Dr. Szostak is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital. Throughout his career, Dr. Szostak has focused on nucleic acid biochemistry, including seminal work on DNA repair, telomeres and telomerase, and the laboratory evolution of aptamers and ribozymes. He is a recipient of the 1994 National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the 2006 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the 2008 H.P. Heineken Prize in Biophysics and Biochemistry, and the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Dr. Szostak’s current academic research is focused on the Origin of Life.
Dr. Szostak has been closely involved with commercial aspects of biotechnology for 40 years. He holds 16 issued patents, has co-founded two biotech companies and has served as an advisor to over a dozen biotech and pharma companies. Dr. Szostak is the scientific co-founder and Chair of the SAB of Ra Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded company developing novel complement-based therapeutics. Dr. Szostak is also the Chair of the SAB of Moderna, Inc., a publicly traded company developing mRNA therapeutics. Dr. Szostak has a strong interest in helping innovative biotech companies reach their full potential by bringing useful new therapies into medical practice.