Editas Medicine’s academic founders are world leaders in the fields of genome editing, protein engineering, and molecular and structural biology, with specific expertise in CRISPR/Cas9 and TALENs technologies.
Feng Zhang joined the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard as a core member in 2011. Dr. Zhang is also an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT and an assistant professor at MIT with a joint appointment in the departments of brain and cognitive sciences and biological engineering. As a student, he played a major role in the development of optogenetics, a technology that allows the brain?s electrical activity to be controlled with light-sensitive proteins. He is now working to extend this molecular engineering approach to other aspects of brain function, such as gene expression, and to develop new approaches to understanding and eventually treating brain diseases. Dr. Zhang is a Searle Scholar and has received both a Director?s Transformative Research Award and a Directors? Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2012, he shared the UNC/Perl Prize for his role in the development of optogenetics.
Dr. Zhang holds an A.B. in chemistry and physics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.
Jennifer A. Doudna is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research seeks to understand how non-coding RNA molecules control the expression of genetic information, and she has published extensively in the field of CRISPRs. After serving as a member of the Yale University faculty for eight years, during which time she was promoted to Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, she joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2002. She has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1997 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2002. She was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2010.
Dr. Doudna holds a B.A. in biochemistry from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University.
George Church is a leading expert in human genetics and biotechnology. He has served as professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School since 1986 and currently serves as professor of health sciences and technology at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also director of the U.S. Department of Energy Center on Bioenergy at Harvard and MIT and director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard. Dr. Church helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005. Dr. Church pioneered genome engineering, systems and synthetic biology, and concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, and he has a successful track record of developing and transferring new technologies to more than 20 companies. Dr. Church has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute, the 2009 Promega Biotechnology Research Award from the American Society for Microbiology, and was honored in The Scientist’s Top 10 Innovations list in 2008.
Dr. Church holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University and a B.A. in zoology and chemistry from Duke University.
J. Keith Joung currently serves as associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and is associate chief of pathology for research and the Jim and Ann Orr Research Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He also serves as director of the Molecular Pathology Unit and is a member of the Center for Cancer Research and Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at MGH. Dr. Joung pioneered a new approach for targeting specific DNA sequences in cells using synthetically constructed DNA binding proteins. This broadly applicable technology provides an important research tool for introducing targeted genome modifications in a wide variety of monogenic diseases because it enables correction of defective copies of genes.
Dr. Joung holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an A.B. in biochemical sciences from Harvard College.
David R. Liu is an accomplished chemist, scientist and innovator. He currently serves as professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and serves as an associate member of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard. His scientific breakthroughs led him to be tapped to serve as a JASON, an elite group of scientists who advise the U.S. government on matters of science and technology. Dr. Liu is the recipient of numerous scientific distinctions, including the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry and Arthur C. Cope Young Scholar Awards, the GlaxoSmithKline Chemistry Scholar Award, the AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Excellence in Chemistry Award, the Searle Scholars Award, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and the university-wide Roslyn Abramson Award for undergraduate teaching at Harvard. Dr. Liu was named to the Popular Science “Brilliant 10” for young scientists in the U.S., as well as to the MIT TR100 for young innovators. His accomplishments also include groundbreaking research leading to the foundation of Ensemble Therapeutics and Permeon Biologics.
Dr. Liu holds a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.