Shao-Lee Lin, MD, PhD is a co-founder and CEO of ACELYRIN, INC. During her career as a physician, scientist, and biopharma executive, Shao-Lee has been driven by a personal mission to put patients first while building innovative approaches to speed the development of life-changing therapies. Along the way, she has earned the admiration of academic colleagues, patient communities, and industry leaders.
In addition to her exceptional skills and track record of creating value for patients and investors by identifying and filling gaps in healthcare, Shao-Lee has created cultures designed to foster robust innovation at all stages of drug development. Her philosophy that “all of us are better than any one of us” defines her leadership style and informs how she sets aspirational goals, encourages collaborative teams, and harnesses the power of inclusion and diversity to fuel creative solutions.
As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of ACELYRIN, INC., Shao-Lee is guided by the key cultural value of Courageous CaringTM and driven by a sense of urgency and spirit of innovation to build a long-term sustainable biopharma company with a pipeline of therapies. Shao-Lee leverages a global network of connections and breadth of experience for ACELYRIN to identify, invest in, and accelerate the development and commercialization of therapies with the potential to transform the lives of patients with serious diseases.
Shao-Lee previously served as Horizon Therapeutics’ first chief scientific officer and head of research and development. She rapidly and strategically assembled and led a diverse team that delivered dramatic results, driving the transformation of Horizon from a specialty pharma to biopharma company. Achievements within R&D included demonstrating an approach to near doubling the response rate for the company’s marketed growth driver and accelerating development and approval of the first therapy for thyroid eye disease, a vision-threatening autoimmune condition. These accomplishments both changed patients’ lives and served as the foundation for more than a tripling of Horizon’s market cap within 2 years.
Shao-Lee is passionate about fostering an environment that encourages taking calculated risks to address challenges and diseases many others will not. And she values “fast failure” as part of that breakthrough discovery process.
As a corporate officer leading therapeutic areas, development excellence, and international development at AbbVie, Shao-Lee led the expansion of the drug development pipeline across neuroscience, immunology, virology, and general medicine. In just under three years, her teams brought multiple new medicines through from proof of concept to submission for approval in the U.S. and internationally.
Throughout her career, including tenures at Gilead and Amgen, Shao-Lee has worked on developing life-changing medicines by focusing on the depth and scientific rigor needed to investigate novel therapies and has, with her teams, set new standards of care in medicine. Shao-Lee received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and biochemistry from Rice University. She earned her MD and PhD at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a part of the National Institutes of Health-sponsored medical scientist training program.
Shao-Lee has served on faculty as a clinical scholar at The Rockefeller University and as adjunct faculty at Cornell, UCLA, Stanford, and Northwestern medical schools. She has served on both public and private boards; and serves on the X-PRIZE COVID-19 Response Task Force. She has been recognized by PharmaVOICE as one of its 100 Most Inspiring People, was featured in an Aspen Ideas Festival broadcast on Innovation in healthcare, and has chaired an employee giving campaign which achieved record contributions of over $7 million for charitable organizations.