About Us > Our People > Board of Directors > Nancy A. Thornberry

Nancy A. Thornberry

Board Member, NYGC Founding CEO and Chair, R&D, Kallyope
Nancy Thornberry headshot

Nancy A. Thornberry has decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, with responsibilities spanning research and development, business development, customer engagement, and strategy. From 2015-2021, she was CEO of Kallyope, a NYC-based biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents targeting the gut and gut-brain axis. She remains on the Board of Directors and is Chair of R&D. Prior to joining Kallyope, she was Senior Vice President and Franchise Head, Diabetes and Endocrinology, for Merck & Co. Inc. In this role, she led discovery and clinical research in diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, fertility, and contraception. Before becoming Franchise Head, Nancy initiated and led Merck’s dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) project, which resulted in the discovery of JANUVIA® for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. She has also achieved several other notable scientific accomplishments, including the identification of the first caspase, interleukin-1β converting enzyme (caspase-1). For her contributions, she has received numerous awards, including the Merck Presidential Fellowship, Merck Directors Award, Heroes of Chemistry Award by the American Chemical Society, and in 2011 received the Pharmaceuticals Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Discoverers Award, which honors research scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind.

In addition to her role at Kallyope, Nancy currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Schrodinger and Denali Therapeutics and is an advisor to Google Ventures. She is also a member of NYC’s Mayor’s Life Sciences (LifeSciNYC) Advisory Council.

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