Founders

Voyager’s founders include world leaders in the fields of AAV gene therapy, expressed RNA interference and neuroscience.

Krystof Bankiewicz, M.D., Ph.D.

Kinetics Foundation Chair in Translational Research and Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Neurology, University of California at San Francisco

Krystof Bankiewicz is a leader in AAV gene therapy who has brought multiple AAV therapies to the clinic. He is the Kinetics Foundation Chair in Translational Research and Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Neurology at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Bankiewicz is also vice chair for research in the department of neurosurgery and director of Interventional Neurology Center at UCSF. Dr. Bankiewicz has both industry and academic experience, is an inventor on numerous patents and has published more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles. He has considerable experience in supervising multi-investigator translational programs and is a principal investigator on several multicenter, multi-investigator grants and clinical trials. He has supervised a total of 35 postdoctoral fellows and manages a core research group of 20 people, including technicians, postdoctoral fellows and senior scientists. Throughout his career, Dr. Bankiewicz has maintained a strong focus on the development of translational approaches to gene and cell replacement therapies, and he has displayed the ability to synthesize distinct technologies into powerful new approaches to the treatment of serious diseases, including brain cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric neurotransmitter deficiency and lysosomal storage disorders.

Dr. Bankiewicz holds an M.D. from Jagiellonian University in Crakow and a Ph.D., a D.Sc., from the Institute of Neurology and Psychiatry in Warsaw, Poland and professor title by the President of Republic of Poland. Dr. Bankiewicz was a recipient of Fogarty Fellowship and trained at the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md.

Guangping Gao, Ph.D.

Director, University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) Gene Therapy Center & Vector Core; Scientific Director, UMMS-China Program Office; Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, UMMS

Guangping Gao is an internationally recognized AAV and gene therapy researcher who has played a key role in the discovery and characterization of new AAV serotypes. Dr. Gao made major contributions to the development of the third generation adenovirus vectors and in 1996 was appointed assistant director of the Institute for Human Gene Therapy (IHGT) at the University of Pennsylvania with primary responsibility for clinical adenovirus vector production. He was promoted to associate director and then to director of the vector program of IHGT to oversee the vector discovery and development, process development, and vector core and quality control testing. He was the driving force behind the discovery and vectorology of a novel primate AAV family for gene therapy and the development of simian adenovirus vector-based vaccine programs. Dr. Gao became the founding director of the Gene Therapy Center and Vector Core, the scientific director of the UMMS-China Translational Research Initiative and Professor of Microbiology and Physiology Systems at UMMS in 2008. In 2010, he was officially named the Penelope Booth Rockwell Professor in Biomedical Research. Dr. Gao has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has 26 patented inventions. He has served on numerous international committees, including the membership committee, international committee, and viral vector committee of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), the AAV Vector Manufacturing and Reference Standard Committees. Dr. Gao is the senior editor of the book series on Gene and Cell Therapy published by ASGCT and Springer Publisher. He serves on the advisory board of Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology and the editorial boards of Human Gene Therapy and Gene Therapy, Molecular and Cellular Therapy and Journal of Neurological Disorders.

Dr. Gao holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from the West China Medical School of Sichuan University and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Florida International University.

Mark Kay, M.D., Ph.D.

Dennis Farrey Family Professor, Head, Division of Human Gene Therapy, Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine

Mark Kay is a leading researcher in the fields of gene therapy and AAV biology, including the identification of new AAV capsids. Dr. Kay is the head of the division of human gene therapy, and professor in the departments of pediatrics and genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is one of the founders of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, served as its president from 2005 to 2006, and was the recipient of the society’s Outstanding Investigator Award in 2013. Dr. Kay received the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics in 2000. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1997 and the Association for American Physicians in 2010. He has organized many national and international conferences, including the first Gordon Conference related to gene therapy. Dr. Kay is respected worldwide for his work in vector development, gene therapy for hemophilia and viral hepatitis, and non-coding RNA biology. He is currently the editor of Human Gene Therapy and serves on the editorial boards of other peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Kay holds a B.S. in physical sciences from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in developmental genetics and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

Phillip Zamore, Ph.D.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; Gretchen Stone Cook Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Chair of the RNA Therapeutics Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS)

Phillip Zamore is a leader and innovator in the understanding of RNAi and development of related therapeutic approaches, including expressed RNAi. His lab focuses on studying RNA silencing pathways in eukaryotes, including the RNAi, microRNA and PIWI-interacting RNA pathways, and has helped explain how these pathways produce small silencing RNAs and how those small RNAs repress the expression of genes, transposons and viruses. Dr. Zamore is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Gretchen Stone Cook Chair of Biomedical Sciences, professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, and chair of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Zamore was a 2000 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences and a 2002 W. M. Keck Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research. He is the author of numerous high-impact papers in molecular biology and genetics and was the 2009 recipient of the ASBMB Schering-Plough Award. Dr. Zamore is a co-founder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and currently sits on the company’s scientific advisory board.

 Dr. Zamore holds an A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, both in biochemistry and molecular biology.