Biotechnology for Materiel and Defense Symposium (Webinar) : Guest Speaker: DARPA 1000 Molecules
Dr. Renee Wegrzyn joined DARPA as a Program Manager in 2016 and is interested in applying the tools of synthetic biology to support biosecurity and outpace infectious disease. She manages the Living Foundries program which seeks to transform biology into an engineering practice by developing the tools, technologies, methodologies, and infrastructure to prototype and scale engineered microbes that can produce molecules that are of value for government and commercial use. She also manages Safe Genes, which aims to deliver novel biological capabilities to facilitate the safe and expedient pursuit of advanced genome editing applications, while also providing the tools and methodologies to mitigate the risk of unintentional consequences or intentional misuse of these technologies.
Prior to joining DARPA as a PM, Dr. Wegrzyn was a Senior Lead Biotechnologist at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she led a team that provided scientific and strategic support in the areas of biodefense, biosecurity, disruptive technologies, emerging infectious disease, neuromodulation, and synthetic biology to DARPA and other federal and private institutions. She is a former fellow and active mentor for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Health Security Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative. Dr. Wegrzyn also led research and development teams in the biotech industry focused on the development of multiplex immunoassays and peptide-based disease diagnostics.
Dr. Wegrzyn holds Doctor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Science degrees in Applied Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with an undergraduate minor in Bioengineering. She completed her postdoctoral training as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Heidelberg, Germany.