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About us

The leaders in autophagy

Our story

Samsara was founded in 2019 with the mission of discovering and developing autophagy directed therapies to fight neurodegenerative and rare diseases.

We’ve received funding from a number of high-profile investors, as well as the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Research Foundation.

Our leadership team

Meenu Chhabra Karson

Executive Chair

Ms. Chhabra Karson joined Samsara in July of 2023 as the Executive Chair. She is a recognized biopharmaceutical executive who has served as a biotech CEO for 15 years and is currently appointed on a number of private and public biopharma boards. Meenu has been a life sciences executive for more than 20 years. with a successful track record of team building, strategic transaction execution, and accelerating value-generating milestones.

Timothy Piser, PhD

Head of R&D

Dr. Timothy Piser is a neuropharmacologist with more than 25 years of experience leading neuroscience drug discovery and development in large public pharmaceutical companies and private VC-funded start-up biotech. During his early career at AstraZeneca, he led drug discovery programs in psychiatry and neurology through IND enabling studies and a global drug development program in Treatment Resistant Depression through Phase 2 clinical trials. More recently, as CSO at Cadent Therapeutics, and EIR at Atlas Venture, he led discovery and clinical development of NMDA receptor modulators in Depression and Schizophrenia, andSK channel modulators forSpinocerebellar Ataxia, leading to the acquisition of Cadent by Novartis. Dr. Piser holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota

Marija Zecevic, PhD

Chief Business Officer

Dr. Marija Zecevicis an accomplished executive with over 20 years of experience in the biotech industry including both public and private companies across the US and Europe. Based in Boston, she has held various C-suite roles at a number of clinical stage biotechs including Proteostasis Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTI), Allozyne, and BioXell (SWX:BXLN) and has been instrumental in catalyzing multiple public and private financings and corporate partnerships. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Zurich and an M.S. in International Healthcare Management from Bocconi School of Management. 

Warren Galloway, PhD

Vice President, Chemistry

Warren is a Fellow Emeritus at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. He has 72 publications in chemistry and chemical biology, including in diversity-oriented synthesis. He undertook his postdoc in the David Spring lab at Cambridge. He received his B.A., M.A., and PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Cambridge.

John K. Blackwood, PhD

Vice President, Biology

John is an experienced and successful drug discoverer at leading biotechs, most recently at Kymab where he delivered key haematology biologic assets into development. He started his industry career at IONTAS where he led the discovery of several immuno-oncology assets. He has previously held positions at the University of Cambridge and the Mitochondrial Research group at the University of Newcastle. John obtained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

Our team

Since founding in 2019, Samsara has grown a dynamic team of scientists in Oxford. Focusing on research and building up to our first clinical trial for SAM001 in 2024, Samsara is making definitive strides in complex neurodegenerative disease treatments. If you want to join our team, check out our careers page.


Our partners

Our partners include renowned universities, public research institutions and foundations, as well as expert life sciences investors such as Apollo Health Ventures. These collaborations are vital to helping us transform the future of healthcare.