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Christopher Austin

Christopher Austin

CEO-Partner, Flagship Pioneering
Christopher Austin

Christopher Austin, MD, is a CEO-partner at Flagship Pioneering in Cambridge, MA, and CEO of Vesalius Therapeutics, one of Flagship’s franchise companies that is commercializing a platform to systematically develop treatments for common diseases. Before joining Flagship in 2021, Austin served for almost a decade as the founding director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he formulated the strategic vision and scientific directions of the new center. He also led its efforts in developing, demonstrating, and disseminating scientific and operational advances across the spectrum of translational science, from target validation to preclinical therapeutic development to clinical trials to community health implementation. 
Before NCATS, Austin founded and directed scientific and technology initiatives at the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH to derive biological insights and therapeutic potential from the human genome. Austin came to NIH from Merck, where his work focused on genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs, with a particular focus on common neuropsychiatric diseases. He received his BA. in biology from Princeton and MD from Harvard Medical School, did clinical training in internal medicine and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed a research fellowship in genetics at Harvard.