UTM Celebrates International Women's Day: Nabanita Nawar

Nabanita Nawar
Dr. Nabanita Nawar, co-founder and CEO, HDAX Therapeutics. Photo courtesy of Nabanita Nawar.

Meet Nabanita Nawar, a remarkable UTM alum, leading the development of innovative treatments for neuropathy. 

Nabanita moved to Canada at 18 to pursue her undergraduate degree. From a young age, she was passionate about the life sciences and wanted to make a meaningful impact in the medical field.   

After completing her undergraduate studies, Nabanita began a direct-entry PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design. She graduated in April 2022 and immediately transitioned into her current role as co-founder and CEO of HDAX Therapeutics. 

At HDAX, Nabanita and her team are on a mission to develop the first-ever disease-modifying therapy for patients with chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. The condition causes symptoms ranging from tingling or pins and needle sensation to severe pain and difficulty with fine motor skills. There are currently no treatments that prevent or halt disease progression, and patients are limited to pain management options. 

Nabanita was motivated to pursue this field of study by the experiences of her grandfather and aunt who both suffered from neuropathy. She shared that “their experiences opened my eyes to the gravity of the situation and how important it is to equip doctors with the tools they need to effectively treat patients”.  

HDAX has already validated their technology in preclinical models of neuropathy. Their long-term goal? To develop a preventative treatment to ensure that patients never have to endure neuropathy. Nabanita and her team also plan to apply their findings to diabetic-induced neuropathy and cardiovascular diseases.

Nabanita’s visionary leadership and ground-breaking work have not gone unnoticed ­– she and fellow UTM alum Pimyupa Manaswiyoungkul were recognized by Forbes’ 30 under 30 Local Toronto in 2023.