MapLight Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Matthew State and Dr. Ivan Soltesz to Scientific Advisory Board

MapLight’s drug discovery expertise is further strengthened by the addition of two renowned leaders in neuroscience research to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board 

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2023 – MapLight Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company working to develop targeted, novel therapeutics to improve the lives of people with brain disorders, today announced the appointments of Matthew State, M.D., PhD. and Ivan Soltesz, Ph.D. to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).


Matthew State MD, PhD, is a child psychiatrist and geneticist studying pediatric neuropsychiatric syndromes. His lab leverages gene discovery to illuminate the biology of autism spectrum disorders, Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and other neurodevelopmental syndromes. He is currently the Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCSF and Director of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. Dr. State received his undergraduate and medical degrees at Stanford University, completed residency and fellowship training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and earned a PhD in genetics from Yale University. He is the former Donald J. Cohen Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Genetics and co-founder of the Yale program on neurogenetics.


“Our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disorders is helping us illuminate the biological mechanisms involved in order to better identify new treatment strategies,” says Dr. State. “I am excited to work with MapLight as an advisor, given our shared vision of bringing new medicines to the clinic that will have a meaningful impact on people’s daily lives.”


Ivan Soltesz, PhD, is the James R. Doty Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurosciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Soltesz has over 30 years of research experience, where his work has focused on neuronal microcircuits, network oscillations, and the mechanistic bases of circuit dysfunction in epilepsy. He also co-founded the first Gordon Research Conference on the Mechanisms of neuronal synchronization and epilepsy. Dr. Soltesz received his doctorate from Eotvos University in Budapest and conducted postdoctoral research at universities at Oxford, London, Stanford and Dallas. He first established his laboratory at the University of California, Irvine, in 1995, where he served as department Chair from 2006 to July 2015. 


“I have devoted my career to advancing the understanding of how brain cells communicate with each other in the brain and how that communication changes when there is a circuit dysfunction, such as in epilepsy,” explained Dr. Soltesz. “I am excited to be an advisor to MapLight as they work to develop novel circuit-based therapeutics with better efficacy and fewer side effects than current treatment options.”   


“We are pleased to add Dr. State and Dr. Soltesz to MapLight’s Scientific Advisory Board,” said Christopher Kroeger, M.D., MBA, MapLight’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. “Both are incredibly accomplished leaders in their respective fields. I look forward to working with them as we advance MapLight’s development of innovative treatments for autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and other intractable brain disorders.”

About MapLight Therapeutics

MapLight Therapeutics is working to develop targeted, novel therapeutics to improve the lives of people with difficult-to-treat brain disorders. Today, there are few therapeutic options for people living with conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, and Schizophrenia, and those therapies are limited by modest efficacy and significant side effects. MapLight is committed to redefining this standard of care. The company’s unique discovery platform combines novel, proprietary technologies to uncover the individual circuits that misfire in brain disorders and treat those circuits with effective, safe therapeutics. MapLight was founded in 2019 by a team of renowned neuroscientists who led the discovery of such groundbreaking technologies as optogenetics and STARmap. Learn more at                                                                                              



Media Contact for MapLight Therapeutics
Lauren Davis, Alkali Marketing, 512-751-2946