About Empress

A revolution in small molecule
drug discovery

Empress makes the discovery of effective, easy-to-take, value-driven medicines more productive with a platform that finds starting points for drugs inside the human body.

What if the solution to better drugs was not in front of us, but inside of us?

The discovery of biologic drugs based on proteins, information molecules, and cells has proven that inside the human body exists a rich source of bioactive molecules that can reliably inform drug products, drug targets, and biomarkers. Yet to date, drug discovery has largely overlooked the millions of unique chemical reactions, with billions more unique chemistries involved, that take place inside each of us to maintain health.

What’s more, small molecule drugs make ideal medicines, yet conventional R&D is a lengthy, risky process. What if we could reliably and predictably generate drug candidates that are more likely to succeed at a fraction of the time and cost? 

Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2020, Empress has built a proprietary product platform, called Chemilogics, to canvass the untapped universe within the human body of chemistry encoded in DNA and pioneer a new paradigm in small molecule drug discovery with tremendous potential value to patients and society.


Jason Park, PhD

CEO and Co-founder

Murray McKinnon, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Sabrina Yang, PhD

Chief Innovation Officer

Virginia Finnerty-Brooks

Chief Business Officer

Boris Hayete, PhD

SVP, Computational Biology

Joe Kelleher, PhD

SVP, Biology

Dawn Thompson, PhD

SVP, Head of Platform Development

Kevin Kreutter, PhD

VP, Drug Discovery

Founding Team

Noubar Afeyan, PhD

Founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering

Doug Cole, MD

Managing Partner, Flagship Pioneering

John Mendlein, PhD

Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Jason Park, PhD

CEO and Cofounder, Empress

Operating Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Sabrina Yang, PhD

Chief Innovation Officer, Empress

Principal, Flagship Pioneering

Scientific Advisory Board

Jim Collins, PhD

Henri Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science, Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, Core Founding Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and Institute Member at the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard

Wendy Garrett, MD, PhD

Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Harvard Chan Center for the Microbiome in Public Health

Curtis Huttenhower, PhD

Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in the Departments of Biostatistics and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Co-Director of the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center

Joshua Rabinowitz, MD, PhD

Professor of Chemistry and Genomics and the Director of the Ludwig Princeton Cancer Institute at Princeton University

Jared Rutter, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Co-Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center at the University of Utah, and Co-Leader of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Chris Voigt, PhD

Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology and Head of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT; Co-Director of the Synthetic Biology Center

Empress News


Apr 9, 2024

AI-Driven Drug Discovery Straddles the Virtual and the Real

GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Feb 13, 2024

Sourcing Chemistry from Inside Humans

Technology Networks

More News

Who We Are

We are entrepreneurial scientists and creative optimists working together to create better medicines for patients faster.

At Empress, we ask big questions in pursuit of novel solutions. We operate at the intersection of the latest advances in genomics, synthetic biology, and AI/ML with the expectation that these disciplines, harnessed by our ingenuity, hold the answers to finding effective medicines at a fraction of time and cost. The implications of our work will be profound, the journeys to get there, exhilarating.

Together, we are using the chemistry inside each of us to make medicines for all of us.

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