects of open innovation working with small and large organizations, mentoring, consulting, and working to build a life sciences entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Sam obtained his PhD at the University of Chicago and had postdoctoral training at Cornell and Yale Universities. He then joined the pharmaceutical industry, working for a succession of five different companies (Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals Inc, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Aventis, Sanofi-Aventis. now Sanofi), and experiencing two mergers, one takeover, and one “transformation” without moving. Sam has managed various-sized groups of scientists in biochemical pharmacology that served multiple project teams in the neuroscience area, and was a member of the CNS Board that managed the CNS project portfolio. He led or worked on a variety of drug discovery and development projects covering a range of neuroscience areas (OCD, anxiety-depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke), helping to translate animal pharmacology to human pharmacology, including being involved with two drugs that are now on the market. Sam was Director of External Innovation at Sanofi-Aventis, using his experience to identify opportunities for collaboration and licensing for broad therapeutic interests within the Neuroscience and Aging Units. Since leaving Sanofi in 2012, Sam founded Rudder Serendip LLC (steering from the rear close to the data towards serendipity), a consulting firm that serves clients at universities, foundations and biotechnology companies with advice on R&D plans and business development. Additionally, he has founded a company, worked for a small (7 pp) virtual biotech, and is deeply engaged with the local, national and international entrepreneurial community.