Sachiko Kuno

A woman entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur, a researcher, a company executive.

Sachiko earned her Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from Kyoto University, Japan and conducted post-doctoral research at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. In the mid-1980s, Sachiko joined Dr. Ryuji Ueno in establishing R-Tech Ueno Ltd. in Japan. Sachiko engaged herself in all development research, including basic research and applied research, a production, and an application for approval, and the successful launch of Rescula® eye drops, the first bioactive lipid ever used to treat glaucoma in Japan.


Leveraging R-Tech’s success in Japan, the two moved to Bethesda, MD and established Sucampo Group, an affiliation of companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Sachiko was Sucampo Group’s founding CEO and Chair of the Board, and served there until 2012. During her time at Sucampo, Sachiko conducted the research and development, and the operation of the company, and the successful launch of Drs.’ second product AMITIZA® for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and opioid-induced constipation in adults. Sucampo, which acquired R-Tech Ueno in 2015, was listed and traded on NASDAQ until its acquisition. In 2013, Sachiko co-founded VLP Therapeutics to combat the 21st century global public health problems through revolutionary vaccine technology.


As a social entrepreneur, Sachiko co-founded S&R Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that supports talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences, and social entrepreneurship, and Halcyon, a nonprofit dedicated to the power of human creativity, in 2000 and 2017 respectively both in Washington, D.C.. In Japan Sachiko co-founded Phoenixi, a Kyoto-based residential incubator for social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, in 2018. Sachiko currently serves as a board member of numerous organizations including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kyoto University, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University and The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. She also serves as Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Management at Kyoto University.


Sachiko 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 America’s Richest Self Made Women (2015 and 2020) and the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes Japan (2015). More recently, 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. She has completed certificate coursework in international business management at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Current Positions

  • Co-Founder & Managing Member, S&R Technology Holdings, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Co-Founder & Board of Directors, RUSK Intellectual Reserve AG, Zug, Switzerland
  • Co-Founder, President & CEO, S&R Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Founder and Chair, Halcyon Incubator, Washington D.C.
  • Board of Trustees, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Board of Directors, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Co-Founder, VLP Therapeutics, Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Co-Founder & Director, Phoenixi Co., Ltd., Kyoto, Japan
  • Advisor, Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
  • Visiting Professor, Kyoto City University of Arts
  • Councilor, Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University
  • Executive Vice-President for International Liaison and Funding, Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability and Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University