Karen S. Chen, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation, New York City

Karen S. Chen, Ph.D., is the chief scientific officer and chief operating officer of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation in New York City. She is responsible for overseeing the full range of scientific and drug discovery programs, as well as managing the activities at the SMA Foundation. Dr. Chen has more than 25 years of experience planning, directing, and conducting preclinical research as a senior research scientist and manager.  She has headed a variety of departments and groups working on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for neurological disorders. Prior to joining the SMA Foundation, Dr. Chen worked at Roche and Elan Pharmaceuticals, where she focused on therapy development for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. She earned her Ph.D. in neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego.