Michel Vellard, Ph.D.Co-Founder, Chief Science Officermvellard@audacitytherapeutics.comMichel might have taken his natural inclinations toward archeology, exploration and curiosity about humans in quite a few directions. Indeed, on the way to what became his life work, you might have known him as an adventure guide on horseback in the French countryside or in the Pacific Northwest; but the most compelling force to finding that work has been family. While at university, his one-year old niece was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Cystinosis. That fueled becoming a full on scientist and pursuit of making therapies out of discovery science. Michel is the one who reminds us to go with the pragmatic, Cartesian, most direct solution to a problem – because this approach is why he can point to eight (yes, 8) prior drug approvals for rare genetic diseases. He says he is ‘addicted to approvals’ – no reason to change that habit now, as our CSO.

Michel received his Ph.D. summa cum laude in Virology from the Pasteur and the Curie Institutes in Paris (France) and did subsequent post-doctoral work at UCLA. From there, he took on leadership roles at BioMarin Pharmaceuticals and Ultragenyx where he was VP of Research. Michel’s work in Genetics and Molecular Biology has been recognized by several prestigious awards and numerous patents. To this day, his niece continues to be his motivation.