Bradlee Heckmann, Ph.D.
Scientific Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Heckmann is a scientific co-founder of Asha Therapeutics and as CSO leads all scientific efforts. Dr. Heckmann has an extensive background in neuroimmunology/neurobiology, metabolic biology, and cancer biology. Dr. Heckmann received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky where he studied Biology and Chemical Engineering and his Doctoral Degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine with an emphasis in metabolic biology, lipid hoemostasis, and mitochondrial regulation. He completed his formal training as a postdoctoral fellow in immunology and neuroimmunology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In addition to his leadership here at Asha, Dr. Heckmann holds academic appointments as a prinicpal investigator at the USF Health Neuroscience Institute and professorships in Molecular Medicine at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and by courtesy, Medical Engineering at the USF College of Engineering.
Dr. Heckmann’s major scientific discoveries and advancements have included the discovery and characterization of LC3-associated endocytosis (LANDO) as an immune regulatory mechanism in neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammation, research published in Cell and Science Advances. In addition to his work in neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation, Dr. Heckmann has published seminal work in the fields of cell and lipid metabolism and was first to characterize negative regulation of triglyceride catabolism via the G0/G1 Switch Gene 2. His academic laboratory is currently focused on characterizing the role of neuroinflammation and pathways that govern microglial activation including LANDO and roles in metabolic homeostasis in the context of neurological immune perturbations including protein aggregation, pathogen infection and post-infection syndromes, neurovascular ischemia, and primary neurological cancers. In his role at Asha Therapeutics, he has been instrumental in the preclinical development and evaluation of Asha’s PRISM platform and lead drug assets with multiple neurological disease and oncology indications.
For his scientific contributions, Dr. Heckmann has received multiple awards and honors including a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, a National Cancer Institute LRP Award in Pediatric Oncology, an Excellence in Science Award from the AAAS, an Early Career Research Award from the American Association of Immunologists, and others as well as current nominations for the USERN Prize and the AAAS-Science Prize in Neurobiology. Dr. Heckmann is an International Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and has multiple publications featured in Faculty of 1000.