Kola, Dr. Ismail


Dr Ismail Kola joined Forepont in April 2019 as a General Partner in charge of all scientific decisions.

He has been a driving force in biotech companies like GPN Vaccines or Mobius where his experience as one of the top international chief scientific officers has proven to be key in the early success of the companies.

Prior to Forepont, Ismail held several senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry.  He has published 159 papers in top scientific journals which have been cited over 16,000 times and has led teams that have brought numerous major medicines to the market during his 20 year career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Ismail Kola was until 2018 the CSO of UCB, His previous positions were: Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and Early Clinical Research & Experimental Medicine, Schering-Plough Research Institute, and Chief Scientific Officer, Schering Plough Corporation; Senior Vice President Basic Research and Site Head, Rahway, Montreal and Madrid, Merck and Chairman of Merck’s Antibacterial and Antifungal Worldwide Business Strategy Team; and Vice President Research, and Global Head, Genomics and Biotechnology at Pharmacia Corporation .

Prior to his move to Industry, Ismail was Professor of Human Molecular Genetics, Monash University Medical School and Director of the Research Center for Functional Genomics and Human Disease for 15 years.

He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Athersys Inc. (ATHX, Nasdaq) and a Director of GPN vaccines (Australia).


Ph.D (Med) in Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa

He is a Visiting Professor of Medicine at the Nuffield School of Medicine at Oxford University and also holds Adjunct Professorships of Medicine at Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA, and Monash University Medical School, Melbourne, Australia; a Foreign Adjunct Professorship at The Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; and is a William Pitt Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, UK