Dr. Kuno is a committed scientist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur whose mission is to empower others to change the world through socially impactful programs and business.
Dr. Kuno was a co-founder of R-Tech Ueno, Ltd. (Japan) and co-founder/founding CEO of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (U.S.) (sold in 2018), and successfully developed and commercialized two pharmaceutical products, Rescula Eye Drops for glaucoma and Amitiza for chronic constipation and IBS. In 2012, she also co-founded VLP Therapeutics in the U.S. to combat 21st century global public health problems through revolutionary vaccine technology.
Dr. Kuno founded S&R Foundation in Washington, D.C. in 2000, where she still serves as Chairman and CEO, and Halcyon Incubator in 2014 to support social entrepreneurs, creating societal change through innovative business development. She also co-founded WE Capital, a female-led investment fund in Washington, D.C. In Japan, she co-founded Phoenixi Co. Inc in 2018, which operates social incubator program in Kyoto. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Tudor Place, and the Hoover Institute. She also serves as Executive Vice President for International Liaison and Fundraising at Kyoto University.
Dr. Kuno has received numerous awards over the years, including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Washington Area in the Life Sciences Category (2007). recognition as one of the 25 “Women Who Mean Business” by The Washington Business Journal (2009), one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 50 America’s Richest Self-Made Women (2015) and the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes Japan (2015). Dr. Kuno has been awarded Stateswoman of the Year 2016 by the Harvard Business School of Japan, received the AVON Awards to Women 2016, and was listed as one of Washingtonian’s 2017 Tech Titans.
Dr. Kuno is a graduate of Kyoto University and received her Ph.D. in bioengineering chemistry from Kyoto University.