CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Aug. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Columbus Children’s Foundation (CCF), a national leading non-profit biotech organization helping children with ultra-rare genetic diseases, announced today that Krystof Bankiewicz, M.D., Ph.D., has been named president and chief executive officer. Bankiewicz will work closely with Executive Director Laura Hameed and CCF’s esteemed board of trustee members, the CCF Cures Cabinet, and scientific advisors.
Bankiewicz, founder of multiple biotech companies and tenured professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, has been instrumental in the organization’s success by developing and delivering multiple life-changing treatments as a CCF founding trustee.
According to CCF Chairman and Chief Science Officer R. Jude Samulski, «Dr. Bankiewicz has been quietly focused on bringing life-saving medicines to children that have shown tremendous therapeutic outcomes. He is a remarkable talent with a sincere focus on using his expertise to change the lives of children with significant unmet medical needs. We’re thrilled to see someone with his mindset, expertise, and experience join us in this leadership role. Our organizational mission is aimed at ensuring no children are left behind when science can put cures in reach and Krystof will be a key player in effectuating that mission.»
In this new role, Bankiewicz will orchestrate CCF’s unique non-profit model for conducting translational research and developing pre-clinical and clinical novel therapeutic programs to advance treatments for children with ultra-rare, and often debilitating, genetic disorders.
«The significant impact Dr. Bankiewicz has had on the field of neuro-restorative medicine and gene therapy raises the Foundation’s standing and its ability to accelerate curative solutions will help children around the globe,» said Hameed. «Additionally, this innovative approach has the potential to change the market through developing cures while also ensuring equitable and affordable access for treatments. Access to cures without affordability creates tragic equity and access issues and I am thrilled that he has chosen to advance treatments using this innovative model. This approach brings out the best in science and humanity.»
«In a world where economics do not add up for large biotech or pharmaceutical organizations to develop genetic medicine for smaller populations of children with ultra-rare conditions, by accelerating these programs in this manner, we can bring the focus needed to give these kids and their families a chance at life,» said Bankiewicz. «Achieving the astounding results we are seeing in children who have already been treated and joining the Foundation to expand this impact is one of the most rewarding opportunities of my career. I look forward to doing my part to make a difference in children’s lives and advance the ability to impact advancement in gene therapy more broadly.»
Recognized in the medical community for groundbreaking accomplishments treating Parkinson’s Disease and other conditions affecting the central nervous system, Dr. Bankiewicz pioneered delivery of gene therapeutics directly to the brain to treat neurological disorders. Among his many achievements as an industry and academic leader, he co-founded three companies, invented numerous medical patents and is author to more than 230 peer-reviewed research articles. Bankiewicz is a tenured professor of neurosurgery and Gilbert and Kathryn Mitchell Endowed Chair at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Prior to that, he served as Kinetics Foundation chair in translational research and tenured professor in residence of neurological surgery and neurology at the University of California San Francisco.
Bankiewicz earned an M.D. from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and a Ph.D., D.Sc., from the Institute of Neurology and Psychiatry in Warsaw. He also trained at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.
About Columbus Children’s Foundation
Founded in 2017, the Columbus Children’s Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit in Chapel Hill, N.C. As one of the leading nonprofit biotech organizations, its mission is to help children diagnosed with ultra-rare genetic diseases. The Foundation has a global footprint with a sister Foundation located in Spain. Columbus Children’s Foundation is focused on ultra-rare diseases that have lagged behind due to their small populations. Because the pharmaceutical industry tends to focus on more common illnesses with greater commercial potential, ultra-rare diseases are often overlooked, prompting the need for funding from outside the industry and a new model for advancement. The Columbus Children’s Foundation also helps ensure that children with such disorders can participate in clinical trials or receive therapy if their families can’t afford travel and related costs. For more information, visit the Columbus Children’s Foundation or call (612) 437-8836.
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SOURCE Columbus Children’s Foundation