In this special episode in front of a live audience at the Stanford School of Medicine, Dean Lloyd Minor welcomes Renee Wegrzyn, inaugural director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, known as ARPA-H, within the National Institutes of Health. They explore Renee’s vision and roadmap for the new agency, which was established in 2022 with the mission of accelerating high-impact research to drive transformative solutions in health and health care. Renee outlines the agency’s model for rapidly developing groundbreaking innovations and how her experience at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency informs her leadership of ARPA-H. She also discusses the importance of public-private collaborations, leveraging sophisticated technological platforms, and engaging diverse perspectives in advancing breakthroughs to address the most pressing challenges for patients and communities.
Meet Renee Wegrzyn
Dr. Renee Wegrzyn serves as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), appointed on October 11, 2022, by President Joseph R. Biden. Dr. Wegrzyn comes to ARPA-H with a decade of experience at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she leveraged synthetic biology and gene editing to enhance biosecurity, support the domestic bioeconomy, and thwart biothreats. Before DARPA, she led teams in private industry across a range of specialties including biosecurity and gene therapies. Dr. Wegrzyn served on the scientific advisory board for the National Academies Standing Committee on Biotechnology Capabilities and National Security Needs, among several other government and private sector boards.