The IGI is pleased to announce Fyodor Urnov as its Scientific Director of Technology and Translation. Urnov is also a Professor of Genetics, Genomics, and Development in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
At IGI, Urnov joins Scientific Directors Alex Marson, Brian Staskawicz, and Jill Banfield, who oversee Biomedicine, Agriculture, and Microbiology, respectively. They will work in collaboration with IGI’s other scientific leadership to manage a portfolio of more than 50 projects aimed at using genome editing to improve human health, feed a growing world, and protect the environment.
Urnov’s area of immediate focus will be the IGI’s efforts to develop a CRISPR based treatment for sickle cell disease, radiation injury, and brain/nerve diseases. He will work to accelerate the path of CRISPR-based therapies for rare genetic disease from the lab to the clinic and to develop new CRISPR-based technologies to understand and treat common diseases.
Urnov is an author of more than 80 scientific publications and an inventor on 68 issued U.S. patents related to genome editing and gene regulation technologies. Prior to his role at the IGI, Urnov was Deputy Director at the Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences, a nonprofit research institute using functional genomics to understand human gene regulatory network dysfunction in disease. Urnov previously worked at Sangamo Therapeutics, where he was a key member of the team that developed the core toolbox of genome editing with engineered nucleases. He led collaborations to use editing in crops, model organisms, and human stem cells. As Vice President for Discovery and Translational Research at Sangamo, he led a project team that launched the first clinical trials of gene editing for beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.