Aravind Asokan, Ph.D., is Professor & Director of Gene Therapy at Duke University. He holds a primary appointment in the Department of Surgery and secondary appointments in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Biomedical Engineering. Originally trained as a chemist, he leads a research program in Synthetic Virology, which blends the fields of protein engineering, RNA biology and virology to enable gene therapy and gene editing platforms. His lab has pioneered several innovative platforms that are being developed into transformative new medicines. Dr. Asokan is lead inventor on multiple patents licensed to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He is founder and acting CSO at StrideBio, Inc., founder and director at TorqueBio LLC, was a scientific founder of Bamboo Therapeutics (a Pfizer company), sits on advisory committees for the NC Rare Disease Advisory Council and ASGCT, and serves as an advisor to UCB, AstraZeneca, and other biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Duke, he was on the faculty in the Departments of Genetics and Biochemistry & Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also obtained his doctoral degree.