Chris Austin

Chris Austin

SVP, Research Technologies, GSK

Dr Christopher Austin, M.D., is Senior Vice President of Research Technologies at GSK, responsible for identification and validation of novel genetic targets aligned to GSK's core therapeutic areas. By bringing together the platform and data groups and integrating use of cutting-edge tech across target choice, patient identification, and molecule design/CMC, Research Technologies drives acceleration of pipeline value by delivering differentiated, first-in-class targets.

A trained physician, Chris has over 30 years of clinical, academic and industry experience. Prior to GSK, as founding CEO of Vesalius Therapeutics, Chris was responsible for the development of a proprietary platform that efficiently produces precision therapeutics for common diseases, based on the integration of disease phenotypes, human genetics, AI/ML, and human-based translational technologies. As part of this work, he initiated six drug development programmes in neuroscience and immunology.

Previously, Chris also held roles at the National Institute of Health where he helped found, and subsequently was appointed Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. He was responsible for redefining preclinical laboratories with field-leading productivity in lead and clinical
candidate development and led rare disease treatment development and diagnoses across NIH and internationally as well as innovative programmes in small molecule drug development, gene therapy, and gene editing technology development. He was involved in the creation of a national clinical trial
recruitment system and created the Clinical Data to Health initiative to accelerate advancements in clinical informatics, including the first nationwide centralised data enclave of EHR data from academic institutions enabling pragmatic research as well as machine learning/AI approaches to clinical questions.

He began his pharmaceutical industry career at Merck as senior research fellow for the Departments of Human Genetics and Pharmacology and director of the Department of Neuroscience. At Merck, Chris focused on the genome-based discovery of novel targets and drugs, with a focus on common complex neuropsychiatric diseases.

He trained in internal medicine and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and practiced medicine in academic and community hospital settings. Chris earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Princeton University and a medical doctorate degree from Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he also completed a research fellowship in developmental neurogenetics, studying genetic and environmental influences on stem cell fate determination.