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Professor Nancy Ip Joins aTyr Pharma's Scientific Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- aTyr Pharma announced today that Professor Nancy Ip, Chair Professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Molecular Neuroscience Center at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), has joined their scientific advisory board. An elected academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and recipient of China's highest honor in the natural sciences, the National Natural Sciences award, Prof. Ip is widely respected for her discoveries in neurosciences. Her accomplishments include elucidation of key signaling mechanisms for nerve cells that have resulted in the discovery of potential treatments for neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

aTyr Pharma has discovery candidates for treatment of neurological disorders as well as other indications. These novel, naturally occurring proteins are resectins of tRNA synthetases. According to Jeff Watkins, CEO of aTyr Pharma, "The tRNA synthetases play a fundamental role in protein synthesis, but tRNA synthetases in humans have resected forms ("resectins") which provide additional essential signaling activities. aTyr Pharma has discovered proprietary resectins with neuro-protective activities. Applying Prof. Ip's knowledge and experience in neurosciences will accelerate our understanding and development of aTyr Pharma's novel class of therapeutic proteins, helping us to bring novel treatments for neuronal diseases to the market as quickly as possible."

Professor Paul Schimmel of TSRI and co-founder of aTyr Pharma adds, "Prof. Ip has established a world renowned Center for Molecular Neurosciences at HKUST focused on discovery of new medicines, and we look forward to using her perspectives for understanding the neurobiology of our resectins. In addition to her remarkable discoveries in neuroscience, Prof. Ip brings a passion for promoting science and biotechnology in China and Hong Kong. With Pangu BioPharma, our subsidiary based in Hong Kong, we share Prof. Ip's goal of tapping the scientific talents and resources in China for strategic advantages in the biotechnology arena."

Prof. Ip obtained her Ph. D. in Pharmacology from Harvard Medical School before working as a senior staff scientist of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in New York and ultimately joining HKUST. She has published more than 200 papers with over 13,000 citations by other scientists and holds 18 patents. Editor-in-Chief of NeuroSignals, Prof. Ip also sits on the editorial boards for several international journals including Journal of Neuroscience. Her extensive list of awards includes being the first honoree in life sciences from China for the L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award, and being awarded the Scientific and Technological Prize of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Sciences degree from Simmons College, as well as the Leader of the Year award in research and the Medal of Honor from the Hong Kong Government.

About aTyr Pharma

aTyr Pharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery of an entirely new class of biologics. aTyr Pharma's discovery engine for new biotherapeutics consists of novel proteins in the family of tRNA synthetases with cell signaling activities distinct from the protein synthesis activities commonly associated with the tRNA synthetases. These proteins are being developed as novel therapeutics to treat cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.

SOURCE aTyr Pharma
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