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David Nelles, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer

David Nelles, co-founder of Locana and expert in CRISPR-based therapeutic development, leads preclinical strategy and platform development of the RNA-targeting gene therapy technology.  Dr. Nelles spent 2016-2017 as a post-doctoral scholar in the Gene Yeo Lab at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. As a graduate student, David was lead author of a collaboration among the Yeo and Doudna labs to first use CRISPR/Cas9 to target RNA in human cells. The Nelles et al. Cell 2016 journal article ranked among the 99th percentile of scientific articles by Altmetric.  This effort established S. Pyogenes Cas9 as a means to target RNA in human cells.  David was also co-lead author of a paper describing RNA-targeting Cas9 applied for the treatment of microsatellite repeat expansion diseases.