NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Agilis Biotherapeutics, LLC, a synthetic biology-based company focused on developing DNA-based therapeutics for rare genetic diseases, announced today the addition of James E. Darnell, Jr., M.D., Vincent Astor Professor Emeritus of the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at the Rockefeller University and pioneer in RNA research, to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Darnell’s scientific research has been recognized worldwide by numerous awards and membership in honorary societies for fundamental discoveries in the molecular biology of mammalian RNA and in cytokine control of transcription. "We are excited to welcome Dr. Darnell, an extremely distinguished and accomplished scientist, as a scientific advisor to the Company," said Dr. Mark Pykett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Agilis. "Dr. Darnell brings great experience and expertise that we believe will be immensely valuable to Agilis’ research and as we optimize our genetic medicines for the treatment of rare diseases.”
"I am pleased to join Agilis and hope my experience will aid the quest to transform the treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia and other diseases that result from abnormalities in or lack of specific proteins,” said Dr. Darnell. Dr. Darnell’s research on mammalian RNA uncovered RNA processing and discovered many proteins (transcription factors) that are responsible for specific gene activation. Work in the 1990’s resulted in discovery of the first complete cell surface to nucleus signal transduction pathway: the JAK-STAT pathway which has proved to be of significant importance in autoimmune diseases and cancer. He began his career studying poliovirus in the research group of Harry Eagle at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, followed by research with François Jacob at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. He has held academic appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Columbia University prior to joining The Rockefeller University in 1974.
Dr. Darnell was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1973, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The American Philosophical Society, the Royal Society, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science from the White House for lifetime achievement in the fields of scientific research, the Albert Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science, the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Albany Prize among a number of others. In addition, Dr. Darnell is the author or coauthor of multiple books, including “General Virology”, “Molecular Cell Biology”, and “RNA, Life’s Indispensable Molecule”. Dr. Darnell received his M.D. from the Washington University School of Medicine.
About Agilis Biotherapeutics, LLC
Agilis Biotherapeutics, LLC, is a biotechnology company focused on designing and engineering best-in-class DNA-based therapeutics to improve and save the lives of patients affected by life-threatening or fatal rare diseases for which there are limited or no treatment options. We believe that engineered DNA-based therapeutics provide the ability to target underlying disease mechanisms with tightly-controlled multigenic modalities leading to “functional cures” for patients with these diseases.
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