Featured speaker

Katherine A. High, MD
Co-founder and former president, Spark Therapeutics
Professor emerita, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Presentation: "From bench to bedside to biotech company: Merging discovery and entrepreneurship in the field of gene therapy"
About Dr. High
Professional photograph of Katherine High

Katherine A. High, MD is a co-founder of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. where she served as President and Head of Research and Development (2014-2020), and a member of the Board of Directors from 2014-2019. At Spark, Dr. High gained approval of the first gene therapy for a genetic disease in the US, and the first AAV product. She also led the Spark development programs for hemophilia B and hemophilia A, both of which earned FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation.

From 2004 to 2014, Dr. High was a Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She completed a five-year term from 2000 to 2005 on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee on Cell, Tissue and Gene Therapies and is a past president of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.

Dr. High holds an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard University, an M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, a business certification from the University of North Carolina Business School Management Institute for Hospital Administrators and an honorary M.A. from The University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of CRISPR Therapeutics.

She is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians (London).