Katherine High, MD

Spark Therapeutics

Co-founder, former President and Head of Research and Development

Dr. High is trained in internal medicine and hematology, and spent most of her career on the faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2013, she co-founded Spark Therapeutics, Inc. and subsequently left the university to serve as Spark’s President and Head of Research and Development (2014-2020), and a member of the Board of Directors from 2014 until 2019 when Spark was acquired by Roche. At Spark, Dr. High gained approval of the first gene therapy for a genetic disease in the US, and the first AAV product. She also led the Spark development programs for hemophilia B and hemophilia A, both of which earned FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation. Earlier in her career, she completed a five-year term (2000-2005) on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee on Cell, Tissue and Gene Therapies, and she is a past president of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. Dr. High holds an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard University, an M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, a business certification from the University of North Carolina Business School Management Institute for Hospital Administrators and an honorary M.A. from The University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CRSP). She is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians (London). She is currently a Visiting Professor at Rockefeller University in New York.

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