Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D.

Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer
Melanoma Research Alliance

Dr. Perkins joined the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) as chief science officer in 2013 where she is responsible for the development and implementation of scientific strategy to eliminate suffering and death due to melanoma. Her interests center on translational research including genomics, drug discovery and advancement of novel therapeutic approaches. She became a member of the board of directors at the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research in 2015.

Prior to joining MRA, Dr. Perkins was chief scientific officer at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) following a 16-year research career at two major pharmaceutical companies. While at MMRF, she led the continued expansion of its venture philanthropy investments including its Biotech Investment Award and Clinical Fund programs. She was responsible for the expansion of the MMRF’s Genomics Initiative, which sequenced the first myeloma tumor genome in 2009, and has comprehensively analyzed 250 myeloma patient samples with an array of genomic technologies including next-gen sequencing. 

More recently, Dr. Perkins led the development of the genomics and data sharing strategy, underpinning the 1,000 patient longitudinal study, CoMMpass, which aims to develop new targets and biomarkers through deep clinical and molecular data capture and analysis.

Before her work at MMRF, Dr. Perkins served as director of cancer research at Bayer Pharmaceuticals where she contributed to advancing novel targeted therapies toward clinical study, including Nexavar® and other innovative signal transduction inhibitors. She also served as director of research licensing and was responsible for oncology licensing activities in support of cancer research programs. Prior to joining Bayer, she led a cancer research group at the Schering-Plough Research Institute where she participated in several early-stage research programs, including novel target-finding research using human genomics data.

Dr. Perkins graduated from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. and M.S. in biological chemistry and conducted postdoctoral studies at Princeton University in the department of molecular biology. She earned her B.S. in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.