Dr. Sachiko Kuno currently serves as the President and CEO of S&R Foundation in Washington, D.C., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization she co-founded in 2000 to support talented individuals with high aspirations and great potential in the arts, sciences and social entrepreneurship, especially those who are furthering international cultural collaboration.
Dr. Kuno studied biochemistry and biochemical engineering as one of a few Japanese female scientists. She obtained her Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from Kyoto University, Japan and has conducted post-doctoral research at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. In the mid-80s, Dr. Kuno joined her research partner, Dr. Ryuji Ueno, and established R-Tech Ueno Ltd. in Japan to commercialize prostones, a class of functional fatty acids whose therapeutic potential was first identified by Dr. Ueno. Leading teams of talented scientists, Drs. Ueno and Kuno unlocked the therapeutic potential of prostones, leading to more than 900 patents and patent applications successful launch of Rescula® eye drops, the first bioactive lipid ever used to treat glaucoma, in Japan.
Leveraging R-Tech’s success in Japan, the two moved to Bethesda, MD and established Sucampo Group, an affiliation of companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Dr. Kuno was Sucampo Group’s founding CEO and Chair of the Board, until she stepped down in 2012. During her time at Sucampo, Dr. Kuno conducted research and development, the operation of the company, and the successful launch of the Drs.’ Second product AMITIZA® for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and opioid-induced constipation in adults. Sucampo, which acquired R-Tech Ueno in 2015, is listed and traded on NASDAQ. In 2012, she co-founded VLP Therapeutics, LLC to combat 21st century global public health problems through revolutionary i-αVLP Technology.
In 2016, Dr. Kuno co-founded WE Capital, a female-led investment fund in Washington, D.C. An impact investment group, WE Capital invests in female leadership while promoting social impact and financial returns. She is also a founding member of the Greater Washington Partnership, a group of civic-minded business leaders committed to improving the greater Washington region.
Dr. Kuno is the co-founder and visionary creative behind Halcyon, launched in 2017, and its mission to catalyze and nurture emerging creatives striving for a better world. Driven by Dr. Kuno’s vision, Halcyon’s family of innovative programs, including the acclaimed Halcyon Incubator, is growing rapidly to include Halcyon Stage, a pioneering creatives series of performances and conversations, Halcyon Arts Lab, a residency based studio arts program, and Halcyon Dialogue, a series of high-level discussions among global experts focusing on major topics including implications of robots for global society and social impact-based sciences.
Dr. Kuno earned her PhD in biochemical engineering from Kyoto University and conducted post-doctoral research at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She spent her early research career at Mitsubishi Institute for Life Sciences and the non-profit research organization ERATO (Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology).