Recursion Pharmaceuticals Announces Formation of Its Scientific and Technical Advisory Board

Recursion Pharmaceuticals is a start-up biotech firm in Salt Lake City with a goal of discovering new therapeutics for the treatment of rare genetic diseases. Recursion announced the formation of its Scientific and Technical Advisory Board today, along with the appointment of Dr. Anne Carpenter and Dr. Kirk Thomas as its first two members.

Salt Lake City, UT, April 12, 2014 --( Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a biotech start-up in Salt Lake’s Research Park focused on discovering treatments for rare genetic diseases, announced the formation of its Scientific and Technical Advisory Board today. The first two appointments to the Advisory Board include two highly-respected scientists with multidisciplinary experience in genetics, cell biology, high-throughput screening, and bioinformatics.

These experts, along with several others to be announced at a later date, will advise Recursion Pharmaceuticals on a wide range of topics including scientific strategy, new technology, clinical impacts, and drug development.

Dr. Christopher Gibson, CEO of Recursion adds: “We believe strongly in seeking the advice of the best experts from across the varied scientific and clinical fields in which Recursion operates. Our first two appointments exemplify this stance, and help bring perspective as we seek to use a unique combination of experimental biology and bioinformatics to develop our first orphan drugs.”

The first two members of the Recursion Pharmaceuticals Scientific and Technical Advisory Board are:

Anne Carpenter, Ph.D.
Dr. Anne Carpenter directs the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. She is recognized as a leading authority on the use of cell biology, microscopy, and computational biology to gain insights into gene function, molecular mechanisms, and drug targets. She studied with David Sabatini of the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical research and Polina Golland at the computer Science/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT before launching her independent research group. She was awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2012 and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Human Frontiers in Science Program. Her team developed CellProfiler, the first open-source, high-throughput cell image analysis software, now used by industry and thousands of academic laboratories worldwide. Dr. Carpenter brings tremendous depth to the team in the areas of functional genomics, microscopy, and computational biology. She has consulted for many large pharmaceutical companies and serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Board of Bio-Rad as well as the Board of the Society of Biomolecular Imaging and Informatics (SBI2).

Kirk Thomas, Ph.D.
Dr. Kirk Thomas is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Utah, where he has worked for decades to help establish the University as a leader in the field of genetics. Kirk completed his Ph.D. at the University of Utah, and then trained under the renowned geneticist Ira Herskowitz at UC San Francisco. He then returned to Utah to join Dr. Mario Capecchi to perform the pioneering experiments in the use of homologous recombination to modify genes in mammals. This technology enabled the efficient generation of “gene targeted,” or ‘knock-out’ mice. The 1987 manuscript authored by Thomas and Capecchi first describing this technology became the most-cited reference in the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology awarded to Drs. Capecchi, Evans, and Smithies. He brings a level of insight into genetics and biology that is difficult to match anywhere in the world. Dr. Thomas also brings relevant experience from his employment or consultation with a variety of biotech firms over the past two decades.

About Recursion Pharmaceuticals:
Recursion Pharmaceuticals, LLC, is a drug discovery company based on technology developed in the laboratory of Dean Y. Li at the University of Utah. Recursion uses a novel drug screening platform to identify new uses for drugs with known safety profiles in the treatment of rare genetic diseases. There are more than 5,000 rare genetic diseases that together affect millions of Americans, yet more than 95% of these diseases have no approved therapy. Recursion has deployed its novel drug screening platform to quickly and efficiently identify treatments for multiple rare genetic diseases.

Recursion’s technology combines high-throughput automated screening using data-rich assays in human cells. With this approach, Recursion is capable of modeling hundreds of genetic diseases simultaneously. Data from these assays is probed using advanced statistical and machine learning approaches, and the effects of thousands of drug candidates can be investigated efficiently to identify those holding the most promise for the treatment of any one rare genetic disease.

See for more information.
Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Chris Gibson