Dr. Renee Wegrzyn serves as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), appointed on October 11, 2022, by President Joseph R. Biden. Previously, Wegrzyn served as a vice president of business development at Ginkgo Bioworks and head of innovation at Concentric by Ginkgo where she focused on applying the tools of synthetic biology to outpace infectious diseases. Wegrzyn comes to ARPA-H with experience working for over a decade at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), five of those years as a program manager with a $250 million portfolio, and as a technical advisor to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). At DARPA, Wegrzyn leveraged the tools of synthetic biology and gene editing to enhance biosecurity, support the domestic bioeconomy, and thwart biothreats. Wegrzyn received the Superior Public Service Medal for her work and contributions at DARPA.
Before joining DARPA, she led teams in private industry across a range of specialties including biosecurity and gene therapies. Wegrzyn served on the scientific advisory board for the National Academies Standing Committee on Biotechnology Capabilities and National Security Needs, among other boards in government and the private sector. She holds doctoral and bachelor’s degrees in applied biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, was a fellow in the Center for Health Security Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative and completed her postdoctoral training as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Heidelberg, Germany.
Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health
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