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Kalpana M. Merchant, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Location: Portland, OR United States

Dr. Kalpana Merchant has extensive expertise in the neurobiology of chronic neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. She has more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development in both large pharmaceutical and small startup companies, with a special emphasis on translational research. Dr. Kalpana was appointed to the Oregon Innovation Council, sponsored by the governor and legislature, to spur innovation-based business opportunities in the state. She is a charter member of TiE-Oregon, part of the global nonprofit TiE network that fosters entrepreneurship through mentorship and investment.

Dr. Merchant is an advisor to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and serves on advisory panels at the National Institutes of Health. She received her PhD in neuropharmacology in 1989 from the University of Utah. Following postdoctoral research at University of Washington, she joined the faculty as an assistant professor of psychiatry. She transitioned to pharmaceutical research in 1993. 

Associated Grants

  • Use of the Lipid BMP as a Surrogate Marker for LRRK2 and GCase Activity


  • Measurement of BMP and NAG Activity in CSF Samples


  • Discovery and Development of Parkin Activators as Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease


  • Identification of Alpha-synuclein Molecular Forms Correlating with Clinicopathology


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