Peter Kotsonis, PhD

Interim Vice Chancellor of Business Development, Innovation and Partnerships
Office of Strategic Alliances
+ 1 415 323-3108

Peter is a PhD-neuroscientist and drug hunter who has worked in both academic and corporate innovation settings. He joined UCSF in 2013, primarily responsible for developing novel business models and, a partnering vision for the campus eco-system that drives towards commercialization.

Peter has experience in pre-IPO academic start-ups (vasopharm GmbH) and larger global organizations (Novartis Ag and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co, Ltd). Whilst at Julius-Maximilians University of Wurzburg (Wurzburg, Germany) he was the project leader and co-inventor of Ronopterin, a novel medicine for traumatic brain injury that is currently in Phase III clinical development and with Orphan Designation. For the resulting work, he and the team were awarded the 2000 Phoenix Pharmacy Ag Pharmazie-Wissenschaftspreis (Munich, Germany). At the Novartis Institute for Medical Science (London, UK) he led a CGRP migraine program. At Sepracor Inc. (MA, USA) he was the head of operations for Discovery and Early Clinical Research, which included aspects of strategy, portfolio management and external innovation. There he also completed the exclusive licensing of a first-in-class antipsychotic, Ulotaront, from a strategic partnership with PsychoGenics Inc. Ulotaront is currently in Phase III clinical development and received FDA Breakthrough designation in 2019.

Peter completed his studies at the University of Melbourne (BSc HONS) and Monash University (PhD). He is the recipient of the prestigious CJ Martin Fellowship from the Australian NH&MRC and, has been a member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for over 25 years.


Identification and biological characterization of 6-aryl-7-isopropylquinazolinones as novel TRPV1 antagonists that are effective in models of chronic pain.

Journal of medicinal chemistry

Culshaw AJ, Bevan S, Christiansen M, Copp P, Davis A, Davis C, Dyson A, Dziadulewicz EK, Edwards L, Eggelte H, Fox A, Gentry C, Groarke A, Hallett A, Hart TW, Hughes GA, Knights S, Kotsonis P, Lee W, Lyothier I, McBryde A, McIntyre P, Paloumbis G, Panesar M, Patel S, Seiler MP, Yaqoob M, Zimmermann K

Structural analysis of isoform-specific inhibitors targeting the tetrahydrobiopterin binding site of human nitric oxide synthases.

Journal of medicinal chemistry

Matter H, Kumar HS, Fedorov R, Frey A, Kotsonis P, Hartmann E, Fröhlich LG, Reif A, Pfleiderer W, Scheurer P, Ghosh DK, Schlichting I, Schmidt HH

Vanilloid receptor TRPV1, sensory C-fibers, and vascular autoregulation: a novel mechanism involved in myogenic constriction.

Circulation research

Scotland RS, Chauhan S, Davis C, De Felipe C, Hunt S, Kabir J, Kotsonis P, Oh U, Ahluwalia A

N-Formyl peptide receptor subtypes in human neutrophils activate L-plastin phosphorylation through different signal transduction intermediates.

The Biochemical journal

Paclet MH, Davis C, Kotsonis P, Godovac-Zimmermann J, Segal AW, Dekker LV

Structural requirements for inhibition of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS-I): 3D-QSAR analysis of 4-oxo- and 4-amino-pteridine-based inhibitors.

Journal of medicinal chemistry

Matter H, Kotsonis P, Klingler O, Strobel H, Fröhlich LG, Frey A, Pfleiderer W, Schmidt HH

Life Sci

Modulation of acetylcholine release from mouse cortex by protein kinase C: dependence on stimulation intensity.

Iannazzo L, Kotsonis P, Majewski H.

Eur J Pharmacol

Structural determinants of phorbol ester binding in synaptosomes: pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Murphy TV, Prountzos C, Kotsonis P, Iannazzo L, Majewski H.

Br J Pharmacol

The structural requirements for phorbol esters to enhance serotonin and acetylcholine release from rat brain cortex.

Iannazzo L, Kotsonis P, Majewski H.