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James W. Leahy, Ph.D.

Director of Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. James Leahy was hired in 2017 to serve as Venn Therapeutics' Director of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Leahy is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Florida and a member of the Florida Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery and Innovation (CDDI) with an appointment in the Department of Molecular Medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Leahy will continue to hold these positions while working with Venn Therapeutics. 


Previously, Dr. Leahy spent 14 years at Exelixis as the Senior Director of Chemistry. While there, he oversaw the discovery of more than a dozen compounds that entered clinical trials. To date, his work has resulted in 3 FDA approved cancer drugs as well as many candidates that are still in late-stage clinical trials.

Dr. Leahy began his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Florida and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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