Jason T. Gammack on the Promise of Spatial Biology

Rapid and cheap DNA sequencing technology can tell us a lot about which genes a patient is carrying around, but it can’t tell us when and where the instructions in those genes get carried out inside cells. Resolve Biosciences—headed by this week’s guest, Jason Gammack—aims to solve that problem by scaling up a form of intracellular imaging it calls molecular cartography.

Gammack says the technology offers a high-resolution way to see the geography of gene transcription in single cells, that is, where specific messenger RNA molecules congregate once they’ve left the nucleus. The technology can trace up to 100 gene transcripts simultaneously. Right now it only works for mRNA, but the company says it plans to add the ability to track DNA, proteins, and “metabolic data layers.” The big idea is to make it easier to see how gene expression translates into normal tissue development and, by extension, the pathology of genetic or infectious diseases.

“We can go in and identify specific RNA molecules that code for a known protein,” Gammack tells Harry. “We can label those molecules and with high power microscopy and molecular biology and very important software, we can then identify and literally visualize individual RNA transcripts in the context of the cell and tissue.”

Resolve was in stealth mode from 2016 to December 2020, when it announced a Series A financing round of $25 million. Its technology is being tested by six teams of scientist-collaborators as part of an early access program launched in 2019. Resolve reportedly plans to launch its service commercially in the first half of 2021.

Gammack joined the company from Inscripta, where he was chief commercial officer helping to sell the CRISPR-based Onyx gene-editing platform. Before that, he was at Qiagen, a German provider of assays for molecular diagnostics such as a Covid-19 antigen test, where he was vice president of life sciences.

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