Kathleen McCarthy

KATHLEEN MCCARTHY helped develop a drug—a RNA-targeting small molecule that is now in a late-stage clinical trial—while working for a rare disease foundation and Roche. The drug works by changing how the RNA is spliced, or edited, by the cell, to increase production of the protein made from that RNA. Inspired by this experience, she co-founded Skyhawk Therapeutics in 2016 to work on drugs that correct errors in RNA splicing. McCarthy, 34, is Skyhawk’s chief scientific officer. Skyhawk says it could start clinical trials for its first drug, in cancer, by late next year.

Kathleen McCarthy, Skyhawk Therapeutics • Photography by David Fox Photographer