Prof Michael Cowley
Professor Cowley returned to Australia in 2008 to take up the position of Director, Monash Obesity & Diabetes Institute.
Professor Cowley has over 15 years experience in research and biopharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining MODI, Professor Cowley was the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the biopharmaceutical firm Orexigen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: OREX), which he took public in April 2007, raising US$ 255M to fund this drug development program. Professor Cowley’s laboratory provided the source intellectual property and was the inventor of three of the four drugs under development, including Contrave®, an investigational medicine that is currently awaiting FDA approval for the treatment of obesity following its successful completion of Phase III trials. Previous positions held by Professor Cowley include Core Director, and Associate Scientist at Oregon Health & Sciences University. He also is the inventor of intellectual property that led to the foundation of Thiakis Inc, and validated the obesity drug target Serotonin 2C receptor, now under development by Arena Pharmaceuticals and others.
Prof. Cowley has published more than 60 papers and is the inventor of 89 patents related to obesity, diabetes and the role of the CNS in metabolic disorders. In 2009, Prof. Cowley was awarded the prestigious Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and the Pfizer Australia Senior Research Fellowship. He was the recipient of a Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge, and Innovation (VESKI) Fellowship in 2008.
Prof. Cowley holds a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne and a PhD in Physiology from Monash University.