The IBRI Welcomes Experienced Drug Hunters Back to Indy

Indiana Biosciences Research Institute Welcomes Experienced Drug Hunters Back to Indianapolis

IBRI announces Mary Mader, PhD, as vice president of molecular innovation; Mark Kowala, PhD, as vice president of translational medicine

Indianapolis, Ind. – The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), a leading translational science institute, is pleased to welcome Mary Mader, PhD, as its new vice president of molecular innovation and Mark Kowala, PhD, as its new vice president of translational medicine.

“Mary and Mark are working together to establish new collaborations, explore the intersection of lab-based and computer-based approaches to pursue new drug discovery programs, and promote the growth of biotechnology in Central Indiana,” said Alan Palkowitz, PhD, president and CEO of the IBRI.

Mader brings more than 20 years of experience as a drug hunter at Eli Lilly and Company and Relay Therapeutics to the IBRI to help build its molecular discovery pipeline, leverage the Institute’s new chemistry labs that will be completed by the end of 2022 and integrate its modern technologies for drug discovery.

She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Ohio State University and her Doctor of Philosophy in organic chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. She serves as the chair of the Chemistry in Cancer Research working group of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). She also is involved in the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) as the chair-elect of its discovery Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) and is a proposal reviewer for the experimental therapeutics sub-group of the American Cancer Society.

“The IBRI has set an ambitious strategy that reflects the evolving nature of life sciences research,” noted Mader. “I am eager to bring my industry experience to help the IBRI achieve its objectives to increase science and patient impact, demonstrate translational business outcomes and grow the biomedical community.”

Mark Kowala, PhD, who has 30 years of experience as a scientist and leader of cardiovascular drug discovery at Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb, will work to expand research synergies between IBRI and regional and national investigators and help build new drug discovery programs to advance novel therapeutics towards clinical testing.

Kowala earned his Bachelor of Science degree in immunology from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and his Doctor of Philosophy in experimental pathology from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the IMI funded Diabetic Cardiomyopathy Consortia (CARDIATEAM), the AXIS Mentoring Program and the NIH Cardiovascular SBIR grant review committee.

Kowala said, “IBRI’s partnership with academic scientists will enhance their basic research and start parallel drug discovery programs that together, increase government and corporate funding opportunities and the formation of biotech startups to deliver the next generation of medicines.”

About the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) is an independent, nonprofit discovery science and applied research institute currently targeting diabetes, metabolic disease, poor nutrition and related health data science.  Inspired by Indiana’s leading life sciences companies, research universities and philanthropic community, the IBRI is building a world-class organization of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to catalyze scientific discovery and its applications, resulting in improved health outcomes for Indiana patients and beyond. For more information about the IBRI, visit

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