Marisa Briones, PhD and Entrepreneur

What is it like to be a PhD entrepreneur? What does it take to create a pharmaceutical startup?

Dr. Marisa Briones, PhD

Marisa Briones, PhD, is one of the co-founders of a pharmaceutical startup called BDH Pharma, LLC. Dr. Briones grew up in the San Fernando Velley. As a biology major at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), she participated in the Biology Department Honors Program, and was part of Phi Eta Sigma and Golden Key Honor Societies.  In addition, she was a fellow in the NIH-funded MBRS-RISE and MARC Programs. As an undergraduate student, Dr. Briones also participated in a summer research experience at Caltech. During this time, she gave several presentations including at the SACNAS Annual National Conference. Upon graduating cum laude with a BA in biology and a minor in chemistry, she went on to graduate school at UCLA.  As a graduate student in the Molecular & Medical Pharmacology Graduate Program, she was awarded a prestigious NIH Funded National Research Service Award (NRSA) and published three research papers under the direction of Dr. Samson Chow. The work on her thesis, entitled “Investigating the role of HIV-1 integrase in the uncoating of the viral core,” enabled her to obtain valuable research skills that led to obtain a postdoctoral fellowship at AIDS Research Alliance, where she participated in the NIH HIV Vaccine Trials Network as Lab Director and later as a Senior Clinical Research Scientist. Following this work, she returned to UCLA as a Research Facilitator for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and subsequently transitioned to the Department of Family Medicine as Clinical Research Director and Co-Investigator at the UCLA Center for Behavioral & Addiction Medicine. In this role, she oversaw medication development for novel substance abuse treatments and supported HIV clinical trials in the NIH HIV Prevention Trials Network. It is these experiences that allowed her to co-found her own pharmaceutical startup.  

About her Company

BDH Pharma, LLC, is a pharmaceutical startup developing medication for the treatment of pain and opioid use disorders. Its mission is to improve the health of patients suffering from chronic pain and opioid use disorders and to reduce opioid addiction and overdose through safer and more effective alternatives to current analgesics and medical marijuana. BDH Pharma’s lead candidate is a novel fixed-dose combination therapeutic that exhibits synergistic and opioid-sparing effects, resulting in lower risk of respiratory depression, physical tolerance/dependence, and addiction, underscoring the advantages of BDH Pharma’s unique combination therapeutic compared to currently available analgesics and medical marijuana.  The founders’ extensive experience as clinicians and scientists as well as their belief in safer pain medications led to their combination therapeutic, which is the basis of their company’s core value.

Meet Dr. Briones!

Join us on

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

3 - 4:00 PM via Zoom

Dr. Briones will describe her career trajectory from her start as an undergraduate student to how she became co-founder of BDH Pharma. Join us as she openly talks about imposter syndrome, being Latina (often the only one in the room) and discusses the importance of good mentors, good friends, good preparation and taking risks!

All students are welcome!

To register for this event, please click here.