Sara Kenkare-Mitra, Ph.D.

President and Head of R&D at Alector

Dr. Sara Kenkare-Mitra is a distinguished biotech/pharma drug developer and executive, currently serving as the President and Head of R&D at Alector for two years. With over 25 years of industry experience, she has dedicated her career to developing novel drugs and personalizing treatments. Her work spans the entire drug discovery and development spectrum, including the successful global filing and launch of multiple drugs during her 24-year tenure at Genentech/Roche. While she has a particular focus on Oncology, she has also worked in areas such as neurodegeneration, ophthalmology, and respiratory diseases.

Dr. Kenkare-Mitra’s accomplishments are significant. She and her organizations have contributed to the filing of 11 BLA/NDA for novel drugs currently on the market, including Xolair, Tarceva, Avastin, Lucentis, Kadcyla, Venclexta, Vismodegib, Perjeta, Tecentriq, Ocrevus, and Polivy, as well as over 100 IND/CTA submissions for novel NMEs. She has also enabled the successful development and approval of more than 15 companion diagnostics and several novel diagnostic technologies at Genentech/Roche. She was instrumental in driving the early success of the antibody-drug conjugate platform at Genentech and was part of the team that led to the discovery of Kadcyla. Additionally, her team has been integral in driving collaborations and strategic partnerships, such as the one with Foundation Medicine.

Dr. Kenkare-Mitra’s leadership and contributions to the field have earned her numerous accolades and memberships, including being elected a National Academy of Medicine (NAM) member and an AAAS fellow. She has also received awards for her leadership and influence from the San Francisco Business Times, Fierce Biotech, Endpoint News, AAPS, and has been celebrated as both a distinguished and Top 150 alumni at UCSF.

Beyond her industry work, Dr. Kenkare-Mitra is an Adjunct Full Professor at UCSF and Adjunct faculty at the University of Pacific. She has served on the board of several non-profit organizations, including AWIS and the Genentech Foundation, and co-founded two successful mentoring programs at Genentech. Her academic qualifications include a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from UCSF, a Fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology, and post-doctoral training at UCSF.