Education Sponsors

Janice Kurth

Founding Member

Dr. Kurth joined Visual Technologies in 2002. She earned her Ph.D. in human molecular genetics at Stanford University and her M.D. degree at the University of Arizona with post-graduate training in internal medicine. Dr. Kurth’s academic and research career includes positions at Texas Tech University and the Barrow Neurological Institute. Upon joining the corporate sector, Dr. Kurth became engaged in management and leadership of molecular and population genetics research programs, with a special focus on pharmacogenetics. She has been a key member of senior management at a number of biotechnology companies, including Sequana Therapeutics, Genset, Phenogenex (a Stratagene company) and Pharsight. Dr. Kurth has authored numerous peer reviewed research publications and book chapters.

Summary: Human molecular geneticist and physician with 17 years of academic, biotechnology and clinical experience. Unique education and experience that provides a bridge between medicine and life sciences, with a specialty in genetics. Effective manager with unique ability to recruit, train, motivate, and direct people. Proven ability to build, direct, and manage genetic research programs and scientific software development. Superb presentation skills with public relations, educational, and business development experience.

Experience in the development and management of research initiatives focused on the evolving fields of applied human genetics and genomics, with specific focus on the biopharmaceutical and diagnostics industries. Particular areas of expertise include:

  • Research and development strategies in applied human genetics
  • Planning, development, and management of research and development services
  • Specialized product/disease consulting services
  • Presentations to inside and outside audiences for sales, investment, and/or technology licensing/acquisition
  • Business development and corporate partnering
  • Pharmacovigilance monitoring and reporting
  • Specific disciplines with high levels of experience include human genetics, pharmacogenetics, molecular diagnostics, Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions

Professional Experience and Achievements

2001-present Independent Consultant

  • Work with clients in the areas of pharmacovigilance, drug development, genetics and pharmacogenetics for technology assesment, identification of technology applications, opportunity assessment, and public presentations of corporate capabilities and the applications thereof.

2002-present Vice-President, Life Sciences – Visual Technologies LLC (formerly Visual Technologies Inc.), Phoenix, Arizona

  • Executive management
  • Manage strategy for Life Sciences business
  • Lead product development for Life Science applications
  • Manage business development and sales of Life Sciences products

2002 Project Leader, United States Patient Safety Initiative – National, multicenter pharmacogenetics study

  • Responsible for leadership and protocol development for this 22,000 patient study to identify genetic risk factors for adverse drug effects
  • Assist with public relations and fund raising efforts

1999-2001 Vice-President of Genomics – Pharsight Corporation, San Diego, California

  • Establish and manage Pharsight’s San Diego Office
  • Design and oversee integration of genomics into Pharsight’s software, consulting, and information products
  • Recruit and manage genomics team
  • Identify and establish appropriate collaborations in the genomics arena and manage genomics projects
  • Provide genomics consulting as needed
  • Business development for genomic services and products

1998-1999 Director of Pharmacogenomics -- Genset Corporation, La Jolla, California

  • Built the Pharmacogenomic Research Laboratory for the American subsidiary of Genset SA
  • Managed $3M budget to build the molecular genetic research facility, including capital equipment and consumable purchases and hiring/managing staff of 8
  • Achieved full production capabilities in a high-throughput genotyping and DNA sequencing facility, through technology transfer between France and the US facility and competitive technology assessment
  • Wrote human genetic research protocol, obtained Institutional Review Board approval, and completed ascertainment of 1200 DNA samples

1997 Director of Pharmacogenetics -- Sequana/Axys Pharmaceuticals, La Jolla, California

  • Managed pharmacogenetic research program and laboratory of 7 scientists
  • Wrote human genetic research protocol, obtained Institutional Review Board approval, and completed ascertainment of DNA samples to complete ascertainment of specific racial populations
  • Wrote patent applications for newly discovered genetic polymorphisms

1993-1996 Staff Scientist -- Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Established and was principal investigator of the Human Genetics Research Laboratory
  • Performed disease gene discovery and pharmacogenetic research through grant and private funding, which resulted in publications of genetic associations for Parkinson’s disease, localization of two disease genes
  • Assisted in medical education through lectures and student mentoring

1996-1997 Urgent Care Physician – Arizona Physicians Center, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Provided outpatient medical care part-time in general practice clinic

1991-1993 Research Associate – Texas Tech Health Science Center, Lubbock, Texas

  • Performed molecular genetic research through University funding, resulting in first publication of genetic association for Parkinson’s disease

EDUCATION:

  • M.D., University of Arizona School of Medicine (Excellence in research award)
  • Ph.D., Human Molecular Genetics, Stanford University (Outstanding graduate)
  • B. A., Austin College; Sherman, Texas (College Honors)

OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES:

  • Scientific Advisory Board Member, ParagonDx (formerly Gentris Corporation)
  • Past-president – Southern CA Chapter, American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians
  • Past-President, current Treasurer – Southern CA Pharmaceutical Medicine Group

MEDICAL LICENSURE: States of Arizona (24446) and California (A063236)

PATENTS: U.S. 644803 Genotyping the human phenol sulfotransferase 2 gene STP2

PUBLICATIONS AND AWARDS: Complete list available upon request. (26 peer-reviewed journal articles, 7 invited papers/chapters, 24 published abstracts, 35 major national/international presentations)

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Founder, Director and President, Health Travel Guides Foundation; Board Member, President-elect, Rotary Club of Del Mar; Mentor, Teen Choices, San Diego Youth and Community Services; Founder, Past-president Carmel Valley Middle School Music Boosters; Past-president, Torrey Pines High School Music Boosters; Dance Liaison and Board Member, Torrey Pines High School Foundation; Merit Badge Counselor, Boy Scouts of American Troop 713.