CRISPR Therapeutics was founded by Rodger Novak, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Shaun Foy in November 2013 with initial funding from Versant Ventures and the mission of developing gene-editing based therapeutics for serious diseases. The company was established in Basel, Switzerland and subsequently opened R&D operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After formation of the company, the founding team was expanded to include leading scientists with diverse expertise as scientific advisors. Our team is comprised of experts in fields such as CRISPR/Cas9 and other systems for gene editing, stem cell biology, advanced drug delivery technologies, RNA interference and gene silencing.
Dr. Rodger Novak co-founded CRISPR Therapeutics together with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Shaun Foy. He is an experienced pharmaceutical and biotechnology executive and former University Professor at the Vienna Biocenter in Austria. He brings a combination of scientific experience, gained through his academic career, and a proven track record of successfully translating technologies into pharmaceutical products.
In his most recent position, Rodger was Global Head, Anti-Infectives Research & Development at Sanofi, where he was responsible for small molecule and biologics R&D, including early drug discovery and clinical development. Before that he was a founder of Nabriva Therapeutics and served as its Chief Operating Officer for almost six years.
Rodger received his M.D. from the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany in 1993 and his foreign medical license for the U.S. in 1994. He was a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Skirball Institute NYU Medical Center. During his academic career Rodger authored numerous publications, among them articles in Nature, Nature Medicine and Molecular Cell. Rodger is co-inventor of five patents.
Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier co-founded CRISPR Therapeutics together with Shaun Foy and Rodger Novak. She is a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society in Germany and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. Prior to joining Max Planck, Emmanuelle was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt professorship at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, and Professor at the Medical School of Hannover in Germany. She continues to oversee a research group at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS, part of Nordic European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Partnership for Molecular Medicine) at Umeå University in Sweden where she has a visiting professorship. Her seminal research unveiled the key mechanisms of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, laying the foundation for the use of CRISPR/Cas9 as a highly versatile and precise gene editing tool.
Emmanuelle studied biochemistry and microbiology at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France where she received her Ph.D. in microbiology for her research performed at the Pasteur Institute. She spent five years working in the U.S., where she held research associate positions at the Rockefeller University, New York University Langone Medical Center and the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine (all in New York, NY) and at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (in Memphis, TN).
Before taking up her current positions, Emmanuelle was heading a microbiology research group at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories at the University of Vienna, Austria. Emmanuelle’s work has been recognized by numerous awards including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Carus-Medal of the German National Academy of Science Leopoldina, the Gruber Prize in Genetics, the L’Oreal Unesco for Women in Science Award, the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine, the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, the Göran Gustafsson Prize and the Grand Prix Jean-Pierre LeCocq. Emmanuelle was also recognized by TIME as one of The Most Influential People in 2015.
Shaun Foy co-founded CRISPR Therapeutics together with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Rodger Novak and served as CRISPR's Chief Financial Officer. Currently, Mr. Foy is Chief Executive Officer of ERS Genomics, which he co-founded. He has almost 20 years of experience in emerging healthcare companies as an entrepreneur, investor and advisor.
Prior to his position at CRISPR, Mr. Foy was a partner and one of the founding team members of Nomura Phase4 Ventures, a London-based venture capital group investing in emerging healthcare companies where he gained particular experience investing in cell and gene therapy companies. Prior to that, he worked with Nomura International’s healthcare corporate finance group advising emerging healthcare companies on M&A and capital raisings.
Shaun is a CFA® charterholder and holds an M.Sc. in cell biology and immunology from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Dr. Chad Cowan is an Associate Professor at Harvard University in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and at Massachusetts General Hospital, with appointments in the Center for Regenerative Medicine, the Cardiovascular Research Center and the Center for Human Genetics Research. He is an associate member of the Broad Institute and a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, where he directs the Diabetes Disease Program and the iPS Cell Core Facility.
Chad has led or been a member of several large efforts to use stem cells to better understand disease, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Next Gen iPS Cell Project and the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium. More recently, Chad has focused on using gene editing tools as therapeutics.
Chad received his B.A. and B.S., with honors, from the University of Kansas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas, garnering the Nominata award for most outstanding thesis. He subsequently completed a Damon Runyon fellowship with Professor Douglas Melton at Harvard University. He was named a Stowers Medical Investigator in 2006 and has been a faculty member at Harvard University since 2008.
Dr. Daniel Anderson is the Sam Goldblith Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is appointed in chemical engineering, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology. He is an intramural member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
Daniel’s lab’s research is centered on developing new materials for medicine. He has pioneered the use of robotic methods for the development of smart biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue engineering. In particular, his work has enabled the rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis and biological testing of large libraries of biomaterials for use in medical devices, cell therapy and drug delivery. The advanced drug delivery systems developed in his laboratory have provided new methods for nanoparticulate and microparticulate drug delivery, non-viral gene therapy, siRNA delivery and vaccines.
Daniel received a B.A. in math and biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of California at Davis. He has published more than 230 papers, patents and patent applications. These patents have led to a number of licenses to pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies.
Dr. Stephen Elledge is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Stephen has published over 250 articles, which include groundbreaking contributions to the study of proteins and biochemical pathways that regulate the cell division cycle, how cells sense and respond to DNA damage, how cells selectively destroy proteins in response to signals and how these pathways are usurped in human cancer. He has received numerous awards for his research including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Michael E. Debakey Award, the Paul Mark's Prize in Cancer Research, the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in the Basic Medical Sciences, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, and the Dickson Prize in Medicine. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy.
Stephen received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, his Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and performed post-doctoral studies at Stanford University.
Dr. Craig Mello is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine, and co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Craig’s lab uses the nematode C. elegans as a model system to study embryogenesis and gene silencing. His collaborative work with Dr. Andrew Fire led to the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi), for which they shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. RNAi allows researchers to rapidly knock out the expression of specific genes, thereby defining the biological functions of those genes. RNAi also provides a potential therapeutic avenue to silence genes that contribute to disease.
Before winning the Nobel Prize, Craig’s work on RNAi was recognized by several awards, including the National Academy of Sciences Molecular Biology Award, the Canadian Gairdner International Award, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, and the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Craig is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
Craig received his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University and his B.S. in biochemistry from Brown University.
Dr. Matthew Porteus is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics; Divisions of Hematology/Oncology and Human Gene Therapy, at Stanford School of Medicine. His research is focused on developing homologous recombination-based therapies for genetic and other diseases. He has a clinical practice at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, where he is an Attending Physician for the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Service.
Matthew was an Assistant Professor of pediatrics and biochemistry at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas before returning to Stanford in 2010 to take up his current role.
Matthew graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University before completing his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Stanford. His Ph.D. focused on the molecular biology of mammalian forebrain development. He completed his residency training in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, and his fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. For his post-doctoral work, Matthew trained with Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the California Institute of Technology. It was during his post-doctoral work that he began studying gene editing, and he was the first to show that engineered nucleases could be used to precisely modify human cells by homologous recombination.