Engineering a Novel Class of Precision Medicines

Designing Precision Antimicrobials


Locus Biosciences is an emerging biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of a next generation CRISPR-Cas platform for Programmed Cell Death.

Locus Biosciences’ novel approach to precision antimicrobials works by taking advantage of an immune system present in many bacteria called the CRISPR-Cas system. The CRISPR-Cas system protects bacteria from invaders such as viruses by creating a small strand of RNA called a CRISPR RNA, which matches a DNA sequence specific to a given invader. If the CRISPR RNA is matched to a complementary DNA sequence, the Cas proteins will cleave the invading DNA.

Locus Biosciences designs and creates novel CRISPR RNAs and uses a powerful CRISPR-Cas system, referred to as Cascade/Cas3, that kills target bacteria by irreversibly destroying the bacterial DNA. The irreversible destruction of DNA is the primary differentiator between Cas3 and Cas9, as Cas9 makes double-stranded breaks that can be repaired by the cell.

The Locus Biosciences platform enables the design and development of powerful antimicrobials that avoid currently known antibiotic resistance mechanisms while leaving non-target bacteria unharmed. Built on prokaryotic technology for prokaryotic targets, Locus is advancing its platform to create therapeutics for critical disease areas ranging from resistant bacterial infections to the microbiome.

Proven Leadership


  • Everyone
  • Board of Directors
  • Management
  • Scientific Advisors
  • Scientific Founders
  • Team
  • Paul Garofolo
    Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman
    Paul Garofolo
    Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, & Chairman

    Paul has been a member of multiple Executive Management teams of both publicly traded multi-national corporations and successful startup opportunities.  He currently serves as the CEO of Locus Biosciences, an emerging biotech focused on the discovery and development of a novel class of CRISPR/Cas Antimicrobials. 

    Paul also serves as Vice President of the Friends Board at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and as a Visiting Professor at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management.   He serves as an executive-in-residence for the HiTEC Graduate Program, the University’s Entrepreneurship Collaborative.

  • Stuart Peterson
    Stuart Peterson

    A 2017 Forbes Midas List honoree, Stuart Peterson is co-founder and president of ARTIS Ventures, a San Francisco-based VC firm that partners with entrepreneurs driven to positively impact their world through disruptive technological innovation. ARTIS led early-stage investments in media giant YouTube and cancer-curing Stemcentrx, which in 2016 became the largest-ever venture backed life sciences acquisition.

    Stuart also serves on the Board of Directors for IDbyDNA, an end-to-end and universal metagenomics platform, Versa Networks, the leading vendor in the SD-WAN and SD-Security markets, and Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) platform in the U.S.

    He is a Board Advisor for Fabric Genomics, a genomic interpretation platform, Cohesity, an infinitely scalable, intelligent enterprise data storage platform, Bracket Computing, a cloud workload protection platform built for the enterprise, and Excision BioTherapeutics, a gene editing company focused on curing deadly viruses like HIV.

    Stuart also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the SFMOMA.

  • Bary Bailey
    Bary Bailey

    Mr. Bailey is an Operating Partner with Cressey & Company, a private investment firm focused exclusively on investing in and building leading healthcare businesses. Prior to joining the C&C team, Bary served as the Chief Financial Officer of AMN Healthcare Services Inc. and prior to that as Chief Financial Officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a global specialty pharmaceutical company. He has also served in executive roles with a variety of other healthcare companies, including PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. where he oversaw Pharmacy Benefit Management and Information Technology, Premier Inc., Tenet Healthcare and Arthur Andersen & Co. and has served on several boards as a director of both public and private companies.

  • Kyle Kurpinski, PhD
    Board Observer
    Kyle Kurpinski, PhD
    Board Observer

    Dr. Kyle Kurpinski is a Partner with the Tencent Exploration Team, a strategic investment group supporting breakthrough technologies that address complex global challenges. Kyle is a scientist by training, and focuses heavily on the medtech, biotech, and healthcare portions of Tencent’s portfolio.

    Prior to joining Tencent, Kyle was Executive Director for the UC Berkeley / UCSF joint Master of Translational Medicine Program (2011-15) – a professional master’s degree program for bioengineering innovation and entrepreneurship. Kyle was also Senior Product Development Engineer for NanoNerve, Inc. (2008-11) – a medical-device startup company building next-gen tissue grafts for neurosurgical applications.

    Kyle earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He also earned a joint doctorate degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley and UCSF.

  • Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD, MBA
    Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Chairman of Scientific Advisors
    Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD, MBA
    Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Chairman of Scientific Advisors

    Dr. Barrangou earned a BS in Biological Sciences from Rene Descartes University in Paris, France, a MS in Biological Engineering from the University of Technology in Compiegne, France, a MS in Food Science from NC State, a PhD in Genomics from NC State and a MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He spent 9 years in R&D and M&A at Danisco and DuPont.

    Currently, Rodolphe Barrangou is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State, focusing on the evolution and functions of CRISPR-Cas systems, and their applications in bacteria used in food manufacturing. Rodolphe is also an associate member of the Microbiology graduate program, the Biotechnology graduate program, the Functional Genomics graduate program, and the Comparative Medicine Institute. Dr. Barrangou is the T. R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Scholar in Probiotics Research, is a NC State University Distinguished Scholar, and the recipient of the 2014 NC State Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award.

    Recently, Rodolphe received the 2016 Warren Alpert Prize and the 2016 Canada Gairdner International Award. Dr. Barrangou is also on the Board of Directors of Caribou Biosciences, a co-founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Intellia Therapeutics, and a co-founder of Locus Biosciences. 

  • Charles Gersbach, PhD
    Co-Founder & Advisor
    Charles Gersbach, PhD
    Co-Founder & Advisor

    Dr. Charles A. Gersbach is the Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University, as well as the Director of the Duke Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering. He also has appointments in the Duke University Medical Center in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology.  His research interests are in the areas of genome and epigenome editing, gene therapy, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, synthetic biology, and genomics.  Dr. Gersbach received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine focusing on the genetic reprogramming of adult stem cells for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration.  Dr. Gersbach completed his postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute in molecular biology and biochemistry, focusing on developing new genome editing tools with applications in biotechnology and gene therapy.  Dr. Gersbach’s laboratory at Duke University is focused on applying molecular and cellular engineering to applications in gene therapy, regenerative medicine, and basic science.  In particular, his research aims to develop new methods to genetically modify genome sequences and cellular gene networks in a precise and targeted manner.  These new methods are then applied to correction of genetic diseases, directing stem cell differentiation, regeneration of damaged tissues, or answering fundamental biological questions regarding gene regulation and genome structure and function.  Examples of technologies used in his research include genome and epigenome editing, protein engineering, directed evolution, genetic reprogramming, gene delivery, and optogenetics.  Dr. Gersbach’s recognitions include the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award, the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Scholar Award, and the Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.

  • Dave Ousterout, PhD
    Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
    Dave Ousterout, PhD
    Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer

    Dr. Dave Ousterout is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Locus Biosciences. Dave’s expertise is in protein engineering and early stage applications of new technologies to treat human diseases. Dr. Ousterout earned a BS in Biological & Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. Dave completed his doctoral studies at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Charles Gersbach, where he developed novel gene editing approaches for correcting mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His other work has spanned across several fields, including designing and engineering viral and non-viral delivery vectors, DNA binding protein engineering and gene regulation. Prior to Locus, Dave was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

  • Chase Beisel, PhD
    Co-Founder & Advisor
    Chase Beisel, PhD
    Co-Founder & Advisor

    Dr. Beisel is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Prior to starting his faculty position in 2011, Dr. Beisel earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. His current research focuses on understanding CRISPR-Cas immune systems and how these systems can be harnessed as biomolecular tools and technologies. His efforts have gained multiple awards, including a Life Sciences Research Foundation postdoctoral fellowship through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, an NSF CAREER award, a Bay Area Lyme Foundation Emerging Leader Award, and an NIH Maximizing Investigator's Research Award. Dr. Beisel is a co-founder of Locus Biosciences and a member of its Scientific Advisory Board.

  • Joseph Nixon, MBA
    Vice President, Business Development
    Joseph Nixon, MBA
    Vice President, Business Development

    Joseph Nixon is Vice President of Business Development for Locus Biosciences.  Before joining Locus in 2017, Joseph led the investment team at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center where he directed investments in more than 60 early-stage life science companies.  Joseph previously held business development and licensing positions with Novartis and Alkermes. Earlier in his career, he was Product Manager for a venture-backed start-up bioinformatics company and worked in technology transfer at the Cleveland Clinic.  Joseph earned a BS in Biology from Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Peter Potgieter, MD, PhD
    Vice President, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs
    Peter Potgieter, MD, PhD
    Vice President, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs

    Peter Potgieter, PhD trained in anesthesiology, critical care and pulmonary medicine and has worked in academic positions including being Head of Respiratory and Medical ICUs at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, and subsequently Chairman of Critical Care at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh.  He has 20 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry working in CROs, large Pharma, and biotech companies including Clin Trials Research, Bayer, La Jolla and Theravance, Inc.. His experience includes translational medicine and Phase I through Phase IV clinical development mainly in infectious diseases, respiratory and immunological diseases. He has been the medical lead for 8 NDA and MAA submissions. He has also worked as an industry consultant with extensive experience in design and implementation of clinical antibiotic and inflammation programs and due diligence for medical evaluation within these therapeutic areas.

  • Janet Hammond, MD, PhD
    Janet Hammond, MD, PhD

    Janet Hammond MD PhD has worked for almost 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry where she has held positions of increasing responsibility. She was most recently head of Infectious Diseases at Hoffmann-la Roche for the past 5 years, where she has built and led their research and development efforts in the US, Switzerland and China, focusing on novel approaches for the treatment of Hepatitis B and Influenza. She also initiated the company’s re-entry into the area of antibiotic research and development.

    Janet obtained her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she trained as an internist and specialized in pulmonary/ critical care medicine. She did her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Duke and Johns Hopkins Universities before joining Glaxo SmithKline. She subsequently worked at Bristol Myers Squibb and Valeant and has been responsible for the development and approval of several new drugs both in the area of infectious disease and neuroscience.

  • Paul Kim, PhD
    Paul Kim, PhD

    Dr. Paul Kim is an experienced leader in the pharma/biotech industry spending over 17 years in drug development and commercialization.  He has expertise in project and portfolio management, and has worked extensively leading cross-functional asset development teams at all phases of drug development including several global regulatory submission efforts.  Paul has also worked with both large and small sized companies as well as helped organizations manage periods of significant growth and change.

    Paul received a bachelors degree in biology and genetics at the University of British Columbia and his graduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from Vanderbilt University specializing in neuropathology. He currently holds the position of Vice President of Program Management at Puma Biotechnology where he recently provided project management oversight to the recent NDA and MAA regulatory submissions and currently provides portfolio level oversight to development stage projects and is the executive sponsor in charge of leading the build-out of Puma’s commercialization business systems infrastructure to support their first successful product launch.

  • Wayne Pearl
    Wayne Pearl
  • Daniel Pomp, PhD
    Daniel Pomp, PhD

    Daniel Pomp has over 30 years of experience in the genetics and genomics space as applied to biomedical and agricultural sciences.  He is currently a Professor in the Department of Genetics (School of Medicine) and Nutrition (School of Public Health) at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  In his academic career, Daniel published over 150 papers and many review articles and book chapters.  Most recently, his group was the first to demonstrate that host DNA can control composition of the mammalian gut microbiome. 

    In 1998, Daniel co-founded GeneSeek, a privately held, global biotechnology company dedicated to providing high quality DNA testing to agribusiness and veterinary medicine.  After helping to grow GeneSeek into one of the world’s leading animal genotyping companies, Daniel sold the business to the Neogen Corporation. 

    Pomp holds a B.S.Agr. Degree in Animal Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an M.S. degree in Quantitative Genetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a Ph.D. in Animal Genetics and Biotechnology from North Carolina State University and conducted Postdoctoral research in Molecular Genetics at the University of California – Davis.

    Pomp is active with the Center for Entrepreneurial Development in North Carolina, and serves on the Board of the Refugee Community Partnership in Chapel Hill.

  • Casey Theriot, PhD
    Casey Theriot, PhD

    Casey Theriot, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Infectious Disease at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, NC. She received a BES in Environmental Science from the University of Georgia, and her PhD in Microbiology from NC State University. She has also worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Microbiologist. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship and independent research position with Dr. Vincent Young at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she focused on defining the gastrointestinal tract microbiome and metabolome during resistance and susceptibility to Clostridium difficile colonization and infection in a mouse model.

     Dr. Theriot’s current research focuses on how gut microbial derived secondary bile acids inhibit the C. difficile life cycle using in vitro and in vivo models. She is also working on manipulating the gut microbiota to rationally alter the composition of the bile acid pool in the gut, which has the potential to improve preventative and therapeutic approaches against many human diseases. The goal of her work is to design targeted bacterial approaches to prevent and treat gastrointestinal diseases – improving clinical outcomes. Dr. Theriot is a member of the Comparative Medicine Institute at NCSU and the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease at UNC. She has received multiple pilot and NIH research awards for her research on C. difficile including a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award in Metabolomics (K01) and most recently, the Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) (R35) from the NIGMS. 

  • Jason Vaughn, PhD
    Jason Vaughn, PhD

    Dr. Jason M. Vaughn has 12 years of pharmaceutical development experience.  He spent several years at PharmaForm LLC in various positions including Associate Director of Analytical and Formulation Development, Director of Operations and eventually Vice President of Operations. In these positions, he focused on the development of novel abuse deterrent formulations for internal and external clients.   He then joined DPT Laboratories as Director of Formulation Development where he led a team that developed formulations for liquids and semisolids. Following this, he joined Enavail LLC as Director of Research.  In 2012, Jason joined Patheon as Director of Scientific Affairs in the Cincinnati facility leading the development of formulations focused on modified release oral dosage forms. Jason now serves as Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development for Banner Life Sciences where he focuses on novel formulations for the treatment of clinical unmet needs. He received a B.S. in Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Texas at Austin. 

  • Geoff Glass
    Geoff Glass

    President, Clear Sciences, LLC

    Geoffrey M. Glass is currently the President of Clear Sciences, LLC a life sciences-focused management consulting company.  Prior to this Geoff was part of the team at Patheon Pharmaceuticals from 2009-2015, serving as the President of Banner Life Sciences business unit and prior to that as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

    Prior to joining Patheon in 2009, Geoff spent almost five years as a senior executive at Valeant Pharmaceuticals as Senior Vice President, Asia Region at Valeant from 2007 through 2008 and Senior Vice President and CIO, from 2004 to 2007.  Geoff began his career with the Life Sciences practice of Ernst & Young, serving there from 1995-2004.

    Geoff graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995 with a degree in Economics.  He presently lives in the Raleigh, North Carolina.  In addition to his professional pursuits, Geoff is an active marathoner and is deeply involved in charitable activities for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

  • David Johnston, PhD
    David Johnston, PhD

    Dr. David Johnston serves as executive vice president of PPD and global head of PPD Laboratories. In his current role, Dr. Johnston directs PPD’s industry leading, comprehensive laboratory services, including bioanalytical, vaccine sciences, GMP laboratories and global central laboratory services.

    A biopharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 18 years of leadership experience in the management of clinical trials, Johnston joined PPD in 2013 from LabCorp, where he served as senior vice president and global head of the clinical trials business. Dr. Johnston has a diverse background in clinical research, including experience leading R&D teams, clinical trials quality assurance, multinational laboratory operations and having served as the CSO for a global pharma services organization. 

    A pioneer in the field of personalized medicine, Dr. Johnston founded one of the industry’s first companion diagnostics initiatives, which has since supported dozens of co-development projects with pharma and led to the first laboratory-sponsored PMA filing using a novel commercialization model.  Dr. Johnston has studied gene regulation and surface virulence determinants in the pathogeic Neisseriae, and drug resistance mutations in HIV.  He has overseen the development of dozens of novel clinical genotyping assays in the areas of infectious disease, genetics and pharmacogenomics, including the first clinical genotyping assays for HIV drug resistance and HCV subtype determination. 

    Dr. Johnston volunteers on the Board of Directors for Prevention Partners, and was previously on the Board of Trustees for Be Active North Carolina.  He has served on the scientific advisory boards for Kylin Therapeutics, Gene Express and a venture capital firm.  He previously served as an adjunct professor of clinical research at Campbell University School of Pharmacy and has lectured on clinical research at several other area universities.  Dr. Johnston was awarded the Triangle Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” leadership award in 2008. 

    Johnston earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. His professional affiliations include the American Society for Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Drug Information Association and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

  • Shailesh Maingi, MBA
    Shailesh Maingi, MBA

    Shailesh Maingi is Founder and CEO of Kineticos Life Sciences in 2007, a boutique life sciences management consulting practice serving pharmaceutical, biotechnology, precision medicine, diagnostic, contract research organizations and private equity clients. In addition to leading Kineticos, he is Adjunct Faculty at the  Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC-Chapel Hill. Mr. Maingi also serves on the Board of Directors at Prevention Partners, a non-profit with a mission of preventing disease. In addition, Mr. Maingi has served on a number of board positions including Gallus Biopharmaceutical, a biologics CMO, Novolipid and Enci Therapeutics, two start up pre-clinical oncology biotechs.  Prior to founding Kineticos Life Sciences, Mr. Maingi was a senior executive at Cardinal Health and Sigma-Aldrich where he held leadership roles in strategy, business development and marketing. Mr. Maingi earned a BS in Chemistry from UNC at Chapel Hill and an MBA.

  • Kurt Selle, PhD
    Kurt Selle, PhD

    Dr. Kurt Selle is a Scientist at Locus Biosciences. Dr. Selle earned his B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then received his M.S. in Food Science and Ph.D. in Functional Genomics at North Carolina State University. Dr. Selle’s doctoral work was completed under the direction of Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou and Dr. Todd Klaenhammer with diverse research projects in lactic acid bacteria genomics and physiology. The primary outcome of his research was capturing large scale genomic island deletions through selection by bacterial genome targeting CRISPR-Cas systems. 

  • Matthew Maurer, PhD
    Matthew Maurer, PhD

    Dr. Matthew Maurer’s R&D experiences have spanned both basic science to address human health and disease, and bioengineering for real-world applications.  In particular, Matt brings a great deal of experience in high-throughput and systems biology-based approaches for genome engineering.  After obtaining his B.S. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Matt completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley in the lab of Adam Arkin.  During his postdoc, Matt developed a pipeline to genetically engineer polygenic complex traits, utilizing Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) analysis to generate a genome-wide genetic blueprint for genome construction.  Prior to joining Locus Biosciences, Matt was as a scientist at Zymergen, developing high-throughput CRISPR/Cas9-based technologies for genome engineering.

  • Hannah Tuson, PhD
    Hannah Tuson, PhD

    Dr. Tuson earned her B.S. in Biochemistry at Lafayette College, followed by her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her doctoral research in Dr. Doug Weibel’s lab focused on studying how bacteria sense and respond to their local environments. Dr. Tuson also performed post-doctoral research under Dr. Julie Biteen at University of Michigan. There, she used single-molecule fluorescence imaging to interrogate the dynamics of proteins involved in starch capture and breakdown in the human gut microbiome bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron.

  • Chris Ladner, PhD
    Chris Ladner, PhD

    Dr. Christopher Ladner is a Scientist at Locus Biosciences. Chris earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Applied Mathematics from Spring Hill College and a PhD in Chemistry from North Carolina State University. Chris completed his doctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Gavin Williams where he developed novel high-throughput methods to engineer natural product biosynthetic pathways. Prior to Locus, Chris was a Research Scientist at Bayer CropScience where he worked on engineering enzymes for agricultural relevant traits.

  • Nick Taylor, MMB, MBA
    Research & Development
    Nick Taylor, MMB, MBA
    Research & Development

    Nick Taylor is a member of the R&D team at Locus Biosciences. Nick’s expertise is in the evaluation and development of early-stage technologies. He earned a Master's of Microbial Biotechnology and an MBA in Technology Commercialization & Entrepreneurship at North Carolina State University. Previously, Nick served as a science educator in Raleigh, NC, worked for several RTP-based biotech startups, and performed technology evaluation for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center's Business and Technology Development group.

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