👩🔬 Issue #73: What's Next For CRISPR
Claremont alumnus and 2020 Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna shares with GEN her thoughts on the first decade of CRISPR genome editing and where the technology is headed
💬 Welcome to issue #73 of Between the Lines
Good morning & happy Thursday. It’s been over a decade since CRISPR-Cas9 was thrust into the spotlight. It’s still early days, but thanks to discoveries from George Church, Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Feng Zhang, CRISPR technology allows researchers to make impactful changes in sections of DNA and has enormous potential.
This week, Claremont alumnus Jennifer Doudna shared with GEN how she sees genome editing continuing to make an impact on society and what it was like to win a Nobel. It’s a Claremont world out there. 👇
~ Josh & Miles
📢 👥 Community Voices: CRISPR’s Second Decade
Authors: Julianna LeMieux & Jennifer Doudna
Claremont and Harvard alumnus Jennifer Doudna is an award-winning biologist who has pioneered work in CRISPR gene editing and made several other significant discoveries in biochemistry and genetics. She was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her colleague, Emmanuelle Charpentier, for developing a method for genome editing. Apart from being recognized as one of the most influential people in biopharma, Jennifer is also the co-founder of the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at UC Berkeley and five different biotech companies — Caribou Biosciences (NASDAQ: CRBU), Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT), Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTLA), Scribe Therapeutics, and unicorn Mammoth Biosciences.
Last month during "The State of Biotech" forum, Doudna had an open discussion with GEN about various subjects, including what excites her most about CRISPR, how genome editing affects society, what it's like to earn the Nobel Prize, and more.
It’s been 10 years since your landmark article on CRISPR as a genome editing tool with Charpentier and other colleagues in Science. What has been the best, and worst, part of the past decade?
The best has been doing the science. It has been an extraordinary opportunity to work with so many amazing people, both in my own laboratory, with our collaborators, and, of course, with Emmanuelle. Before I even met Emmanuelle, Jill Banfield, my colleague at UC Berkeley, was one of the first researchers to find CRISPR sequences back before they were a thing. There have been so many other people since then. The science is still what gets me out of the bed every morning and is still very new and exciting.
The worst? Certainly, the pandemic is high up there on my list. If there is a silver lining, it pulled together scientists from different disciplines. We certainly saw this at the IGI. People came together to build a clinical testing laboratory where we were able to build a team to develop CRISPR as a diagnostic tool. There were many other things that happened scientifically everywhere, of course, that were motivated by the desire to pitch in during the pandemic.👇
📣 Pardon the Introduction: Tom Cleveland & GlacierMD
Tom Cleveland is a Claremont alumnus, former Stripe engineer, and burrito expert. He also thinks online health information is terrible. That's why he's building GlacierMD — a practical, evidence-based tool for doing your own health research. GlacierMD turns regular people into medical experts, giving them the up-to-date, evidence-based information they need to make healthier decisions.
Tom is interested in speaking with health-conscious individuals who would use a service like GlacierMD. If you're interested in being a beta user and providing product feedback in the earliest days of a healthcare business like GlacierMD, please sign up for a 30-minute slot with Tom. And, if you're interested in chatting about the future of quality healthcare content with someone passionate about the space, email Tom.
Google has terrible results for health-related searches. But it doesn't have to be that way! I'm super excited to announce this week's launch: an AI-powered search engine that gives evidence-based answers to questions about long COVID (with more subjects coming soon). Check it out!
🚨Claremonster Call-Out: Skip Sanzeri
Skip Sanzeri is a Claremont alumnus who has been a serial entrepreneur & founder for more than 30+ years. After Claremont, he started his entrepreneurial journey at age 26 when he founded, funded, and built six Gold's Gyms, later rebranded as California Athletic Clubs and bought by 24 Hour Fitness. He then joined Sequoia-backed technology company Quote.com, later acquired by Lycos. Skip is also the Founder and Board Chair of Quantum Thought – a venture studio focused on quantum computing applications, and the co-author of "Quantum Design Sprint: A Workbook for Designing a Quantum Computing Application and Disruptive Business Model."
In 2019, Skip co-founded his most recent startup, QuSecure – a leader in post-quantum cybersecurity with a mission to protect enterprise and government data from quantum and classical cybersecurity threats. QuSecure offers the industry's first PQC software-based platform uniquely designed to safeguard encrypted communications and data with quantum resilience using a secure quantum channel. Skip was also recently accepted into the Forbes Technology Council — a community of top CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives.
💼 Who’s Hiring: Recuro Health & Wisetack
Recuro Health is building the first Digital Medical Home. Recuro’s virtual health platform includes a curated suite of digital solutions — from primary care and behavioral health to at-home testing and genetic screening. Claremont graduate Julian Feeley is Recuro's Head of Product and is excited to work with more Claremont alums on the journey to make healthcare better for people. He’s hiring for several open positions. Message Julian directly if you’re interested:
Engineering Team Lead (Minneapolis or remote) - Recuro is looking for someone to lead one of their teams of 4-6 software engineers. The selected candidate will gain a lot of leadership and career growth opportunities.
Sr. Software Engineer - Backend (Minneapolis or remote) - Recuro is looking for a backend or full-stack engineer with 5+ years under their belt and deep experience in at least one language or framework to help build out the company's patient platform.
Software Engineer - DevOps (Minneapolis or remote) - Recuro is looking for someone with 4+ years in a DevOps-type role and is interested in working on a Kubernetes cluster built from the ground up.
Founded in 2018 by a team of seasoned fintech professionals, Wisetack is building consumer lending products that help service-based businesses thrive. The fintech startup raised a $45M Series B last year led by Insight Partners, Bain Capital, and Greylock Partners. Business Insider also recognized them as one of the 70 most promising startups in finance, the Best Consumer Lending Solution, and this year’s winner in the Best Emerging Lending Platform category for Fintech. Claremont graduate Bobby Tzekin is the co-founder & CEO, and he’s hiring for a variety of roles:
Check out the other ~5,000 open jobs at 400+ Claremont-affiliated companies here on our Storyboard. Plus, create a profile and enter your preferences to get alerted to new job postings relevant to you, be they the 1,000+ remote jobs, 100+ internships, or 40+ part-time positions available. We’ve published research that shows that Claremont-founded companies that disproportionately hire Claremont talent outperform — so pay attention, Claremonsters!
If any of these roles catch your eye 👀 , apply and mention Between the Lines. Or, if you are an employer looking to hire tip-top Claremont talent, fill out this form to have your jobs featured.
🗣️ Conversations on the Interwebz:
This week’s must-watch 📺
Claremont alumnus Yohei Nakajima joined Aron Korenblit on his Automate All The Things stream to give a masterclass on how to integrate AI and No-Code tools into your projects. Yohei is the GP and Founder of early-stage venture firm Untapped Capital. He’s also the founder and artist behind PixelBeasts - a web3 and NFT community.
This week’s Claremont financing 💸
Claremont alumnus Heather Callender-Potters and her needle-free injection company, PharmaJet, received an $800,000 Grant from the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the use of their needle-free technology for HPV Immunization delivery. The study will compare Pharmajet’s needle-free system to traditional needle and syringe administration.
Intellia Therapeutics recently announced its proposed public offering of common stock underwritten by Goldman Sachs. The clinical-stage genome editing company is focused on developing potentially curative therapies leveraging CRISPR-based technologies. Claremont alumnus and Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna is a co-founder of Intellia.
Can’t get enough of Between the Lines? Follow and connect with us on Twitter!
🍽️ BTL Snacks:
💪 The Power of Activating Your Investor Network….. Of his many superpowers, Claremont alumnus Sam Corcos is in a league of his own regarding leveraging his investor network to help him build his company. In this article, he shares his secrets on activating your superpowers and making the most of your investors. He also talks about the Eigenvector centrality and how to optimize so you can supercharge your network. Sam is the former founder of YC CarDash (acquired by RepairSmith in 2020) and is currently the co-founder and CEO of Levels – an a16z-backed healthtech company that allows you to see how food affects your health.
🔐 Better Than A Username And Password….. Claremont alumnus and CEO Locke Brown sat down with the PIA team to share his insights on the importance of Trustless Authentication and the issues surrounding the traditional online password. He also talks about how he unexpectedly met his co-founder and the ideas that prompted them to start their own company. Locke is the co-founder of the decentralized digital identity company NuID. Their platform leverages zero-knowledge cryptography and blockchain technology to eliminate the need for businesses to store passwords and other authentication credentials.
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