Precision BioSciences adds Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D., as president of PlantSciences
Precision BioSciences has appointed Fayaz Khazi, Ph.D., to serve as the president of Precision PlantSciences, a business unit developing innovative, high impact products in the food and agriculture sectors aligned with Precision’s overall mission to improve life through scientific innovation.
“I am thrilled to welcome Fayaz Khazi to the Precision team,” said Matthew Kane, chief executive officer of Precision BioSciences. “It was essential that we find a leader with demonstrated success in both agricultural innovation and human health and, more importantly, someone who could appreciate the critical connections between the two. With his unique expertise and vision, I am convinced that Fayaz will lead us beyond traditional crop enhancements and develop truly novel products that bridge human health and industry demands.”
Prior to joining Precision, Dr. Khazi was the chief executive officer of KeyGene USA. At KeyGene, Fayaz established highly successful business relationships and strategic R&D collaborations to enable accelerated crop improvement in the plant breeding, food ingredients and sustainable commodities markets in North and South America.
Dr. Khazi holds a doctorate in molecular genetics from Auburn University where he studied DNA repair and recombination. As an HHMI post-doctoral fellow, he trained with Dr. Katherine High at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia studying genotoxicity of gene therapy vectors and developing in vivo genome-editing technologies to treat hemophilia B. He then became the founding Director of Translational Medicine at Intrexon Corporation, where he held several executive leadership positions supporting the food, human health and agricultural biotechnology sectors. Dr. Khazi also worked with executive management at Intrexon to help launch a successful IPO in 2013 before moving on to become chief executive officer of KeyGene USA. With Precision’s next-gen ARCUS genome-editing platform, Fayaz will continue to pursue innovative approaches and creative partnerships at the nexus of food, agriculture and human wellness.
“Technology and scientific innovation are no longer limitations to fully addressing generational challenges of nutritional security and wellness. Precision’s technical capabilities and forward-thinking view of the connections between medicine, nutrition and agriculture are what attracted me to embark on this journey,” said Fayaz. “Through innovative integration of Precision’s ARCUS genome-editing platform with novel tools in target discovery and validation, we look forward to making a positive impact on improving global food and nutrition systems, sustainability and human wellness.”