VC-backed Scholar Rock hires chief scientific officer and beefs up board

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company Scholar Rock has named Alan J. Buckler as chief scientific officer and appointed Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier to its board of directors and scientific advisory board. Scholar Rock’s backers include Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Investments, EcoR1 Capital and Cormorant Asset Management.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Scholar Rock, a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing drugs that selectively target supracellular activation of growth factors in the disease microenvironment, today announced that it has strengthened its leadership team, appointing Jeffrey S. Flier, MD, to its Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board, and hiring Alan J. Buckler as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Flier, a renowned endocrinologist and authority on the molecular causes of obesity and diabetes, joins the boards of Scholar Rock after serving most recently as the twenty-first Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University, and he currently is the Higginson Professor of Physiology and Medicine and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. Scholar Rock also appointed Alan J. Buckler, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Buckler brings to Scholar Rock a track record as a seasoned drug discovery leader with over 25 years of research experience in industry and academia, culminating with his recent role as Vice President, Cell and Protein Sciences, at Biogen.

“By expanding our team with such respected leaders in academic medicine and industrial drug discovery, we are continuing to build a world-class company with a robust multi-product pipeline in a range of therapeutic areas,” said Nagesh Mahanthappa, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scholar Rock. “I look forward to working together with Jeffrey and Alan and welcome their highly valuable expertise to position Scholar Rock to realize the full potential of our modulators of supracellular activation to address a variety of diseases for patient needs.”

Dr. Flier received his BS degree from City College of New York, and MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine with highest academic honors. Following residency training at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Flier was a clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and then joined the faculty of medicine at Harvard Medical School, serving as chief of the diabetes unit and endocrine division at Beth Israel Hospital. Dr. Flier was subsequently named Chief Academic Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess, and served as Harvard Medical School Faculty Dean for Academic Programs. An elected member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, his many honors include the Eli Lilly Award of the American Diabetes Association, and the Berson Lecture of the American Physiological Society. He was the recipient of the 2005 Banting Medal from the American Diabetes Association, its highest scientific honor.

“The role of protein growth factors in human disease is vast, and I believe that Scholar Rock’s approach opens up fundamentally new ways to improve patients’ lives across a broad range of unmet clinical needs,” said Jeffrey Flier, MD.

Dr. Buckler received his AB degree from the University of Chicago, and PhD in Microbiology from the Boston University School of Medicine. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he served on the Neurology faculty of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Buckler’s 20-year career in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries has spanned roles of increasing responsibility in early-stage private companies and established public corporations. After nearly a decade of leading a variety of drug discovery programs at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, he most recently served as Vice President in Drug Discovery at Biogen.

“I am excited to join Scholar Rock at such a pivotal time for the company, and to be a part of the team that is realizing the potential of modulating supracellular activation of protein growth factors to treat fibrotic, muscular, oncologic and autoimmune diseases,” said Alan Buckler, PhD.

About Scholar Rock
Scholar Rock is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing a novel class of biologic therapies that target supracellular activation of growth factors in the disease microenvironment. The Company’s initial proprietary and partnered drug discovery programs target specific growth factors which are present in the microenvironments of significant diseases, including fibrosis, musculoskeletal diseases, immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. Scholar Rock was founded upon discoveries made by its scientific founders, Professors Timothy Springer, PhD, and Leonard Zon, MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, related to the molecular mechanisms of supracellular activation. The company is backed by leading investors, including Polaris Partners, Timothy Springer, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Investments, EcoR1 Capital, The Kraft Group, and Cormorant Asset Management.