Christopher Austin, M.D., joined Flagship Pioneering in 2021 as a CEO Partner. Chris is part of the broader Flagship senior leadership team, participating in Flagship leadership meetings, serving on selected Flagship company boards, and providing his experience across the ecosystem. Chris will also serve as Chief Executive Officer of a Flagship-founded company currently in stealth and to be announced at a later date.
Chris is a trained clinician and geneticist, with more than 20 years of experience in translational research in both the public and private sectors. He joins Flagship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he served as the founding Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). In this role, he led the Center’s work to transform translation - the process by which interventions that benefit patients are developed and deployed - from an empirical process into a predictive science.
Chris previously served as Senior Advisor to the Director for translational research at the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) implementing research programs to derive scientific insights and therapeutic benefits from the results of the Human Genome Project. He also founded and directed the NIH Chemical Genomics Center, Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program, Toxicology in the 21st Century initiative, and NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics.
Before joining NIH, Chris worked at Merck, where he directed programs on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs, with a particular focus on treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Chris is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his A.B. in Biology from Princeton University. He completed a research fellowship in developmental neurogenetics at Harvard and trained in internal medicine and neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital.