Exploring the wonders of molecular biology

Posted: 29 May 2024 | | No comments yet

In this episode, we explore our understanding of DNA and its implications for health outcomes. Additionally, we discuss the transition from DNA sequencing to actionable insights in medicine, contrasting genetics-driven drug discovery with traditional methods. Finally, we examine the evolving landscape of genetic technology and its potential impact on the future of medicine.

Bringing their expertise, we are thrilled to introduce Dr Matthew Nelson, Vice President, Genetics and Genomics, Deerfield Discovery and Development and CEO at Genscience and Dr Jake Rubens, President of Quotient Therapeutics and Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering.

Key discussion points:

  • DNA has been called the code of life. How much of this code have we deciphered?
  • How is technology evolving to allow us to better understand the consequences of genetic changes (DNA mutations, epigenetics, etc.) and health and disease? What impact do we expect this to have in drug discovery?
  • How do we go from sequencing the DNA of individuals to making connections to health and disease? What are some examples of gene-disease links we’ve made that have informed drug target selection?

This podcast is in association with Molecular Devices. With its innovative life science technology, Molecular Devices makes scientific breakthroughs possible for academic, pharmaceutical, government and biotech customers. Head to moleculardevices.com to find out more.

About the speakers

bioDr Matthew Nelson

Vice President, Genetics and Genomics, Deerfield Discovery and Development and CEO at Genscience

Matthew Nelson, Ph.D., is a Vice President, Genetics and Genomics, Deerfield Discovery and Development, and joined the firm in 2019. He is also Chief Executive Officer of Deerfield’s affiliate, Genscience, a tech-focused company to improve integration of genetic evidence into drug discovery. Prior to joining Deerfield in 2019, Dr Nelson spent almost 15 years at GlaxoSmithKline and was most recently the Head of Genetics. Prior to GlaxoSmithKline, Dr Nelson was the Director of Biostatistics at Sequenom. He is co-author on >80 publications, including several cited >1,000 times. He began his career as an information scientist at Esperion Therapeutics. Dr Nelson was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina from 2010 to 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and an M.A. in Statistics from the University of Michigan and obtained his B.S. in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University.

bioDr Jacob Rubens

President of Quotient Therapeutics and Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering

Jacob is the president of Quotient and an Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering. He is a scientist entrepreneur and leads a team that founds, builds, and grows companies based on new biotechnology.

At Flagship, Jake co-founded Sana Biotechnology and Tessera Therapeutics, and launched Kaleido Biosciences. In addition to his role at Quotient, Jake is the chief innovation officer and founding chief scientific officer at Tessera, where he led research from 2018 through 2021. Previously, Jake was the head of innovation at Cobalt Biomedicine, where he co-invented and developed the company’s Fusosome platform prior to its merger with Sana Biotechnology.

Before joining Flagship, Jake received his PhD in microbiology from MIT, working in the Synthetic Biology Center with Professor Tim Lu with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. At MIT, Jake invented gene circuits that allow engineered cells to do novel analog, digital, and hybrid computations, enabling the emerging field of  “intelligent” cell therapies.