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Sushmita Lahiri

Sushmita Lahiri is Associate Director and a member of the External Innovation, Research Beyond Borders team at Boehringer Ingelheim. This group is the company’s radar for the next wave of innovation and is responsible for identifying emerging science and technologies in Gene therapy, Regenerative medicine, Microbiomes and Infectious diseases. Sushmita is responsible for establishing and leading research collaborations in infectious diseases in partnership with academia and small biotech companies.

Prior to this role, Sushmita was Executive Director of Biology at Macrolide Pharmaceuticals, a small biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel synthetic macrolides for the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. In this role, she was responsible for the strategy and execution of pre-clinical microbiology and pharmacology studies.

Before joining Macrolide, Sushmita was in AstraZeneca’s Infectious Diseases division in Boston for more than a decade, including a year of post-doctoral training. Here she worked on the discovery and development of various antibacterial compounds. She led the target team responsible for the nomination of bacterial targets for lead identification activities, as well as the preclinical drug discovery project that identified ETX0282cpd, currently in phase I development. She has contributed extensively towards the scientific understanding of avibactam, the first non-betalactam DABCO scaffold for β-lactamase inhibition, including the regulatory submission of ceftazidime-avibactam (Zavicefta/AvyCaz). She also played a key role in genetic and functional interpretation of bacterial resistance mechanisms against the first anti-MRSA β-lactam drug ceftaroline fosamil (Zinforo/Tefloro) to support a higher clinical breakpoint. She has contributed towards the understanding of functional differentiation of Zoliflodacin (currently in phase III, co-developed with GARDP), aztreonam-avibactam (phase III) and ETX2514Sul (phase II).

Sushmita is a co-author of more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has participated in numerous NIH SBIR review panels for anti-infective grants.

Sushmita gained her PhD in cell and molecular biology from Boston University School of Medicine and her masters in biochemistry from the University of Nebraska.