Person Details

Ismail Kola, PhD

Ismail Kola, PhD, Chairman of the Board

Dr. Ismail Kola has served as Chairman of the Board since February 2021, and prior to that, as Lead Director since August 2020 and a Director since October 2010. Dr. Kola served as Executive Vice President of UCB S.A. in Belgium, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative medicines focused on the fields of central nervous system and immunology disorders, and President and Chief Scientific Officer of UCB New Medicines, UCB’s discovery research through to proof-of-concept in man organization. Dr. Kola was formerly Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and Early Clinical Research & Experimental Medicine at Schering-Plough Research Institute, the pharmaceutical research arm of Schering-Plough Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, and Chief Scientific Officer at Schering-Plough Corporation, from March 2007 until his appointment at UCB. Prior to Schering-Plough, Dr. Kola held senior positions from January 2003 to March 2007 at Merck, a pharmaceutical company, where he was Senior Vice President and Site Head, Basic Research. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Kola was Vice President, Research, and Global Head, Genomics Science and Biotechnology, at Pharmacia Corporation, a pharmaceutical company. Prior to his position with Pharmacia, Dr. Kola spent 15 years as Professor of Human Molecular Genetics and was Director of the Centre for Functional Genomics and Human Disease at Monash Medical School in Australia. Dr. Kola received his Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, his B.Sc. from the University of South Africa, and his B.Pharm. from Rhodes University, South Africa. Dr. Kola currently serves on the board of directors of Biotie Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ: BITI) (and previously Synosia who merged with Biotie) since February 2011, where he serves on the compensation committee. Dr. Kola served on the board of directors of Astex Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ASTX) since May 2010 until its sale to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in October 2013, Ondek Pty Ltd from 2009 to 2011, and Promega Corporation from 2003 to 2007. Dr. Kola has authored 159 technical publications in scientific and medical journals and is the named inventor on at least a dozen patents. Dr. Kola holds Adjunct Professorships of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Monash University Medical School; a Foreign Adjunct Professorship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden; and was elected William Pitt Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, UK in 2008. Dr. Kola has also been appointed a Visiting Professor at Oxford University, Nuffield School of Medicine, Oxford UK, since September 2012.

Dr. Kola has led numerous teams that have brought a large number of medicines successfully to the market. Dr. Kola’s experience and leadership in taking numerous drugs from the research stage to market or late stage development brings a unique and valuable perspective to our Board.

Independent Director


Nominations and Corporate Governance Committee

Chairman of the Compensation Committee