New York, June 2 2014: CHDI has appointed Thomas F Vogt, PhD as its new Vice President of Discovery and Systems Biology. Vogt and his group will work closely with the translational biology, chemistry, and clinical groups at CHDI to identify and validate biological targets to enable and accelerate the development of effective therapies for Huntington’s disease (HD).
“The Discovery and Systems Biology team’s current strategy to illuminate Huntington’s disease pathophysiology, identify molecular pharmacological targets, and develop models and biomarkers that will be advanced by our translational and clinical teams and shared with the scientific community is progressing rapidly,” said Vogt. “I’m privileged and thrilled to be joining the outstanding CHDI teams that are working effectively with both a global network of academic and industry researchers and with an engaged Huntington’s disease community to collaboratively achieve the delivery of effective treatments.”
A significant focus of the Discovery and Systems Biology team will be on human biology; applying next generation DNA sequencing and genetic studies of HD individuals to identify genes that modify disease progression, utilizing reprogramming of adult HD patient cells to stem cells that will be paired with new genome-editing technologies and advances in directed neuronal differentiation to produce in vitro models, and using clinical findings from candidate therapeutics to develop improved translational models and predictive biomarkers. Since the causal gene and comprehensive phenotypic datasets are already defined, HD is particularly well positioned to pursue innovative interdisciplinary computational approaches to elucidate pathophysiology at the cellular, neuronal circuit, and organ system levels.
“We’re delighted to welcome a scientist of Tom’s caliber to CHDI’s team,” said Robert Pacifici, Chief Scientific Officer at CHDI. “His impressive scientific track record, diverse academic and industrial experiences, and knowledge of drug discovery make him an ideal fit for our organization. I know that his intellect, experience, and passion, will allow him to make significant contributions in advancing our pipeline of therapeutic opportunities for Huntington’s disease.”
Vogt is a mammalian geneticist with over 25 years of academic and pharmaceutical biomedical research experience. Prior to joining CHDI he was a Distinguished Scientist at Merck Research Laboratories for 13 years where he held a wide range of leadership and innovation responsibilities in drug discovery and development, translational animal models, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, licensing, contract research, and biotech and academic collaborations. Prior to that he was on the faculty of Molecular Biology at Princeton University where his laboratory focused on mammalian developmental genetics and the Notch signaling pathway and he led courses in molecular biology and policy and bioethics. Vogt earned his PhD in genetics at the University of Pennsylvania and then trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.