Biden turns to biotech for his inaugural ARPA-H director
President Joe Biden early Monday unveiled his intent to appoint Renee Wegrzyn, VP of business development at Ginkgo Bioworks, as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a new NIH-housed agency that looks to fill R&D gaps and go a step further than the NIH to attack riskier, potentially more rewarding biomedical innovation.
Wegrzyn is a practical choice as she’s spent time in industry and at both of the institutions that inspired the creation of ARPA-H – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. At DARPA, she received a service medal for her work, and prior to that, Wegrzyn spent seven years at Booz Allen Hamilton as a technical and strategy advisor to DARPA, and almost five years as an advisor to the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
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