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Teresa Compton

Dr. Teresa Compton

Chief Scientific Officer Akebia Therapeutics


Teresa Compton obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Ph.D. degrees in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee. She did postdoctoral research at New York University Medical Center with Dr. David Sabatini, a member of the National Academy of Sciences.  She moved to the Scripps Research Institute for several years prior to joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin as an Assistant Professor.  There she built an internationally known research program focused on virus:host interactions.   She was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 1998 and Full Professor in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in 2003. At UW, she was extensively engaged in university, national and international service and held multiple campus leadership roles including Chair of the Human Cancer Virology program in the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chair of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Dr. Compton was continuously funded by research grants from the National Institutes of Health and has published over 80 research articles, numerous reviews and book chapters.

In 2005, Dr. Compton was recruited to the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research to build and lead antiviral drug discovery.   During her six-year tenure at Novartis, her group advanced three molecules into clinical development.  In this position, she served as the principal liaison with the Infectious Disease business franchise and with the Novartis Vaccines Business Unit.  She was extensively involved in evaluating technology and drug candidate licensing opportunities.  In 2011, Dr. Compton moved to Biogen Idec to lead Translational Sciences which  serves as the technology hub of the company encompassing systems biology technical platforms and core instrumentation groups to enable drug discovery across Biogen’s portfolio and to design biomarker strategies for clinical development.

Since moving to industry, Dr. Compton has remained true to her academic roots. At Novartis, Dr. Compton continued to train post-doctoral fellows and give seminars and lectures at multiple universities. She is a frequent invited speaker to discuss career development options.  At Biogen, she successfully championed the establishment of a postdoctoral training program.  Fellows in the program train in Biogen laboratories and have co-mentors at Harvard and MIT. She serves on several editorial boards and participates in peer review of funding and has continued to publish scholarly papers.  She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Morgridge Institute, a private public partnership of the University of Wisconsin, the  University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Executive Council and the Scientific Advisory Board of U Mass Amherst.

Teresa Compton

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