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.

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.

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.