Manu Chakravarthy, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Vice President of Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer
In this position, he provides strategic direction and oversight for Axcella’s clinical research and development activities, including the execution of a variety of clinical trials across several indications. Dr. Chakravarthy brings a deep commitment to innovation and translational medicine with an unwavering focus to address serious unmet medical needs by translating breakthrough discoveries into the clinic, and meaningfully improve human health.
Prior to assuming his current role, Dr. Chakravarthy served as the Global Head of External R&D in diabetes and cardiovascular research at Eli Lilly & Company, where he was responsible for external innovation efforts, including the identification/evaluation of novel therapeutics, platforms, and technologies for in/out-licensing, establishing academic collaborations, and consortia management across the value chain to complement and enhance Lilly’s internal R&D portfolio. He also served as the industry co-leader of the Innovative Medicine Initiative’s LITMUS project, one of the largest public-private consortia efforts to elucidate noninvasive biomarkers for NAFLD.
Before his global leadership role at Lilly, Dr. Chakravarthy spent seven years at Merck & Co., where he began his industry career in Experimental Medicine as an associate director and progressively gained increasing experience across the R&D spectrum from discovery, clinical pharmacology, biomarker development and late-stage drug development in endocrine, metabolic, neuroscience and anti-viral therapeutic areas. During this time, he assumed positions of increasing responsibility and leadership within the company, ultimately serving as a Distinguished Scientist and led the clinical pharmacology groups in Discovery Medicine for diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases within Translational Medicine.
Dr. Chakravarthy is Board-certified in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism and continues to serve patients as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Rutgers School of Medicine, NJ. Prior to his career in industry, Dr. Chakravarthy was an Instructor of Medicine in the Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and clinical fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St Louis. In his postdoctoral training as an American Diabetes Association Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University School of Medicine, his research focused on lipid metabolism.
Dr. Chakravarthy received his medical degree from the University of Texas Houston Medical School, his doctorate in cell biology & physiology from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s University.