Aris Baras and Alan Shuldiner: Transforming The Search For New Drugs

Co-Heads, Regeneron Genetics Center

Regeneron’s newest initiative, the Regeneron Genetics Center, carries a lofty mission: using DNA analysis of more than 50,000 individuals’ genomes to determine associations between specific genes and human diseases in an effort to define disease targets and improve the drug-development process.

Behind it all are two Tarrytown-based Regeneron brainiacs: Aris Baras, MD, MBA, (left) and Alan Shuldiner, MD, (right) who co-founded and currently lead the center. They are spurring groundbreaking research that has already identified more than 20 novel genes involved in diabetes, high cholesterol, heart and lung disease, and a number of rare genetic disorders that may ultimately be used to develop new treatments.

The work has also landed Regeneron on the shortlist of biotech firms that will contribute data to President Obama’s $130 million precision medicine initiative. The center has a bright future, to say the least. “Our talent runs deep, and our expertise is broad. So we are well equipped to creatively tackle scientific challenges and execute innovative projects like this,” says Baras.