ANDREW KOFF, PH.D.

Co-Founder, CSO

Andrew has been at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for over 25 years, where he started the Laboratory of Cell Cycle Regulation and holds the title of full Member (equivalent to tenured full professor). Andrew is internationally recognized for his work describing the mechanism by which cells make the decision to proliferate or withdraw from the cell cycle into a non-proliferative state, and the outcome of losing this control during normal development and in cancer in all tissues.  His earlier discoveries surrounding the identification and function of the cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors resulted in more than 90 peer-reviewed papers, as well as 12 patents and have opened up a number of additional fields of research and drug development. 

Andrew cofounded Atropos and became an entrepreneur because he is passionate about the science behind it. Over the last few years, Andrew’s attention has turned to understanding the decision made by cells after they withdraw from the cell cycle. Andrew has published on the first genes and proteins controlling this differentiation process called senescence after growth arrest (SAGA, or geroconversion). He firmly believes the molecular understanding of this pathway is important for improving upon the effectiveness of CDK4 inhibitors to treat patients with cancer, and might allow for the identification of compounds that could also limit the onset of many age-related morbidities. Through Atropos, Andrew has taken his seminal discoveries further to devise a proprietary, phenotypic screening drug discovery platform called FATES.

Andrew has received approximately $12M in funding from various sources including the National Institute of General Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, and philanthropic agencies.  His current distinctions include the Pew Foundation and Irma T. Hirschl Scholar. Andrew was also a past recipient of the Boyer Young Investigator Award and the Frederick R. Adler Chair at his academic institution. Andrew has been named as one of the top 250 highly cited researchers in Molecular Biology and Genetics by the Institute for Scientific Information.

 

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