Connecting patients, advocacy organizations, researchers, and healthcare systems through world-leading genomics and massive data – to advance diagnosis, research and new therapies
- WuXi NextCODE’s platform is the engine of choice for large-scale sequence-based rare disease diagnostics and research efforts on three continents
- Dr Waters’ expertise in translational medicine and building global networks and cohorts will extend the reach and benefits directly to patients, families, and disease organizations
14 December 2017 – WuXi NextCODE today announced the appointment of Dr Christina Waters as senior vice president, focusing on our rare disease programs. Dr Waters will apply her two decades of experience to grow the company’s rare disease platform by reaching out to and integrating patients and patient communities, leveraging our capabilities and those of our partners to benefit even more people around the world.
WuXi NextCODE presently serves as the diagnostics engine for major research hospitals and national health systems and genome projects in the US, China, UK, Ireland, Singapore and Qatar, and has assembled the world’s leading knowledgebase of genome variation for diagnosing rare disease. Under Dr Waters’ leadership the company aims to extend the breadth and impact of its platform by using existing networks and global social media to identify and connect rare disease patients wherever they are. WuXi NextCODE plans to employ the full range of its capabilities – from sequencing through interpretation, AI and large-scale discovery – to generate new datasets, communities and cohorts that will make it possible to diagnose more cases, understand the biology of rare disorders, and drive therapeutic development.
“A central part of our mission as a company is to apply genomics to solve rare disease and we are thrilled that Christina Waters is joining us to realize this vision,” said Hannes Smarason, CEO. “Building on our large-scale work, she is going take our platform to the next level: putting it directly at the service of patients and families in urgent need. Connected with each other and armed with sequence and medical data, we and patients, partnering with research institutions, healthcare systems and pharmaceutical companies, are going to be able to solve and eventually treat more rare disease cases.”
“I am excited to be joining WuXi NextCODE at this promising moment in the genomics revolution,” said Dr Waters. “Pharmaceutical companies have very clear criteria for the data they need to begin working on developing new drugs but many families are on their own, scattered all over the world. WuXi NextCODE has the platform that can connect patients’ and families’ data globally to create a critical mass of knowledge for diagnosing more diseases and the cohorts for uncovering the biology and undertaking therapeutic development. We are uniquely placed to be the trusted partner for generating and assembling the data required. This is going to help countless families and I feel privileged to have the chance to help drive this effort.”
Dr Waters is founder and CEO of Rare Science, a non-profit staffed entirely by volunteers that serves as a resource and research hub working to find diagnoses and treatments for some 3000 children and their families with more than 350 rare disorders in 38 countries. She has been responsible for leading medical research in a broad range of organizations ranging from academia and disease – from non-profits to biotech and large pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, aTyr Pharma, Cell Therapeutics and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
She holds a BS in molecular biology from San Diego State University, a PhD in genetics from UC Davis, an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, and was awarded postdoctoral fellowships at UC Berkeley and CalTech.