Dr. Yael Schwartz is a Massachusetts life science executive and serial entrepreneur with a broad record of achievement amassed during 30+ years in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development.
Following her stint at Sepracor (Sunovion) where she worked on teams that developed Lunesta® for the treatment of insomnia, Brovana® for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease management, Xopenex® for the treatment of bronchoconstriction in asthma, she founded two companies, Hygeia Therapeutics and Canterbury Laboratories that were focused on woman’s health and dermatology. Both companies were acquired and taken public by RestorGenex (RESX). At RestorGenex she was the only woman on the Board of Directors and was the Executive VP of Preclinical Development.
In late 2015, following substantive disagreements pertaining to leadership and the overall direction of RestorGenex she submitted her resignation and flexed her entrepreneurial muscle again by founding Or-Genix Therapeutics, a company developing medical dermatology and aesthetic dermatology topical products for acne, aging skin, hair and mucous membranes. Under her leadership, Or-Genix raised more capital, filed new patents and entered into several commercial licensing deals.
Yael received her Bachelors degree from Salem State University, and entered the Master’s degree program in Pharmacology/Toxicology at Northeastern University. In 1991, Yael received her Ph.D. with honors in Human Endocrine Physiology from a joint program between the WPI Department of Biology/Biotechnology, Worcester, MA and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Physiology, Worcester, MA.
In 2014, she was nominated, by the Town of Holden’s Fire Chief, for the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery for successfully rescuing and performing CPR on two children who nearly died in a backyard pool accident.
In 2015, Yael was recognized as a “Trail Blazer” and was featured in the WPI alumni magazine (Winter Edition) in an article titled “Skin Deep”.
Yael is the recipient of The Boston Business Journal Biotech Innovation All-Star Award.
For the past 10 years, Yael has served on the Board of Trustees of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI). She is co-founder of a non-profit organization for executive women in the healthcare sector, the NEWISE Club (New England Women in Science Executive’s Club), Boston, MA. She is an Honorary Member of Phi Lambda Sigma, The Pharmacy Leadership Society, for her teaching and mentorship activities at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
For the two years she has been spending up to 10 hours a week at WPI in the Foisie School of Business as the Coleman Entrepreneur-in-Residence. In that capacity, she has provided inspiration, reality-checks and guidance for several new start-up companies.
Yael believes that true success is defined by how you handle the highs and lows of life, the difficult and the easy, while maintaining a sense of humor and purpose throughout.
Loving the challenges of entrepreneurship, she has no desire to retire, considers golf the most boring thing since white bread and prefers spending time with her husband, family and friends, hiking with her two dogs, Kaif and Bella, and competitive pistol shooting.