Just last week, BioNews Texas published an article about how Dallas-based AveXis, Inc., a synthetic biology based company specialized in research and development of technology for disease treatment, had announced a new Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) for the company – Dr. Allan A. Kaspar. Only a week later, the company has made yet another announcement about a major addition to their executive staff, with Mindy Du being appointed as AveXis’ new Director of Scientific and Corporate Affairs.
Ms. Du will be filling a critical position at AveXis, according to the company’s recent press release, since the company remains particularly focused on aggressive research and development of innovative disease treatments — a major branch of the company that is bound to benefit from her previous work experience and expertise. Ms. Du’s new role will be to seek out “other collaborative opportunities with industry and academic partners to develop innovative treatment for other diseases with unmet medical needs,” all while remaining active in her previous work at AveXis, treatments for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an ongoing effort for the company that BioNews Texas profiled back in July.
A major component of AveXis’ mission statement is to develop treatments for a wide range of unmet medical needs, seeking to help patients with rare and deadly diseases that the rest of the medical industry has passed by for one reason or another. In this way, Ms. Du’s role marks the starting point for AveXis’ future product development.
Prior to her position at AveXis, Mindy Du held several other key roles in biotech and life sciences. Previously, she worked at BioLife Cell Bank, where she oversaw the organization’s operations as well as the FDA documentation for their cGTP-compliant laboratory, all while conducting research for strategic business development projects and opportunities. Ms. Du also has a Texas connection in her previous research positions, having held research positions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in their Department of Head and Neck Surgery. She also worked at MIT in their Department of Chemical Engineering (where she also received her Bachelor of Science in chemical-biological engineering and biology, while minoring in economics and management science). The crux of her research experience focused on “tissue engineering with mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical tissue, biomechanical properties of vocal folds, and bioreactor design for antibody production in mammalian cells.”
John A. Carbona, Chief Executive Officer of AveXis, commented: “I have worked with Mindy and overseen her laboratory for over a year now. I have watched her progress and personal growth first hand. Mindy is a rare individual who is both brilliant and has expertise in a very broad skill set. These skills come at a perfect time for our company. I am very happy to have her working directly with me. Coupled with our recent addition of Dr. Allan Kaspar as our Chief Scientific Officer, we have a formidable one-two punch aimed at SMA.”
Be sure to check out our info page on Spinal Muscular Atrophy at BioNews Texas.