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Justin Gu, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Justin (Xiang-ju) Gu joined Laekna Therapeutics in 2020 as Chief Scientific Officer in charge of the company’s preclinical discovery research efforts. Under the leadership of Dr. Gu, the discovery team has begun to gradually produce globally leading innovative drug candidates with independent intellectual property rights.  More than 10 pre-clinical drug candidates are in various discovery stages.


Dr. Gu is an experienced drug-hunter with nearly 20 years of experience in multinational pharmaceutical companies, and had participated and led multiple drug discovery projects. He has strong scientific background in oncology, immunology and metabolism, with in-depth understanding of disease pathogenesis and molecular targets.  


Before joining Laekna, Dr. Gu worked at GP Healthcare Capital as a venture partner for a year.


Dr. Gu worked at Novartis for 18 years. From 2001 to 2008, he served as Scientist and Group Leader at Genomics Institute of Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) in San Diego, USA. After the China Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (CNIBR) was set up, Dr. Gu returned to China in 2008 and joined CNIBR with the responsibility of establishing a lead discovery department at CNIBR.  In the following decade, Dr. Gu and his team provided multiple high-quality first-in-class lead candidates for CNIBR pipeline projects, and he also won multiple R&D awards from Novartis. Before joining GNF, he also worked at Tularik Inc, a well-known US biopharma company.


Dr. Gu received Bachelor’s degree in biology from Nankai University, Tianjin, China; Master’s degree from the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and PhD in biochemistry from Ohio State University, USA. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

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