Dr. Simon Kaja is the Dr. John P. and Therese E. Mulcahy Endowed Professor in Ophthalmology and Director of the Laboratory for Ocular Pharmacology and Drug Discovery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He holds additional academic appointments as Docent in Medicine and Experimental Ophthalmology at Tampere University and Adjunct Professor of Biological Sciences at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Kaja received his B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from the University of Durham, Durham, United Kingdom, and his doctoral degree in Medicine and neuroscience from Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, following which he did postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Dr. Kaja has published 60+ peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts. He is a frequent speaker at ophthalmic drug discovery conferences. At Selagine Inc., Dr. Kaja oversees all pre-clinical development including pharmacokinetic, toxicology and pharmacodynamic studies.

Dr. Kaja is an expert in ocular pharmacology and pre-IND study designs with more than fifteen years' experience in the academic, biotech, and pharmaceutical settings. As an academic, Dr. Kaja has collaborated and published with several industry partners and actively contributed over the past years to bringing novel therapeutics to first-in-human studies and/or approval. In his previous role as Chief Scientific Officer (2004-2023) of the preclinical contract research organization, Experimentica Ltd., and independent consultant to dozens of biotech and pharma clients, Dr. Kaja has advised on and guided the preclinical ophthalmic drug discovery and development programs for multiple disease indications and treatment modalities spanning small molecules, biologics and gene therapy assets for hundreds of clients. Dr. Kaja is the principal of K&P Scientific LLC.

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