Eriona Hysolli is the Head of Biological Sciences at US-based Colossal Biosciences. Currently, studying the wooly mammoth as a project to support “de-extinction”of related and other species, she collaboratively works to gain insight on how to utilize science and technology to help elephants increase their opportunity for survival. Considered a key creature in the overall balance of nature on planet earth, elephant survival is of concern for humankind’s healthy evolution. Eriona explains to Frontrunners Innovate Producer and Host, Mary Kurek, the research and genetics work being done and why the wooly mammoth matters so much to our own future.
Meet Eriona Hysolli. (24-minute video)
Eriona Hysolli’s Short Bio:
Eriona Hysolli, Ph.D., is the Head of Biological Sciences at Colossal. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of George Church, PhD., Harvard Medical School from 2015 to 2021, where she focused on developing and optimizing novel genetic tools for multiplex mammalian genome engineering including mammoth de-extinction and building a virus-resistance human cell line. Eriona graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a double major in Neuroscience and German and a minor in Chemistry, then pursued graduate research at Yale University. At Yale, she studied the gene expression changes as human somatic cells transition to human embryonic stem-cell-like cells (iPSCs) that hold great potential in health and medicine. Eriona also studied how microRNAs modulate this process through epigenetic changes.
Eriona’s authored publications include characterizing different populations of human iPSCs arising during reprogramming, setting up a human cell-bacteria co-culture model to study how biocontainment can be exploited for probiotic development, and multiplex editing of TAG to TAA codons genome-wide in human cells. Unpublished work includes engineering mammoth traits in elephant cells, comprehensively characterizing via computational analysis all DNA changes that make mammoths different from extant elephants, and visualizing ancient DNA in situ.
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