Research projects

Renee Wegrzyn set to lead new advanced research projects Agency for Health

BOSTON, September 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The White House today announced that President Biden intends to appoint Renee WegrzynPhD, as the first director of the Agency for Advanced Research Projects in Health (ARPA-H). Dr. Wegrzyn is currently Vice President of Business Development at Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal cell programming platform. ARPA-H was created in March 2022 to drive transformative breakthroughs in health that cannot be easily accomplished through traditional research or commercial activity.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to shape ARPA-H’s ambitious mission and foster a vision and approach that will improve health outcomes for the American people, including President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot,” said Dr. Wegrzyn. “Some of the issues we face every day – particularly in health and disease – are so significant that they can seem insurmountable. I have seen firsthand the enormous expertise and energy that the company American biomedical and biotechnology can bring to solving some of the toughest health challenges ARPA-H will create the transformative and collaborative space needed to support the next generation of moonshots for health, not just for complex diseases like cancer, but also for systemic barriers like supply chain gaps and equitable access to advanced technologies and cures for all.”

Dr. Wegrzyn holds a Ph.D. and a BS in Applied Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technologywas a Fellow at the Center for Health Security Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) and completed her postdoctoral training as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Heidelberg, Germany. Early in her career, she led research and development teams in private industry in the fields of biosafety, gene therapies, emerging infectious diseases, neuromodulation, synthetic biology and diagnostics. She served as a Program Manager in the Biological Technology Office (BTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she leveraged the tools of synthetic biology and gene editing to improve the biosecurity, supporting the national bioeconomy and countering biothreats. Since joining Ginkgo in August 2020it has built its innovation pipeline for biosecurity, developing and scaling new tools to fight infectious diseases and other biological threats through broad community access.

“This is a great moment for health and biomedical innovation. Dr. Wegrzyn stands out as a thoughtful, innovative and practical leader,” said Matt McKnight, General Manager of Biosecurity at Ginkgo. “She understands the health innovation ecosystem from all angles, from early-stage research and development to commercialization and community impact, across the public, private and academic sectors. During her time at Ginkgo, she was an incredible leader, and her work shaped the emerging biosecurity industry for years to come. Renee uniquely understands what is needed in the next era of invention, and ARPA-H will benefit immensely from being shaped by her vision.

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo is building a platform to allow customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The Company’s platform enables biotechnology applications in various markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization, and therapy discovery. For more information, visit

Forward-looking statements

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SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks