Advisory Board

Dr. Spring Bahareh Behrouz

Spring Bahareh Behrouz, Ph.D. is CEO of Vincere Biosciences, focused on developing therapeutics targeting mitochondrial pathways. She is also CEO of NeuroInitiative, a computational biology company she cofounded in 2014, which develops simulations of disease using their patented software platform. The focus of her research is the investigation of converging pathways that contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Since 2018, at Vincere, Spring sets strategy, recruits, and manages a team of world-class therapeutic discovery and development experts toward success in chemistry, in vivo pharmacology, disease efficacy studies, IND-enabling studies, clinical trial planning, and AI/ML projects that have delivered multiple small molecule programs targeting mechanisms that drive age-related decline. Read Vincere Biosciences Inc launched to win the fight against Parkinson’s disease.

After almost a decade of researching neurodegeneration, Spring came to the realization that if we are to defeat these complex diseases, we must develop and use cutting-edge tools, including computational tools that are still not commonplace in drug discovery. She cofounded a computational drug discovery company, NeuroInitiative, alongside her husband, Andy Lee, who is a computer scientist.

At NeuroInitiative, they use several computational tools. Examples include physics-based simulation of neurons from patients and the addition of potential therapeutics to assess their potential; network analytics of the biochemical interactome and discovery of points of convergence in various forms of the disease; AI/ML probing of multi-omics data to select patients who are most likely to respond to a particular therapeutic — this includes analysis of terabytes of proteomics, transcriptomics, genetic, methylomics, and other data that would not be possible without computational tools.

This work includes multiple collaborative projects with the University of Oxford, Mayo Clinic, Michigan State University, and Southern Research Institute. The company has raised private and grant funding.

Previously she worked with Matt Farrer at the Mayo Clinic to characterize genetic models of Parkinson’s disease and was part of the team that discovered a new pathogenic mutation in VPS35. Read VPS35 Mutations in Parkinson Disease.

Spring received her graduate training at Michigan State University in the laboratory of Dr. John Goudreau and studied differential susceptibility of dopaminergic neuron subtypes in models of PD. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2008 from Michigan State University with her thesis Characterization of the differential susceptibility of dopamine neuronal populations in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.

She completed her post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Farrer at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, where she primarily focused on in vivo and primary culture models of LRRK2-mediated pathogenesis. Through a collaboration with H. Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals and Michael J. Fox Foundation, she worked with the team on the characterization of LRRK2 inhibitors for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 inhibitors now represent a promising therapeutic and are in a Phase II clinical trial by Denali Pharmaceuticals. Spring also had a chance to learn alongside stellar geneticists and take part in the discovery of multiple genetic contributors to Parkinson’s disease, including VPS35.

Read Impaired dopaminergic neurotransmission and microtubule-associated protein tau alterations in human LRRK2 transgenic mice.

Spring was, together with Andy Lee, a guest speaker at the Longevity Summit 2022.

She received multiple awards for this work, including a coveted NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA), a research excellence award, and a dissertation completion fellowship. She was the recipient of JBJ’s 40 under 40 award, winner of One Spark’s science award, and supporter of science on the TEDx and March for Science stages.

Watch The dynamic future of neuroscience and Dr. Spring Behrouz, PhD – Mitophagy, CNS Disorders, And Aging. Watch Vincere’s Technology Platform for Conquering Age-Related Decline.

Listen to Spring Behrouz: The Dynamic Future of Neuroscience.

Read the Interview Meet the Resident: Spring Behrouz. Read Progressive dopaminergic alterations and mitochondrial abnormalities in LRRK2 G2019S knock in mice and Elaboration of a MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry-based Assay of Parkin Activity and High-Throughput screening platform for Parkin Activators.

Visit her LinkedIn profile, ResearchGate, Google Scholar page, Neurotree, and The Org profile. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.