Kevin Solomon – University of Delaware
Building a highly accurate, versatile gene editing platform
*NSF-funded, Synthetic Biology, Genetic Engineering
Despite its remarkable advancements over traditional molecular biology tools, CRISPR still has areas that can be substantially improved. These areas include enhancing specificity and minimizing residual off-target edits, increasing versatility and efficiency, improving multiplexing capabilities, and simplifying overall usability.
Dr. Solomon’s lab at the University of Delaware is addressing the limitations of CRISPR systems by developing and exploring the potential of a novel gene editing system that offers more precise targeting, resulting in significant costs and time savings. In contrast to the conventional gene integration method, this approach could allow for efficient and accurate placement of non-native DNA into specific regions of the genome, preventing unwanted mutations and minimizing the influence of neighboring genes.
Supported by an NSF grant, Dr. Solomon’s lab is continuing to explore the components and derivatives of the novel editing platform, identifying the means for deployment in higher order eukaryotic systems, and assessing the feasibility in human cell lines.
Recognizing the significance of the scientific research and potential market impact, Dr. Solomon’s lab has been awarded an additional grant to identify the market and IP opportunity space for this novel cloning system and prepare for commercialization. As part of a partnership between NSF and the NobleReach Foundation our intent is to speed biotechnology development, translation, and commercialization for NSF-funded investigators. See here for a link to the press release. NobleReach aids in the identification of experts to facilitate commercialization as well as on the translation of science into business.
Dr. Solomon’s lab is hiring a technical business development lead who can help identify the opportunities and set the research roadmap for the use of this novel gene editing system in biotechnology applications. This role is pivotal in guiding the team to drive further technology development with explicit applications in mind. The individual will work closely with the technical leads and will be responsible for collaborating on furthering the collective understanding of the technology’s potential.
Core areas of accountability:
- Identify, size, and prioritize target markets through conducting analysis of potential customers
- Generate possible product and business models
- Collaborate with legal counsel to guide a preliminary Freedom to Operate analysis, IP landscape, and roadmap
- Identify R&D needs to drive the technology to commercial use
Key Experience Desired:
- Experience translating scientific innovations to market in synthetic biology or biochemistry
- Professional exposure to the IP landscape of CRISPR and gene editing technologies more broadly
- Experience setting goals with and directing a scientific team conducting synthetic biology research is a plus
This is a contract consulting role with an expected term of 12 months. Location can be remote, as long as candidates are open to appropriate regular travel to meet with the science and innovation team at the University of Delaware. There may be opportunities to join the team in a full-time capacity as an organization leader in the future.