Robert S. McDowell

Bob McDowell photo, with partially obscured 'Myokardia' logo in background

I have over three decades of experience discovering small molecule drugs in cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and oncology, with seven compounds advancing into clinical trials. I was an integral part of MyoKardia since its inception in 2012, having served as Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery through October 2017, when I was promoted to Chief Scientific Officer. I led the discovery teams for mavacamten and danicamtiv, MyoKardia’s first two clinical-stage programs. In November 2020, MyoKardia was acquired by Bristol Meyers Squibb. 

Prior to joining MyoKardia, I led drug discovery at 3-V Biosciences, advancing the company's lead program into development. I previously served as vice president of research at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where I oversaw drug discovery, translational research and manufacturing functions. I led the structural chemistry group at Axys Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Axys, I was a senior scientist at Genentech, where I developed successful strategies for peptidomimetic design. 

I have authored more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and I am an inventor on more than 170 issued US patents.   


  • Green EM, Wakimoto H, Anderson RL, Evanchik MJ, Gorham JM, Harrison BC, Henze M, Kawas R, Oslob JD, Rodriguez HM, Song Y, Wan W, Leinwand LA, Spudich JA, McDowell RS, Seidman JG, Seidman CE (2016).  A small-molecule inhibitor of sarcomerecontractility suppresses hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in mice. Science 351(6273):617-21. doi: 10.1126/science.aad3456.
  • Oslob JD, Johnson RJ, Cai H, Feng SQ, Hu L, Kosaka Y, Lai J, Sivaraja M, Tep S, Yang H, Zaharia CA, Evanchik MJ, McDowell RS (2012). Imidazopyridine-Based Fatty Acid Synthase Inhibitors That Show Anti-HCV Activity and in Vivo Target Modulation. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2;4(1):113-7. doi: 10.1021/ml300335r.
  • Jurgeit A, McDowell R, Moese S, Meldrum E, Schwendener R, Greber UF (2012). Niclosamide is a proton carrier and targets acidic endosomes with broad antiviral effects. PLoS Pathog. 8(10):e1002976. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002976.
  • Erlanson DA, Arndt JW, Cancilla MT, Cao K, Elling RA, English N, Friedman J, Hansen SK, Hession C, Joseph I, Kumaravel G, Lee WC, Lind KE, McDowell RS, Miatkowski K, Nguyen C, Nguyen TB, Park S, Pathan N, Penny DM, Romanowski MJ, Scott D, Silvian L, Simmons RL, Tangonan BT, Yang W, Sun L (2011). Discovery of a potent and highly selective PDK1 inhibitor via fragment-based drug discovery. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 21(10):3078-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.03.032.