President and CSO
TransThera Consulting Co.
Dept of Neurology
Feinberg School of Medicine
Dept of Biology
Purdue University School of Science
Indiana University-Purdue University
Dr. Kalpana Merchant has deep expertise in the neurobiology of chronic neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. She has nearly 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development with a special emphasis on translational strategies that improve the success rate of drug development.
In March 2014, Kalpana established a life sciences business that provides consultancy services to non-profit foundations and start-up pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. She continues to remain engaged in training and mentoring of graduate students, postdoctoral scientists and junior faculty through her adjunct academic positions.
Prior to establishing TransThera Consulting Co, Kalpana worked in the US pharmaceutical industry as a scientific contributor and in strategic leadership/management roles. She retired in March 2014 from Eli Lilly and Company where she was the Chief Scientific Officer for Tailored Therapeutics, accountable for scientific and business strategies to deliver personalized therapies and associated biomarkers for the neuroscience portfolio – from discovery through Phase III.
Kalpana received her PhD in neuropharmacology from the University of Utah. Following a postdoctoral research fellowship at University of Washington, she was appointed Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the same institution. She was recruited to Eli Lilly in 2003 from Pharmacia Corp., where she had contributed to neuroscience drug discovery research for 10 years.
Kalpana is engaged in the wider scientific community via her service on NIH Study Sections, Workshops and Advisory Panels, advisor to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, member of The Wellcome Trust Review Board as well as membership in several professional societies.