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Seed Health Appoints Former Head of J&J’s Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, Dirk Gevers, as Chief Scientific Officer

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Seed Health Appoints Former Head of J&J's Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, Dirk Gevers, as Chief Scientific Officer | Pharmtech Focus

Seed Health, the microbiome sciences company pioneering innovations in probiotics and live biotherapeutics, today announced that Dirk Gevers, Ph.D., has joined the company as its Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Gevers joins from Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, where he helped launch the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) and served as Global Head. With 15 years of experience in translational microbiome research and global team-building, Gevers will guide Seed Health’s R&D and scale the company’s platform to enable rapid, efficient advancement of microbial research from discovery to market.

“I was impressed by Seed’s commitment to scientific excellence and their platform-based approach to harnessing the power of the microbiome,” said Gevers. “Seed is uniquely converging deep functional insights in the human microbiome with efforts to clinically validate the next-generation of microbiome interventions. This, in combination with the scope of Seed’s portfolio and effective commercialization model, gives me the opportunity to drive true impact in health.”

Prior to his work at J&J, Gevers was at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he collaborated with clinical and analytical partners applying the Broad Institute’s data generation platform to a range of microbiome-related projects. During his career, he held a leading role in the National Institute of Health’s Human Microbiome Project Consortium and has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers, many of which laid the foundation for human microbiome research.

“I’ve known Dirk for over a decade – first following his research at the Broad Institute, then interacting with him at J&J – and couldn’t imagine a more exciting alignment than Dirk and Seed,” remarked Sarkis Mazmanian, PhD., Luis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and member of Seed Health’s Board of Directors. “Dirk’s pivotal contributions to this field, combined with the company’s work translating breakthrough microbiome research from discovery to commercialization, create a powerful force to deliver on the growing promise of the microbiome to impact health.”

As CSO, Gevers will expand the global R&D team with a focus on discovery, translation, and clinical development for applications across gastrointestinal and digestive health, women’s health, skin and oral care, pediatrics, mental health, metabolic function and nutrition. Gevers will also oversee Seed Health’s external scientific and academic collaborations with institutions such as Caltech, Harvard UniversityMIT, University of ZurichStanford University, Mass General Hospital, and Cleveland Clinic.

“Dirk’s research helped lay the foundation for modulating the microbiome for human health. Now, as one of the most sought-after translational experts in microbiome, Dirk’s appointment will accelerate our mission to steward the next generation of microbial innovation,” said Raja Dhir, co-founder and co-CEO of Seed Health. “Together, we can create a new framework for intervention and drive the future of the field.”

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