Dr. Leen Kawas: A Trailblazing Journey in Biotechnology Leadership

Dr. Leen Kawas, the Managing General Partner at Propel Bio Partners, has carved an extraordinary path in the biotechnology industry. Initially aspiring to cure cancer at a young age, Dr. Kawas began her career as a pharmacist before earning a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. Her journey has been marked by unexpected turns and remarkable achievements, including co-founding and leading two successful biotech companies.

In a recent appearance on the Recruitomics Consulting Podcast, Dr. Kawas shared valuable insights into her approach to building effective teams, the importance of diversity in clinical trials, and the need for patient involvement throughout the drug development process.

Dr. Kawas meticulously evaluates candidates to contribute to the company’s expansion as Propel Bio Partners grows. She emphasizes the importance of a growth mindset, regardless of an individual’s career stage. Dr. Kawas values candidates with a “beginner’s mindset,” approaching each problem with fresh perspectives and being willing to learn from others. She recognizes the unique value that newer biotech professionals bring to the table and the importance of creating a friendly workplace that fosters collaboration and a sense of fun.

Dr. Kawas strongly advocates for increased diversity in clinical trial management and patient selection. She believes having a diverse management team, particularly with more female and minority representation, can lead to more successful clinical trials and better patient recruitment. Furthermore, she stresses the importance of diversity among clinical trial participants to reflect the human population better and provide a more accurate assessment of a drug’s impact on society.

Patient involvement throughout the drug development cycle is another crucial aspect of Dr. Kawas’ vision. She has been a fierce proponent of this approach for the past seven to eight years, conducting patient feedback sessions to understand why certain drugs fail and to incorporate patient voices into the clinical design process. By involving patients from the early stages of drug discovery and development, Dr. Kawas believes that outcomes can be significantly improved.

Looking ahead, Dr. Kawas has ambitious goals for the next decade. She aims to invest in companies developing technologies to improve global human health. Additionally, she is committed to providing internship opportunities for students and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds, recognizing the importance of nurturing future talent in biotechnology.

Dr. Kawas values giving back to future entrepreneurs, acknowledging the support and guidance she received throughout her career. She hopes to inspire and empower the next generation of biotechnology leaders by paying it forward.

From her early days as a pharmacist to her current role as a biotechnology executive, Dr. Leen Kawas has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advancing human health through innovative research and development. Her inspiration to aspiring scientists and entrepreneurs highlights the importance of adaptability, diversity, and patient-centered approaches in the ever-evolving world of biotechnology.

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