About Us

Scientific Advisory Board

Flex Pharma scientific co-founder Dr. Bruce Bean is the Robert Winthrop Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, where he oversees a leading research lab studying the biophysics of sodium, calcium and potassium ion signaling in relation to pain processing. Dr. Bean's studies are helping uncover the molecular basis of ion channels and neuronal electrical firing. These insights will be instrumental in developing novel medicines to alleviate pain, to treat epilepsy and to address other disorders related to ion channel pathophysiology. Dr. Bean has extensive experience using neuropharmacological agents to probe mechanistic aspects of ion channels. Dr. Bean has served on the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke and on the Scientific Review Board for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and his scientific achievements have been recognized through prestigious awards from the Rita Allen Foundation and the McKnight Foundation. Dr. Bean is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

W. Larry Kenney received his Ph.D. in Physiology in 1983. He has been a faculty member at Noll Laboratory, Penn State University, since that time and is currently the Marie Underhill Noll Chair in Human Performance as well as Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology. His research involves human physiological responses to extreme environments, heat and cold stress, and the biophysics of heat exchange, with a focus on the impact of aging on these responses.

Dr. Kenney received the prestigious Faculty Scholar medal from Penn State in 2001, as well as the College of Health and Human Development’s Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award and the Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Career Award. He has published over 200 journal articles and book chapters.He is the lead author of Physiology of Sport and Exercise, a best-selling textbook in exercise physiology now in its 6thedition.

In addition to his Penn State duties, Dr. Kenney served as President of the American College of Sports Medicine from 2003-2004 and received the Citation Award from that organization in 2008.  He is active in the American Physiological Society and was an EEP councillor from 1997-2000.  He currently serves on the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Scientific Advisory Panel, Nike’s Scientific Advisory Board, and chaired the Gatorade Sports Science Institute for several years.

Nobel laureate and Flex Pharma scientific co-founder Dr. Roderick MacKinnon is an Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics at The Rockefeller University. His 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry focuses on ion channel activation, the foundation of Flex Pharma’s clinical approach to muscle cramping. He is also the recipient of numerous other scientific awards, including the 2003 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, the 2001 Gairdner Foundation International Award, the 2001 Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize, the 2000 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science and the 1999 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. Dr. MacKinnon is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. MacKinnon holds a B.A. in biochemistry from Brandeis University and an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his medical residency at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and postdoctoral work at Brandeis. He joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School before moving to Rockefeller in 1996.

Since joining Biogen in 1998, Dr. Sandrock has held several senior executive positions, including Senior Vice President of Development Sciences, Senior Vice President of Neurology Research and Development, and Vice President of Clinical Development, Neurology. During his tenure at Biogen, Dr. Sandrock has been responsible for the clinical development and approval of Tysabri®, Plegridy®, Tecfidera®, Alprolix®, and Eloctate®.

Dr. Sandrock received his B.A. in human biology from Stanford University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Harvard University. He completed an internship in medicine, a residency and chief residency in neurology, and a clinical fellowship in Neuromuscular Disease and Clinical Neurophysiology (electromyography) at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Roger Tung, Ph.D., is scientific Founder, President and CEO of Concert Pharmaceuticals. Before Concert, Dr. Tung was a founding scientist at Vertex, a pharmaceutical company, where he was employed from 1989 to 2005, most recently as its Vice President of Drug Discovery. Prior to Vertex, he held various positions at Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, a global healthcare provider, and The Squibb Institute for Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Tung holds a B.A. in chemistry from Reed College and a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Christopher Walsh, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus from the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He is currently a consulting professor, Department of Chemistry at Stanford University and an advisor to the ChEM-H center at Stanford.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

John Winkelman, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Prior to MGH, he served for 17 years as Medical Director of the Sleep Health Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Winkelman’s clinical work, teaching, and research focuses on the epidemiology, neurobiology, and clinical consequences of primary sleep disorders.  His clinical research has included clinical trials in sleep-related movement disorders, particularly extensive involvement in the development of approved agents for restless legs syndrome (RLS). Dr. Winkelman is chair of the American Academy of Neurology practice parameter committee for the treatment RLS, serves on the Executive committee of the International RLS Study Group, is an Associate Editor of Sleep and serves on the editorial boards of Sleep Medicine and CNS Drugs. He has published more than 100 articles, reviews and book chapters.  Dr. Winkelman received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychobiology. He finished a residency in Psychiatry and a fellowship in Neurology (Sleep Disorders Medicine) at MGH.