Ryan Watts is the Chief Executive Officer of Denali Therapeutics. He is a co-founder, President and a member of the Board of Directors. Under Ryan’s leadership, Denali has advanced multiple therapeutic candidates into clinical testing for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS. Denali has invented a proprietary blood-brain barrier platform for delivery of therapeutic proteins to the brain. Ryan has also led efforts to raise significant capital to advance Denali’s therapeutic pipeline and has been instrumental in forging partnerships to accelerate the discovery and development of medicines for neurodegeneration. Ryan previously served as Director of the Department of Neuroscience at Genentech. During his tenure there, he led the company’s re-entry into neuroscience. The Watts laboratory focused on drug discovery for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, with an emphasis on understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration guided by human genetics. His lab also studied various aspects of blood-brain barrier biology and delivery. Ryan obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Department of Biological Sciences and his B.S. in Biology from the University of Utah.
Ryan was born and raised in the mountains of Utah. He loves everything about mountains, including skiing, hiking, fly fishing and elevation.