Chatham News

The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham to present Susan Catalano, scientist-turned-entrepreneur pursuing drugs to stop Alzheimer’s

PITTSBURGH (August 24, 2012) … The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University will host Susan Catalano, founder and chief science officer of Cognition Therapeutics Inc., as part of its Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series on Friday, Sept. 14, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the James Laughlin Music Center on the University’s Shadyside Campus. Catalano will discuss her journey from scientist to entrepreneur as she pursues the discovery of drugs to halt or reverse the underlying pathological changes in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Setting up a lab and raising capital to finance her work required Catalano to be an entrepreneur as well as a scientist. Catalano founded Cognition Therapeutics in 2007, and relocated the company to Pittsburgh from California to take advantage of the world-class neuroscience research, highly educated workforce, and synergies with local companies that the city’s healthcare-driven economy offers.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5.4 million Americans and is expected to increase to more than 11 million by 2040. Nationally, the direct costs associated with caring for patients with the disease are $183 billion annually. Nationally, 70 percent of the 5.4 million Alzheimer’s patients live at home, where 14.9 million Americans, most of them women, provide 17 billion hours of unpaid care for them at a total cost of $202 billion. There are currently no disease-modifying treatments available to fundamentally halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

The $25 admission fee includes a continental breakfast and networking session, which precede the presentation. Program partners for this event are Springboard Enterprises and Pittsburgh Life Science Greenhouse. To register or for more information visit or call 412-365-1253.

About Susan Catalano
Catalano has extensive experience in the field of Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery. She served as director of discovery biology for South San Francisco-based startup Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She has more than 14 years of experience as a cell biologist in the fields of neuroscience and oncology, and nine years of experience in the drug discovery industry. Catalano received her Ph.D. from U.C. Irvine and postdoctoral training at U.C. Berkeley and Caltech in the field of neurobiology.

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
The mission of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship is to educate, create economic opportunities, and foster entrepreneurial thinking for women entrepreneurs, women in business, and students. CWE provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs in all stages of businesses to start and grow their companies by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, and expertise. CWE programming is also designed to teach regional businesswomen how to think and act entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity in the workplace. CWE also offers specific programs for both undergraduate and graduate students that help develop the skills needed to become successful businesswomen.

Founded in 2005, CWE has expanded its reach throughout Southwestern PA to help an increasing number of businesswomen learn, network, connect, and achieve their business goals.

Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  Initial funding for CWE was also provided by the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation. For more information about programs offered by CWE call 412-365-1253 or visit

About Chatham University
Chatham University’s historic Shadyside Campus, founded in 1869, is located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region.

Consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and graduate and online programs for both men and women, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, the health sciences, and business & entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to help students meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

Chatham has also demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit