Caribou Biosciences Announces Expansion of Scientific Advisory Board
February 12, 2019
BERKELEY, CA – February 12, 2019 – Caribou Biosciences, Inc., a leading CRISPR genome editing company, announced today that it has expanded its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of six new members: Emily Balskus, PhD; Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD; Dean Lee, MD, PhD; Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD; Noopur Raje, MD; and Cameron Turtle, MBBS, PhD. The newly appointed members will work with current SAB members and Caribou co-founders Jennifer Doudna, PhD and Martin Jinek, PhD.
“We could not be more thrilled with the depth and breadth of scientific and clinical acumen and experience we have added to our SAB,” said Steven Kanner, PhD, Caribou’s Chief Scientific Officer. “Their guidance and insights will be invaluable to Caribou as we enter a pivotal phase in advancing gene editing technologies for the benefit of patients.”
The additional six scientists and clinicians now part of Caribou’s SAB are world experts in immuno-oncology therapeutics, gut microbiome metabolism, T cell metabolism and tumor interactions, microbial-host dynamics, clinical trial development and patient care, and will provide valuable input on Caribou’s therapeutic programs spanning gene-edited cell therapies and the genetic manipulation of the microbiome. These new SAB members join Drs. Doudna and Jinek, world leaders in CRISPR gene editing technology development, and will help Caribou address the challenges of implementing novel tailored immune cell and gut microbe-based therapeutics in areas of significant unmet medical need including cancer and other indications. The SAB will also work with Caribou management to refine Caribou’s emerging pipeline as well as the clinical strategy for the company’s more advanced assets.
Backgrounds of Newly Appointed Scientific Advisory Board Members
Emily Balskus, PhD: Dr. Balskus is Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University and Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. She also serves as Faculty Associate for the Harvard Microbial Sciences Initiative and is a member of the Harvard Digestive Disease Center and the MIT Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics. Dr. Balskus received her PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University, and her MPhil in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Balskus’ research focuses on discovering microbial enzymes and metabolic pathways as well as developing approaches for manipulating microbial functions in complex habitats. Applying chemical knowledge and tools, her research group has characterized gut microbial enzymes involved in nutrient metabolism, natural product biosynthesis, and xenobiotic transformation.
Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD: Dr. Bhatt is Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and of Genetics at Stanford University where her research focuses on inspecting, characterizing, and dissecting the microbe-human interface. Dr. Bhatt is also the Director of Global Oncology at the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford and the co-founder of the non-profit organization Global Oncology with the goal of improving cancer outcomes for patients in impoverished settings. Dr. Bhatt earned her MD in Medicine and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Francisco and completed residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Bhatt completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and completed her hematology/oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dean A. Lee, MD, PhD: Dr. Lee is Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University, and is founding Director of the joint Cellular Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy Program between the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lee is also an Attending Physician on the Blood and Marrow Transplantation service at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He is a world-renowned leader in the area of natural killer cell biology and therapeutic development. Dr. Lee earned his MD and PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics from Loma Linda University, and completed residency training at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Dr. Lee completed his clinical fellowship and research training in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy.
Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD: Dr. Rathmell is Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Immunobiology and serves as the Associate Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunology and Inflammation at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he is also the co-leader of the Molecular Pathology and Immunology PhD training program. His studies focus on manipulating mechanisms to control inflammatory diseases and anti-tumor immune responses, and to understand how metabolism is intimately linked to nearly all aspects of cell function. Prior to joining the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Rathmell was a member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute and was involved with the departments of Pharmacology, Cancer Biology and Immunology. He earned a PhD in Immunology on B cell tolerance and death mechanisms at Stanford University. Dr. Rathmell completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania.
Noopur Raje, MD: Dr. Raje is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the director of the Center for Multiple Myeloma and the Rita Kelley Chair in Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. She is a physician scientist with a primary focus on multiple myeloma and related plasma cell disorders. Dr. Raje has focused on developing new promising therapies for multiple myeloma. Her laboratory efforts are aimed at identifying cellular signaling pathways that contribute to the survival and proliferation of myeloma cells in the bone environment, and designing trials to specifically harness these. She is the co-chair of the NCI steering committee for multiple myeloma and a board member of the International Myeloma Society. Dr. Raje received her MD from B.J. Medical College at Pune University. She trained in internal medicine at MGH and completed a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Cameron Turtle, MBBS, PhD: Dr. Turtle is an Associate Member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and an Associate Professor at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA. He serves as an attending physician on the Hematopoietic Cell Transplant (HCT) Service and the Immunotherapy Service at FHCRC, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and the UW Medical Center. His research laboratory in the Clinical Research Division at FHCRC is focused on understanding the characteristics of distinct subsets of human CD8+ T cells, their potential utility for tumor immunotherapy, and their role in immune reconstitution after HCT. Dr. Turtle is Principal Investigator and IND sponsor of several investigator-initiated clinical trials of CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cell therapy for patients with B cell malignancies. He completed medical training at the University of Sydney, Australia, followed by Fellowships of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and a PhD in Immunology.
About Caribou Biosciences, Inc.
Caribou is a leading company in CRISPR genome editing founded by pioneers of CRISPR-Cas9 biology. Caribou’s proprietary technologies put the company at the forefront of the development of new medical therapies. The company is developing an internal pipeline of off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapies, other gene-edited cell therapies, and engineered gut microbes.
Additionally, Caribou offers licenses to its CRISPR-Cas9 foundational IP in multiple fields including research tools, internal research use, diagnostics, and industrial biotechnology. Interested companies may contact Caribou at email@example.com.
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