David Nelles, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder, Locana Inc.
Is it possible to reverse genetic disease by targeting RNA? That’s what David is trying to find out. “Decades of effort have culminated in genome engineering, but many genetic diseases are best addressed on the level of RNA rather than DNA,” he says. In this new field of transcriptome engineering, David is already a leader, having been part of the team that developed one of the first means to target RNA in living cells using CRISPR. His groundbreaking work, which made headlines across the U.S. earlier this year, started in the UCSD School of Medicine and continues now at Locana, a company he co-founded. “UCSD has been very supportive and integral to our efforts to translate science into treatments for human disease,” says David, whose educational background includes material science and engineering