Renee Wegrzyn to be Named Inaugural Director of ARPA-H

On September 12, the Biden Administration released an announcement of the intent to appoint Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D. as the inaugural director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). The announcement for permanent leadership at the nascent agency has been anticipated since ARPA-H’s creation earlier this spring. Anthropologist Adam Russell has been leading the agency in the interim as Acting Deputy Director since May 2022 (see previous COSSA coverage).

Dr. Wegrzyn comes to ARPA-H with a wealth of experience in biotechnology, including synthetic biology, gene editing, and biosecurity. She previously served in the private sector as vice president of business development at Ginkgo Bioworks and Head of Innovation at Concentric by Ginkgo. Prior to her work at Ginkgo, Wegrzyn was a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Biological Technologies Office and has also worked with the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). She served on scientific advisory boards from both the private and public sectors including for the National Academies of Science Board on Army Research and Development, the Air Force Research Labs, and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. She received her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in applied biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

More information is available on the White House website.


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