Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., Announced as Chief Science Advisor to Sixth Street
Dr. Doudna to advise Sixth Street on principled commercial development of CRISPR technologies
San Francisco, CA – February 8, 2022 – Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm, today announced that Nobel Laureate and University of California, Berkeley, Professor Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., will become its Chief Science Advisor. Dr. Doudna will assist Sixth Street in its long-term efforts to identify, evaluate, and advance commercial development opportunities within the CRISPR and gene-editing ecosystem.
Dr. Doudna will also continue in her current roles, including leading the Innovative Genomics Institute and the Doudna Lab at UC Berkeley.
In 2020, Dr. Doudna was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., for their discovery of CRISPR, the genome editing technology that has transformed modern science and biomedicine. The two scientists were the first women to jointly win a Nobel Prize. Dr. Doudna published her initial work on the CRISPR-Cas9 system and its potential for rewriting the DNA of animals, plants, and microorganisms in 2012. She has since pioneered its application across multiple therapeutic and diagnostic areas, discovered additional CRISPR enzymes that build upon the potential of her original technology, and leads the global conversation on CRISPR’s risks, opportunities, and ethical use.
In her new role, Dr. Doudna will lead and assist Sixth Street in the build-out of a Scientific Advisory Board to provide advice on the latest developments in CRISPR-related technology, ethics, and regulation. The Scientific Advisory Board will collaborate closely with Sixth Street’s healthcare investing team as well as its growing cohort of data scientists and engineers. This combination of innovative gene editing science with extensive data engineering capabilities is intended to create a dynamic environment for addressing opportunities within the rapidly evolving healthcare technology ecosystem.
“We are honored to welcome Jennifer Doudna to Sixth Street, and her extraordinary knowledge and judgment will provide our team, our investors, and the companies with which we partner an unmatched source of advice regarding CRISPR’s applications and responsible use,” said Alan Waxman, Co-Founder and CEO at Sixth Street. “As one of this century’s true pioneers, Jennifer’s guidance will be vital as we continue to identify best-in-class teams across all stages of development building the tools to solve real-world problems in human health, industry, and the environment. Ten years ago, Jennifer discovered a world-changing technology, and we are excited about working with her to help drive CRISPR’s next decade and beyond.”
“Jennifer is not only the preeminent researcher, bioethicist, and collaborator in her field, but also the leading entrepreneur and builder of businesses utilizing gene-editing tools to improve human lives,” said R. Martin Chavez, Ph.D., Vice Chairman and Partner at Sixth Street. “CRISPR is a profoundly powerful technology, which when properly utilized, supported, and developed, has the potential to unlock solutions for our most pressing challenges. Her contributions will be invaluable as we continue to explore opportunities throughout the healthcare, data science, and technology ecosystems.”
The Sixth Street Healthcare and Life Sciences team provides strategic capital and forms long-term partnerships with companies creating new technologies to address pressing healthcare challenges and improve patient care. Sixth Street finances the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics and invests in healthcare technology companies across all stages of growth. In September 2021, Sixth Street invested in Mammoth Biosciences, a biotech company co-founded by Dr. Doudna that is building the next generation of CRISPR products in therapeutics and diagnostics. Additional select Sixth Street Healthcare and Life Sciences investments include Biohaven, Caris Life Sciences, Datavant, DrFirst, Immunogen, Ironwood, MDLIVE and Nektar.
About Sixth Street
Founded in 2009, Sixth Street is a global investment firm with over $60 billion in assets under management. The firm uses its long-term flexible capital, data-enabled capabilities, and One Team culture to develop themes and offer solutions to companies across all stages of growth. Sixth Street has more than 350 team members including over 180 investment professionals operating around the world. For more information, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter @SixthStreetNews.
Reproduced with permission from Bloomberg L.P.