Amiee Tallarico, Senior Manager of Lab Operations at Editas Medicine, a genome-editing company focused on developing medicines for people with serious, genetically-defined diseases.
12th grade biology
To talk about DNA, biotech, and CRISPR and to share her career path.
Dr. Tallarico began her talk by describing the process of starting a biotech company, outlining the following steps:
- Get an idea
- Get investors
- Assemble a team
- Get more money to fund research
- “Find a winner” when you have enough data
- File IND (Investigational New Drug) to the FDA
- Test many, many clinical trails
- Create drug from clinical trial data and patten
She did this because she said she wanted to show students how long the process is for creating – and ensuring the safety of – a new drug. It’s a process that can take anywhere between 10 to 15 years, she said.
Dr. Tallarico then delved into her personal work and talked about CRISPR-Cas9 – a bacterial system Editas Medicine is using to edit, cut out, delete, or disrupt DNA sequences. She describes CRISPR as a new technology that has a lot of potential power with it. Many companies are working with this bacterial system to create their own drugs to help with sickle cell disease, LCA10 (a leading cause of blindness), cancer, and more.