Emil Kakkis

Emil D. Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D.

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Kakkis is best known for his work developing novel treatments for rare diseases and working to advance the cause of rare disease treatment through advocacy on policy issues by founding and supporting the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases. He received BIO’s Henri Termeer Visionary Leadership award in 2019 for his work and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National MPS Society. He began his academic research at Harbor-UCLA developing an enzyme replacement therapy (Aldurazyme®) for the rare disorder MPS I. In 1998, Dr. Kakkis guided the development and approval of two more treatments for rare diseases, MPS VI and PKU and has contributed to the development of approved or development stage products of four other rare diseases (CLN2, MPS-IVA, PKU, Achondroplasia). Dr. Kakkis graduated from Pomona College, magna cum laude and received combined M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the UCLA Medical Scientist Program. He completed both a Pediatrics residency and Medical Genetics Training Fellowship at Harbor- UCLA Medical Center.