16 April 2019 | News
Leader of biotechnology programs at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will help advance Battelle’s growing healthcare business
Dr. Justin Sanchez, a noted expert in neurotechnology and Director of the Biological Technologies Office (BTO) at DARPA, will join Battelle as a Technical Fellow, a prestigious position where he will guide Battelle’s life sciences research business. Battelle is the world’s largest independent research and development organization and has a rich history of scientific innovation for nearly 90 years.
Dr. Sanchez becomes the second Technical Fellow within Battelle, joining Dr. Amy Heintz who is a recognized leader in Advanced Materials. Battelle’s Tech Fellows are scientists and engineers whose body of work, reputation in their field, and vision for the future are nationally recognized. Tech Fellows operate at the general management level, serve on the leadership team, lead the organization’s overall technical investment strategies, and drive collaboration across Battelle as well as with government, industry and academia.
“We’re very pleased that Dr. Sanchez will be joining Battelle to lead scientific advancement across our broad portfolio of life science offerings in medical devices, pharmaceutical research, biosecurity, and public health,” said Matt Vaughan, President of Battelle’s Contract Research business. “Justin’s long list of achievements, and the respect he commands in both government and industry, cannot be overstated. His vision, drive and willingness to take risks will be instrumental in accelerating innovation and building partnerships that accelerate our contribution to the next generation of transformative technologies that advance national security, human health and well-being.”
In his most current position at DARPA, Sanchez led the office responsible for developing breakthrough biological technologies and capabilities for national security including those in neurotechnology, gene editing/synthetic biology and infectious disease. He led strategy development and during his tenure as the Director of BTO was responsible for growing the office to develop 31 new DARPA programs and investing more than $1.65 billion at national labs, industry, and academic institutions.
“I am thrilled to be joining Battelle, an organization that has a one-of-a-kind mix of deep scientific expertise, market leadership, and philanthropy to help those in need,” Sanchez said. “Battelle’s potential for growth is a unique product of its fundamental understanding of some of the most disruptive scientific fields, and the practical skills to bring breakthroughs to market rapidly. From idea to prototype to product, Battelle brings all of the engineering, productization and commercialization capabilities together under one roof. Combined with an open partnership model, these assets provide an amazing platform for growth.”
Added Sanchez, “Biological technologies are opening the door to transformative solutions that will impact human health, national security, and industries of the future. I’m honored to have the opportunity to provide technical leadership, strategic direction and deep expertise in this fascinating area of science, which has the potential to improve the lives of so many.”
Sanchez has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, authored two books on the design of neurotechnology and holds seven patents. Prior to joining DARPA, he was an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience at the University of Miami. He directed the Neuroprosthetics Research Group where he oversaw the development of neural-interface medical treatments. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Engineering degrees in Biomedical Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science, all from the University of Florida.
Sanchez officially will begin work at Battelle in late June, following the conclusion of his duties at DARPA.