Mendelspod Podcast
Jennifer Wipf of Ginkgo Bioworks on RNA Therapeutics and Cell Therapy

Jennifer Wipf of Ginkgo Bioworks on RNA Therapeutics and Cell Therapy

Note: Today’s show is open to all thanks to the sponsorship of Elegen Bio. Elegen's proprietary cell-free DNA manufacturing technology is a game-changer for the development of mRNA vaccines as well as cell and gene therapies. Visit to order rapid, cell-free synthetic DNA now.


0:00 Making biology easier to engineer

6:10 RNA provides new access to the cell

11:35 W/hat’s the advantage of circular RNA?

13:55 Challenges in cell therapy

16:55 Developments in DNA synthesis continue to bring the price down, scale

19:40 Three new acquisitions

The rise of RNA therapeutics and cell therapies promises to take us where we’ve never been in medicine.  The growing understanding of RNA, mRNA, and circular RNA and their crucial roles in disease has led to their application in targeting previously “undruggable” targets.  Meanwhile, new cell therapies are promising cures to diseases that have plagued us without mercy.  Scientists now ask what can’t we do.  Still, biology remains dauntingly complex.

At the base of these fields is a revolution in biological engineering. One company stands out with the impressive vision of making engineering biology easier: Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks. This past month, Ginkgo announced that it was buying three companies to boost its AI footprint in diagnostics and therapeutics. We think of burgers and perfumes, but Ginkgo’s customer base is impressively diverse. 

Today, we talk with Jennifer Wipf, Head of Commercial Cell Engineering at Ginkgo. 

Jennifer says RNA is giving drug developers “access to the cell” which is opening up a whole new approach to therapeutics.    How does Ginkgo help out?  What are the promises and challenges?

We end with a question about Ginkgo’s new acquisitions to beef up its AI capabilities after last year's partnership with Google.

“If  you want to make biology easier to engineer, we need a way to answer some of these questions without doing a lot of lab work."

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