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Greg LaRosa, Ph.D

SVP and Head Scientific Research
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Gregory LaRosa, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President and Head of Scientific Research in Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit (RDRU). Prior to this role, Greg was the Chief Scientific Officer, and prior to that was VP, Head of Biology for the RDRU. Greg is responsible for RDRU portfolio strategies including external plans and monitoring the pre-clinical and clinical project progression. Greg received a Ph.D. from Harvard University (Division of Medical Sciences) in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and has 30 years of experience in rare disease and inflammation drug discovery and development.

Prior to joining Pfizer in July 2012, Greg worked in several start-up and midsize biotechnology companies, most recently serving as President and CSO at BIKAM Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA. At BIKAM, Greg led the internal team charged with the discovery and validation of novel small molecule pharmacologic chaperones for the rod cell visual pigment, with the goal to correct the misfolding and trafficking of mutant rhodopsin that causes Retinitis Pigmentosa.

From 2003 until 2008, Greg served as Vice President of Discovery Research at Critical Therapeutics, Inc., Lexington, MA, leading a group of biologists and chemists focusing largely on the pre-clinical validation of the concept that alpha-7 nAChR modulators could have broad use as anti-inflammatory therapeutics. He worked to discover and begin the development of novel anti-inflammatory, peripherally acting, compounds that target alpha-7, and demonstrated efficacy in animal models of inflammatory and allergic disease.

Before Critical Therapeutics, Greg served as Senior Director of Immunopharmacology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 1999 to 2003, where his work was focused on several inflammation drug discovery projects targeting chemokine receptors, adhesion proteins, and kinases. From September 1994 to December 1999 he served in several senior research positions at LeukoSite, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on chemokines, adhesion proteins and inflammation drug discovery. From 1988 to September 1994, Greg held several research posts at Repligen, Corp., a biotechnology company in the Boston area.

RESEARCH AREA

Rare Disease Research and Development including Hemophilia, Sickle Cell Disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Friedreich’s Ataxia, among others.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  1. A recombinant human IgG1 Fc multimer designed to mimic the active fraction of IVIG in
    autoimmunity. 2019 JCI Insight, 4(2): e121905.
    Zhang X1, Owens J2, Olsen HS3, So E1, Burch E1, McCroskey MC4, Li X2, Weber GL2, Bennett D2, Rybin D2, Zhou H1, Hao H5, Mérigeon EY3, Block DS4, LaRosa G2, Strome SE1.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30674715
  2. In vitro and in vivo effects of 2,4 diaminoquinazoline inhibitors of the decapping scavenger enzyme DcpS: Context-specific modulation of SMN transcript levels. 2017 PLoS One 12(9): e0185079.
    Cherry, J. J., C. J. DiDonato, E. J. Androphy, A. Calo, K. Potter, S. K. Custer, S. Du, T. L. Foley, A. Gopalsamy, E. J. Reedich, S. M. Gordo, W. Gordon, N. Hosea, L. H. Jones, D. K. Krizay, G. LaRosa, H. Li, S. Mathur, C. A. Menard, P. Patel, R. Ramos-Zayas, A. Rietz, H. Rong, B. Zhang and M. A. Tones
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28945765
  3. A fully recombinant human IgG1 Fc multimer (GL-2045) inhibits complement-mediated cytotoxicity and induces iC3b. 2017 Blood Adv 1(8): 504-515.
    Zhou, H., H. Olsen, E. So, E. Merigeon, D. Rybin, J. Owens, G. LaRosa, D. S. Block, S. E. Strome and X. Zhang.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29296968
  4. Design of Potent mRNA Decapping Scavenger Enzyme (DcpS) Inhibitors with Improved Physicochemical Properties To Investigate the Mechanism of Therapeutic Benefit in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) 2017 J Med Chem 60(7): 3094-3108.
    Gopalsamy, A., A. Narayanan, S. Liu, M. D. Parikh, R. E. Kyne, Jr., O. Fadeyi, M. A. Tones, J. J. Cherry, J. F. Nabhan, G. LaRosa, D. N. Petersen, C. Menard, T. L. Foley, S. Noell, Y. Ren, P. M. Loria, J. Maglich-Goodwin, H. Rong and L. H. Jones
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257199
  5. Two novel alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands: in vitro properties and their efficacy in collagen-induced arthritis in mice. 2015 PLoS One, 10(1): p. e0116227.
    van Maanen, M.A., R.L. Papke, F.A. Koopman, J. Koepke, L. Bevaart, R. Clark, D. Lamppu, D. Elbaum, G.J. LaRosa, P.P. Tak, and M.J. Vervoordeldonk
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25617631

EDUCATION

Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. 1988
Cornell University Department of Genetics and Development, B.A. 1981

AWARDS & HONORS

NIH-SBIR Grant #1 R43 AI39329-01A1: IL-8 Receptor Antagonists: Therapeutics for Inflammation, 1996 - 1997
Repligen Replicheck Award for Outstanding Achievement, 1989
National Cancer Center Predoctoral Fellowship, 1986 - 1988
Northeast Developmental Biology Conference Best Graduate Student Presentation Award, 1987
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Richard C. Smith Award For Outstanding Achievement By a Student or Fellow, 1987