Kathlynn Brown: Creating real impact through your work

A recognized leader in life sciences, SRI Bioscience’s first female president says passion and hard work are crucial in tackling difficult scientific challenges.

Kathlynn Brown became president of SRI’s Biosciences Division in February, 2023. Here, she talks about her career path, her achievements, and the “wonderful thing” about SRI:

My journey at SRI began in 2014. I joined SRI with the goal of expanding my multidisciplinary research opportunities and work within an environment that allowed me to do translational research. In 2016, I took on the role of leading our team in Shenandoah Valley where we honed our team and built programs from the ground up. In 2022, I became Vice President of Drug Delivery, working across SRI to support efforts in precision medicine and targeted delivery.

I started in biosciences, specifically the cancer space, because it hits close to home. For anyone working in this area, there’s a lot of passion. That’s something I love about my research group; they see the vision and believe in it. So many in this field—especially at SRI—are excited, creative, and truly enjoy working together to create solutions for obstacles in biomedicine. Being able to see your work have an impact on real people is something that never gets old.

One of my greatest achievements—besides my kids, who are truly incredible human beings—is what we’ve built up in Shenandoah Valley. I’m incredibly proud of everyone pulling together and doing the necessary work to tackle difficult scientific challenges. They have been incredibly supportive of me as well as each other. Building up our capabilities and programs in precision medicine at this site has been such a pleasure.

Here, we work to deliver large macromolecules into cells in a cell-specific way, whether that be developing the cargo that we will carry into the cells or using our platform technologies to deliver therapeutics to the right cell at the right time. Our FOX Three Molecular Guidance System (MGS)™ allows us to carry different types of drugs and molecule types to specific cells. FOX Three can be applied to virtually any cell type, which provides us with opportunities to work on interesting programs that can help fight a variety of diseases.

Being guided by our experiences in developing the FOX Three platform, we have developed DiaCyt™, a transport system for delivery into the central nervous system, and TALL, a potent cancer immunotherapy. I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of SRI’s amazing bioscience teams to develop our Fox Three, TALL, and DiaCyt platforms.

As president of our Biosciences Division, I’m excited to continue our foundation of excellence and expertise, particularly within precision medicine, AI and biology, and immunotherapy. We’re doing some amazing work, and it’s a great time to be in this space, especially at SRI.

The wonderful thing about SRI is the mission—doing good science that can touch people’s lives. SRI researchers want to do exciting, cool work that will impact society. It’s important to remember that the work you do can benefit real people and real health issues.

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