Scientific Advisors

Dinah Sah, Ph.D.

Former Chief Scientific Officer at Voyager Therapeutics

Dinah Sah served as our chief scientific officer from 2014 to 2019. She has more than 20 years of experience in research and drug development in the biotechnology industry, focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Sah has led multiple programs from early research through Phase 1 clinical trials, as well as discovering novel therapeutic targets and drug candidates that have advanced into clinical development. Before joining Voyager, Dr. Sah was at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where she was most recently vice president of research, providing scientific leadership and administrative oversight of discovery research and multiple research and development programs. At Alnylam, her leadership of several RNAi therapeutics R&D programs resulted in the landmark demonstration of human proof-of-mechanism for this novel class of drugs. Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Sah was Associate Director of Research at Biogen, where she led neuroscience research and strategic planning for neurobiology, and before that, she headed neuroscience research at Signal Pharmaceuticals, where she also led multiple corporate partnerships and projects. Dr. Sah is an inventor on more than 25 patents, and her publications across diverse research areas include 18 articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Molecular Therapeutics, Neuron, PNAS and EMBO Journal.

 

Dr. Sah received a Bachelor of Science in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Doctor of Philosophy in neurobiology from Harvard University and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.

Patrick Aebischer, M.D.

President of Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Patrick Aebischer is a leading academic researcher and industry entrepreneur with extensive experience in the field of cell and gene transfer, particularly for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Aebischer currently serves as President of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a leading university that combines teaching, research and technology transfer, along with an extensive network of universities, and industry and political leaders, to advance technological innovation in physical science and engineering. Dr. Aebischer was an Associate Professor of Medical Sciences at Brown University in Providence, RI, and was elected chairman of the section of artificial organs, biomaterials and cellular technology of the Division of Biology and Medicine of Brown University before becoming professor and medical director of the Surgical Research Division and Gene Therapy Center at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland. Dr. Aebischer is the recipient of numerous honors including the Robert Bing Prize of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences and the Pfizer Foundation Prize for Clinical Neurosciences. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the Swiss Academy of Medicine Sciences, a founder of CytoTherapeutics, Inc. (1989), Modex Therapeutiques, Inc. (1996) and Amazentis S.A. (2007) and a board member of Nestlé Inc., Lonza Inc. and the World Economic Forum, as well as chairman of the Novartis Venture Fund.

Dr. Aebischer holds a Doctor of Medicine and trained as a neuroscientist at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Florida; Director, Center for Structural Biology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Mavis Agbandje-McKenna is a leading structural biologist and pioneer in the biophysical characterization of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs). She is a professor at the University of Florida and director of the center for structural biology in the college of medicine. Dr. Agbandje-McKenna’s laboratory uses structure-based approaches (X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy), combined with biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology and in vivo animal studies, for studies aimed at improving the efficacy of AAV vectors.

Dr. Agbandje-McKenna holds a Doctor of Philosophy in biophysics from the University of London.

Massimo Pandolfo, M.D.

Professor of Neurology and Director of the Laboratory of Experimental Neurology, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB); Chief of Neurology, ULD-Erasme University Hospital, Brussels

Massimo Pandolfo is a leader in neurogenetics and translational neuroscience. He is professor of neurology and director of the laboratory of experimental neurology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium. He is also chief of neurology at the ULB-Erasme University Hospital in Brussels. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), member of the AAN Science Committee, chair of the AAN Translational Neuroscience and International Subcommittees, and member of the European Academy of Neurology Scientific Panels on neurogenetics and on translational neurology. In 1996, Dr. Pandolfo led the team that identified the Friedreich’s ataxia gene, and has since been at the forefront of basic, translational and clinical research on Friedreich’s ataxia. In addition to his seminal work on Friedreich’s ataxia, Dr. Pandolfo has contributed to the study of other inherited ataxias, of the genetics and pharmacogenetics of epilepsy, of several rare inherited neurological diseases (brain degeneration with iron accumulation, paroxysmal non-kinesogenic dyskinesia, aceruloplasminemia), and of the genetic predisposition to stroke. Dr. Pandolfo’s current research focuses on dissecting the pathogenesis of inherited ataxias and epilepsies and on the development of small molecule and gene therapy-based approaches for the treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Pandolfo obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Milan, Italy, where he also completed his residency in neurology.